Creating spiritual gumbo – the UU challenge

Message from the Sabbatical Minister:

I am a man who loves food. I have a wide and eclectic appetite. Soul food, Chinese, Japanese, French, Nigerian, Middle Eastern and Italian cuisines all satisfy my palate. One of my favorites, however, is Louisiana/Cajun dishes, especially gumbo.

Gumbo as you know is a stew made of different ingredients. My father said it was created by taking what people had as leftovers in the kitchen and creatively constructing a masterpiece. Shrimp, filé, onions, okra, smoked sausage, garlic, crawfish tails and claws, and of course rice turned what the upper class called “garbage soup” into succulent gumbo.

I say all this because I believe that one of the biggest challenges we face as we embark on this journey together is to be about the business of creating spiritual gumbo. We have the rare opportunity to be a mixture of different beliefs and faith commitments combined to create the most amazing spiritual gumbo ever made.

Look at us. We are theists, non-theists, Buddhist, Christian, pagan, pantheists, Jewish and more. We are joined together by our commitment to radical welcome, love and justice. Some of us are leftovers from other religious experiences. Yet all of us bring amazing “flavor” to the fellowship. We are spiritual gumbo.

A great gumbo requires intentionality. The cook prepares the ingredients with care, envisioning how the combination will look and taste. The cook knows that combining these different parts well will result in an amazing dish. We must be intentional about our spiritual gumbo. Garlic must not think it is superior to the rice. The onions are not sausage, nor should they be. Christians should be as affirmed and affirming as Buddhists, or non-theists, or pantheists. Pagans contribute to the gumbo as powerfully as traditional theistic Unitarian Universalists. No individual ingredient is more important than another. Only united can the gumbo be great.

Can we affirm our uniqueness in the same type of manner as the gumbo chef? The chef realizes that everyone does not like gumbo. Some people only like what they are familiar with. Alas, such is life. However, there are lots of people who have been searching for spiritual gumbo for a long time. They are in our community. They are everywhere. Our job is to seek them out if we want to make a fantastic spiritual gumbo.

So church, let us make spiritual gumbo. Every religious denomination including the UUA needs to make gumbo, and yet none have been hugely successful. We have an opportunity to give our sisters and brothers a recipe for success. We should take full advantage of this challenge.

In peace and love,
C.W. Dawson, Jr., Ph.D.
Sabbatical Minister

 

Special events in May

Flower Communion Service – 10:30 a.m. Sunday, May 9

Created by Czech Unitarian Universalists Norbert and Maja Capek as a celebration of diversity in defiance of Nazi supremacist ideology, the Flower Communion is one of the most cherished UU traditions. It is a service in which we celebrate the unique beauty and worth of every individual – and how through the diversity that each individual brings to our community, we create together the greatest beauty of all.

We will be holding a flower communion celebration in person on the church grounds! For those who choose to come, we will have a stations-based experience on the church grounds, where you can move along a path engaging with music, poetry, reflection and fun, while getting a chance to see beloved (though still masked) faces. We will also stream the service live for those who cannot or choose not to come.

If you attend in person, please park on the street and in the parking lot of the school across the street. Save street parking spots closest to those with mobility needs. And if you can, bring a flower to add to our collective bouquet.

Bridging Service – 10:30 a.m. Sunday, May 23

Join us to celebrate our graduating seniors as they make their transition from youth to adults in our church community. We will share letters from their parents, offer them blessings, and welcome them into this new chapter of their lives. If you have a youth who will be graduating high school this year and would like to participate in this service, please email DRE Jamila Batchelder.

 

UUCC building open on limited basis

Our Board of Trustees has decided, on the advice of the Covid Advisory Task Force, to re-open the UUCC building on a limited basis and for small groups only. Worship services will continue online, as will many of the team meetings.

Use of the building must be scheduled through the Church Administrator because only a certain number  of people will be admitted at a time and only in certain areas. Masks and social-distancing protocols must be followed. No eating or singing is allowed. There are a number of other restrictions. View the complete policy.

 

President’s Perspective – Living our mission at home

By Rebecca Graves, 2020-21 President

I mentioned in my last column that the board has been discussing the status and resumption of our capital campaign to expand and improve our church building. Given the pandemic postponement of this campaign, it is likely to be a couple years before we see any physical change. As we talked about this, we were led to understand that we could no longer wait on installing an elevator. We want to live our mission at home and to practice radical welcome for ourselves and our visitors. So, we have started the process of getting an elevator installed. We will also be replacing the carpet in this same accessibility project. We will be pulling together task forces to work on the project and to work on fund raising. You will be hearing more on this in the weeks to come.

In accordance with our policy regarding nominees for the board, the nominating committee has invited the nominees to the past two board meetings. They also have been assigned mentors, and we have held an orientation meeting to provide an introduction to policy governance and the board’s role in steering the church towards its mission. A shout-out to the nominating committee, Mindy McPherson, Patty Daus, Qhyrrae Michalieu, and Jenny Bossaller, for their great work on this.

A quick update on the Stewardship Campaign: Our pledges came in under our goal, though the final tally is better than we anticipated last month. I won’t go into details here, as by the time you read this the budget for 2022 will be posted and our annual meeting will either be imminent or over. As always, if you have questions, check our website or give me a shout.

In closing, I hope you are well, and that you have hung on through this past year. I miss you all and long to see you in person. With the vaccines getting into arms (I’m halfway through my course) and the blossoms on the trees, I am feeling hope rising. Just a few months more, and we will make it through.

 

Social Action Team May 2021 report

Faith-to-Action nominations for next church year are open

Most of the funds for social outreach in our church are generated directly from the congregation via the Faith-to-Action collections taken roughly twice per month during the church year. Nominations for groups doing social action and justice work are now open until July 15. Applications are online here.

