UU St. Pete InfoNet: Friday, December 7, 2018

This Sunday's Worship Service

Sunday, December 9, 2018: "Radiant Mystery"
Time: 10:30am
Speaker: Karen Day

Worship Associate: Michael Pohl

“Radiant Mystery”- All Ages Worship

We will look at traditional tales of the season and consider how 'miracles' inspire us to find hope, courage and trust. Join us for special meditation, shimmering stories, sparky songs, luminous gifts to help us shine this season.

Nursery care is provided in Conway Hall from 10:15-noon for infants through preschool by Laura and Jill this week.

All other children will join us in the sanctuary for ALL AGES WORSHIP today.


Pastor's Annual Season of Light Party

This Saturday, December 8, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
at Revs. Jack & Alisun Donovan’s house
1104 12 th Street North (Euclid-St. Paul neighborhood).

Bring family and friends as you wish,
to celebrate Hanukkah, Bodhi Day, Solstice, Christmas, Kwanza,
and UU St Pete.

Our holy days’ wish? Seeing you Saturday!


UUSP Annual Holiday Coffee Hour

The annual Holiday Coffee Hour will be on December 16 after the service and not limited to an hour.

Bring your favorite dessert or appetizer and join us in Gilmour Hall to celebrate the season at UUSP.

Contact: Sue Price


Guest At Your Table Begins This Sunday

At this time of year UU Churches across the country engage in an unique tradition to support the work of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC). This program is called Guest at Your Table (GAYT).

This year’s program focuses on providing support to those seeking refuge in our country at our southern border via reliable on-the-ground outreach organizations who provide shelter, food and legal assistance to those, mainly Central Americans, seeking refuge in our country. These  organizations are a counter-force to the recent disturbing treatment of caravans of migrants attempting to cross into California from Mexico.

Giving via the UUSC GAYT program is one big way to help them. Another is to prepare cards, drawings, and welcome messages to send to our partners on the U.S.-Mexico border who are working tirelessly to support asylum-seekers as they arrive in the United States. These cards will be shared with migrant children and families who have recently arrived to remind them that they have a home and are welcome here.

Join us after service and create your own welcome card or drawing. Cards, paper and markers will set up at a table after service. All ages welcome. 

We will send our “creations” to the UUSC who will share them with one of their host organizations. This is one small step to show asylum-seekers a welcome that is stronger and louder than the messages of hate and fear they are hearing from the Trump administration.

Contact: Karen Coale


Hosts For UUs4Us!

We're putting together a fabulous slate of events sponsored by UUSP members for everyone's enjoyment.  Hosts offer a dinner, party, or other gathering in their homes or elsewhere, and everyone has a chance to buy tickets to the events.  We have a great time getting to know one another and all the money goes to UUSP - a win for everyone!

if you are interested in perhaps hosting an event, please contact Susan Burnore (susanburnore@gmail.com or 770-480-0200) to discuss the possibilities. We hope to have the schedule ready in time for people to buy tickets as holiday gifts.  Events will be held January-May 2019.  Enjoy!


Minister's Announcements

THIS WEDNESDAY RELIGIOUS STUDIES: Dreamwork With Ebenezer Scrooge, this Wednesday 12/12, 10:00am and 7:00pm, UUSP’s Conway Lounge. chapter (stave) 5 of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol: “The Last of the Spirits (Christmas Future)”. Discussion Focus: Practicing dreamwork for personal discovery and spiritual growth, exploring Ebenezer’s dreams and our own. Quotes for discussion provided.

(1) “Exploring the Border and the Refugee Caravan” January 9 and 16 – usual Wednesday times, 10am or 7pm, facilitated by Karen Coale and Pastor Jack.
(2) “Pagan and Earth-Centered Voices in Unitarian Universalism” starting January 23 (with pp. 1-20) - usual times of 10am or 7pm (your choice). This is the first book in a UUA study series (with books of Buddhist, Jewish, Christian, and Humanist UU Voices to be explored through 2019).

UUSP EVERY MONDAY EVENING MEDITATION, 5:30-6:15pm. Facilitator: long time meditator and yoga instructor, UUSP member Mimi Anzel.

UUSP EVERY TUESDAY MEDITATION 11:45am-12:15pm in our social hall. For instruction come a bit earlier. Pastor Jack

UUSP EVERY TUESDAY BROWN BAG LUNCH 12:15-1:00 pm – in UUSP Gilmour social hall.

UUSP EVERY WEDNESDAY MORNING MEDITATION 7:30am-8:00am, Gilmour Hall, followed by sharing as time and spirit allow. Ramp door open at 7:15am. Pastor Jack

UUSP EVERY THURSDAY NOON CITIZENS CAFÉ, 12:00am – 1:00pm in UUSP’s Gilmour Hall to chat about the news of the day for camaraderie and clarity’s sake – and perhaps write a politician or two (wi-fi, pens, paper, envelopes provided along with officials’ addresses). Coffee/Tea provided; BYO Lunch if desired. Pastor Jack

UUs HELPING UUs: Need help or know a UUSPer who might? Please notify Sue Price, UUSP Care Committee chair: sueprice63@gmail.com; 727-290-9910.


Fair Trade Chocolate, Coffee, & Tea: The Perfect Little Gift

Do you still need to find a thoughtful little gift or two this holiday season? Your friends and family might really enjoy a gift of fair traded, organic chocolate, coffee or tea. They are top quality, easy to use and ethically sourced -- Truly a perfect fit!

