UU St. Pete InfoNet: December 27, 2019

This Sunday's Worship Services

Sunday, December 29, 2019: "Music, Poetry and Meditation"
Time: 10:30am

Speaker: Jon Arterton

This Sunday’s service will have a different format than our usual services. It will feature the singing of chants, a guided meditation, the mesmerizing sound of Travis Lacey’s Chinese gong, and the reading of some wonderful poems by Mary Oliver, Rumi and others – all this to mark the end of the year and to honor the new one.



RE Corner

Religious Education:  December 29, 2019


This month’s theme for RE is Awe


Each week, the students have been submerged in the theme of each month.  This last week's lesson entails Looking Into Each Other’s Eyes. The last Sunday of the decade. What a decade this has been for us all. Stay safe for New Years!


January’s Theme Integrity is up next. For more information about the themed curriculum, review the monthly e-newsletter or contact uurefc@gmail.com.


Nursery care is provided in Conway Hall from 10:00 am - 12pm for infants through preschool by Laura and volunteer assistant. 


Family Seating for service: On the front, right side of the sanctuary, the first two rows are labeled and reserved for families with children. After “Time For All Ages/StoryTime” (roughly 10:40 am) the children are then guided upstairs by Ms. Jeanay, Ms. Trish and Mr. Joe to RE. Children and youth are returned to their parents in coffee hour at 11:45 a.m.


Want to stay-in-the-know about what's going on in RE? Subscribe to the RE Newsletter. Text UUSPRE to 22828 and follow us on Instagram @UUSPRE! 


Thank you for your support.




Mingles is the new name for our series of fun events hosted by UUSP members and friends to raise funds for our budget while having a great time together.  You'll see that we already have a wonderful variety of events - and more are coming!   The hosts pick up the tab so you can support the church while having a great time.  Come join the fun! Tickets are on sale each Sunday after church.  Or you can contact Geneva Nelson.

Check out the flyer, by clicking the link you can save a copy of all of our events or print it out.

Mingles Flyer 12/19/2019

Contact: Geneva Nelson



Use Your RMD to Contribute to UUSP

Save taxes by making contributions to UUSP directly from your IRA!

If you are 70-1/2 years or older and are required to take minimum distributions (RMD) from your IRA, you can take advantage of a tax benefit by contributing funds directly to UUSP or other charitable organizations. By contributing directly from your IRA, you lower your taxable income by that amount.

Qualified charitable contributions must be made by December 31 each year in order to exclude that amount from taxable income for that year.

Don’t wait. Act now. Ask your accountant or tax preparer for the best way to make your contribution to UUSP. You can direct contributions to any of the UUSP funds as you wish:

  • Annual Giving—satisfy all or a portion of your pledge
  • Renovation Projects—help fund the board-approved projects to create a more welcoming and functioning space for our members and visitors
  • Legacy Giving—contribute to UUSP’s endowment for the long-term financial health of UUSP

For more information, visit https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/retirement-plans-faqs-regarding-required-minimum-distributions.

Icon made by Freepik from www.flaticon.com 


Contact: Carol Ulmer



New Year, New Friends!

Greetings!  As UUSP begins a new year, we're inviting all members of the congregation to gather to welcome the new year and to make new friends. Over the next several weeks, you will receive an invitation from a member of the congregation to join a small group of fellow members on a Sunday in January. Stay tuned!


Like coffee hour, we will gather informally, socially, but we also want to mix it up a little, and initiate a discussion as a starting point to explore the concept of "Radical Hospitality," especially with people you may not already know.


Please make every effort to attend the gathering to which you’ve been invited and RSVP promptly to your host. Thank you to the nine hosts who are inviting us into their homes to share conversation and hospitality with our congregation of 175 members!


Radical Hospitality?  What does that mean?

Radical Hospitality is not a new idea. It's been around for several years, embraced by many liberal churches and denominations like ours, to attempt to break away from our homogeneous boundaries. In our time of deeply partisan division, growing inequity, racial and social injustice, intolerance, and a decreased capacity for compassion, perhaps we, as Unitarian Universalists, might begin the new year with a sense of hope, strengthened by a commitment to find ways to open our minds and hearts even further, to think deeply about our lives, our church, and the diversity of our beloved community. Especially in 2020. 