SAT supports the Community Remembrance Project

The Boone County Community Remembrance Project is associated with the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, MS. As of this writing, a soil collection and rededication ceremony is scheduled for April 29 at the site of James Scott’s lynching. For more information, email Wiley Miller of the Social Action Team.

 

Sanctuary/Immigrant Justice Team will help sponsor Guatemalan family

After some time of discernment and gathering information, the Sanctuary/Immigrant Justice Team has decided to move forward with steps toward sponsoring a Guatemalan family that is seeking asylum in the U.S. The straw poll the team conducted at a service in April showed that our UUCC congregation is strongly in favor of sponsorship, and several folks have very generously stepped forward with offers of help and even housing.

There are other Columbia community members who are highly supportive, and that includes people at Rock Bridge Christian Church, the other official sanctuary church in town.

The team feels very positive about these developments and will keep you up to date. For more information, email Allie Gassmann or Dave Gibbons.

 

Grounds Team battles bush honeysuckle

On Saturday, April 17 the Grounds Team continued the battle against the invasive bush honeysuckle in the woods behind UUCC.

If you’ve got a giant green thicket in your woods, you may have a bush honeysuckle infestation. These invasive plants are shrubby natives of Asia. Here in America, where they have no natural controls, they leaf out early, grow fast, spread fast and form dense thickets that crowd out Missouri’s native forest plants.

Bush honeysuckle blossoms are white to yellow, fragrant and bloom in April and May. The leaves are narrower and more pointed than native honeysuckles, and they are attached by short, slender petioles to the main stem.

In comparison, Missouri’s beneficial native honeysuckle is a vine, and its roundish leaves are closely attached to the stem. The blossoms are yellow to red and trumpet-shaped and appear late April and early May. For more great information, see this article on the Missouri Department of Conservation website.

Thank you to all who helped with the cleanup! Are you interested in being notified of upcoming activities? Email Patty Daus or Jeanne Murphy.

 

Sign up to be a delegate or attend General Assembly

Our Nominating Committee invites church members to sign up if they are interested in being delegates to the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly or just attending GA. The committee will recommend delegates to our Board of Trustees, which will make the formal appointments. Based on our total membership, our church is entitled to appoint five delegates.

When and where is the General Assembly? – For the second year in a row, GA will be held as a 100% virtual event June 23-27, 2021.

What is the General Assembly? – GA is the annual nationwide meeting of our UU churches.

What happens at GA, and why would you want to attend? – You get to worship, attend workshops, connect with other UUs, and as a delegate you would represent our church at the business meetings where UUA policy decisions are made. Read more.

Can non-delegates attend GA? – Yes. While only five of our church members can serve as GA voting delegates, any member with a paid registration is welcome to attend. We have the financial means to assist with registration fees for several members.

Let’s reach record-breaking attendance June 23-27, 2021!

If you are interested in attending this year’s virtual GA and possibly serving as a delegate, please complete this form by May 28, 2021.

 

 

A farewell-for-now from Rev. Molly

“The mind that comes to rest is tended
In ways that it cannot intend:
Is borne, preserved, and comprehended
By what it cannot comprehend.”

– Wendell Berry

Dear UU Churchers,

This is my final message to you until September, as my sabbatical begins April 5 and ends Aug. 2. I am beyond grateful for this opportunity to take extended sabbath time for rest, creativity, and renewal. Theologian Walter Brueggeman writes: “Sabbath is not simply the pause that refreshes. It is the pause that transforms.” By stepping back from the workaday world for an hour, for a day, for a season, we find spaciousness that allows for transformation.

During this sabbatical time my plans are to write poetry, read abundantly, spend deeper time and fuller attention with my family, and rest from the pace of ministry. My dream is that through these things a small transformation works its way through me – a further opening of heart and deepening of spirit that I will bring back to our life together in August with great joy. My dream is that a spaciousness opens for you, too, as well as a new inspiration from the exciting sabbatical ministry of the Rev. Dr. CW Dawson. I can’t wait to see what transformations unfold for you in my absence.

Though I believe this time will be rich for you and for me alike, I want you know that I will miss you very much, dear ones. I cast my heart toward a reunion in the fall that I pray will be not just in spirit but in body too, as I dearly hope we find ourselves re-gathering from this pandemic time. I hope to see some of your masked faces on Easter Sunday afternoon on the church grounds (drop by from 3 to 4 p.m.) to say a very fond farewell-for-now.

With Love, Rev. Molly

 

From Rev. Dr. C.W. Dawson – Embarking on a new journey

Beginning in April 2021 we will be embarking on a new journey. Let me say that I am excited, honored and humbled to serve you as your sabbatical interim minister during Rev. Molly’s Sabbatical leave. Who would have imagined 70 years ago that the UU congregation of Columbia, Mo. would hire a Black, progressive, Baptist preacher and philosopher to serve our majority-Anglo Unitarian Universalist Church?

During slavery the Black Church used to sing, “the Lord moves in mysterious ways, [Her] wonders to be known….” I do not know any UU churches within the UUA that have taken such a bold move. I believe we are making history.

On this journey we will strive to “do the work” in a continuous spirit of radical love and fellowship. My hope is that we will draw others in Columbia and surrounding areas who believe justice is something one does and not merely a concept affirmed. Together we can present a witness and testimony that will make Columbia take notice… again.

Your work for justice is known. How do we build on what you and Rev. Molly have already done? How do we improve on what we need as a congregation?

All in all, I look forward to working together. Let us not be weary in well-doing but continue the march toward excellence.

