InfoNet: News & Updates
May 2, 2020
Save the Date: May 31, 2020 11am
Annual Congregational Meeting
Our Annual Congregational Meeting will focus on the 2020-2021 Budget and nominations for new Board Members, Endowment Board Members, and church officers. A Zoom meeting will be set up, and invitations will be sent out via email the week before the meeting.  All members will receive a mailing with information about the proposed budget and nominees.
This Week at a Glance:

Monday : Weekly Minute Meditation 8:00am UUSP YouTube Channel
Tuesday: Zoom Lunchtime Check-in/Chat 12:30pm (mindful meditation* on your own, pre or post).
Wednesday: Zoom Adult Religious Studies Book Discussions (10am or 7pm) F.M. Lappe's Daring Democracy, Chapt 2.
Thursday: Weekly Minute Meditation #2 8:00am UUSP YouTube Channel
Thursday: Zoom Citizen's Cafe' 12:00pm (via Zoom - )
Friday: Zoom Lunchtime Check-in/Chat 12:30pm (mindful meditation* on your own, pre or post).
Pastor Jack's Weekly Wonder
Dear Friends,

I came across a new and useful word this week:  Karunavirus. 

Karuna means “compassion” in Sanskrit, the ancient language of India and its religions. So a karunavirus would be “contagious or infectious compassion.” Its symptoms would be the decease of suffering and the spread of well-being.

Humans are known carriers of this virus. But it’s weak at first. It must be cultured to grow within one. It also requires being connected somehow with others in order to take effect and to spread.

People who have karunavirus find it much less necessary to wear masques. They seem to have immunity to negative energies. People who have it seem never to wash their hands of it.

What an easier, more joyful way to live! May I suggest we enculture going karunaviral?

See you soon, zooming at least.  Stay caring. Stay in touch.

Blessings for the week,
Religious Education
Wednesday Zoom Adult Religious Studies Book Discussions
Starting Wednesday, May 6, 10:00am & 7:00pm

We will begin a five-session discussion of Frances Moore Lappe’s Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want . Quotes will be provided as the focus of each discussion. Contact Pastor Jack to receive the Zoom Link and Discussion points.
Children's Religious Education:
May 3, 2020

This month’s theme for Religious Education is  Thresholds .

Explore the ways that thresholds
protects us.

Check out our lessons and more in our weekly newsletter
What? - you aren't receiving it?
Please contact [email protected] .
Click on the pictures for the Lessons of the week from our RE Staff!
Miss Trish (above) K - 3rd grade
Miss Jeanay (below 4th - 12th grade
Experimental Online Weekly Meditation Schedule (feedback appreciated)
Tuesdays & Thursdays Contemplative Meditation
Pastor Jack will offer a ten-minute online contemplative meditation based on selected readings. Readings this coming week are from Albert Einstein on “Our Task” and Rebecca Solnit on “Hope” Participate at UUSP YouTube Channel .

*Mindfulness Meditation* Sessions:
Mindful Meditation (Vipassana/Insight Meditation) guidelines:
1) Set your alarm for 5 to 40 minutes;
2) Sit erect, breathe deeply once or twice to relax;
3) Breathe normally, watching your breath come and go;
4) Count in cycles of ten breaths if it helps stay focused on your breath;
5) If breath-focus is lost in thoughts or feelings, note them and return to your breath;
6) Sometimes, for deeper peace, try shifting attention to consciousness itself or to just being.
Social Justice
Your Support for the Coalition of Immokalee Workers
H ad an Impact!

Your calls and emails to Governor DeSantis made a difference. Collier County Public Health has obtained 1,000 COVID tests and will begin testing farmworkers in Immokalee this coming Sunday. This is a step forward — but we must continue to advocate on behalf of all 25,000 farmworkers in Immokalee.

Continue to email Governor Ron DeSantis  or call 800-342-3557 NOW and tell our governor to:
  1. Set up a field hospital, or alternative care facility, in Immokalee to provide both treatment for COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms, and a separate quarantine space to allow workers with milder symptoms to self-isolate.
  2. Require agricultural employers to provide personal protective gear, particularly masks, to farmworkers for use while they are traveling to and from the fields

This population is very vulnerable , which could lead to Florida not having enough workers to harvest our crops. 

You can also help by making masks for the farmworkers. Email Dani to help out. 

My thanks to each of you, Karen Coale
FAST Update

This week, the Pinellas County Commission Approved the Pinellas CARES financial assistance program. This program provides up to $4000 per individual for relief with past due rent and utility payments. There are certain guidelines, such as not having liquid assets of more than $4000 and you must be below 200% of the federal poverty level for income (around $50,000 for a family of four). There is $135 million total available for this program and it is only open through June 1st. They also approved a $35 million program for small business grants. Information on the individual assistance program can be found  HERE  and information on the small business grants can be found  HERE

The county is unclear how long the money will last so people should apply soon! We've heard from some who have accessed the program already that the county might be flexible on some of the application requirements, so we encourage anyone who needs help to apply regardless of whether or not they meet all the qualifications. To access the program, residents should call 2-1-1- or text COVIDCARES to 898211.

Thank you,
Pat Fling

Sex Work, Trafficking, Violence
and Legislative Policy
A May 7, 5:00 p.m., Webinar Presentation by UUSP's Jill McCracken, PhD, for the National Organization of Women (NOW).   For over a decade, Dr. McCracken, chair of the English Department at USF/St. Pete, has studied, written and taught about these issues and the controversies they have stirred in public debate. She has been asked by Florida NOW, in collaboration with Massachusetts NOW, to provide a webinar about them. These are challenging and divisive social justice issues. UUSP members who would like a chance to hear Jill's presentation and contribute questions may register for the webinar.
Articles on the issues are linked below:
The Feminist Divide over Decriminalizing Sex Work
A War over Sex Work is Raging inside the Nation's Biggest Feminist Group
Liberal Feminism has a Sex Work Problem
UUSP Community
Caring & Connected Newsletter
We are continuing to sent out the e-newsletter  “Caring & Connected” to help sustain our UUSP community during uncertain times. Click  HERE to read it and learn “how can I help?” and "how can I stay connected?” during the church closure. 

for the Communications Team
Metaphors Meetup - Tuesday May 12 at 7pm
If you like poetry, or want to learn more about poetry, please join our next Metaphors Meetup. The poem(s) we’ll discuss are very accessible to all, and will be sent to you before the meetup.

Paul Burnore is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Metaphors Meetup
Time: May 12, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 770 480 0200

Please let Paul Burnore know you’ll be joining so that the poem(s) can be sent to you.
And send any questions you might’ve.

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 [email protected] .

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
Helping One Another: If you need help, or need to talk. Or if you know of a UUSPer who might? Please notify Patti Hanks , Care Committee or Reach out to Pastor Jack .
Our UUSP Sermons (printed or audio) are available on UUSP's website :  C lick the Spirituality tab, click Worship Services and Sermons. Scroll down the services and you will see "Sermons and Readings" and Audio Icon (small speaker) and will now be on our UUSP YouTube Channel .
Thank you for your interest in UU St. Pete!
From me to you and to those around you, Be Safe and Be Well!

Kelli DeGraw and your Communications Team.
Feedback or suggestions are welcome ([email protected])
Our mission is to be an inclusive , evolving religious community that inspires spiritual and intellectual growth to make our world a better place .