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.

Speaking Up


Speaking Up

The national newshas been both heartening and difficult as so many have courageously come forward to tell their stories of sexual assault and harassment at the hands of powerful abusers. Heartening, because there finally appear to be consequences for powerful perpetrators. Difficult, because the stories can bring up old trauma and hard reactions for those who’ve lived with abuse. If you need to tell your stories in a safe and supportive atmosphere, join us in the Sanctuary on Thursday, January 25, 3-5pm. Contact Rev. Khleber Van Zandt, .

Request for Help

Tis the season... and the Nominating Committee has begun work to identify a slate of candidates to serve on our Board of Trustees. In addition to openings on the Board, there other leadership positions open on the Coordinating Council and key committees. Fulfilling stewardship is more than just monetary support. We need the talent and hard work of a committed membership in a variety of ways to keep UUCOV thriving. We need your help to identify leadership talent within the congregation! If you would personally like to serve in a leadership capacity, please reach out to a member of the committee to either express your interest or learn more about needs for the upcoming year. If you wish to recommend someone, please do so only with their permission. We look forward to hearing from you!
The Nominating Committee:
Bev Morrison, Chair     
Claire Harrison            
Bonnie Norton             
Paul O'Dell                 
Phil Veach                  

We’ll Be Celebrating

FeatherPenMarch 3rd. Legacy Friends, save this date, 4-6pm. We’ll gather to celebrate our commitment to support UUCOV’s mission far into the future. Look for details in the February Connection. If you’re not yet a Legacy Friends and want any information or an opportunity to talk about planned giving, contact John Spitzer - 319- 331-5914 or .

UUCOV Endowent Fund

It’s a gift that keeps on giving, now and hereafter. All gifts, large or small, are welcome in the UUCOV Endowment Fund. With a gift of $5,000.00 or more, you are designated as a UUCOV Patron and automatically recognized as a UUCOV Legacy Friend. Check with Wayne Strife - 941-375-2400 or John Spitzer - 319-331-7187.

UUCOV Has Bylaws

A Bylaws Committee has been convened to review the UUCOV Bylaws. Its commission is to report its recommendations to the congregation. Thesebylaws clipart 4 recommendations will be voted on at the UUCOV Annual Meeting, Saturday, March 24th , 11am-1pm. Committee members are Barbara Smith (Chair), Joel Morrison, Charlotte Neagle, Matt McHugh, and Linda Underwood. The current Bylaws,  were adopted March 29th, 2015. The Bylaws Committee will convene an Open Meeting to receive your in-person input, Friday, January 19th at 3pm at Asta Linder; written recommendations, however, are welcome anytime up to that date. Please submit to Barbara Smith in writing at with a description of the general issue you are seeking to change. Also, please provide in writing your recommended language and specific location within the Bylaws where you seek to insert the recommendation. Your email submission will be acknowledged and very appreciated.
We have high respect for the work of those UUCOV members who put forth the UUCOV Bylaws at its formation and during the intervening years and are impressed as to how they have well served this congregation. The 2018 Bylaws Committee endeavors to continue in that tradition.

Tip of the Hat

tip of the hatTip 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, 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 Linda Underwood and Bill Dowling for their excellent three-minute speeches on the changes to the Venice Comprehensive Plan at the Open to the Public session of the Venice City Council on November 28th. What a great example for others! It is important to bring our concerns to our elected officials. Bill was even interviewed by the Herald-Tribune and appeared on ABC-TV7 news that night. Way to go, Bill and Linda! Kindra Muntz

To Pat Franks - Our Sunday services are made all the more special by the time we spend afterwards with each other and Pat helped make that time even more enjoyable. Thank you, Pat, on behalf of the Sunday Morning Experience team for finding volunteers for our Sunday social times over the last several months. In addition, you and your helpers have cleaned and organized the kitchen numerous times. Lori Baribeault

To Bev Morrison - Kudos to Bev Morrison for all the work she did to organize UUCOV into neighborhoods! Bonnie Hurley

To Karen Griffin, Barbara Smith, Marilyn Amick, and Saxon Stanley. We appreciate you! * Jaye Williams
*see Lifespan Learning, YRE article

To Marianne Koerner, Steve Doublestein, Nancy Zarowin and Ray Goins for sharing their diverse and high energy musical talent and organization with the congregation and to the choir for their continuing and well-appreciated service as we transition into a new musical era for UUCOV. Board of Trustees

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 .