The Rev. Dr. C.W. Dawson, Jr.
Interim Sabbatical Minister, 2021

 

About Rev. Molly’s sabbatical – April 5-Aug. 2, 2021

From Rev. Molly Housh Gordon:

After a year that was taxing for all of us, I am so grateful to be able to take this time for renewal before our eventual return to in-person worship. I plan to be back in plenty of time to plan for the new church year – in high hopes that we will be able to re-gather in person sometime in the fall or winter.

What is a sabbatical?

Sabbatical is a long tradition in ministry and academia alike, allowing for an extended time of study, reflection, rest and renewal – all ingredients for effective ministry. In our Unitarian Universalist tradition, sabbatical leave is part of the congregation’s covenantal agreement with their minister, who generally earns one month of sabbatical per year of service up to a limit of six months.

What will you be doing with your sabbatical?

I know this opportunity for extended renewal is a rare gift in our American culture of overwork and grind, and I am humbled and grateful for the chance to re-charge my batteries in this way, especially after the grueling pandemic year we have all experienced. I hope to rest, do a lot of reading to renew my wells of preaching fodder, and also take on a small writing project that has been tickling my brain. I hope to return refreshed and full of fresh ideas and rekindled energy for a new church year and an eventual return to in-person worship!

What support will we have during the sabbatical?

The board has been saving for sabbatical coverage since I arrived. We will have a part-time sabbatical minister to fulfill my executive and pastoral capacities and preach twice per month, as well as a “digital liturgist” to help keep online worship running smoothly.

Who will be our sabbatical minister?

Rev. Dr. C.W. Dawson has been hired as our sabbatical minister, as originally planned. The Rev. Dr. Dawson is a progressive pastor, professor of philosophy and religion, prolific columnist, and a regular and beloved guest preacher and teacher here at UUCC. I am elated that he is available to work with us in this way – to guide the congregation and to provide new perspective to our ministry during this period.

Does sabbatical benefit the congregation?

Yes! A sabbatical can be a time of mutual growth and exploration for minister and congregation alike, as the congregation has the chance to benefit from different perspectives and ideas. Rev. Dr. Dawson will be exploring multi-culturalism and growth with the congregation through his role as sabbatical minister.

Will you be around during sabbatical?

I will be on full leave from all church duties and will not be available for anything church-related, including pastoral care. But I will mostly be in town as my family members go about their usual pandemic-era lives close to home. If we run into each other around town and you recognize me all masked up, please do feel free to say hello. Just know I won’t be able to talk church business with you!

What if I have more questions?

Email them to our sabbatical minister, Rev. Dr. C.W. Dawson.

 

UU Life Writers’ Group publishes its second anthology

The UU Life Writers’ Group is pleased to announce the publication of its second anthology, Stories, Just Stories. The stories are mini-memoirs about family, growing up, social activism, romance and pets. A big section of poetry is included. The anthology also contains tributes to those writers no longer with us.

Copies are $8 and can be ordered by email to Fran Reynolds. Pay on the UUCC donation page by selecting the “Other” option and specifying “Life Writers Anthology” as the purpose of the donation.

March is Women’s History Month. UU Life Writers will be writing stories about women who have been important to them, the church and the community. Everyone is welcome to join us on Zoom. We will meet March 6 and 20 at 10:30 a.m. For more information contact Fran.

 

Please help sponsor the UUCC Honduras Education effort

Our congregation has for many years been in a relationship with a community in the Cangrejal River Valley of Honduras. Groups of UU Churchers have visited every couple of years to work on projects and have maintained relationships between trips with communications and material support for things like the health clinic. This has been mutually rich in learning and connection for both communities.

Two years ago our Social Action Team undertook a project to establish an Education Fund to aid community leaders in furthering their education and building skills to help in their community. The Honduras Education Fund provides scholarship funding for these local leaders, but it is currently running low on funds! The team is seeking individuals or families to pledge $160/year (about $15/month) for two years to keep the Education Fund up and running! One time gifts of any amount are also accepted on our online donation page – select the “Other” option and note “Honduras Education Fund” for the explanation.

Can you help? Email Caya Tanski with any questions.

 

Our 2021 CommUUnity Connection Project

Our CommUUnity Connections Project invites individuals and families of all configurations to join in strengthening our congregation’s intersectional bonds. Interested families will be paired up with each other to connect virtually or in person at least once in March, April and May.

Read more below, and click the following button to sign up:

CommUUnity Connection Project Signup

The project’s goal is to strengthen interpersonal bonds within the congregation by connecting interested families.

Project organizers have covered everything they can think of below, but if you have additional questions, their contact information is at the end.

Who Can Participate?

Any size family can participate. You can be a family of one, a couple, a nuclear family, a multigenerational family, or a blended family.

How Can I Participate?

After you sign up by clicking the button above, our project organizers will partner you with another family and provide each family with contact information.

Expectations for Participants

  • Make contact with your partner family within two weeks of being paired up.
  • Make one connection each month in March, April, and May.
  • If you have to leave the project, let your partner family and us know.

Rules for Interactions with Minors

  • Parents should be present for all contact with minors, whether by zoom, phone, in person, etc.
  • Include parents on emails, messages, texts, etc.
  • Adult friends should not contact minors without a parent’s knowledge.
  • Check with parents before giving gifts to children.

Sign-Up Deadline

We have no firm deadline for sign up, but if you are interested, aim to sign up before March 7.

Making that First Contact

Some folks have lots of experience meeting new people. Others less so. Here is a script and some questions for getting a conversation going. Adapt and improvise to make it feel right for you. You can use email to set up a time to meet by phone, online, or face to face for your first contact.