“So what does this mean for us as a church? We are committed to being a welcoming community. We say we believe in the “inherent worth and dignity of all.” And yet we are human beings, and we have the same challenges that all human beings have. We feel more comfortable when we’re with people we know. We come to church, we gravitate to people we know. We feel less comfortable when we are with people who have different ideas and interests, different cultural assumptions. Tribalism is strong, and we need look no further than our church.”—Rev. Dr. Marilyn Sewell, minister emerita of the First Unitarian Church in Portland, Oregon.

To learn more about radical hospitality and inform our discussions with each other, we invite you to read Rev. Sewell’s writing on Radical Hospitality (on the UUA website) and explore your own definition of Radical Hospitality.  


We will explore the concept of radical hospitality together, asking questions and considering possible answers. We don't expect to provide you with any answers. We can't even begin to provide you with the questions.  But we trust that you will know how to engage in the discussion. We will engage with each other, speaking our truths and most of all, listening.


Join us for nourishing the soul and spirit and making new friends.

Contacts: Michael Killoren, Carol Ulmer




Witness at the Border — Provide Supplies for Those Waiting in Mexico

Under the “Remain in Mexico” policy, migrants who request asylum are sent back to wait in Mexico while their asylum cases move slowly forward in the U.S. immigration court system. So far, at least 54,000 asylum seekers have been returned to wait in Mexico.

The conditions are deplorable with migrants oftentimes living in makeshift camps for months. They sleep outside in the cold and live without access to basic hygiene resources like a bathroom. The camps in Mexico’s northern border cities rank among the most dangerous in the country. Cartel groups and other illicit organizations target migrants with extortion and/or kidnappings, among other crimes.

The Pinellas Coalition for Immigrant Justice, which the UU St Pete Social Justice Committee is a member of, has decided to support a national witnessing program at the Brownsville, TX/Matamoros, Mexico border. Some are traveling to the border with their passports to witness the conditions on both sides of the border. The goal is to shine a spotlight on the inhumane conditions and thus force the cancellation of the “Remain in Mexico” policy. 

We can also provide temporary relief by purchasing necessities for those camping in Mexico awaiting their court date. Here is what they now need: sweatshirts with hoods, underwear, gloves and socks. All sizes — adult and children

Because these supplies will be carried across the Border, there are some Customs requirements. No used clothing. Leave the price tags on the items and put them with the  sales slip in a bag and tie it shut. Place your donation under the Christmas Tree in Gilmour by January 5.  If you cannot deliver your gifts during a service – email Karen Coale to arrange for another delivery time. 

Thanks so very much!


Contact: Karen Coale




Announcements From Pastor Jack

NO UUSP TUESDAY NOON MEDITATION OR BROWN BAG LUNCH GATHERING this Tuesday, December 31.   We’ll start back up on January 7, with meditation 12-12:30 and lunch 12:30-1:15.


NO UUSP WEDNESDAY 8:00 A.M. MEDITATION this Wednesday, January 1.  We’ll start back up on Wednesday January 8, 8:00-8:30 a.m.


NO UUSP WEDNESDAY RELIGIOUS STUDIES until after the holidays.  Most likely to be starting the new year with Daring Democracy…for the America We Want, by Frances Moore Lappe.  Sometimes the political is about the spiritual, and it’s always about ethics.  We’ll begin on Wednesday, January 15, 10am and 7pm, your choice.  


NO UUSP THURSDAY NOON CITIZENS CAFÉ this Thursday, January 2.  We’ll start back up on January 9, 12 noon with our discussions of the public issues of our times. Join us then (but let Pastor Jack know you’re planning to come, because our schedule is sometimes erratic)! 


UU SNOWBIRDS TAKE NOTE: A UUSP MEMBER is renting a comfy room with bath and general access in her lovely St. Pete home, pretty private yard, jacuzzi. 15 minute drive to UUSP, a walk to park and bay.   Well-behaved resident greyhound.  $250 weekly; discounts for 30+ days; thru April 20.  Prefer female renter.  Info/pictures: JoAnn: 727.398.4403; JoAnn@JoAnnMil.com.


UUSP COVENANT GROUPS – trusted circles for sharing about life.  Contact: Patti Hanks (pthanks1@gmail.com).


NAMETAGS FOR FREQUENT VISITORS:  If you come often and would like a permanent name tag, please email Dave Coale at dcoale628@icloud.com.  


