InfoNet: News & Updates
September 11, 2020
Sunday Service Joys & Concerns: 
If you have a Joy and/or Concern to share:

1) You can type it into the “Comment/Chat” bar during Sunday's Service

2) To have your Joy or Concern Shared Aloud during next week's Sunday Service (September 6), you can email Pastor Jack by Thursday, September 3
This Week at a Glance and More...

Monday, September 14: Contemplative Meditation UUSP Meditations YouTube - “We the People” from The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America

Tuesday, September 15: Noon Check-In Gathering is this coming Tuesday, 9/15 at 12:00 noon. Look for the Zoom invitation address in your email on Monday

Wednesday, September 16: - Wednesday Zoom Discussion (10am & 7pm): a careful review of the UUA Commission on Institutional Change report: “Widening the Circle of Concern”.

Thursday September 24: Zoom* Citizen's Cafe' 12:00 pm - A chance to share about the socio-political issues of the week and times. Look for the Zoom invitation arriving on September 23.

For those experiencing a serious sense of isolation, please feel free to email Pastor Jack or call 352-327-6166 for a phone or Zoom visit to meet on the open front porch of the church.
Pastor Jack's Weekly Message
Dear UU St. Pete and Friends,
 
This week we celebrate U.S. Constitution Day (9/17) and Rosh Hashanah as the beginning of the Jewish New Year and High Holy Days. Both ask us to consider the Book of Life and our named part in it. 

As we remember, the Preamble to our Constitution says what We the People are here for - forming a more perfect union together (perhaps as a nation, perhaps as a world), with justice, tranquility (peace), common defense (safety), welfare, and the blessings (happiness) of liberty (the opportunities to that pursuit) for all, including posterity.

The rest of the Constitution defines our process – assigning to Congress the power to make and fund laws and programs; assigning to the Courts the power to clarify adherence to the law (preeminently to the Constitution); and assigning to the President the power of an executive to administer the programs and protections of government according to law.

What we can draw as our own from the Jewish High Holy Days is remembrance that the Law, humanely (or better, divinely) lived, keeps us safe and happy within the Book of Life. If you don’t agree that those laws optimize your safety and happiness, as a citizen you can work and vote to change them. 

This week’s celebrations highlight our most important work right now, I think – to examine how we are living and to work for a new year of more perfect union. 

May our efforts as individuals and as a society allow the Book of Life to say of us, Shofar, so good.
Message from the Board:

Greetings,

The board has met three times since July – the beginning of our new fiscal year – virtually, of course. Due to a variety of situations and circumstances, there were three board vacancies of one-year terms. Two of those vacancies were filled last month by Bill Motter and Sharon Winters. Bill and Sharon were both initially vetted by the nominating committee, and agreed to fill the vacant one-year term. We’re pleased to welcome them on board! We also welcome Karen Ann White (who previously served as Clerk); and Cynthia Patterson, Vice-President, each for three-year terms. Susan Burnore and Michael Killoren, President, return with two years remaining in their terms. 

We also welcome the return of Paul Craig, Treasurer, and Harry Sauers, Assistant Treasurer; and our newest officer, Chris Pedersen, Clerk. Rebecca Wilson returns as Financial secretary, along with Dani Skrzypek, Assistant Financial Secretary.

The church is well served by this capable and caring team, and we’re grateful for their dedication and thoughtful leadership.
Religious Education
Wednesday Zoom Adult Religious Studies

Starting Wednesday, Starting September 23 (10am &/or 7pm, your choice): A careful review of the UUA Commission on Institutional Change report, “Widening the Circle of Concern”, a study asking “How the Association could continue moving forward in the midst of another racially charged moment… asking for a process of truth and reconciliation… that redeems the essential promise and ideals of Unitarian Universalism.” 

Look for Pastor Jack’s email with the study attached
(or order the book at uuabookstore.org).

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

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

Children's Religious Education:
September 13, 2020

This month’s theme for
Religious Education is Renewal
Every month, our curriculum is set to a theme. This month, our theme is Renewal. Take a moment to watch this 2 minute video to learn more about our RE.
Tune in Sundays at 11 a.m. for Sunday School! Click below and set a reminder on our UUSP YouTube Channel
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.
UUSP Community
Building a Community in a Pandemic E-vents

  • Tuesday, September 15, 7:30pm: Cooking From Diverse Cultures, Mimi Anzel: Join Mimi Anzel in her home, as she shares her experiences working with elephants and experiencing the cultures in India, Cambodia, and Thailand with side trips to Indonesia.
  • Zoom Meeting Link Meeting ID: 948 4252 7231 Phone in:   +1 929 205 6099 US (New York) Meeting ID: 948 4252 7231

  • Saturday, September 19, 5pm: Small socially distanced gathering, "6 at 6" Join Greg Davidson at his home, outside, with invitation to enjoy the pool between 5-7pm, and byo(everything) ~7pm.
  • RSVP: Email or call Greg Davidson (612) 229.1015

If you would like to host a virtual or 6x6 event, please reach out to Sabine.

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.
A special shout out to Dave Meeker who has been doing a great job keeping our updated landscaping in good shape!
If you would like to help, contact Karen.
Everyone Has a Story to Tell
Our stories matter—especially for our family and friends.

Let's get together and share some
of ours on ZOOM

In this session we’ll explore and develop
personal story ideas to tell or write.
Tentatively scheduled for Monday, October 5
at 10-11:30 AM Eastern.
Let facilitators know if you’re interested by emailing Kathleen Rehl or Barbara Archibald . . . and let them know if that date and time work for you.
Vote By Mail to Secure Your Vote

It is easy!
It is safe!
It saves time!
It is secure.
Online or by phone

Be safe. Rise up!
Mortgage, rent and utility assistance available - residents struggling to pay living expenses due to COVID-19 may be eligible for assistance from the City of St. Petersburg. Click the city logo for more information.

Social Justice

Youth Suspensions and Arrests (YSA) Update
 On August 25, the Pinellas School Board approved a new contract with  the International Institute of Restorative Practices (IIRP) - in the amount of approximately $450,000!. FAST (Faith Action Strength Together) has worked tirelessly to encourage the School Board to overcome its original reluctance to use the IRP and FAST has now succeeded. This is a major step forward in the county’s efforts to cut youth suspensions and arrests, especially among black and other minority students.

As a reminder, UUSP is a member of FAST and the UUSP FAST committee will be leading efforts in late September to increase our involvement with FAST and focus on Social Justice initiatives. In addition to YSA major FAST initiatives (and accomplishments) are occurring to promote better mental health services, and more affordable housing in the county. 

For more information contact Pat Fling, (727) 600-0509.
Resources within UUSP
Staying Connected With Pastor Jack & Staff
Our UUSP staff members will continue their duties in a safe, cautious manner to the fullest degree possible. 

Thank you, Cathy, Jeanay, Jon and Ciera! And many volunteers!

During this challenging time, may we remember that we need to pay close attention to how everybody is doing and how we can help.  

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.

Helping One Another: Just reach out to Pastor Jack 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.

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 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.