Sunday Services for December 2022
MASKS ARE NOW OPTIONAL!!!
December 4th 10:30 am
Speaker: Rev Claudia Jimenez
Topic: "Finding Meaning in the Season"
Service Leader: Helen Bennett
This is the time of Christmas services and pageants inviting us to reflect on our Unitarian Universalist Christian heritage and the meaning of the holiday season. What needs of the human spirit are met during this and other winter holiday observances? Join us in an exploration of how we can find meaning in the season and embrace theological generosity.
Rev. Claudia Jiménez serves as Minister of Faith Development at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville in NC. She is a frequent speaker at our Fellowship.
December 11th 10:30 am
Speaker: Jim Caverly
Topic: "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee - A Personal Recollection"
Service Leader: Bob Hamburg
Former FBI agent Jim Caverly shares his experience of the Wounded Knee South Dakota siege in 1973 in which both FBI agents and Native Americans were killed. As a result of his involvement, Jim and his wife adopted and raised a Native American girl. Her story highlights the ramifications of the three dismal choices offered to Native Americans: assimilation, relocation or genocide. The treatment of Native Americans is now and always has been grotesque. This story needs to be told; unfortunately, it does not have a happy ending.
Jim Caverly and his wife Jeanne have been married for 50 years and have two adult children residing in New York. Their adopted daughter Linda, a member of the Lakota Sioux tribe of South Dakota, died in 2016.
Jim, a retired Special Agent of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, spent 27 years conducting investigations, including criminal and foreign counterintelligence assignments. He served as a hostage negotiator and was a member of the FBI SWAT and Evidence Response Teams.
Dec 18th 10:30 am
Speaker: Dr. Robert Young (via zoom)
Topic: "Towards Sustainable Coastal Development"
Service Leader: Pete Crumpacker
The bipartisan infrastructure act of 2021 allocated $47 billion for coastal projects designed to protect existing infrastructure along the shoreline, in most cases with no demands for the recipients to improve long-term planning for disasters or to change patterns of future flood plain development.
Federal and state taxpayers have spent billions of dollars over the past four decades pumping up beaches in front of coastal properties in what are known as beach nourishment projects. In Florida alone, almost $3 billion in public funds has been spent just to keep beaches in front of investment homes and oceanfront infrastructure. Studies in Florida have shown that these beach projects increase oceanfront development. Government spending is incentivizing this expansion into danger zones — a classic example of moral hazard, in which there is no reason to protect against risk when the government or federally subsidized flood insurance is there to pick up the tab.
A national conversation is long overdue about the dollars we invest in rebuilding coastal resort communities and what we should expect in return. The federal funds come with few restrictions at the local level to provide meaningful adaptation to future sea level rise and intensifying storms.
What should the first step be for adapting to sea level rise and storm impacts? My answer is simple. The easiest way to limit damage and loss of life is not to create vulnerabilities. Taxpayers should not be subsidizing the risk of irresponsible development, and we clearly shouldn’t be rebuilding areas of known hazard multiple times. We need to encourage meaningful coastal adaptation to storms and sea level rise. At the very least, we need to demand that communities accepting public funds for rebuilding or resilience stop putting new infrastructure in harm’s way.
Hurricane Ian is a chance to change that calculus in Florida. Let’s hope that federal, state and local governments can come together to rebuild infrastructure in a way that will reduce future vulnerability and limit taxpayer exposure.
There are some places from which we need to pull back. For instance, should we rebuild all of the areas of Fort Myers Beach, Fla., wiped away by storm surge? What would happen if a future Hurricane Ian strikes the Space Coast? Communities are often reluctant to give up even a small portion of their tax base. Some also incorrectly believe that, as the saying goes, if the first row goes, we are all doomed. They will spend money on protection until the bitter end.
We should walk away from the most vulnerable areas of our oceanfront and spend the money saved on buttressing the more sustainable parts of the community. We should be demanding this approach in the allocation of federal funds. This is not about abandoning the coastal economy. This is how we preserve it.
Dr. Young is a professor at Western Carolina University where he directs the program for the study of developed shorelines. He holds a Ph.D. in Geology from Duke University.
Dec 25th 10:30am
Speaker: Rev Paul Johnson
Topic: "A Christmas Sermon
Service Leader: Stephen Downen
Rev Johnson delivers his thoughts on the holiday season followed by a music service directed by Stephen Downen.
Rev. Dr. Paul S. Johnson holds the Doctor of Ministry and Doctor of Divinity degrees from Meadville/Lombard Theological School in Chicago. Paul is a frequent speaker at our Fellowship.