UU St. Pete InfoNet: October 6, 2017

This Sunday's Worship Services


All our well-behaved pets are welcome at the service on Sunday, October 8, to hear us say nice things about them and the roles they play in our lives.  Plan now to bring your pet - in a carrier or on a leash, please - or you can bring a picture of an animal that means a lot to you to share with everyone.  


Speaker Nic Filzen and Worship Leader Susan Burnore will share thoughts on how pets and animals fit into the UU view of the world.



RE Corner

Religious Education Sunday Morning - October 8:

Nursery age care is provided in Conway Hall beginning at 10:15am.

All other children and youth will stay in service to participate in the Blessing of the Animals. (No class.) The children will help out during the story for all ages, the animal parade, offering and final song. No practice necessary - see Melissa before service on Oct 8 (or email melissa.m.allen@me.com) if your child would like to participate.

RE Volunteers

If you are interested in volunteering in the classroom with our wonderful children and youth, please contact Melissa Allen (melissa.m.allen@me.com). More details to come!

Contact: Melissa Allen



Announcements From Pastor Jack

WEDNESDAY RELIGIOUS DISCUSSIONS October 11, 10am & 7pm (your choice) in the Conway Building lounge:

Study emphasis this fall is part of becoming better justice co-workers with those without equal rights and opportunity in our community and world – especially people of color.  Reading for this Wednesday (October 11): Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me , pages 99-122.   Quotes for discussion provided.  Pastor Jack


OCTOBER IS UUSP’S ANNUAL COVENANT GROUP SIGN-UP MONTH:  On Sundays through October, we hope you will sign up at the Covenant Group table in Gilmour Hall to participate in a UUSP covenant group.  Covenant groups meet monthly to share about life. The new groups will start meeting in November. A great opportunity to get to know, be known, and enrich.  Sign-up is for everyone, even if you’re already in a group.  Pastor Jack


THINKING ABOUT BECOMING A MEMBER OF OUR UUSP CONGREGATION?  Come to our Inquiring Minds, Hearts and Spirits Class, Parts 1 & 2 – October 29 and November 5 after Sunday Service, 11:45-1:00pm in Conway Hall - to get acquainted and get informed about UU St Pete and the Unitarian Universalist tradition.  Snacks provided.  Patti HanksPastor Jack


THE “DEFEND OUR DEMOCRACY” ORDINANCE, capping the amount of money Super PACs can contribute to local St. Pete campaigns, was approved this week by the St. Petersburg City Council with a vote of 6-2.   This ordinance is the first major victory in the national effort to stop great wealth and corporate power from establishing complete control over America’s democratic process. It is equivalent, I think, to the Battle of Concord in 1775. We owe great thanks to City Council chair Darden Rice and our councilors for their wisdom, to the League of Women Voters for its leadership, and to the unflagging local activists of American Promise with which UUSP’s Social Justice Committee is affiliated thanks to UUSP member Dan Greenfeld.


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.



Wednesday Religious Studies Reading List for UUSP Fall–Spring Wednesday Discussion Groups

I hope these books will help us as we continue to expand our caring into our wider community, especially with FAST (Faith in Action for Strength Together - an interfaith justice coalition,).  I am hoping that our Wednesday Religious Studies discussions will have time to study at least the first three books this year.  But I’m sure you will find the others compelling, too.


1) Between the World and Me, a father’s letter to his son, by Atlantic national correspondent Ta-Nehisi Coates.

2) The Covenant with Black America, action plans to secure social justice in America, Tavis Smiley, editor (2006)

3) The Third Reconstruction: Overcoming the Politics of Division & Fear, by Rev. Dr. Wm J. Barber II (2016)

4) Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family & Culture in Crisis, by J.D. Vance

5) Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America, by Michael Eric Dyson (2017) 

6) The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander (2010)

7) Whatever It Takes: Geoffrey Canada’s Quest (& the Harlem Children’s Zone), by Paul Tough (2008)

8) Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah (host of The Daily Show) (2016)

9) I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou

10) Waking Up White (and Finding Myself in the Story of Race), Debby Irving (2014)Slavery By Another Name: The Re-11) Enslavement of Black Americans (1865-1941), by Douglas A. Blackmon

12) Letter from the Birmingham Jail,  by Martin Luther King, Jr. (1963)

13) Dismantling Racism: A Workbook for Social Change Groups by Kenneth Jones & Tema Okun (2001) (google on-line)

14) Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil, by W.E.B. DuBois (1920)

15) The Color of Water, by James McBride (1995) – a mixed race son writes of his white mother’s life and his.

16) Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, by Bryan Stevenson (2014) Time’s “Top 10 Nonfiction 2014)

17) Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West, by Dee Brown (1971)

18) Raising Bertie – documentary film on PBS – 8.28/17

19) Unbowed, by Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Matthai (2005)

20) A Colony in a Nation, by Chris Hayes (2017)

21) Dreaming Me, by Black Baptist turned Buddhist teacher Jan Willis

22) www.blacklivesuu.comSee UUWhiteSupremacyTeachIn.


