Many paths. One welcoming and diverse community.

Committee News

Below lists the most recent committee news as published in the Connection. To view news by category, choose the appropriate council link to the left.  Each council page provides a description of what that council covers and lists published articles for that council.

Lifespan Education and Social Justice news is not included. For those items, go to their webpages by clicking on the menu above.

Denominational Affairs

Guest at Your Table: Guest at Your Table is an annual fundraising and education program that supports UUSC’s human rights work, highlighting the empowerment of refugees and displaced persons. This year’s campaign is from November 26 till December 17.UUSC works in over 25 countries, with over 75 grassroots partners, working on the front lines of critical human rights issues. Most of our partners have small staff sizes but they accomplish much; hence this year’s program theme is Small Change is Big Change. That also conveys the impact of your donations to UUSC; thousands benefit from the work your donations make possible. To learn more, go to www.uusc.org/guest.

Reserve January 27, 2018

For most of you, one word will do. AUCTION. For newcomers, here’s the scoop. Every year, UUCOV holds a late afternoon-evening event in January that’s filled with fun, food, and laughter; we call it our Auction, where – privately, marking a sheet to bid on some desired item or hands high in response to the auctioneer’s bid calling – you bid on what you want: a boat riGavelde up the intracoastal, a lovely painting, a lesson in that craft you’ve always hoped to learn, a spot at the St. Patrick’s day party, a ride to the airport, and on and on, maybe a ride on you-know-who’s motorcycle. If any UUCOVer can imagine offering it, you can bid to make it yours.
And now is the time to think about what you can offer for others to bid on: an item, a service, a class, a dinner, a party, a trip. Pick up a donation form on the lanai; you’ll find past Auction bulletins there to help get your ideas flowing. If you have questions, contact . This is our biggest fund raiser for UUCOV - last year we raised well over $10,000. You’ll be hearing more about the Auction; look for it.

Share a Story of Generosity

Some of the most meaningful moments at UUCOV are when members and friends share personal stories of how they have been touched by generosity they’ve experienced in their lives. You can help keep alive the UUCOV spirit of generosity. Please share a story with the congregation on a Sunday or write a brief story to be read by a volunteer. If you would like to participate, contact Dan Hadley -or- 941-786-982.

Spiritual Fellowship Groups

Fellowship 1The Spiritual Fellowship Group (SFG) Steering Committee invites UUCOV members and friends to become involved with an ongoing close-knit group of fellow congregants who are ‘like-minded’ in many ways but who commit to being tolerant and welcoming of alternative beliefs and philosophical positions. Members experience this give-and-take as invigorating and helpful as they continue to develop their ideas and beliefs concerning spirituality and a myriad of other subjects and attempt to apply these concepts to today’s world.
Spiritual Fellowship Groups, led by facilitators, are limited to 8-10 members who pledge confidentiality and a commitment to regular attendance at two meetings a month. There are all-women, all-men, and mixed-gender groups depending on an individual’s preference. Facilitators meet once a month with our minister for training, but if there are enough applicants, we will then create new groups.
Persons desiring to join a group should contact Cindy O’Dell 317-370-6705. Folks who would like to learn more about these groups may speak with Cindy or other members of the SFG Steering Committee including: Wendy Voigt   419-636-1589, Linda Van Zandt   314-277-6738, or Bill Harrison   207-838-2556.

Getting to Know You

Here’s your opportunity to get to know other members and friends of the congregation, in a small group setting, by signing up for the 2018 UUCOVdinner party Revolving Dinners. From mid-January through April, you will be assigned to groups of 5-7, a different group each month. Each member/couple will take one turn as host. When the host, you may choose to organize a brunch, lunch, or dinner and may set it up as a potluck in a home, a gathering at a local restaurant, or another creative option of your choice.
Please note that there will be no sign-up at church. The only way to sign up is to email Anne Utschig at ., including your name, email address, and telephone number; Anne will confirm by email. The deadline for signing up is December 28..Lists will be emailed to all participants after the holidays. If you don’t have email or have any questions, please call Anne at 715-523-1231.

Maximize Your 2017 Tax Deduction

FeatherPenFor many of us, this is a time of year when we make donations to charities with missions and values we support.
Dan Hadley, Chair of the Stewardship Committee, suggests that you may want to pay as much as you can on your pledge commitment before year-end to maximize tax-deductibility for 2017. And, as a reminder to those who have not yet made a payment on their pledge – now is a good time to start! Questions or comments: Contact Dan 941-786-9827 .
John Spitzer, Chair of Legacy Friends, adds a suggestion for those who wish to promote UUCOV’s mission and values far into the future: consider making a donation to the Endowment Fund as part of your year-end giving. By contributing stock or cash by year-end you can receive a tax deduction for tax year 2017, and donors to the Endowment Fund are automatically enrolled as a member of Legacy Friends. If you have questions about Legacy Friends or wish to obtain information about planned giving, please contact John Spitzer 319-331-5914 .