Openers

    • Hi, I’m ______, your CommUUnity Connection partner. How are you doing today/this evening?
    • These are the family/ household members from our household who will be participating (others introduce themselves.) Will you introduce yourselves? (partner family introduces themselves)
    • How long do you have for today’s contact? I will be able to spend up to ___ minutes. Will that work for you? – If not, how much time do you have? (Settle on approximate time. Later, if you find it is going longer, consider checking see if that’s okay)

Follow-up Questions

    • Why did you decide to participate in the CommUUnity Connection Project and what are your hopes for this interaction?
    • How long have you lived in Columbia?
    • How long have you been a member of Columbia UU church?
    • What other faith traditions have been part of your life, if you haven’t always been UU?
    • Where did you grow up, or go to school? (high school, college or other school experiences)
    • Will you tell me about your family/family of origin?
    • How do you like to spend your time? (hobbies, pets, activities, volunteering)
    • For children – what are your favorite things to do? (toys, games, sports, pets)
    • Are you currently employed? If yes, what kind of work, and how long you have been doing it? If not currently employed, what type work have you done in the past?

During the last few minutes

Discuss making plans for your next contact. Will it work best to communicate by email or phone? When will it be? Will it be virtual? Would you consider meeting outdoors? Refer to Ideas for Ways to Connect below for ideas.

Ideas for Ways to Connect in March, April, and May

The ideas below are just a few of the things that you may consider doing together. The relationship you develop may be limited to the 3-month time frame or it could be the start of something more long term. It’s all up to you.

In-Person Activities

    • Meet to talk on your porch or deck, or at a nearby park
    • Meet to talk and hike (at a distance) at a park, hiking trail, Columbia Mall, etc. Drop off a surprise on the porch
    • Run errands for each other like recycling, grocery pick ups
    • Share outdoor tasks – raking leaves, cleaning up gardens, picking up sticks, etc.
    • If you are creative and can manage the distance of working more than 6 feet apart, share or teach a craft technique or something you love to do

Virtual Activities (FaceTime, Zoom, or another platform)

    • Follow up on topics of interest from your initial contact/interview
    • Share favorites- stories, books, poems, movies, foods, recipes, music
    • To include kids, ask them to talk about favorite colors, toys, books, friends, games, Share recent activities – crafts, show pictures kids have made
    • Share tips – kids’ activities, cooking, cleaning, gardening, media viewing (Netflix, Hulu, etc) Share ways you have connected with friends and family in the past year

If Your Situation Changes

When you signed up for this project, you expected to have enough time for full participation, including one contact per month. If your situation changes, be sure to let your partner family know that you won’t be able to continue because of the new circumstances and contact the project organizers. That will allow us to help them find a new family partner if they wish.

Project Organizers

Jan Weaver, Susan Even, Todd Iveson, Steve and Joan Mudrick, Jamila Batchelder, and Rev. Molly Housh Gordon. If you have any questions, please email Jan Weaver.

Download all information as a PDF

 

Rev. Sally Fritsche joins Illinois church

Rev. Sally Fritsche in the pulpit

The Rev. Sally Fritsche, daughter of our members Lisa and Kevin Fritsche, joined the UU Church of Urbana-Champaign (UUCUC) as Associate Minister for Congregational Life on Sept. 1. Her duties will include pastoral care, membership, leadership development, small group support and alternative worship opportunities. She will also lead one Sunday service per month. She delivered her first sermon there on Sept. 13.

Rev. Sally grew up in our church and had a keen interest in world religions from a young age. After earning undergraduate degrees in sociology and religious studies, she first felt the call to ministry while serving in Americorps in rural Indiana. She was both disheartened by the poverty and suffering she witnessed and inspired by the activism and compassion she saw in local congregations. Newly reminded of the power religious community can have to change lives and sustain people, she turned away from her doctoral aspirations and instead applied to and was accepted at Harvard Divinity School.

While a divinity student, Sally served as an assistant chaplain to the Suffolk University Interfaith Center, as a chaplain intern at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital in downtown Boston, and as an assistant director at the Boston Nature Center summer day camp. After graduating with her Master of Divinity in 2018, she served as ministerial intern at First Parish UU in Needham, MA, where she was ordained as a UU minister on June 20 this year.

Rev. Sally and her husband Miles Faaborg, also a Columbia native, moved to Urbana from Massachusetts and had a few weeks to get to know the area before she started her ministry at UUCUC. Miles also attended Harvard, where his field of study was applied physics, and he was a research fellow at Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. The couple married in July 2018.

Rev. Sally can be contacted by email. You can read more about Rev. Sally here.

Below are additional photos of Rev. Sally from this summer.

 

Tim Dickerson selected as President-Elect

Tim Dickerson

Tim Dickerson was selected as President-Elect at the Board of Trustees meeting on Aug. 20, 2020. Under church bylaws, Tim will become President for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2021.

Tim started the first year of a three-year term on the board on July 1, 2020. He began attending UUCC in July 2015 and became a member of the church on October 15, 2017. He has helped with Junior Youth Group and Service Sunday. He has taught Children’s and Adult RE and is a co-facilitator for 7th-9th Grade OWL. Tim serves on the Service Auction Team, Technical Team, and Worship Associates Team.

 

COVID-19 Advisory Task Force members appointed

Jan Swaney, Rosie Geiser, Susan Even, Barbara Carter, Cande Iveson and Larry Lyle were appointed by the Board of Trustees as members of the COVID-19 Advisory Task Force at the board’s meeting on Aug. 20, 2020. As the board representative on the task force, Jan Swaney will convene the group’s meetings.

The board approved the following charge for the task force at its July 16, 2020 meeting:

The task force is charged with making recommendations to the board and the minister in regard to how best to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.

    • The task force is specifically charged with gathering information, reporting, and making recommendations to the board and the minister at monthly intervals regarding, but not limited to: Operating procedures, employee safety, worship, rites of passage, religious education, use of building and grounds, as well as small group ministry and social gatherings. Recommendations will be informed by local and state public health guidelines, Unitarian Universalist Association advice, and the spiritual needs of the congregation.
    • Final decisions will be made by the board with the consultation of the minister.
    • The task force will consist of at least three (3) church members. At least one of the members will be from the board, and least two of the members will have a medical, public health, or a disaster response background. The board representative will convene the task force.
    • The task force will meet and report to the board and minister at least monthly.

