Social Action Team makes UUCC T-shirts available

After a two-year lapse in the availability of UUCC T-shirts, the UUCC Social Action Team now has three designs of T-shirts available for purchase at $20 apiece. The shirts are perfect for rallies and other activities and events. Look for them in the Greeting Area.

Some of the shirts feature the design that first became available in 2017 before the UUA General Assembly. On the front this design includes the official church logo and the church motto. On the back, it features the logo and the following words from our Mission Statement: “Courageous Love, Radical Welcome, Deep Connection – Healing the World.”

The other two designs are specific to the Social Action Team.

You can see the shirts in the photo slideshow below. Click the arrows to see the next or previous photo.

 

 

Pledges total 38% of target halfway through stewardship campaign

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Halfway through our 2019 stewardship campaign to fund the 2019-20 budget, we have 46 pledges totaling $121,024 as of Feb. 17, which is 36% of our $335,000 pledging target.

However, we still need to hear from about 162 potential pledgers if we are to have any chance of meeting our realistic financial needs in 2019-20. Our main stewardship goal this year is to receive a pledge of note from all 208 potential pledgers. Budget planning will start in early March, so we need to know the amount of pledge income we can expect.

While cash donations in the offering basket are greatly appreciated, and are used to help support the church and its causes, they are unpredictable, and thus we cannot rely upon them when planning our budget. Pledges allow us to plan our budget.

A pledge of only $30 or $60 per month ($360 or $720 per year) from all who have not previously pledged plus an increase of 5% per month in pledges from current pledgers would meet the need. All pledges make a difference.

If you have not already pledged, you can conveniently do so online:

Did You Know?

Pledges made during the stewardship campaign constitute about 90% of church income. The remainder comes from pledges made at other times, undesignated Sunday offerings, facility rentals and fund-raisers.

For the 2019-2020 fiscal year starting July 1, we project spending needs of about $365,000, which will allow us to:

  • Enhance funding of our exciting music programming.
  • More fully fund new ministries including Adult R.E., the Accessibility and Inclusion Ministry Team, the Sanctuary Team, and more.
  • Meet the rising costs of health insurance for our staff.

Find Out More

UUA joins effort to block evangelicals’ “Project Blitz”

The Unitarian Universalist Association has joined 42 other national organizations in opposition to “Project Blitz,” a coordinated national effort to enshrine Christian nationalism in state laws across the country. Project Blitz promotes a three-tiered framework of legislation aimed at incrementally redefining religious freedom and tearing down the separation of church and state, with each tier laying the groundwork for the next.

The 116-page Project Blitz “playbook” has been distributed to about 750 state legislators nationwide. View the playbook.

In 2019 Missouri appears to be one of the states where the first tier of the evangelical effort is being promoted – House Concurrent Resolution 13 and Senate Concurrent Resolution 13, which are identical, urge teaching Bible classes in public high schools with language that mirrors many of the points outlined on page 30 of the Project Blitz playbook.

On Jan. 28, President Donald Trump tweeted support for Project Blitz’s push to have “Bible literacy” classes taught in public schools.

For more information about Project Blitz and the organizations opposing it, see:

Faith Voices unveils “Moral Agenda” endorsed by Social Action Team

The Faith Voices of Columbia Moral Agenda 2019 was unveiled at a press conference on Feb. 4, 2019 and presented to the Columbia City Council the same evening. Read about the press conference and see a photo in The Columbia Missourian. Our minister, the Rev. Molly Housh Gordon, was one of the spokespersons for Faith Voices of Columbia.

Our Social Action Team voted at its January 2019 meeting to endorse the Moral Agenda.

Stewardship drive gets off to excellent start

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Our 2019 stewardship campaign got off to an excellent start on Sunday, Feb. 3. Pledges totaling $60,590 were received, constituting about 18% of our $335,000 pledging target.

Update: As of Feb. 17, total pledges were $121,024 or about 36% of the $335,000 pledging target.

The pledge drive will continue through March 3, and we’ll have a potluck after the 11 a.m. worship service on March 3 to celebrate the abundance of community.

Read more about the stewardship campaign:

Click the arrows to see the next or previous photos in the slideshow below.