NEW: Neighborhood Gatherings

Have you heard anyone declare, “I don’t recognize anyone at UUCOV anymore. There are so many new people!” Or, how about, “I know I am new, but how do I sort out some of the faces so I can match them to some names?”
The Caring and Remembrance Team has heard these comments and is introducing “Neighborhood Gatherings.” These are intended to be opportunities to spend a little time with a person from UUCOV who lives relatively near to you. A “Gathering” can be anything: coffee and dessert, a glass of wine, a walk in the neighborhood. The host will choose the date, the time, the event. The only thing prescribed is the guests, who are on a list of those who live nearby.
At the initial meeting, the host will distribute a list of everyone included in the group, along with contact information. Any subsequent meetings of the group will be up to the people on that list.
How do you get on a list? You have already been included if you were in the last UUCOV Directory. If you were not, please contact Bev Morrison, Leader of the Caring and Remembrance Team,   or 941-497-6337. The names of those in each Neighborhood Gathering will be distributed to the initial host of the group in the week after Thanksgiving. Watch for your invitation to meet at least one new person who lives near you!

Our Journey to a Mission

Mission StatementOur journey towards a new mission statement has been launched. The Mission Task Force did a yeoman’s job of working for several months to propose a refreshed mission to the congregation. This revised mission is on the screen on Sundays and was in the November Connection.
A series of open meetings was planned to review the proposal and the first one, held in Nov, was attended by a small but determined group who discussed why they are here at UUCOV - their individual missions and their desires re the collective mission. We also practiced relating to each proposed wording using a consensus-building principle, i.e. to check whether.a proposed statement , while not perhaps a perfect fit for us, is one in which our individual goals are reflected enough that we feel in alignment with it.
The Task Force will use what we have learned to further refine our statement of purpose. If this is of interest to you, please participate in the conversation. Our next mission conversation will be Wednesday, December 6th, at 10:00am in the Sanctuary.

Tip of the Hat

Tip of the Hat provides a place for each of us to express recognition of or thanks to others in the congregation. You might ‘tip your hat’ to a group, a team,tip of the hat or an individual. If you have a submission for this column please email it to the editor, Leie Carmody, with “tip of the hat” in the subject line. Your message should include who is being recognized or thanked.

To Ruth Boysworth and Francie Storey. Kudos to both of you who recently spent 2 hours cleaning the sanctuary kitchen! --Pat Wellington

To Leie Carmody, Brad Jenkins, Bruce King, Marty King, John McGuire, Richard Palmer, Dale Povenmire, and Bill Wolfers. The very popular Sunday ARE series which ran from April-November, Cycles of American Political Thought, could not have been presented without your dedicated assistance as moderators. Thank you all!! --Jaye Williams

To Trudy Jacoby. Thank you for the many years of your leadership to the Community Outreach Program in the Social Justice Team. It is through your leadership that UUCOV is actively supporting the hungry, the homeless, and children. Thank you.--Coordinating Council.

 Campus Team BenchesTo Dave Williams, Dick Smith, Ken Boysworth, Hal Schaeffer, Jim Beckwith, John McGuire and Bill Dowling, Hats off to you, Campus Crew, for showing up with one day’s notice to put the VERY heavy benches together so all the congregation could enjoy them. --The Board

Tip of the Hat

tip of the hatTip of the Hat is a new column that provides a place for each of us to express recognition of or thanks to others in the congregation. You might ‘tip your hat’ to a group, a team, or an individual. If you have a submission for this column please email it to the editor, Leie Carmody, with “tip of the hat” in the subject line. Your message should include who is being recognized or thanked.

to Nan Kritzler: Now, as you are finally ‘officially’ able to retire from UUCOV, I want to extend a HUGE thank you for all the time (blood, sweat and tears), you put into training me to become the next UUCOV Office Administrator. As you always have done for this congregation, you went above and beyond in your time and efforts. You have made the transition as smooth as possible for all involved. I will never be ‘Nan’, but I will try my best to maintain the standards you have set. Go enjoy your life—you earned it and deserve it!  Blessed be. - Salli Clarke

to Bench Donors: A big public thank you to those who donated toward the three new benches that have been ordered for our front patio. That will complete the plan for the patio - to have four benches on our circular front patio offering a welcoming spot for visitors and members alike. The benches will arrive early in December and will be assembled by our Campus Crew. - The Board of Trustees

to Marianne Koerner and Green Sanctuary Team: Susan and I very much enjoyed the Green Sanctuary’s presentation and discussion of ‘Before the Flood’. We’ve seen interviews with DiCaprio, but we had not seen his movie. It’s very well put together. Our thanks to you and to all involved at UUCOV. - John and Susan Darovec (Citizens' Climate Lobby).

Be Part of the Conversation

As announced in the October Connection, the Board of Trustees and the Mission Statement Task Force will be holding a series of three open Mission Statementconversations about the proposed mission statement. You are invited to attend the first conversation on November 14th, 7pm, in the sanctuary.
The Task Group spent many hours studying and debating a fresh mission statement to present as an option to the congregation, who will vote on it at the Annual Meeting on March 24th. We will be using consensus building tenets to help us navigate through this process. It will be both interesting and informative as we have a conversation on what we want our mission statement to say.
We want your feedback and impressions, so we craft a statement that truly reflects UUCOV. If you cannot attend this first meeting, please come to one of the other two - January 8th at 1pm or March 14th at 3:30pm.
A mission statement relates to the essential questions of who we are and why we exist. It is transformative and helps focus all our work. The proposed mission statement is –
"A welcoming, caring community
Encouraging spiritual growth,
Seeking truth and justice."