Both Jan Swaney and Susan Even are physicians.

 

Grounds Team has set up outdoor meeting spaces

The UUCC Grounds Team did some work – at a social distance – on the grounds recently. Chain saws were buzzing, and when they were quiet, the birds were chirping and the insects buzzing. The breeze and the sun on our faces was lovely, and we were happy to see each other and enjoy the outdoors.

Purple coneflowers, black-eyed susans, wild petunia and butterfly milkweed are in bloom and are attracting monarchs and supporting diversity in our flower beds,

The church building remains closed (see the UUCC website for details), but if you are looking for a shady spot on our grounds for your small group meeting, we recommend the following areas:

  • The fire circle (in the woods behind church)
  • The memorial garden
  • The old playground area (east side of church)
  • The office entrance area (west side of church)

Chairs, tables and benches have been placed in these areas. Please follow safety recommendations and enjoy our grounds.

Fire Circle

Memorial Garden
Playground Area Office Entrance Area

 

 

Joint Letter to the Congregation from Board President & Minister

Joint Letter from Board President Mindy McPherson and Rev. Molly Housh Gordon

Dear UU Churchers,

With gratitude for the generosity and care of this community, we write together to share with you some of the discernment and decisions of your Board of Trustees and Minister in this uncertain time. We have been moved by all of the ways you have been supporting one another and voicing your support to our leadership. The courageous love, radical welcome, and deep connection of our congregation is undiminished.

  1. Our building closure – It seems clear that the UUCC building will remain closed at least through May. We will be working with a team of UU Churchers to discern together the circumstances under which we will be comfortable opening our building and resuming various kinds of in-person gatherings. This is less a question of a certain date and more a question of what science-based criteria will need to be met in order for us to feel that we are making a responsible decision for the health and wellbeing of our members and the general population – criteria such as widespread testing and availability of protective equipment. It seems wise to consider the possibility that it will be quite some time before it is safe to gather in the large numbers we usually see in our Sunday morning services. We grieve physical presence to one another in this time and are committed to continuing to innovate in creating deep community across any necessary distance.
  2. Our annual meeting – While typically held in the month of May, our bylaws (Article 4, Section 3) state that the annual congregational meeting shall be held during the last fiscal quarter. In order to have as much information as possible and time to figure out the technology, your Board of Trustees has scheduled our annual meeting a bit later than usual, on Sunday, June 7. To maintain social distancing, this congregational discussion will be held virtually. We will use a secure digital platform to conduct elections of new board members and adopt the budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
  3. Our budget – We believe it is prudent to anticipate a difficult financial situation in the coming year given the economic upheaval we are all currently experiencing. We know some among us have lost jobs, job security, income, savings, and/or investments, and that there may be more loss to come (please reach out to Rev. Molly about our church Benevolence funds if you are in need of assistance – we currently have a healthy balance in those funds). We anticipate this reality will affect annual giving to the church, and we are budgeting accordingly. All payroll and ministry team budget lines will be held flat at their FY2020 levels as we create the budget for FY2021, and we will seek any necessary cuts in the least painful areas first, such as board discretionary spending. Thankfully, we know that our members and friends are committed to our congregation and will continue to give at the levels they are able to afford in their own circumstances. Additionally, because of the wisdom of many lay leaders over many years, we have a healthy reserve and emergency fund, which we will draw upon as necessary to weather this time of global crisis. Between these resources and a conservative approach to spending, we believe that we will emerge from this downturn intact.
  4. Our application for additional resources – After much in-depth discussion about the many pros and cons of participating in the program, the board voted at its April meeting to apply on behalf of the congregation for a Payroll Protection Program loan from the Small Business Administration. If our application is accepted and funded, we believe that participation in this program can provide additional security in the coming months, as we are faced with uncertainties in our income from pledges and other revenue sources. Specifically, this will help us keep our commitments to all of our staff, including hourly Sunday morning staff. When we continue our commitment to keep our staff on payroll, the loan will be forgiven. The additional financial security helps to ensure that we continue to effectively carry out our mission and champion social and economic justice in Columbia and beyond.
  5. Rev. Molly’s sabbatical is postponed – After discernment and consultation with various leaders, Rev. Molly has decided to delay her sabbatical by one year, in order to remain steadily present to the congregation through the uncertainty of the coming days and months. This delay will also help ensure that Molly’s sabbatical allows for rest and renewal as intended. The new sabbatical dates will be May 10 to September 7, 2021.
  6. Our commitment to and agreement with Rev. Dr. CW Dawson – Your board and Rev. Molly unanimously agree that the just and faithful approach to our changed sabbatical plans is to honor the commitment and employment agreement we entered into with Rev. Dr. CW Dawson for this summer. We also believe that this will be a fruitful decision for the congregation, who will benefit this summer from the Rev. Dawson’s many gifts. Rev. Molly and Rev. Dawson are working to revise the sabbatical minister job description a Philosopher-in-Residence position and are very much looking forward to the opportunity to work together this summer. We hope that we will also be able to enter another agreement with Rev. Dawson next summer to lead through the rescheduled sabbatical, as we had planned. However, we expect we will need to delay that decision until we have more information about our financial circumstances as they unfold in the coming year.

Please do be in touch with any questions, concerns, or thoughts you might have about how we can continue to practice courageous love and deep connection in new and unfolding ways as we endure these strange and troubling times.

