Stewardship update – we did it!

From Rev. Molly, with Stewardship Co-Chairs Jan Swaney and Michela Skelton and President Barbara Rupp:

We are so proud, grateful, and humbled by our community. Two weeks ago, we came to you asking for your help bridging a significant budget gap of $50,000 for our 2019-20 fiscal year, and you showed up in a big way! Pledge increases rolled in, anywhere from $60 to $1,000, from member after member. Encouragement and well wishes rolled in from those who were already giving all they could.

We were reminded by this generosity that we can accomplish amazing things together, and together we raised $40,000 toward our budget gap in a little over a week. WOW! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your gifts, and for being a community that shows up for each other and the work that we share.

Because of your generosity, our staff and treasurer were able to sit down on Friday, April 12, and create a draft budget that has been trimmed, but that has avoided painful cuts. If you are still planning on increasing your pledge to this amazing community, you can do so  by completing the form below.

We look forward to a profound year of speaking hope and sharing love together, funded by our shared generosity.


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You must click the SUBMIT button above to complete your response. You will be redirected to our home page after doing so, and you will receive an email confirmation of your response.

UUCC Community Garage Sale – May 18

UUCC will hold a community garage sale from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, 2019. Proceeds will benefit the church’s general fund.

Donations will be received from 1 to 3 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, May 13-17. We are particularly looking for:

  • Furniture (especially bookshelves)
  • Power tools
  • Garden tools
  • Household appliances
  • Clean, gently-used brand-name clothing
  • DVDs
  • Costume jewelry
  • Games (board and video)
  • Tennis shoes/sneakers
  • Camping gear
  • Fishing rods
  • Bicycles in working condition
  • Craft supplies (not finished crafts)
  • Old cell phones
  • Toys

For more information, contact Qhyrrae Michaelieu at 573-657-0231 or by email.

President’s Perspective – engage in the process

By Barbara Rupp, 2018-19 President

This column is frequently used to both praise the many in our church who are passionately involved in serving our congregation and our larger community, as well as encouraging all members to become involved with an activity sponsored by the church beyond just our Sunday services. Whether you like to write, make music, garden, read books, cook food for those who are in need of a hot meal, or meet and greet others, there’s an activity for you at UUCC!

On a larger scale, we also want to encourage all in the congregation to engage in our long-term goals and mission. This happens in multiple ways, with one certainly being giving as generously as possible during our annual stewardship campaign. It is only through these annual pledges that we can continue to offer the kinds of programming that sustain our membership and encourages others to join us.

Another large-scale participation that is important is attending our full congregational meetings, especially our upcoming annual meeting that will be held on May 5. This meeting will focus on passing our annual budget and voting on new board members, and it will also feature an important presentation from SOA, the architectural firm we have hired to assist us with renovations in the church.

SOA will take a portion of the meeting to guide us through some fact-finding and solicit feedback from the entire congregation in order to develop a prioritized needs list. I can assure you that an elevator is absolutely already on this needs list, but we need to prioritize other items as well. This is your opportunity to be part of that process and to have your voice heard. Mark your calendar for May 5 and be sure to attend!

Green Sanctuary Team news

In April Green Sanctuary Team members will be bringing a bit of nature into the sanctuary each Sunday to remind us all that we are part of an interconnected web of life that includes flowering plants, which bring us joy and beauty. Take a moment to notice the gifts of nature! Please join us for our annual service on April 28 to consider our place in that web.

We continue our partnership with the Missouri Rural Crisis Center (MRCC) to try to protect water and air in Missouri. Large confinement animal operations from Iowa and Illinois are looking to move to Missouri, having polluted the groundwater and created problems with disease and antibiotic resistance there. The only tool Missouri’s rural residents have to minimize these impacts is the county-level health ordinances adopted by about 20 counties in Missouri. Unfortunately, the legislature is moving to make those self-determined protections illegal. If you are interested in protecting water and air in Missouri, or are interested in animal welfare issues, or in the quality of life of our rural neighbors, check out the GS bulletin board for more information.

Some of us participated in a Lobby Day at the capitol last month. There is another scheduled April 29, and we would welcome other UU participants! You can also help by donating to the Faith-to-Action collection benefiting MRCC at the April 28 service.

Want to learn more and get involved? Our next meeting will be at the church from 7 to 8:30 p.m. April 4.

