InfoNet: News & Updates
March 13, 2020
Members of UUSP:

First, let me start by offering my enthusiastic congratulations to Rev. Jack Donovan for recently being settled as our congregation's minister. I am so thankful to him for his devoted service and leadership. I am also very grateful to those who worked so hard to make sure we had a quorum for the vote on settlement and the three proposed (and approved) changes to the UUSP bylaws. A few names are especially worth mentioning: Susan Burnore, Karen Coale, Margie Davis, Karen White, and Greg Davidson. I am sure I left out some who deserve recognition, and I apologize in advance.

Just as importantly, I want to thank all of you who showed for the "big votes" on March 1. It was inspiring to look out at all 132 of you! We have much to be proud of as a congregation.

Now, I must turn to another matter of immediate concern-- COVID-19 . According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), persons who are 60 years of age and older, and persons with health conditions, are in the highest risk groups. Because our congregation has a substantial number of individuals who fall into these categories, we must be especially cautious. Therefore, in consultation with the Board of Trustees and Rev. Jack, we are cancelling all Sunday worship services through April 5 . We made this decision because we want to protect all of us, but especially our most vulnerable members of the congregation. Moreover, this decision is informed by guidelines provided by the U.S. government.

In addition, Rev. Jack's installation will be postponed until October or November 2020 . Rather than having a small turnout later this spring, we have decided to have a bigger celebration in the fall, once the epidemic is contained and our "snowbirds" have returned.

The Board also decided to allocate some additional money to the minister's discretionary fund during this time of crisis for those who may need assistance. We made this decision not because we have a great surplus in the budget, but rather because it is consistent with our UU principles. This fund is used to help with the urgent and immediate needs of our congregants. However, please consider making an extra contribution to the discretionary fund, either with a check to UUSP or through GivePlus+ . If you have questions about how to use GivePlus+, please e-mail Paul Craig at [email protected], or Harry Sauers at [email protected].

The Board also wishes to express that although we will not be congregating at Worship Service, we nonetheless must remain a congregation. There are many ways to do this, some of which Rev. Jack will be communicating in the coming days. But, please remember to continue to contribute to our virtual "collection plate," GivePlus+. Church expenses for staffing and building and grounds must still be covered, and so we rely on your generous donations.

As members of the congregation, there are other things you can do to help. Please reach out through phone calls, e-mails, cards, and texts to anyone you suspect may feel isolated. If you decide to meet face-to-face, wash your hands before doing so, cover coughs with tissue or an elbow, greet each other with an elbow bump or smile, and keep six feet between you and others, if possible. Also, rely on dependable information from the CDC and local and state health departments. Beware of misinformation circulating on social media.

Let's not let this epidemic diminish the joy and fellowship that characterize our community. We'll get through this, but let's make sure we do without a single one of us getting seriously ill.

Best regards,

Steve Benton
UUSP President

Announcements from Pastor Jack
An inspired mid-Women’s History Month to you. May psychologist Carol Gilligan’s aspiration guide us: that we will care for ourselves, others, and our world.

As millions have observed, “ 太平 , - we are living in interesting times – strange enough even before COVID-19. 

You may prefer the term coronavirus over COVID-19, perhaps because it reminds you subliminally of a cold golden beer as summer begins, though this corona is not cooling – or perhaps because the term reminds you transliminally of the halo crowning Jesus’s head, though this virus is no Lenten healer. 

  • Tuesday Meditation and/or Brown Bag Lunch: All sessions are cancel through April 5.
Religious Education
Wednesday Adult Religious Studies Discussions

Will resume in April

Reading Ahead for Wednesday Discussions post COVID-19: You might get started on Frances Moore Lappe’s important new book, Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want.
How to Create and Share Your Lasting Legacy of Love

Sunday, April 5, 2020 – 12:00-1:00pm
Location: Conway Hall
Presented by UUSP member, Kathleen Rehl

Your estate documents may be in place already. Good. That legal will and possibly a trust take care of passing your financial assets and material stuff. But, your possessions aren’t the most valuable gift for family and friends. You can give loved ones a far more precious treasure that’s a legacy of who you really are—your values, hopes, dreams, memories, stories, and more. In this workshop, you’ll learn ideas to create and share your enduring personal message for generations to come. 

Contact  Kathleen Rehl  for more information

Sponsored by UUSP Legacy Builders
Religious Education:

This month’s theme for Religious Education is Wisdom

We will resume our Sunday Classes in April.

For more information during this time or to review the weekly e-newsletter or contact  [email protected] .

Social Justice
Fair Trade Coffee, Tea and Chocolate

Will be available when services return in April. If you have a favorite you would like to request, please contact Karen Frank
Women Leaders, Strong Communities — this year’s theme for the UUSC’s Guest at Your Table campaign. Last Sunday the children collected your donations. In case you forgot your checkbook or were absent, you can mail them into the church or take advantage of the DonateNow on our website under Social Justice area, or mail your checks to the church. Please make out your checks to UU St Pete and write GAYT on the Memo line. We want to send one BIG check to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. Thanks for your generosity. Thank You!
Legislate Humane Treatment at the Border

Thank you to those of you who wrote postcards to Rep Crist and both US Senators for FL — advocating for the Refugee Protection Act . We mailed 95 postcards this week.

Grazie mille!

Contact:  Karen Coale
Green Sanctuary

UUSP is forming a Green Sanctuary taskforce.  We will be will be rescheduling this meeting after April 5.
UUSP Community
March Madness Mops and Flops
Will be rescheduled for April.
Contact:  Sabine  or 973-768-3256
Mingles events are a great way for you to support UUSP and have a wonderful time getting to know people.

 Tickets are available! Contact Susan Burnore at [email protected]  for more information or to reserve tickets. 
Come join the fun!
Build UU Friendships: New Circle Dinner Invitation

Good news! Our first two Circle Dinners are fully booked! The next one to sign up for will be on Tuesday, April 21 to gather at 5:30 and dinner at 6:30, at the home of Sally Wallace in St Pete. Either reply here or see Pat Fling after service on Sunday to sign up! This is a great way for more recent and longer time UU's to build friendships.
Trees of Life”  – UUSP’S Sunday Studio:

We have cancelled this event but will reschedule as soon as church events resume.

Questions? Email  [email protected]
UUA General Assembly
Providence RI June 24-28, 2020

Some of our UUSP congregation have registered for GA. It would be nice to encourage others to go.
It is an amazing experience where attendees learn about other UU congregations, vote on UUA initiatives, attend workshops and lectures, and become reinvigorated with UU spirit.
Click on the picture for more information.

Please reach out to Carol Ulmer for more information.

Resources within UUSP
Helping One Another: If you need help or know a UUSPer who might? Please notify Patti Hanks, Care Committee [email protected]  
Tuesday Meditation: Postponed until April

Our UUSP Sermons (printed or audio) are available on UUSP's website:  Go to , click the Spirituality tab, click Worship Services and Sermons. Scroll down the services and you will see "Sermons and Readings" and Audio Icon (small speaker).
UUSP Covenant Groups – trusted circles for sharing about life. Contact: Patti Hanks ( [email protected] ).
Nametags For Our Frequent Visitors:
If you come often and would like a permanent name tag, please email Dave Coale at  [email protected]

Parking availability during construction (anticipated completions July 2020)
To Help With Available Parking - Click HERE parking
Our mission is to be an inclusive , evolving religious community that inspires spiritual and intellectual growth to make our world a better place .