In Faith,
Mindy McPherson, Board President, and Rev. Molly Housh Gordon, Minister

 

Consider donating to help others during the coronavirus emergency

UUCC benevolence funds

You can donate to our church’s benevolence funds here. Be sure to note “benevolence funds” as the purpose of your donation.

Other community organizations

Other community organizations working to help those in need during the crisis include:

Community Foundation of Central Missouri’s COVID-19 Regional Relief Fund
https://cfcmfoundation.org/donations/covid-19-regional-relief-fund/

COVID-19 Crisis Shelter for the Unhoused
http://comocrisisshelter.com/

The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri COVID-19 Response
https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/weblink.aspx?name=E164454&id=77

 

Reparations Working Group update

We in the Reparations Working Group have begun our work! Just what exactly is that work? Our charge, first articulated by Rev. Molly in her February 2019 sermon, “Reparations and Soul Repair,” is to conceive of a small-scale, hyper-local reparations project. How might we leverage and redistribute a portion of our congregation’s resources to African American residents of Columbia and/or Boone County as an admittedly small act of repair to the systemic impacts of slavery and ongoing racial injustice? We will grapple with this question and present a detailed project proposal to the congregation by late fall 2020.

To get from here to there, we have formed sub-teams in these three intersecting areas:

  1. Truth Telling: How have white residents suppressed black residents throughout the founding and growth of Columbia and Boone County? How is that past still present in our community today? We are diving into Columbia’s history (including archival research and oral history gathering) to uncover and to shift the narrative of race in our community.
  2. Project Dreaming: We are researching examples of other reparations projects around the country to inspire and inform us as we envision and plan our own small scale project.
  3. Relationship Building: We will identify and deepen relationships with black community members who are willing to offer insights into the history and the effects of systemic oppression in our community and to advise us on project design.

We are clear in understanding that our work:

  • Must go beyond apologies, however heartfelt, and enter the realm of physical, material repair.
  • Will be small in scale and cannot undo generations of past suffering.
  • Involves, for those of us who identify as white, humility and an ever-deepening understanding of our own individual and familial roles in historical and present-day systems of racial oppression.

We move forward with this hope – that the work of small-scale repair, while modest, can still be profound. Small steps can also be bold. We meet twice monthly.

Working Group members are Amie Burling, Andrew Twaddle, Charles Swaney, Dan Bugnitz, Dave Gibbons, Fred Young, Gretchen Maune, Kim Wade, Rev Molly Housh Gordon, Sam Otten. Let Rev Molly know if you would like to join us.

– Kim Wade

Honduras Service Trip report

A group of ten members and friends of UUCC spent a week in Honduras from Dec. 28 to Jan. 4 building latrines and deepening ties and friendships with people in the Rio Cangrejal Valley. As they worked on the latrines, they learned more about the hardships people in the valley face. They also had many opportunities for laughter and companionship.

A group of activists from Guapinol joined them to tell them of their struggles to defend their land from mining companies. The poverty the majority of people in Honduras suffer as a result of the depth of corruption and criminal activity of the government is staggering.

Click the following button for a more complete description of the trip including many photographs:

2019-20 Honduras Trip – Full Report and Photographs

It will be another three years before the Honduras Ministry Team goes back to Honduras. In the meantime, the team will be in close touch with their friends in the Valley. The team will continue to raise funds for the health clinic in El Pital. The healthcare and educational systems are in shambles in Honduras, so providing funds for basic necessities at the clinic is of vital importance. The team would like to fund a few more latrines and continue supporting the microfinance organization Adelante.

Allie Gassmann, Honduras Ministry Team Chair

Sharing our space with Missouri Faith Voices

From Rev. Molly:

Brittany Hughes

In expression of our partnership with Missouri Faith Voices and our intention to leverage our facility for the work of liberation, the UU Church of Columbia is proudly donating office space for Missouri Faith Voices Columbia Organizer Brittany Hughes.

Brittany is making use of our volunteer work room as well as sharing space downstairs with Music Director Jeremy Wagner. If you’re around on a weekday you just may have the chance to share a warm UUCC welcome!

Brittany is the regional organizer for Columbia’s chapter of the grassroots organizing group Missouri Faith Voices. Originally from Aliceville, Alabama, Brittany spent most of her school age years in St. Louis, Missouri. Her passion for this work is derived from her love of black folks and the desire to see the collective liberation of BIPOCs not only in America but globally. When she isn’t working, Brittany enjoys a good book, cooking, music, and grabbing drinks with friends.

 

Hans Bridger Heruth – our new staff collaborative pianist

Hans Bridger Heruth

Hans Bridger Heruth became our staff collaborative pianist in September 2019. Hans is an award-winning composer as well as a conductor, pianist, singer, and violinist. He is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Composition at the University of Missouri-Columbia. As our collaborative pianist, Hans will help shape our music program.

Hans was born in Kansas City, Mo. and began studying both voice and piano at age 3, training as a boy soprano. He began studying violin at age 9 and started composing shortly after. His chamber opera, “A Certain Madness,” based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, premiered with critical acclaim and sold-out houses. His current projects include a new work entitled “Wytchkraft” for the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Gemma New.

An active collaborative pianist, Hans is also a staff accompanist at MU, where he accompanies the flagship choral ensemble, the University Singers. As a budding conductor, he has made a number of appearances with various ensembles. Most notably, he conducted Mozart’s “Die Zauberflöte” with the Show-Me Opera Program.

 

Why is that rug in the sanctuary?

Click to enlarge

Starting Sunday, Sept. 8, you will notice that the front two rows of chairs on the west side of the Sanctuary have been removed and replaced by a large rug for children to sit on.The rug will have quiet items like crayons, paper and foam blocks. Parents, teachers, and other adults are invited to join the rug community too!