March 24, 2019 – Living Up to Radical Welcome

At worship on Sunday, March 24, the UUCC Accessibility and Inclusion Ministry Team explored the topic of disability. Some disabilities are easily observed, leading to snap judgements about the person’s inherent worth and dignity, to misconceptions and prejudices, and often to discrimination. On the other hand, many disabilities are invisible, leading to accusations that the person might be “shirking” or “faking it.” But often well-meaning people are too “helpy,” as it is sometimes described, assuming that they can grab a disabled person’s arm and lead them around. All of these attitudes, well meaning or not, miss the mark. Disability is the only minority that any of us can join at any time, and we are likely to join them if we are lucky enough to live that long. Listen as Gretchen Maune, James Cutts, Qhyrrae Michaelieu, Martha Brownlee-Duffek and Ruth Millage describe their experiences.

Walk on the Wild Side – March 24, 2019

On the fourth Sunday each month, the Green Sanctuary Team is sponsoring monthly walks to explore the beauty of local woods and creeks (Gans Creek, Three Creeks, and Mark Twain National Forest). Participating on March 24, 2019 were Kathie Bergman, Gerti Motivali, Roy Wheeler and Peter Holmes.

The next “Walk on the Wild Side” will take place on April 28. Meet at the church at 1:30 p.m. to shrug off your civilized self for a time and enjoy the peace of wild things. The walks are suitable for reasonably fit 10- to 70-year-olds. Children are very welcome. There will be plenty of stops along the way. For more information, email Peter Holmes.

Adult R.E. presents “Spring Book Club”

Our Adult Religious Education spring offering for Tuesday evenings from 6:30 to 8 p.m. will be two three-week book discussions. Although not required, registration helps us plan. Click the following button to sign up:

Spring Book Club Signup

For more information, email Ellen Thomas or Lisa Fritsche. It is especially important to know if childcare is needed.

On April 2, 9 and 16, Rev. Molly will facilitate discussion of Emergent Strategy by Adrienne Marie Brown.

Inspired by Octavia Butler’s explorations of our human relationship to change, Emergent Strategy is radical self-help, society-help, and planet-help designed to shape the futures we want to live. Change is constant. The world is in a continual state of flux. It is a stream of ever-mutating, emergent patterns. Rather than steel ourselves against such change, this book invites us to feel, map, assess, and learn from the swirling patterns around us in order to better understand and influence them as they happen. This is a resolutely materialist “spirituality” based equally on science and science fiction, a visionary incantation to transform that which ultimately transforms us.

Adrienne Maree Brown, co-editor of Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction from Social Justice Movements, is a social justice facilitator, healer, and doula living in Detroit.

On April 23, 30 and May 7, Melissa Ensign-Bedford will lead a discussion of the national UUA Common Read selection, Justice on Earth: People of Faith Working at the Intersections of Race, Class, and Environment, edited by Manish Mishra-Marzetti and Jennifer Nordstrom (Skinner House Books, 2018).

At a time when racial justice, environmental justice, and economic justice are seen as issues competing for time, attention, and resources, Justice on Earth explores the ways in which the three are intertwined. Those on the margins are invariably those most affected by climate disaster and environmental toxins.

The book asks us to recognize that our faith calls us to long-haul work for justice for our human kin, for the Earth and for all life. It invites us to look at our current challenges through a variety of different perspectives, offers tools to equip us for sustained engagement, and proposes multiple pathways for follow-up action.

March 3 “virtual worship” – Saved, Despite Ourselves

We have been studying “loaded words” this year, and the loaded word for March 2019 is “salvation.” What does it mean to be descended from historic Universalists who believed everyone is saved, historic Unitarians who believed that we save ourselves, and historic Humanists who believed that we never needed saving in the first place?

Because snow forced cancellation of church activities on March 3, 2019, we had our first live-streamed “virtual worship service” as Rev. Molly Housh Gordon explored these questions in a Facebook video now posted below.

This video is also posted on a separate video page for long-term preservation.

Feb. 24, 2019 – Reparations and Soul Repair

At worship on Feb. 24, 2019, Rev. Molly Housh Gordon’s topic was “Reparations & Soul Repair.” She explored these issues: If power is the ability to act, then our power is deeply affected by our resources. What do we do about the truth of history that many have been systemically robbed of resources and thus power? What joyful redistribution of shared power could we find through the exercise of reparations? And what does all this mean for the well-being of our souls?

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.

 

 

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.

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.

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

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.