November 17 – 7p.m.
I will be preaching about the refugee crisis in a sermon titled, “Give me Shelter.” I will broaden the theme
– Rev. Lynne
Circle Dinners are small gatherings at member’s or friend’s home that are similar to potlucks but enable us to get to know one another better in a social setting. We’re having the first Circle Dinners this weekend and plan to have them every month.
We will need guests as well as hosts. If you’re interested in attending a Circle Dinner in November, there will be a sign up sheet in the hall.
Beginning October 3, the local Hokori-Ji Temple will make a home here at UUCL!
Hokori-Ji, “a speck of dust” temple, provide a warm and open environment to practice in the Soto Zen Buddhist tradition under the guidance of Lou Mitsunen Nordstrom Roshi.
Services will be Saturday mornings and Tuesday evenings here at UUCL.
10:00 Religious Exploration
- Tot Room (ages 0-3): Our littlest ones will explore their world in a safe and loving environment with hands on activities.
- Elementary (ages 4-8): We will be exploring our 6 UU Sources with an emphasis on love as we ponder the mystery of the universe and our interconnectedness.
- Middle School (ages 9-13): It’s “Popcorn Theology” as our big UU kids apply the themes of their favorite movies to real life and create experiences based on their UU values, principles, and sources.
Our reasons for coming to church are varied, but once we’ve committed ourselves to a Unitarian Universalist community, we can agree on a common goal: Keeping our faith tradition alive and well. But, how do we keep our flame bright and ensure it’s passage to future generations? It’s no small task but we will explore the possibilities in this intergenerational, interactive worship service.
UUCL’s wonderful administrator, Margo, is going back to school, so she needs to resign from her position with us.
We are looking for someone to assist with administrative tasks, including managing communications, facilities’ use, ordering supplies and publishing the newsletter. Basic website maintenance skills are highly desirable, but are not required.The position is 9 hours per week.
We will begin with Justice. And we would not be being just if we failed to thank Peter Helwig for his years of service in heading our Congregation’s Social Justice work. Peter has been at it for a very long time and has maintained constructive relationships with the people in our community who put on Lakeland’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade. Peter has done extraordinary work (lots of behind the scenes stuff) to advance the “1 Penny per Pound” equality action of the Coalition of Immokolee Workers.
As a leader Peter challenged us and we, in turn, marched, cooked meals, hosted marchers and made our church kitchen and other facilities available to people in our community advancing the goal of equality and the inherent truth contained therein. Perhaps you figured this was coming, but Peter and I have spoken and he feels it is time for him to step away as a leader. Peter is a very hard act to follow but Social Justice speaks to my soul and I have chosen to step forward as our new Social Justice chair. I invite you to join me in what some say is the most important expression of faith one can make. By such work are we known in this community. Peter Helwig laid a foundation. Now, it is up to us to build on his good work.
With that said, there are new movements afoot. As Rev. Garner (Lynne, as she prefers) has stated, she is very dedicated to Social Justice/Social Action and will be challenging us to advance the mission of our Congregation, to be United in Diversity; Advocating for Love and Justice. To that end, we are currently in an “exploratory phase” to find out what issues move you. Social Justice/Social Action work is only as effective WHEN WE ALL WORK TOGETHER. Under what banner(s) can WE unite? Our program(s) will not be very effective if YOU don’t get involved. I am involved because I believe there is integrity in advocating for social justice and accomplishing social action. We agreed years ago that we want this Congregation to GROW. Well, here we grow. We are growing a Social Justice Program. What voice will you have? What moves you? What work can YOU lead us to do if you want to see a changed-for-the-better world? The questions are many. The answers are fascinating. Let’s listen and learn together.
A Social Justice/Social Action huddle is scheduled for Sunday September 20, following the, always wonderful, Intergenerational Service. Please get a snack or beverage and join up with us in the Sanctuary. We will take some time to get acquainted and introduce ourselves and then begin a discussion of the possibilities before us.
Below are some ways we are already involved and options for other possibilities:
On Thursday August 27, Lynne and six members of our Congregation (Jane Eskanazi, Blenda George, Max Hedman, Keyno Hicks, Jeannette Manning and I) attended the local chapter meeting of the NAACP. We were warmly welcomed and we explained that we are interested in learning how our Congregation can get involved in supporting the work of this venerable organization that has made indelible marks in American history. Lynne has executive experience with the NAACP and will be happy to answer your questions. Individual and family memberships are strongly encouraged by the group.
EnrollAmerica and the Affordable Care Act
EnrollAmerica is a non-partisan, civic effort to connect people to healthcare options. Here is a link to their website: https://www.getcoveredamerica.org. This website has 3 major links:
- the locator tool (which you can use to search for local assistance using your zip code),
- the calculator tool (which estimates how much your plans may cost based on household size and income),
- and a very helpful glossary of terms.
EnrollAmerica will soon be launching a Plan Selector Tool, which will give consumers an idea of what plans may be available for them this coming November.
Also attached is a personal story of a consumer we have had the pleasure of helping -this a real a consumer that EnrollAmerica was able to assist. The woman featured and her daughter now enjoy quality affordable health care: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4Yt0Qgpxh8. EnrollAmerica has a number of ways their group could use our Congregation’s help. We will be able to assist them in their work if WE CHOOSE to get involved and take this on as a project.
We are facing critical water quality and quantity issues. Springs are drying. Saltwater intrusion is worsening. Water rights and property issues are acutely intertwined with this issue. A future with less water is a deep threat to our ability to inhabit our Florida. Where does that leave us? Judi Irwin has done some work in this area and there is much to learn and do. Please contact Judi Irwin with any ideas or questions.
Mass Incarceration and Prisoner Rights Issues
Another area of concern is improving the conditions of our prisons by doing direct action, otherwise known as volunteering. The first step to establishing a prison ministry is attending a volunteer orientation. September’s date is Friday the 25th at 9 – 11:30am. The orientations are open, no need to RSVP. Following the orientation a thorough criminal history and fingerprinting takes place. There is no cost. It takes approximately 2 – 4 weeks for final approval. Applicants need their driver’s license and a letter of recommendation from their church or affiliation. We will have letters available on Sunday September 20. Lynne is planning to attend the 9/25/15 orientation.
The Polk Ecumenical Action Council for Empowerment, known as PEACE, is a local consortium of churches that works for social and economic justice in the community. This is a well-established organization that has deep roots in our community.
Please take a look at the website listed below to learn more about their good works and how they get it done. http://thedartcenter.org/location/peace/
The Cleo Thomas Award is an annual prize given to and in honor of members of our community who do the critical work of social justice in the community. We want to hold up these individuals with the recognition they deserve. We have not yet named a “Tommie” Award Winner for 2015. There is still time. Is there a person or group in the community you would like to see us recognize? If you are curious, ask some of our long-time members about “Tommie”. She was a fascinating woman and dedicated builder of this Congregation.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Tim McLean for his solo effort to obtain signatures for a petition that has been written to make medical use of marijuana legal in Florida. Tim said the response of the Congregation was gratifying, to say the least. He got nearly 50 petitions signed, far more than expected. Thanks to everyone who signed on. If you did not get a chance to sign the petition please see him THIS SUNDAY and get your signature listed.
If you would like to discuss anything in this article in private please feel free to send an e-mail to RLNUU@tampabay.rr.com.
10:00 Adult Discussion Group
Should the Nuclear treaty with Iran be approved? Will it prevent, promote or delay armed conflict?
10:00 Religious Exploration
11:00 am Worship Service – The Reverend Lynne Garner….Sermon: “Atonement in Unitarian Universalism”