Contact: Rev. Jack Donovan



Parking Lot Update: October 6, 2017

Following UUSP’s September 17 vote to authorize the Board to negotiate with WJA a purchase contract for parcel 1 of our parking lot, WJA sent a draft contract to UUSP and attorney Chuck Hinton on September 27.  The Board put together a Board Negotiating Team comprised of Lori Price, Linda Paul and Paul Burnore. In order to continue to keep the congregation involved, an Advisory Team of non-Board members was also put together, and is comprised of Howard Taylor, Gary Nakarado, Cal Fox and Sabine von Aulock. 


Both teams were sent a copy of the WJA draft contract for their review. The first step of these two teams was to write provisions that they believe should be included in the draft contract, as well as provisions they believed to be unacceptable to UUSP. The next step was to review the documentation by congregation members during the past year in order to include other members' suggestions and concerns. The documentation reviewed included 49 questions and answers from the 20-page FAQs list, and 105 posts (with 536 views) from our Google Group discussion forum. The third step was to gather both teams together in order to aggregate, summarize and agree on all the provisions to be sent to attorney Chuck Hinton for inclusion in the draft contract. This meeting was held on Oct 4 and the summarized list was sent to Mr. Hinton on October 5.


Mr. Hinton will review our provisions and refashion them into legal language for inclusion in the draft contract, and then get members from the two teams to come and discuss them, as well as the rest of the contract, which will be edited to our satisfaction. This step should occur early next week. After we all agree on our version of the draft contract, we plan to meet with WJA for discussions and negotiation. The Board will keep the congregation updated on our progress.


Paul Burnore, President

Board of Trustees

Contact: Paul Burnore



Social Justice Projects at UU St. Pete:

At the beginning of each fall season, as we gather energy, we find it helpful to remind members of our process for developing and working on social justice projects and ministries. 


Here it is:  The UU St Pete Social Justice Committee coordinates the various events and activities of each social justice ministry; in other words, the advocacy and out-reach justice projects that UU St Pete participates in. Our purpose is to ensure communication and understanding of all that we are doing under the Social Justice umbrella and to ensure that we have no conflicting projects -- resource or date wise.


If you have a justice project that you are interested in introducing to the congregation, we have a simple process for doing that. We ask that you begin by contacting one of the Social Justice Co-chairs, Karen Coale migrants@uustpete.org or Reggie Craig homeless@uustpete.org, who will help you step thru the process.



Monthly Immigrant/Refugee Planning Meeting

Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - 5:30pm

Location: Front Office
This Social Justice subcommittee meets monthly to identify and organize our Church's participation in projects that support the farm worker, immigrant and refugee communities. Our current direct outreach is focused on supporting two refugee families, from the Congo, adapt to their new home here in St. Pete, as well as one immigrant family from the Caribbean. We also advocate for systemic change -- in particular fair and just treatment for all immigrants including the negotiation of labor and wage practices for farmworkers in the fields of Florida, assurance of due process for the undocumented, protection of the DREAMers and the retention of in-state-tuition for immigrant students.

To counter the current negative and fearful messaging about immigrants and refugees -- it is important that we come together and take positive action. We welcome your ideas and encourage your involvement in this very loving and meaningful work.

We are always looking for volunteers. Whether you want to donate your time or money, we would love to hear from you. Contact Karen at migrants@uustpete.org

Contact: Karen Coale



Want To Make A Difference You Can See?

Check out the ​Buildings & Grounds Committee!  

Next Meeting October 16, 5:30pm - 7pm - Conway North Room

Whether you don’t know which end of a screwdriver to use or you can build a home from scratch, B&G is looking for YOU!  We have various projects you can enjoy like (1) helping to find and coordinate the best contractors or (2) getting your hands dirty outside on the grounds, or handyman jobs – light painting, electrical, carpentry, etc.  (Yes, that should probably be “handyperson” but we can only carry PC so far.)

A CHANGE:  We meet the 3rd Tuesday (ONLY) each month 5:30 – 7:00 PM at the church office.  Stop by and find out what we do!  Request copies of our Minutes be emailed to you.  Join in and brag to your friends about things like a new bookshelf you helped install (provided it stays up, of course …).  Anyway, come on by and find out more!  Fame, glory, fun and more can be yours!

For more info, please email us at uustpete.bg@gmail.com.

Contact: Howard Taylor



UUSP has joined FAST (Faith in Action for Strength Together)

As part of UUSP’s joining FAST, Dave and Karen Coale are having an introductory meeting about FAST at 7:00 pm on October 17 at their house (111 26th Ave NE).  At our meeting each person will have an opportunity to talk about  “What worries keep you awake at night”, and you will be invited to consider how you can join in working for change.