UUs HELPING UUs:   Need help or know a UUSPer who might?  Please notify Sue Price,  UUSP Care Committee chair: pricesue63@gmail.com


UUSP SERMONS (printed or audio) are available on UUSP's website:   Go to www.uustpete.org, click the Spirituality tab, click Worship Services and Sermons. Scroll down the services and you will see "Sermons and Readings." For audio recordings, click on a Sunday Service and look for the sound icon   audio

For screen shots of examples, click the link:  Worship Service Online Enhancements



Introduction to Unitarian Universalism and UU St. Pete

Considering joining the UU St. Pete congregation - but still have a few questions?

Join me in the church library, off the social hall, to get a bit acquainted and for a bit of an introduction to our UU tradition and what our congregation offers for community and for spiritual growth.

These one-session introductions will be offered henceforth on Sundays at the end of each month.  Hope you can join us.

Contact: Rev. Jack Donovan



Let's Go a Little Green Now!

We all know the kitchen renovation is going to take quite a while, and until it's finished, we will be using paper plates and cups and plastic utensils for serving food and drink in the church.

To reduce the amount of these going into the landfill, why don't all of us who are members or frequent visitors make it a habit to bring our own travel cup to church? If you put something in your coffee, you don't even have to use a stirrer or spoon to stir it - just put the lid back on the travel cup and shake it a little.

If you want to go a little farther, you could also bring your own reusable plates and utensils - and take them home with you!

Something to think about....

Contact: Geneva Nelson



Renew - Restore - Rejuvenate

We Did It!! Landscape Renovation Begins Mid-January!!!

Contributions to date by fund are as follows:

Renovation General                             $11,792
Landscaping                                        $14,475
Narthex, Tower, Lounge                        $2,725
Total                                                  $28,992


Thank you to all who are helping our dream come true!!

Special thanks to those who have contributed:

Barbara and Tom Archibald

Lise Beane

Sheryl and Stephen Benton

Tammy Boudreau

Susan and Paul Burnore

Denis Calandra

Sarah and Paul Craig

Carmina Day

Jane and Kent Fanning

Jim Fitzgerald II

Pat Fling

Tracy Horn

Jeri Huempfner-Gatz and Sabine von Aulock

Steve Lesak

Cheryl and Mark MacNeill

Rachelle and Richard Miller

Janet Mills

Michael Killoren and Randy Nolan

Amy and Lance Long

Cynthia Patterson

Harry and Amy Sauers

Carol Ulmer

Sara Wallace

Karen White and David Meeker, in memory of Joan Marie White

Sharon Winters


Make your payment by check or by credit card through the GivePlus app. For more information, visit UUSP.org and select Giving>Donate Now.


Contacts: Michael Killoren, Cynthia Patterson, Carol Ulmer, 3R Giving Team

Sharon Winters  swinters@tampabay.rr.com

Michael Killoren  mkillorendc@gmail.com




TREES OF LIFE: A Sunday Studio of the Expressive Arts

Sunday, January 12, 2020 - 11:30am

TREES OF LIFE” – UUSP’S SUNDAY STUDIO will offer the second workship in the series of seasonal expressive arts workshops for discovery and delight - first studio on Sunday January 12 after the church service in Conway Hall.  Using tree imagery as metaphor in each season’s workshop, we will explore the seasonal rhythms and patterns of the natural world and our own inner worlds. As we consider going "Into the Woods...in Winter" through story, movement and visual imagery, what winter wisdom might we bring to light?

Join Alisun Donovan, Cynthia Alicea, and Jill Oldenski for an afternoon of discovery and delight. Sign up after church on Sunday, December 29 & January 5. Workshop begins at noon and ends at 3pm. (You may want to eat lunch beforehand) Limit 8. Donations accepted for materials. Questions? Email alisundonovan93@gmail.com

Contact: Alisun Donovan




Finding A Woman’s Place

Finding A Woman’s Place

The Story of a 1970’s Feminist Collective in the Adirondacks

Presentation by Lorraine Duval, Ph.D.

Saturday, February 1, 4:00-5:30pm at UUSP, Middle Conway

Lorraine Duvall’s recent book tells the history of a women’s commune in the Adirondack Mountains of NY. In 1974, seven women with their eight children left jobs, family, and friends to live together communally on a 23 acre rustic resort. 

Hundreds of women passed through the doors of A Woman’s Place between 1974 and 1982.  The popularity spoke to the need for women to congregate and take comfort in knowing that they were not alone in the then male-dominated world.  Author Lorraine Duvall tells their story through a power- point slide presentation followed by a discussion period. Hearing about the lives of the women who were brave enough to begin anew at A Woman’s Place will hopefully inspire women, and men, to take action in their own personal lives.