The reasons we are trying this are several. The first and most important is that we have designed the first part of the liturgy to be engaging to children and meaningful to folks of all ages, but it is hard for children to see and participate when they are sitting in the back of the room behind a bunch of adult heads! We believe children will feel more comfortable in our sanctuary, learn our rituals, and begin to engage more fully when they are nearer the “action” on the chancel.

The second is that creating a designated space for children front and center communicates that their presence in our worship life is important to the adults of our community and that learning to be a part of our services  is an important part of their religious education, one we know takes time and patience.

The third is to create a clearer pathway in the back of the sanctuary for people with all kinds of mobility needs to get where they need to go. We know families with children often sit in the back for easy access to the door in case a child needs to take a break in the Greeting Area. By placing the rug at the west side of the sanctuary, we hope families will still have easy access to the exit if they need it. Additionally we hope to continue fostering an atmosphere that truly welcomes the energy of children!

We’ll check in after a while to see how it’s going, and we are always happy to hear your thoughts directly – email either Rev. Molly or Director of Religious Education Jamila Batchelder, or both.

 

New Director of Music Ministry – Jeremy Wagner

From Rev. Molly and the Music Director Search Team:

Jeremy Wagner

We are very pleased to introduce to you our new Director of Music Ministry, Jeremy Wagner!

Jeremy stood out to our search team because of his passion for building community through music and his gifts for working with singers of all ages and levels, including a gift for working with children and youth. He was recommended by his mentors and peers as an excellent and accessible conductor and showed himself through conversations with our search team to be dedicated, effective, and creative! We are so excited to begin working with Jeremy.

Jeremy will be getting oriented this week and next, and his first Sunday with us will be July 28. He also looks forward to gathering and meeting the choir in mid-August, and will be available for a meet and greet to the whole congregation after the service on July 28. Please plan to stay for coffee on Sunday the 28th and welcome Jeremy to our beloved congregation!

Jeremy is a promising music educator, performer and conductor who recently earned a Bachelor’s of Science-Education degree (with an emphasis in Vocal Music), as well as a Bachelor’s of Music in Vocal Performance degree at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Growing up in Edmond, Oklahoma, and living in New York, Texas, and Missouri, he found that no matter where he lived he was able to find friends and nurture his love for music through school choirs. During his time in both the School of Education and the College of Arts and Science at Mizzou, he was able to work alongside and learn directly from his mentors, Dr. Wendy Sims, Dr. Brandon Boyd, and Dr. R. Paul Crabb.

Additionally, he was given opportunities to work with local public educators and students from Columbia Independent School, Rock Bridge High School, Locust Street Expressive Arts Elementary School, and Jefferson Middle School. Through his participation in the community, he has also established himself as a performer, singing a number of roles with Show-Me Opera’s productions and Missouri Symphony Society. His musical gifts and focused work ethic led to him being named the Director of Music at First Christian Church in Centralia, Mo., where he served for three years. He also worked as an intern for the Choral Arts Alliance of Missouri.

In Glad Song,
Rev. Molly & Your Music Search Team – Pack Matthews, Jamie Meadows, Neil Minturn, Jeanne Murphy

Fragrance sensitivity? We’ve got you (or at least your chair) covered!

On Sunday, March 24, the Accessibility and Inclusion Ministry (AIM) Team presented the lay-led service, “Living Up to Radical Welcome,” and made a small change in the sanctuary while we were at it. As we’ve heard a number of questions about this change, we thought it was about time we shed some light on it.

If you’ve been to services during the past couple of months, you have likely noticed a section of chairs in the back of the sanctuary topped with yellow pillowcases. This sunny addition was inspired by feedback we’d received from congregants who have fragrance and chemical sensitivities. These individuals had been unable to enjoy services because of the migraines, allergies, and other reactions caused by these products, which many of us don’t think twice about applying. While we can’t control what products each person uses before joining us for worship, we can create a space in which people who live with sensitivities or allergies to those products can, hopefully, be more comfortable and feel more radically welcome.

The AIM Team requests that the fragrance-free seating area be reserved for individuals who are not wearing perfumes or scented products. We thank you for your help with this step towards being more accessible to and inclusive of all members and guests.

– Gretchen Maune, Chair
Accessibility and Inclusion Ministry Team

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.

 

 

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

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!

 

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.

New! UUCC Member Connect Program

The mission of the Member Connect Program is to assist UUCC members and friends in finding their place in our church community through deeper connection, service, and spiritual exploration. To do this a team of connectors is available to have a conversation with every member of the church who is interested. These conversations will give members a chance to reflect on their spiritual journey, their connection with the church, and their level of involvement in church life.

If you would like to participate in a meeting with a connector or would like to volunteer to be a connector, email Peter Holmes or Rosie Geiser

– Peter Holmes and Rosie Geiser, co-chairs

New Chalice Is Dedicated

Rev. Molly lit the new chalice on Jan. 28 from a flame passed from the chalice made by Naoma Powell.

Our observance of the 67th anniversary of our church’s founding at worship services on Jan. 28, 2018 included dedication of a beautiful new metal chalice purchased and given to the church by a member couple.

The late Naoma Powell made the chalice we had been using since 2006 after the congregation’s previous chalice broke, and it was always intended to be temporary. Naoma’s chalice served us long and well, but was showing signs of wear. To protect this beloved artifact, it is being officially “retired” from active duty but will always have a place in our sanctuary and will still be used for special occasions.

The new chalice is larger and will be easier to see from all parts of the sanctuary, in keeping with the needs of our growing congregation. It was dedicated with Naoma’s own January 2006 words of dedication of the chalice now being retired:

Though chalice changes, the flame burns bright.
Not holder, not cup but flame that offers light.
Flame that lights the darkness.
Flame, in its burning, illumines night.
Flame, its double halo, bringing light to shadow, warmth to shade.
Flame, re-igniting
Constant.