 

Jan. 27, 2019 – Across Generations: Founders’ Day Sunday

At worship on Jan. 27, 2019, the day before the 68th anniversary of our church’s founding on Jan. 28, 1951, Rev. Molly Housh Gordon reflected on the history and future of Unitarian Universalism in Mid-Missouri. Listen to her sermon exploring the vision that connects us across generations, what it means to be a good ancestor, and how this idea can inspire us to leave a legacy that we may not harvest.

Jan. 20, 2019 – MLK Jr. Weekend – The Lonely Justice-Maker

On Jan. 20, 2019, the day before the official observance of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s death, Rev. Molly Housh Gordon revealed a major new effort by Faith Voices of Columbia – an interfaith group that promotes relationships of understanding, cooperation, and respect across religious and political divides. This proposal is scheduled to be presented to our community and our City Council on Feb. 4, 2019. The proposal demands funding for a permanent shelter for the unhoused, real and full community policing, abolishment of cash bail, and a number of other measures designed to create a moral attack on amoral policies. There could be no more fitting tribute to Dr. King’s legacy. We also are privileged to have digital rights and permission to publish Marques Ruff’s inspiring vocal performances.

Jan. 13, 2019 – Thresholds

Church was canceled on Jan. 13, 2019 because of heavy weekend snow, so we offer an archived recording from 2015 on the topic of “thresholds.” Times of change and transition can seem significant. Below the surface of our lives, the seeds of huge changes sleep beneath the snow, but we suspect nothing. When the grip of some long-enduring winter mentality begins to loosen, we find ourselves vulnerable to a springtime flourish of possibility, a threshold that divides two different territories, rhythms and atmospheres. Rev. Molly Housh Gordon explored these ideas on May 3, 2015.

Jan. 6, 2019 – Be It Resolved

A guest preacher, the Rev. Dr. C.W. Dawson challenged us at worship on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, a time of resolutions and self-reflection, to be courageous – courageous in the face of trouble, courageous to stand up and say “enough,” courageous in the face of criticism and controversy. Rev. Dawson said he would rather die courageous than live as a coward.

Dec. 30, 2018 – Begin Again in Love

At worship on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, we paused at the cusp of a new year to reflect on what had been, and also to look forward and find inspiration and purpose for the new year. Rev. Molly Housh Gordon, DRE Jamila Batchelder, Intern Minister Alexis led us in poetic reflection.

Adult R.E. – two new classes start Jan. 15

Adult R.E. will resume Jan. 15 with an optional potluck at 5:30 and classes at 6:30 p.m. Classes will run through March 19 every Tuesday evening from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Childcare will be provided. We will have two new offerings and two talented new facilitation teams. All are welcome to attend one, some, or all sessions. For more information, email Ellen Thomas or Lisa Fritsche. The classes will be:

  • Building the World We Dream Of – Participants will explore topics that increase their understanding of race/ethnicity and systemic racism.
  • Spirit in Practice – New or long-time UUs will learn how to develop regular disciplines or practices of the spirit.

Read more.

Our facility and our future

On Sunday, Nov. 18 immediately after our 11 a.m. service, the Building Needs Task Force hosted an informal meeting to share information and to give interested members a chance to ask questions and express opinions about our current facility and your dreams for our future together. The team was appointed by the UUCC Board of Trustees in 2017 and charged with the following objectives:

  • Discern the desires of the Congregation regarding changes to and/or expansion of our current church facilities.
  • Research practical solutions to meeting these desires, including the possibility of relocating or adding satellite location(s).
  • Present to the Board at least three well-researched options for meeting the congregations’ aspirations regarding our facilities.

What follows is a brief synopsis of what was presented. Each of you are encouraged to submit your thoughts to the team via the feedback form that is available on the church’s website, or you can simply use the list of questions at the end of this article. The presentation began by posing two questions:

  • Did you know that unlike many churches, our membership has been steadily growing for the past decade?
  • Did you know that it has been two decades since the UUCC has undergone a major renovation/expansion project?

The presentation continued with some of the highlights of our congregation’s history, from its founding in 1951 to purchase of the land and construction of the original church on this property in 1970, followed by the hiring of our first minister in 1980. Our second minister, Rev. Haney, served from 1989-2009. In the 1990s we hired a church administrator in 1992, followed by our first director of religious education in 1995. A major renovation/expansion to this building was completed in 1998. We called our third settled minister, Rev. Molly, in 2012. We added solar panels to the building in 2014 and made other changes to reduce our carbon footprint by more than six tons per year, resulting in annual savings of $2,500 on our electric bill.