For further Information and to let us know you’ll be coming, contact Karen White at kawpsy@verizon.net or text 518-524-1100.

Contact: Karen White



Writing the Mind Alive - A Proprioceptive Writing Sampler

Writing the Mind Alive - A Proprioceptive Writing Sampler

Workshop with Ann Mullen, Member of the Faculty of the Proprioceptive Writing Center

Saturday, February 8, 9:00am - 1:00pm

UUSP Library

Reconnect with yourself through Proprioceptive Writing (PW), a method for exploring your thoughts through writing. Easy enough for anyone to learn, PW is practiced under conditions designed to promote relaxation and reflection. Through a process called “Inner Hearing” PW teaches you to listen to your thoughts with empathy and curiosity and reflect on them in writing.

When practiced regularly, PW can bring a new sense of well-being and confidence that is vital to mental health and creativity and can help you communicate with others with greater clarity and purpose. No creative writing experience or ambitions necessary. PW is a thinking practice that uses writing as a vehicle for expression.

Sliding Fee: 0 to $50.00 to benefit UUSP

To register, contact Karen White at kawpsy@verizon.net or text 518-524-1100.

For more information about PW, visit www.pwrting.org

For more information about Ann, visit www.annmunroemullen.com



Contact: Karen White




Congregational Vote on March 1 -- Must be a Member by January 1, 2020

Our congregation will be having a very important vote in the sanctuary on Sunday, March 1, immediately following the service.  We will be voting to change the status of our Reverend Jack Donovan from a contract minister to a settled minister.  If you are a signed member of this church and have made a pledge as of January 1, 2020, then you will be eligible to vote.  

We must have a quorum of at least 50% of the membership at the meeting on March 1.  If you have any questions or comments that you would like to make, anything at all, please talk to someone on the Settlement Task Force, which includes Karen Coale, Greg Davidson, Steve Benton and Margie Davis.  We will keep these conversations private.

If you have been thinking of becoming a member of our church, you must do so by January 1, 2020, in order to vote on March 1.  See Pat Fling at the visitors' table in the gathering room Gilmore after the service to sign the membership book and to make a pledge.



Contact: Karen Coale



Year-End Contributions & Financial Statements for 2019

There's still time to make a year-end contribution to UU St Pete. I’ll be processing checks as late as Sunday afternoon, December 29, for a Monday, December 30, bank deposit. You can drop a check in the offering plate or try out a credit card on the new GivePlus+ UUSP Online Giving App.


Also, I emailed the computer-generated 2019 contributions reports on Thursday. Let me know if you spot an error. If you didn’t get one or if you don’t have email, let me know and I can print it for you. 


Rebecca Wilson
UUSP Financial Secretary


Contact: Rebecca Wilson



Volunteers Needed for Renew - Restore - Rejuvenate Projects

FL Master Gardeners Needed

The UUSP landscaping team needs additional FL Master Gardeners to help design and execute FL Friendly landscape educational features, manage a lawn maintenance contractor and coordinate quarterly volunteer clean-up days.  This work will fulfill MG volunteer requirements.  Contact Sharon at swinters@tampabay.rr.com if you’re willing and able, thanks.


Project Manager Needed

We need someone to take the lead on implementing the narthex/tower entrance/lounge project.  Much of the design work is complete but the task will require some additional design work; coordinating with contractors, the Buildings & Grounds team and volunteers; furniture and art acquisition; budget management and seeing the project through to completion.  Contact Sharon at email address above for details.

Contact: Sharon Winters




Email Scam/Phishing Attempt and Prevention

Dear UU St Pete Infonet recipients:  Someone using the fake email address "minister@uusp.com, jfdonovan.uustpete@gmail.com and/or minister.uustpete@gmail.com" is emailing requests for assistance pretending to be from Rev. Jack.

This is a scam, so please ignore it and delete it immediately.  Do not Click into on onto the links.

To help differentiate, our correspondance emails and those from Rev. Jack come from uustpete.org or  minister@uustpete.org.

As observed by UUSP webmaster Michael Pohl, "This is a fairly common phishing attempt. Unfortunately we cannot stop these from occurring as they originate from our servers. The best recourse is education -- no one should ever click on anything in an email that requests money or login credentials without first verifying its origin with the alleged sender. Even clicking on a link in such emails can trigger a virus or some other ill effect."