InfoNet: News & Updates
August 14, 2020
This Week at a Glance:
Tuesday, August 18: Contemplative Meditation UUSP Meditations YouTube - "It Matters What We Believe', by Sophia Lyon Fahs
Wednesday, August 26 - Wednesday Zoom Discussion (10am & 7pm): Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility
Thursday August 27: Zoom* Citizen's Cafe' 12:00pm (Summer Schedule).

Many covenant groups and committees are meeting virtually; contact your group leader for details.
*Zoom links will be sent to all regularly and on the website.
Email Pastor Jack directly to be added or removed from the distribution list.
Building a Community in a Pandemic E-vents

  • August 17, 7:30: Cooking From Diverse Cultures, with the Archibalds Join Barbara and Tom Archibald for a discussion of the China Silkroad over which Buddhism came into China about 200 CE. Bring your noodles and chopsticks while we think about living on the route like the tiny Uyghur minority in the world's most populated and homogenous country.
  • UUSP is inviting you: Zoom Meeting Link
  • Meeting ID: 974 8667 5110 Passcode: 056230

  • "6 x 6" Social Set for Saturday, August 22: Let's try some in-person socializing with safe distancing! A "6 by 6" Social is a careful gathering of up to six people at a UUSP member's home or common area. The host provides a spacious outdoor setting, where folks can gather, share a brown bag meal, and spend some time together maintaining 6 foot social distancing.
  • The first "6 x 6" will be at the pool and covered patio area at Greg Davidson's condo.Come as early as 5:00p if you'd like to swim - shower and changing facilities are available. Dinner will be at 7:00 pm. Guests bring their own food and drink. Please EMAIL Greg Davidson or call 612-229-1015 to claim one of the six spots. First come, first served! 
  • He will send you directions and information about parking. 
  • If you'd like to host a 6x6 event, please contact Sabine (973-768-3256)

  • September 5: UUSP Walk & Wavers - Pick your Area, Quick Visits to UUSP members/friends, Zoom meeting at night. Watch for more information....
 
We are adding virtual E-vents to our UUSP calendar. Please reach out to Sabine (973-768-3256) if you need help accessing events OR if you have ideas for an event.
Pastor Jack's Weekly Message
Dear Friends,
 
As part of Wednesday Book Discussion’s “check-in”, we each shared something we do to cope with anxiety and loss in these times of pandemic, political distrust, racial injustice, environmental threat, growing poverty.

My quick answer was “church work.” But as soon as my turn passed, the core answer popped to mind - talking with my wife on our daily walks.  The walking itself is a major help. But, as many seem to be feeling now, conversation is what makes me feel human and alive and glad.

That thought leads me to feel very fortunate to be part of the conversation that is UU St. Pete, helping us feel human and alive and glad. Deep gratitude to you.

Take care and stay in touch,
Pastor Jack        

P.S. I am on vacation/study leave this week through August 23. But it’s a staycation/study leave, so I’m available if you need some help that is time critical – which certainly includes wanting to talk through or get assistance with the burdens of the pandemic.
Religious Education
Wednesday Zoom Adult Religious Studies

Fall & Winter
are now being planned
Plans to start September 8
Children's Religious Education:
August 16, 2020

This month’s theme for
Religious Education is Journey.

Check out our RE Newsletter, which has some great information.

What? - you aren't receiving it?
Please contact


For this weeks' lesson from Ms. Trish, click on the recording box below.

 Journey of Justice  
For this weeks' lesson from Ms. Jeanay:

This week’s focus is on what expands our perspectives.

RE Class Meet up & Chat as we discuss what it is that YOU want to do with our RE into this next semester. at 1:30p.
Contemplative Meditation Readings
(Moving to Tuesday)

**How to do Mindful Meditation
  1. Set your alarm for 5 to 40 minutes;
  2. Sit erect, breathe deeply once or twice to relax;
  3. Watch your breathing ease to normal, observing breath come and go;
  4. Count in cycles of ten breaths if it helps you keep observing – or repeat a “sacred” word for focus (e.g., peace, grace, life, thanks, care, see, being);
  5. If deep focus is lost to extraneous thought, feeling, or sensation, note it simply as “thought” or “feeling” or “sensation” and return to your breath or word;
  6. Sometimes, for deeper peace, try shifting attention to consciousness itself or to your sense of being.
  7. When your timer goes off, remain awake.
Social Justice

Southside FOOD BRIDGE

Lay offs! House evictions! Homelessness! The number of people needing food assistance is growing daily. 
 