We will be offering these Fair Trade products after the service this Sunday, December 9th, and again the following Sunday, December 16th.

Please stop by to do a bit of holiday shopping, and while you’re there, maybe pickup a special treat for yourself.

For further information contact Karen Frank.


Smile UU - Amazon.com Rebates

Shop local where possible, but if you use Amazon, you can get a rebate of 0.5% on your purchases donated to UU St. Pete at no cost to you. 

To do this:

  1. Log on to smile.amazon.com instead of amazon.com when you order
  2. Log on to your account (same logon for smile and the regular account)
  3. Your first time on smile you will designate our church and it will be automatic after that.
  • To designate our church, hover your mouse over the “account and lists” icon at top right corner. 
  • A dropdown menu will appear. 
  • Go down and click on “Your Amazon Smile”.  
  • Then, click on “change charity” at top right. 
  • On the new screen, at the bottom in the box under “pick your own charity” enter “St. Petersburg Unitarian” and search. 
  • Once you select St. Petersburg Unitarian Church, you will be donating to our general fund from then on.   

Contact: Tom Archibald


Showered and Empowered

UU's Helping People, overseeing the Friday Night Picnic, was thrilled to host Christy Jenkins, owner and operator of Showered and Empowered on November 2.

Made possible by a grant, the mobile unit has 2 private shower stalls and a stackable washer/dryer. Guests are provided a shower bag filled with a wash cloth, shampoo, soap and conditioner. Friday night volunteers collect and provide clean tee shirts, socks, and underwear. Never underestimate what a small group of committed individuals can achieve!

We will be hosting Showered and Empowered again December 14 and are working on getting this going monthly.

Contact: Sabine (beandex@aol.com)


Christmas Eve Choir

Many of our choir members will be away for Christmas. We’re hoping some congregants with singing experience will be willing to jump in and sing with us on Christmas Eve. The service is at 6:30 and we’ll rehearse at 5:15. Please email Jon Arterton at jon@jonandjames.com.


A message from the Choir…

A number of gray hymnals seem to have disappeared over the years. Starting Sunday, the Choir will be accepting donations during coffee hour to replenish them. The books cost $35. Donors will have a dedicatory bookplate pasted into a book either “in memory of” a loved one who has passed, or “in honor of” someone – perhaps someone who’s done a lot for UUSP.

Please reach out to any of our choir members or Jon at jon@jonandjames.com.

We have received donations for 15 of the 20 hymnals we've purchased. Five to go!

Thank you!


"Still No Room in the Inn" - 29th Annual Christmas Caroling

Friday, December 7, 6:30pm UUSP, playground meeting place

"Still No Room in the Inn" - 29th annual Christmas Caroling in support of people experiencing homelessness.

Join members of UUSP and Celebrate Outreach in caroling at local shelters and the St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Courts, ending at the manger on the waterfont. Help us remind our community that for some of us there is "still no room in the inn." Blister bus available.

Contact: John Stewart at (727) 894-2832 or sjstew@gte.net.


Make Mandatory IRA Distributions Work for You

Want to save tax money while contributing to UUSP?

If you have reached the age where you must make required minimum distributions (RMDs) from your tax-deferred investments, usually 70-1/2 years, you can save on taxes while benefiting UUSP: make your pledge contribution directly to UUSP from your IRA.

By contributing directly from your IRA, you lower your taxable income by that amount. For example, if you donate $1 out of a $10 required minimum distribution, $1 goes directly to UUSP from your IRA account. For tax purposes, your income is now $9.

Compare that to withdrawing in cash the full RMD from your IRA and then donating $1. Your taxable income is $10 and you pay tax on the full amount of your required minimum distribution although you can deduct $1 as a charitable deduction.

IRA owners must be age 70-1/2 or older to make this kind of a charitable contribution. The annual limit on such a contribution is very high: up to $100,000 per year directly from one’s IRAs to an eligible charity such as UUSP without paying income tax on the transaction. If you file a joint tax return, your spouse can also make a charitable contribution of up to $100,000, meaning couples can exclude up to $200,000 of their retirement savings from income taxes if they donate it directly to a charity. 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.

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

Any questions, please contact Barbara Archibald (archibaldmail@gmail.com)


Update from your Buildings and Grounds Committee

Major projects we are working on include a new stairway with lift to Conway’s second floor that may be located in the playground area, a new ADA accessible bathroom to be located in the front office bathroom, and remodel of the sinks and dishwasher area in the kitchen. A new patio area at the front of the church is also under consideration.

Over the past six months we have repaired broken air conditioners and dishwashers, fixed holes in the roof, replaced all exit lights, changed lights and switches with energy efficient replacements, repainted RE stairs, replaced RE classroom doors with fire doors, replaced the chimney cap, trimmed the trees at front and side of the church, renovated the inner courtyard, installed a French drain and trimmed the bamboo, repainted the library, and installed two new bike racks—just to name a few.

Our sanctuary was built in 1929 and requires a lot of maintenance and upkeep.  Much of this work is done by volunteers because the church budget does not cover enough to pay tradesmen.  In addition, our membership has increased and so too has our utility and other operating expenses.

Buildings & Grounds Committee hopes you will learn more about our church’s financial resource situation.  You are also encouraged to join our volunteers. There is always more to do and we can use your ideas and efforts.  Come join us.  We meet at 5:30pm on the first Tuesday of each month.

Contact: Tom Archibald