At the present time, there seems to be a consensus that there is a need to address some deferred maintenance items (e.g., carpeting, resurfacing of parking lot, two old AC units) along with the long-time unmet need for an elevator. The cost of these items ($130,000-150,000) could probably be addressed relatively easily with a modest capital campaign.

However, our present facility has some additional shortcomings that may limit our growth and our ability to meet our mission and vision for ourselves. Based on our current membership of 280 and anticipated growth over the next decade, it seems likely that our current sanctuary’s seating capacity of approximately 145 seats will regularly be exceeded, even with two Sunday services.

Other important facility shortcomings have been identified by our staff and members, including: The need for more office space and storage space; possible conversion to a commercial kitchen; expanded parking; and expansion in size and number of meeting rooms.

During the Sunday presentation, three options for addressing these facility short-comings were described in a very preliminary way:

  1. Tackle the immediate needs and put off other shortcomings until later.
  2. Relocate to another facility and/or build a new facility at a new and more central location.
  3. Renovate and expand the current facility.

Option 1 would be do-able for about $150,000 and could be completed in about one year.

Option 2 is likely to cost $4-8 million and would require that we find a buyer for our current facility, which is unlikely. However, we plan to have a local commercial realtor keep us informed about potential properties in and around the city of Columbia that might meet our needs.

Option 3, a significant expansion and renovation of the current facility, might be achievable with a $1 million capital campaign along with a $1 million mortgage.

The next step in this process is to work with a local architectural firm to begin a long-range planning process to help our congregation plan for its future. We will also be taking advantage of free consultants from the UUA to help us plot out a responsible path to move forward. We welcome your questions and comments.

Please consider addressing the specific questions below on the church website – Building Needs Feedback Form. Your responses also can be submitted anonymously on paper to the Church Administrator (in her mailbox or under her office door).

  1. How do our current facilities meet your needs? How do they not?
  2. What do you think we need in order to provide the kind of ministry you would like to see?
  3. What do you see as our most pressing building need right now?
  4. How do you think we could enhance our ability to provide a moral beacon to Columbia?
  5. If we were to make changes to our facilities, what improvements would you like to see?
  6. What would you like our congregation to look like in five years?

Respectfully submitted,
Larry Lile, Barbara Rupp,
Kevin Fritsche, Matt Bossaller

Want to learn more about meditation?

Substituting in February for the usual Mindfulness Meditation sessions, “Meditation Basics” will be offered from 10:05 to 10:50 a.m. on Sundays – Feb. 3, 10, 17 and 24.

The sessions, to be held in the Centering Room or the Schweitzer classroom, will allow participants to discuss and practice the basic elements of mindfulness meditation.

Facilitated by Peter Holmes, Ph.D., the sessions will be suitable for complete beginners as well as experienced meditators. It is not necessary to attend all four sessions.

Honduras Ministry Trivia Night Fundraiser – Feb. 23, 2019

The Honduras Ministry’s Sixth Annual Trivia Night Fundraiser will be held at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 23 at UUCC to benefit our Honduras work. Our own Caya Tanski went on a study trip to Honduras recently, and she reports that the political situation there continues to be dire. Funds raised at the Trivia Night will be used for urgently needed El Pital clinic supplies and to support the microfinance group Adelante.

Tickets are $20 or $15 for students and can be purchased at the door or at the church on Jan. 27, Feb. 3, 10 and 17.

The event will feature childcare, good food, a silent auction, 50-50 raffles, a chili cook-off, and, of course, much trivia fun! Bring chili to share by 5:45 p.m. for a chance to win a beautiful Honduran bag!

For more information email Allie Gassmann.

Social Action Team invites you to join

We invite all church members and all friends who have an interest in social justice issues to join our Social Action Team to help us shape and strengthen our work.

There are five important aspects of UUCC Social Justice Work

  1. Direct Service (e.g., Loaves and Fishes, Room at the Inn).
  2. Fundraising (e.g., through Faith-to-Action offerings, fundraisers such as the Honduras Trivia Night, sales of artisan crafts, and more, to support social justice work).
  3. Education (learning about systems of injustice, our role in them, and how to effect systemic change).
  4. Advocacy and witness (e.g., work with Race Matters Friends, showing up at City Council, Solidarity Network events, working with Missouri Faith Voices, the Sanctuary Team, letters to congressional representatives, work with MADP, the Center Project, etc.)
  5. Community building and deep connection (to sustain ourselves in the work, but also to create the world we want to see).