Last week Virginia Fox and her team kicked off this new UUSP Social Justice Committee outreach program which funnels food to an ongoing food distribution program that provides assistance to 200 people at 5 locations. It is so easy to help out — just two simple steps: 
 
1.    Pick up a few extra items while grocery shopping, like peanut butter, crackers, cheese crackers, canned tuna and chicken, protein bars, fruit cups, raisins. Please only non- perishable ready to eat food items. Easy to open/pull top lids are preferred.

2.    Drop off your food donations at one of the following addresses. Boxes for your donations will placed outside the front door of each of these homes:
  • Virginia & Billy Breuler, 6220-14th Ave S, Gulfport
  • Dani Skrzypek & Deb Robinson, 6051 3rd Ave S, St Pete.  

What Can I Do in the Middle of a Pandemic?
A LOT!

  • Join in fighting community hunger! Contribute to the Southside Food Bridge project. See details above.  

  • VOTE on or before August 18th. Local elections have a significant impact on the residents of Pinellas County, e.g. mask ordinances, back to school plans, sentencing of Black youth, funding mental health initiatives.
  • Refer to the League of Women Voters’ guide to get ready to Vote in Pinellas County 

  • If voting-by-mail . . . .Sign the back of your ballot envelope. This is the top reason mail ballots are flagged for issues in Pinellas County!

  • Track your ballot. You can use this online tool to make sure your ballot gets to the Supervisor of Elections office. It will also let you know if there are any issues with your ballot so you can be proactive about getting them resolved.

  • Be Informed, Vote Informed: Join the League of Women Voters next immigration conversation on August 24th at 6:30pm via Zoom. We will focus on how the U.S. Customs & Immigration Service's new policies and higher fees impact citizenship, green card and DACA applicants.
  • * You must RSVP here  to receive the Zoom link *
UUSP Community

Who needs a legal will?
Every adult who owns anything and cares what happens to it. Also anyone who wants to leave a bequest for our beloved community at UU St Pete.
Coming Soon!
During the month of September the UUSP and FAST will host 2 virtual house meetings to identify the issues that we care most about in order to create systemic change. John Motter and Pat Fling will be hosting these so be on lookout for the dates. 

Also we will have a worship service about FAST on Sunday September 13. So Plan to be inspired. 
Adopt a Garden
Let’s Keep our new landscaping looking fabulous!

Would you like to volunteer to weed a section of the UUSP gardens?

Choose your section, weed when it is convenient for you, and enjoy the beautiful results.

For information and to sign up for a section, contact Karen.
Staying Connected With Pastor Jack & Staff
Pastor’s Open-Air Office Hours: :  For those experiencing a serious sense of isolation, you are welcome to contact Pastor Jack (352-327-6166)  to arrange a visit online or in the open air at the church.

For members with mobility limitations, upon request, he will be glad to visit with you at any open-air location (eg, backyards, porches, local parks).

Our UUSP staff members will continue their duties in a safe, cautious manner to the fullest degree possible. Our Church Office Administrator is now working from home and can be reached at officeuustpete.org@gmail.com.

During this challenging time, may we remember that we need to pay close attention to how everybody is doing and how we can help.  
Resources within UUSP
Sunday Service Joys & Concerns:  If you have a Joy and/or Concern to share in the Sunday Service, this week please email Bill Motter by Wednesday for inclusion, or you can type them into the “Comment/Chat” area on the right of the Sunday Service YouTube screen.  

Helping One Another: Just reach out to Pastor Jack or Patti HanksCare Committee so we can help lift you up or lift those that may need it through a message at Sunday Service or just to talk to them.
 
Our UUSP Sermons are available on UUSP's website and our YouTube Channel: You can see information for our past worship services, since our new website went live, under Past Worship Services. All Services from mid-March 2020 - current are available on our UUSP YouTube Channel.
Thank you for your interest in UU St. Petersburg!
From me to you and to those around you Stay Safe and Stay Well!

Kelli DeGraw, part of your Communications Team.
Feedback and suggestions are welcome (pubs@uustpete.org).
Our mission is to be an inclusive, evolving religious community that inspires spiritual and intellectual growth to make our world a better place.