 

Meet the Chalice Artist

Ryan Schmidt

Our new chalice that was dedicated at the Jan. 28 worship services was crafted by Ryan Schmidt, a metal artist based in Cumberland Gap, Tenn.

Ryan owned and managed a motorcycle repair shop in Kansas City before moving to Tennessee in 2015. Shortly after moving he met a neighbor, William Brock, a traditional blacksmith who taught Ryan the art of blacksmithing. Ryan’s passion is creating custom-made functional objects, ornamental ironwork, sculptures, and furniture. He is a member of several professional blacksmithing groups.

When Ryan is not creating art at his shop, Mitty’s Metal Art (https://www.mittysmetalart.com/), he likes to get out and explore the surrounding Appalachian region on his Harley or mountain bike. Ryan is not a UU but is familiar with our denomination through friends.

 

Your Amazon shopping can benefit UUCC

Do you do online shopping at Amazon? If so, your purchases can now benefit our church with a contribution from Amazon of 0.5% of the purchase price.

Here’s how to get started:

1. In your browser, go to https://smile.amazon.com.

2. Sign in using your normal Amazon username and password.

3. Next you will see a screen with a box on the right asking you to “Select a charity.”

4. In the bottom of that box, where it says “Or pick your own charitable organization,” type “Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia” in the box and click the “Search” button.

5. Next you will see a screen showing our church with the location listed as “Columbia MO,” and there may be other churches listed. Click the “Select” button next to our church’s name.

6. Finally, you will see another screen with a checkbox to indicate that you understand that you must always start at https://smile.amazon.com to support our church. After clicking the checkbox, you can click the “Start Shopping” button which will take you to the main Amazon screen.

A tutorial covering the above steps and including screenshots is available in a printable PDF.

In the future, always start your Amazon shopping at https://smile.amazon.com so that your purchases will benefit UUCC. You will find all the same Amazon products and prices there as regular Amazon.

Tip: If you have set up a bookmark or favorite for Amazon, be sure to change it to the new address.

Finally, don’t forget that you can also donate to UUCC when you do grocery shopping at Schnucks – read more.

UUCC receives Peaceworks award

Allie accepting award. Click to enlarge.

UUCC was given an award recognizing our social action work and Rev. Molly’s exemplary leadership in social action – particularly our sanctuary work – at the annual dinner of Mid-Missouri Peaceworks on Saturday evening, Nov. 11, at the Missouri United Methodist Church.

Allie Gassman of our Social Action Team accepted the award on behalf of our church.

Allie said, “It was a great honor to be able to accept the award on behalf of our church – especially in the presence of all the seasoned activists in the room.”

The framed award certificate, shown in the photo below, is on display on the credenza in our Greeting Area.

Please welcome April Rodeghero as Sunday Morning Assistant

April

Please welcome our new Sunday Morning Assistant, April Rodeghero, who began her work with us in October.

April is mother to a seven-year-old and to one-year-old twins. She has worked with MU Adventure Club, Missouri Afterschool Network and the Columbia Housing Authority. Now she works as a postpartum doula, supporting parents in their new roles. She has attended UUCC occasionally in the past year or so.

April will welcome your friendship and your help in the church kitchen – especially on potluck days for setup and cleanup! Please let’s show April our radical welcoming spirit!

UUA has first elected woman President

Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray

Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray was selected by delegates as the first elected woman President of the Unitarian Universalist Association at the June 21-25 General Assembly in New Orleans. She had been the lead minister of the UU Congregation of Phoenix, Ariz., where she became well known for her work on behalf of immigrants, since 2008. Read more.

More than 4,000 UUs attended G.A., including some 1,800 delegates from more than 500 UU congregations. UUCC’s delegates were Rev. Molly Housh Gordon, Patty Daus, Tracey Milarsky, Jeanne and Dennis Murphy, and Gena and Steve Scott.

Also attending from UUCC were DRE Jamila Batchelder along with four YRUU members and one 9-year-old. The young people carried our UUCC banner in the banner parade at the opening celebration on June 21.

Five of our young people lined up to carry our UUCC banner in the banner parade at the UUA General Assembly. See them in action in the video below.

Our UUCC banner was carried by five of our young people in the banner parade at the Opening Celebration of the UUA General Assembly (G.A.) in New Orleans on June 21, 2017. In this short clip they are seen entering the Great Hall of the New Orleans Convention Center and later proceeding out of the hall.

Read more about the many important actions taken by delegates and the UUA Board of Trustees at G.A.

Please Feed the Food Barrel

food_barrelOur Social Action Team sponsors a food collection year-round for the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri.

Donations of canned meats and fish, stews, peanut butter and powdered milk are especially appreciated, but other non-perishable food items are welcome.

Help us to help individuals in need! If you wish to have a receipt for a tax deduction, talk to Suzanne Clark, church administrator.

Supporting UUCC by Grocery Shopping

Shoppers – support the church with your purchasing power!

If you shop at Schnuck’s Supermarket in Columbia, here is an easy way to earn money for our church! Follow these steps:

  1. Ask for a My Schnucks card at the Customer Service counter.
  2. When next at your computer, go to Schnucks.com.
  3. Hover over the “Programs” menu and select “Schnucks Fundraising” from the drop-down menu.
  4. Click on “eScrip” in number 2 under “How It Works.”
  5. Fill in the form to become registered.
  6. When you come to the choice of charities under “Select your school or nonprofit,” find “Unitarian Universalist-Columbia, Mo” in the drop-down list and click on the box to mark a check.
  7. Then click Update.

That is all! Just keep your user name and password for the Schnuck’s website in case you wish to return to it. UUCC will get a little bonus every time you shop at Schnuck’s and show your My Schnucks card at the checkout.