Besides joining the SAT itself, we encourage participation in any of our subcommittees or other teams such as the Sanctuary Team, the Missouri Faith Voices work, or the Green Sanctuary team. Together we create the change we want to see while being who we want to be in the world. We welcome your comments, suggestions – and of course action items.

– Caya Tanski, SAT Chair – email

Dec. 2, 2018 – The F word (Faith)

There is a word not often heard in the Unitarian Universalist Church, and it is the F-word. Dare we utter it? Faith. In our exploration of loaded words this year, faith is the loaded word for December. Sometimes we see faith set up as an idea in opposition to reason and doubt. But can faith be of use in our thought and practice? Can faith actually translate to passion and commitment? What if our “faith” is what we believe fiercely, and even irrationally, as a part of dreaming better for our world? At worship on December 2, 2018, Rev. Molly Housh Gordon explored this topic, with introductory readings by Intern Minister Alexis and Tim Dickerson.

SAT picks Faith-to-Action recipients

By Fred Young, SAT Communications Coordinator

The Social Action Team reviewed the applications for the twice-monthly Faith-to-Action Sunday service collections for the 2018-2019 church year. All of the applicants were determined to be aligned with the mission and vision of our church. Fortunately, we were able to accept all of these worthy applicants. Many thanks to the individuals who took the time to fill out applications for these organizations; your efforts will literally “pay off” for the deserving organizations that have been selected.

Here are those organizations, listed in no particular order:

  • Race Matters Friends
  • Humanity for Children
  • Hickman High School Amnesty International
  • Minority Men’s Network
  • Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty
  • Centro para el Desarrollo Político, Educativo y Cultural (Puerto Rico grassroots recovery and development initiative)
  • First Chance for Children
  • Tiger Council of the Blind
  • Literacy Action Corps
  • Voluntary Action Center
  • City of Refuge
  • Centro Latino de Salud
  • UUCC Honduras Ministry
  • Welcome Home, Inc.
  • Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
  • No More Deaths
  • Children’s Grove Kindness Libraries
  • The Center Project

In addition, members of the team feel strongly that the Rural Crisis Center and the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture should be considered for Faith-to-Action collections.

We are not suggesting this as the final, definitive list of Faith-to-Action recipients. Other organizations, such as the Festival of Sharing, or situational relief efforts that require a timely response, may be selected at the discretion of the minister. We intend to post information about each of these organizations, ideally in the week preceding each of their respective Sunday collections.

There is plenty more “action” among Social Action Team members that is not covered here. I recently volunteered to direct communications concerning social action that our church is actively involved with and/or that individual members are passionate about and involved with. I am now starting the process of determining how best to accomplish that, via the SAT Facebook page, the UUCC Facebook page, the UUCC website, the monthly newsletter, the weekly news email, order of service announcement inserts, church bulletin board postings… did I miss anything?

I welcome your comments, suggestions – and of course action items – by email.

Nov. 25, 2018 – Now the Work, Soon the Victory

Rev. Dr. C.W. Dawson

One of our favorite guest preachers, the Rev. Dr. C.W. Dawson, pastor of Dawson Journeys Ministry, was in our pulpit on Nov. 25, 2018. He teaches religion and philosophy at several area colleges, and his eight-week course “History of the Black Church in America,” has been a hit at our and several other area churches. In his sermon, “Now the Work, Soon the Victory,” Rev. Dr. Dawson asked, “How do we correct oppression? How can we be a part of the solution?” and he made clear there is much work to be done. The sermon was introduced by our Interim Music Director Marques J. Ruff singing “The Rain is Over and Gone.”

Nov. 11, 2018 – Service and Sacrifice

On Veteran’s Day, Nov. 11, 2018, our worship topic was “Service and Sacrifice” – a time to think carefully about the role of sacrifice in the lives of our service members and in all of our lives. What does it really mean to serve our country? Listen to Joe Collins and Anja Eick about their experiences in the military.