We also ask that you consider coming to the FAST Annual Assembly on October 23 to finalize the choice of social and economic justice issues that will be the focus of FAST advocacy for the coming year.  It will also be a time to meet people from other congregations who are involved justice.  The time is 7:00 pm and the location is HOLY Family Catholic Church (200 78th Ave. NE,  St. Pete).

Contacts: Karen Day, Dave Coale



Pancakes and Flip-Flops: October 22, 2017

Come to Church dressed in comfortable clothes (suitable for chores). We’ll enjoy a pancake breakfast (or brown  bag). Then assemble in Conway Hall for chore selection and supplies. Let’s work together to keep our building and grounds safe and sound.

Please sign up with Sabine or on any of the sheets posted throughout the building.

Contact: Sabine von Aulock



Surviving Irmageddon…the potluck that blew us together !!

It wasn’t your usual potluck, featuring “Eye of the storm deviled eggs,” the "Nach-o House, Irma" serving warm and tasty nachos, a strong winded Seabreeze Punch and a sheet cake with a hurricane design which would make meteorologists proud. Under the watchful eye of Captain Susan Burnore, a team of “can do” stormtroopers turned Gilmour Hall into a site of celebration.  One hundred grateful survivors joining together at long tables festooned in confetti swirls and live saver mints after the October 1 Sunday Service.

Thanks to the Stormtrooper Team of Tamera Boudreau, Karen Bedigian, Gay Breuler, Sue Price, Kevin Wamboldt, Virginia Fox, Cal Fox, Patti Hanks, Sarah Craig, Julie Newcomb, and especially Wild Geneva Nelson, who had the idea to begin with!  



In Times of Trouble

Hello, Church Members,

Just a reminder in the face of sad news from Las Vegas - that we are a support team for one another, for our families and friends, and for whatever part of our world we can reach.  As Jack often quotes from an old friend, No matter what, you can always work on building circles of decency.  Circles of decency expand, because they are open and are beneficially contagious.  If you are feeling anxiety over the random, but rare, threats of violent people, the best antidote we know is to talk to a friend – and you have many in our congregation, even if you don’t know all their names.  So call us or pick a name from our directory and say, “Can we talk?”  That is the center point for drawing the circle of decency.  Our covenant, which we live by, says that we “help one another.” And so we will.

Pastor Jack & Paul Burnore

Contacts: Rev. Jack Donovan, Paul Burnore



Organic Agriculture and Cooperatives in Cuba

If you want to learn about what’s really happening in Cuba, including the economy, health system and focus on sustainable, organic agriculture and cooperatives, this is the trip for you. I’ve been on two social justice trips with this organization - to Cuba and Chiapas, Mexico - and they’re excellent. Dr. Cliff Durant, UU from Asheville, has organized these study trips for over 25 years.

Organic Agriculture and Cooperatives in Cuba

November 26 - December 5, 2017 

Tour Led by Jennifer Ungemach

Two decades ago Cuba was the first country to convert from industrial agriculture to organic agriculture. Today it is converting a major part of its economy to cooperatives. Learn how this island nation is striving for food sovereignty as it reorganizes its economy. Visit organic gardens and cooperatives, both urban and rural, an ecological zone, a community project.Talk with specialists in sustainable agriculture, the Cuban economy, its health system, US-Cuban relations, and more. Experience Cuban culture and the vibrancy of its people in this 10-day trip hosted by Havana’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Center. Sponsored by the Center for Global Justice and Via Organica along with Organic Consumers Association.  

Estimated cost of $1,700 includes dormitory style accommodations and all meals at MLK Center, translation, guide, transportation and a full program of activities.  Airfare is extra.

If you are interested, please let us hear from you by next Wednesday October, 4th. 

Our host organization MLK Center needs to know you are coming!!!

Application and non-refundable $100 deposit, will be needed after. Full payment due one month before departure. Limited scholarships are available.

For applications and further information, contact cuba@globaljusticecenter.org.


Please contact the Center for Global Justice for more information. Contact Paul Burnore at plburnore@gmail.com with questions.

Contact: Paul Burnore




Wouldn't it be nice to have flowers on our podiums each Sunday to brighten our church? 

If you would be interested in helping with this project, please sign up after service in Gilmore Hall to bring flowers for specific Sunday(s). Flower arrangements (from a florist or from your garden) can be made in honor of or in memory of someone, and we will note this in the order of service.  If you have any questions, please contact Jim Fitzgerald or Gay Breuler.  Thank you!


Contact: Gay Breuler



Water Bottles Needed!

Do you have extra water bottles that are filling up the back of your cabinet?

As we enter the hottest time of the year, our friends that participate in the Friday Night Picnic not only have a hard time getting access to clean cool water, but rarely have a water bottle to carry with them throughout the day.  Please look for a special collection box during Coffee Hour after Sunday Service to drop off your donation(s).

If you have a source for further donations (the Lost & Found at your workplace/Leftovers from an event) or need further information please contact Courtney Allen.

Contact: Courtney Allen