Nov. 4, 2018 – Day of Remembrance

In the United States we have often conceived of Halloween as a frivolous time when children don costumes and eat too much candy. However in many cultures, this is a serious season for contemplating and respecting the memory of ancestors, folks dear to us who have departed – a time for honoring their memory and coping with grief at their passing. In her homily on Nov. 4, 2018, “All We Are and Will Ever Be,” Rev. Molly Housh Gordon explored this more meaningful and somber aspect of the Day of Remembrance, explaining how love is essential even though it entails future loss.

Oct. 21, 2018 – Do the Monster Mash

At our “Do the Monster Mash” worship services on Oct. 21, 2018, Rev. Molly Housh Gordon and DRE Jamila Batchelder considered the idea of monsters in mythologies and in the minds of young and old alike. Listen to their thoughts as they explored how the visceral imagery of devils or demons can describe the experience of evil and help us grapple with evils in our world.

UUCC helps make CROPwalk 2018 a success

UUCC members and friends donated to and walked in the successful 2018 CROPwalk to raise funds for hunger relief in Columbia, the United States and the world. The Church World Service event took place at Stephens Lake Park on Sept. 23.

At last count more than $18,000 had been raised. One-fourth of the money will stay in Columbia and go to various food pantries, St. Francis House and the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture.

Thanks to all who donated and participated!

– Allie Gassmann, Social Action Team

Among UUCC CROPwalkers were, from left, Leila, Allie and Walter
Gassmann, Peter Holmes, Sibylle Hoeschele and Wiley Miller.

Oct. 14, 2018 – Damaged by Privilege

In his sermon on Oct. 14, 2018, Jeff Ordway recalled how the privilege of being a white male, which might sound desirable, instead resulted in damage to his own soul and especially to others. The events of recent weeks, when we watched several women come forward at great personal risk to describe abusive behavior by a Supreme Court nominee only to watch as his confirmation sail through a mostly-male Senate, drive home the lasting damage done by white male privilege. Jeff’s personal journey witnessing and experiencing abuses and callous behavior among young white males demonstrates how these attitudes and behaviors are perpetuated. Trigger warning: The subjects addressed in this podcast may not be appropriate for all listeners.

Oct. 7, 2018 – Everyday Evil

Writing in the shadow of the Holocaust in the years after the Second World War, German-American philosopher Hannah Arendt said: “The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.” At worship on Oct. 7, 2018, Rev. Molly Hough Gordon’s sermon grappled with the small ways people of good will can participate in evil in their everyday lives and how we can work to align ourselves with good.

Sept. 30, 2018 – Peace Must Be Dared

German theologian, pastor and anti-Nazi dissident Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote: “There is no way to peace along the way of safety. For peace must be dared. It is itself the great venture and can never be safe.” On Sept. 30, 2018, Rev. Molly Housh Gordon explored the mingling ideas of safety and risk in these times and in our lives against the backdrop of Senate testimony by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford about her unsettling experiences. After the sermon, we celebrated our long-time and well-loved church administrator, Kathie Bergman, upon her retirement.

Start thinking about being a UU delegate

Our Denominational Affairs Team (DAT) urges church members to begin thinking about becoming a delegate to our UU regional assembly or the UUA General Assembly. We are entitled to send six delegates to:

  • The next MidAmerica Region assembly in St. Louis April 5-7, 2019.
  • The next UUA G.A. in Spokane, Wash. June 19-23, 2019.

Church members interested in being delegates should email Nominating Committee Chair Todd Iveson. The committee submits delegate nominations to the Board of Trustees, which selects delegates.

For more information or to join the DAT, email chair Steve Scott.

Sept. 23, 2018 – A Shelter for Every Storm

At worship on Sept. 23, 2018, our Sanctuary Team (Immigrant Ministry) explored how to create an expansive sense of what it means to offer sanctuary in these challenging times. Together, we considered how claiming our identity as a sanctuary congregation relates to creating deep connections, radical welcome and courageous love – not just for our immigrant friends and guests, but for ourselves as members of this sanctuary community. With the addition of a shower in the church, we now have made our building even more accommodating should a person or family need the shelter of our church as they pursue legal remedies to avoid deportation – the Sanctuary Team thanks everyone who helped make this possible.

Sept. 16, 2018 – Making Amends

Our Jewish neighbors, members, and friends observed the high holiday of Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, Sept. 18-19, 2018. We all make mistakes. There is something reassuring about that – we have all fallen short, every one of us. Listen to the podcast of our Sept. 16, 2018 interactive worship service for all ages, in which we took the opportunity to contemplate what it means to make amends and acknowledge our failings and the importance of creating a community that continually recommits to our promises.

Sept. 9, 2018 – Sanctuary – An Altar in the World

“Loaded words” is our worship theme for the year, and September’s loaded word is “sanctuary.” Listen to our worship service on Sept. 9, 2018 when the Rev. Molly Housh Gordon’s sermon, “An Altar in the World,” explored what it is to create and experience sacred space, and sanctuary, in the world and in our lives.

Suzanne Clark is next Church Administrator

Suzanne Clark

From Rev. Molly Housh Gordon:

I am very pleased to introduce to you our next Church Administrator, Suzanne Clark.

Suzanne has recently returned to Columbia after a number of years residing near family in Rochester, NY. She spent the last 15 years working at Temple B’rith Kodesh, a Reform synagogue in Rochester, where she performed administrative duties as assistant executive director. Congregational life and the rewards of working with a community were main motivators for her in applying for the position with us. She is looking forward to meeting everyone and adjusting to a new working environment.

Suzanne will start Monday, Sept. 17, and work with retiring Administrator Kathie Bergman for the next two weeks learning the ropes. Kathie’s official retirement date is Sept. 30, although we are very grateful that she will remain available to Suzanne for a time for any questions that may come up.

Save the date for Sept. 30 after church to celebrate Kathie’s long and wonderful tenure, and get excited to welcome Suzanne warmly among us!

Sept. 2, 2018 – The Work of Love

What is the work of love? Work can be a sacred gift, a meditation, and a prayer in itself. Listen as Reverend Molly Housh Gordon considered the many ways that we serve our deepest calling in this life at our Sept. 2, 2018 worship service on Labor Day weekend.

Aug. 26, 2018 – Ingathering and Water Ceremony

Every year, at the end of the warmth of summer and the beginning of the coolness of fall, we hold an ingathering ceremony – to gather the waters from out diverse travels over the summer and gather our grounded souls as we begin a new church year. Water is in our very bodies, and is found wherever we go whether that be the far reaches of the Earth or right here at home. Listen to this ceremony held on Aug. 26, 2018.

Aug. 19, 2018 – Being UU in an Era of Blood-Sport Politics

The current era of blood-sport, winner-take-all politics marked by xenophobia and hyper-nationalism may feel new and different, but it’s actually a recurring pattern in American history. How can we as Unitarian Universalists resist these ugly phenomena while remaining true to our principles? Steve Scott leads us in this challenging topic, with a bit of humor and a reminder to adhere to our principles.

Aug. 5, 2018 podcast – General Assembly

At worship on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018, our congregation heard from three of our delegates to General Assembly, the Unitarian Univeralist Association’s annual gathering. This year’s General Assembly was held in Kansas City, Mo., which allowed about two dozen of our members to join thousands of other UUs from around the country and the world for five days of learning, reflection, meditation, and the business of the association. Delegates Steve Scott, Peter Holmes and Todd Iveson shared their experiences at this exciting gathering.

Aug. 12, 2018 – Fractal Reality

At our worship service on Aug. 12, 2018, the Rev. Molly Housh Gordon explored the concept of fractal reality. Fractal patterns move from small to large, and not entirely the other way around. The small changes we make every day, in our lives and our organization, matter. In this podcast you’ll hear Rev. Molly propose that how we do the work of change matters.

Introducing our new Intern Minister

From Rev. Molly Housh Gordon:

Alexis
(Click to enlarge)

I am very pleased to introduce to you our new Intern Minister, Alexis, who will be working with us part-time for the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 church years as a part of her formation as a Unitarian Universalist minister!

I am so excited for us to become a teaching congregation – I know that Alexis and we, the congregation, will learn so much from one another. Alexis will be here on Sunday for our Water Ceremony Ingathering to begin to meet you, and she will begin her work with us the following week. Please join me in giving her a warm UUCC welcome!

Alexis is a candidate with the Unitarian Universalist Association. She is starting her first year of part-time supervised ministry with us and her second year of seminary as a long-distance student at Phillips Theological Seminary, a progressive Disciples of Christ seminary in Tulsa, Okla. She lives in Jefferson City with her husband and their 10-year-old son.

Alexis has experience facilitating worship and small group ministry as a lay leader at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Jefferson City, speaks regularly at the Unitarian Church in Quincy, Ill., and is very grateful for the opportunity to learn from and serve this congregation.

Her introduction to Unitarian Universalism took place more than 10 years ago when she was invited to provide Religious Education for children and youth at the Quincy Unitarian Church while studying to become an English teacher. She knew she was in the right place after reading “Love is the spirit of this church….”

Alexis is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, the Unitarian Universalist Membership Association of Membership Professionals, and attended Midwest Leadership School in 2016.

See you in Church!
Rev. Molly

[Note: Alexis’ last name is not published because of a privacy concern specific to her.]

July 29, 2018 Podcast: Sanctuary

At worship on Sunday, July 29, 2018, the Rev. Molly Housh Gordon reflected on the meaning of Sanctuary. A sanctuary literally means a church, yet also means a place of spiritual and even legal refuge. Rev. Molly explored how we can create a culture of compassion and expand our circle of warmth and care to those around us.

Archived Podcast – Youths Speak Out on Gun Violence

This podcast is an archived recording of our March 18, 2018 worship service. We have the privilege to hear our YRUU youth group share their feelings and thoughts about gun violence and the toll it has taken on their young lives.

2018 UUA General Assembly

Our YRUU youth carried our church banner in the banner parade at the opening
session of the UUA General Assembly in Kansas City, Mo. on June 20. In the first part
of this short video, they are seen on their first pass through the convention hall.
After the transition, they are seen on their way out of the hall.

The Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly was held this year from June 20 to 24 in Kansas City, Mo. What is GA? It’s part inspiration and spiritual sustenance. It’s an opportunity to mingle with UUs from all over the country and some other countries and engage in issues important to our UU faith. But also, it’s a time to conduct a lot of the business of the association.

This year there were 2,814 registered attendees, including 134 youth. 522 congregations from all 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Mexico were represented by 1,570 delegates, including 199 off-site delegates.

Our voting delegates this year were Rev. Molly, Todd Iveson, Peter Holmes, Gretchen Maune, Connie Ordway, and Steve Scott. About 15 other members of our church also attended all or part of GA, and a number of them served as volunteers performing various tasks to keep the show running, in exchange for which they received free registration for GA. For example, Maria Oropallo and Kathie Bergman staffed an information booth to answer questions from attendees, and Larry Lile assisted with the tech staff that provided audio/video services.

The business of the General Assembly takes place in General Sessions. All registered attendees are welcome at these sessions, but only voting delegates can vote.

At the business sessions there was broad consensus for aggressively challenging the criminalization of migrants, people of color, and indigenous people. Delegates overwhelmingly selected “Undoing Intersectional White Supremacy” as a multiyear Congregational Study/Action Issue.

Delegates also endorsed three Actions of Immediate Witness, which all emphasize the urgency of supporting people of color and indigenous people. The first calls for congregational action to draw attention to predatory medical fees charged to incarcerated people, who are disproportionately people of color; the UUA’s Church of the Larger Fellowship developed the resolution in partnership with its 870 incarcerated members.

A second resolution pledged solidarity with indigenous “water protectors,” who have been fighting the placement of liquid natural gas pipelines near Native American lands and who face federal charges for disrupting construction of the pipelines.

The third resolution demanded immediate action to improve U.S. treatment of asylum seekers and migrant families to keep families together. Among other demands, the resolution advocates the abolition of Immigration Customs Enforcement “and the implementation of a system that understands the causes of migration, provides a non-carceral solution while asylum seekers await a decision on their case, and has a fundamental commitment to keeping families together.”

Delegates also approved a group of bylaw changes to bring the UUA’s governing document up to date with current understandings of gender diversity. A proposal introduced last year to change Unitarian Universalism’s “Second Source” from “words and deeds of prophetic women and men” to “words and deeds of prophetic people” passed easily.

A second bylaws amendment changed all gendered pronouns in the bylaws to the gender-inclusive “they/them/their.”

A third bylaws amendment will allow religious educators who are active members of the Liberal Religious Educators Association to serve as voting delegates at future GAs.

The assembly also approved bylaws changes adding two youth trustees to the 11 at-large trustees on the UUA Board of Trustees; allowing the role of moderator at GA to be filled by more than one person; modifying the length of terms of service on committees; and simplifying the social witness resolutions process.