President’s Perspective – Pause, Savor and Reflect

By Mindy McPherson, 2019-20 President

On Dec. 21 at 10:19 p.m., we in the Northern Hemisphere will mark when the sun is directly over the Tropic of Capricorn, at 23.5° south of the equator. We will mark the winter solstice.

I read an online post recently that commented on how our modern culture celebrates this season: “alcohol, lights, shopping, overworking, overspending, comfort food and consumerism.” The message suggested that this time was once “a period of descent and rest, of going within our homes, within ourselves and taking in all that we have been through, all that has passed in this full year that is coming to a close.

How perfectly this idea of going inward connects to Rev. Dottie’s recent sermon highlighting some of the reasons why we, as individuals, show up at UUCC. As 2019 draws to a close, I encourage you to reflect upon your year with UUCC. How have you connected and explored? How have you grown and transformed? I also think it is timely during this hibernal solstice to reflect inward as a beloved community and to consider all that has passed this year for us as a collective.

Make note that beginning Dec. 1, we will once again physically worship in one combined service on Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. I find the timing of this poetic, as we can come together and evaluate together all that we have been through this past year.

Let’s pause and savor the longest period of darkness of the year, and perhaps turn our attention upward to marvel at our existence and the awe that bridges our past and present. I hope that you find peace and a time for reflection this season. I hope you find yourself with renewed energy and spirit for what the new year has to offer.

I hope you will be ready to focus outward and continue the important work of UUCC. Keep an eye out for communications from the Board and the Building Task Force, as we continue to evaluate the future of our physical space and the vision for our community.

 

December news from the Social Action Team

Faith-to-Action Collections for December

Three Faith-to-Action collections are scheduled for the month of December. Please consider supporting these organizations when the collection plate comes your way on these Sundays:

  • Dec. 8 – Room at the Inn
  • Dec. 15 – Loaves & Fishes
  • Dec. 22 – Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.

Can’t make the Sunday service or Forum on one of these days? We’ll miss you! But you can still drop off or send in a contribution any time in December, with a check made out to UUCC and something in the memo line to alert the Church Administrator that the check is for one (or more) of the Faith-to-Action recipients. Information on these organizations and all the other Faith-to-Action recipients for the year is on the website.

Collaboration with Adult Religious Education

Part of the “Scope of Activity” of the Social Action Team is “Educating ourselves and the congregation on issues of social justice … and providing opportunities for the congregation to become more educated on those issues.” This sounds to us a lot like Adult Religious Education, and certainly fits the definition of some of the classes that have been offered. After some discussion, we designated a representative to join the Adult Religious Education team.

Innovations in Loaves and Fishes volunteer food signup

We have arranged with Patchwork Family Farms to provide pork for a main dish, with the cost being billed by Patchwork to the church. If you sign up for this main dish option, you will need to obtain the pork from Patchwork and prepare it for delivery to Loaves and Fishes. Policy on food purchases for other signup items remains the same: You are welcome to submit receipts to the church for reimbursement, subject to the availability of funds in the Loaves & Fishes reserved fund. Why did we implement this change? Support for local agriculture is strong within our congregation; for example, the Columbia Center For Urban Agriculture and the Missouri Rural Crisis Center (which is the umbrella organization for Patchwork Family Farms) are both scheduled for Faith-to-Action collections in April. This ensures that, at least 12 times a year, our church is directly supporting local food production.

Standing with Solidarity

The Social Action Team has designated a representative to the Solidarity Network, which is planning for another rally and march this winter. Many UUs have attended past events. Thank you, Vic Myers!

Change in team chair

Caya Tanski has embarked on a course of professional development that is demanding of her time, and she asked to step away from the SAT Chair position, at least for the time being. Accordingly, Fred Young has volunteered to be chairperson. We thank Caya for her time and attention to “All Things SAT,” wish her well in her endeavors, and hope for her re-engagement later in the spring.

Honduras Ministry Team and service trip updates

The Honduras Ministry Team held its eighth annual Trivia Night at the church on Nov. 16, and close to $4,000 was raised. It was a fun night, and the team thanks everyone who came and who donated!

These dollars will be put to good use soon! 10 members of our team will be traveling to Honduras on Dec. 28 to build latrines and paint a school. They will be taking donations of children’s summer clothes and school supplies. There will be a box under the wardrobe where donations can be left until Dec. 22.

In other exciting news, both Cito (the Honduran organizer of the team’s work) and his wife Keyla are doing extremely well in their studies. There are several members of UUCC who are helping pay for their education. Cito is doing so well in his studies that he got a scholarship for a study trip to the United Kingdom!

– Allie Gassmann, Chair, Honduras Ministry Team

 

Sanctuary/Immigrant Justice Team update

The Sanctuary Team was initially formed after our congregational vote in April of 2017 to officially declare ourselves a Sanctuary Congregation. The team did good work to prepare for an eventual guest in our building. However, as of now, none of our migrant friends have needed to take the drastic step of seeking sanctuary here at UUCC.

Given that reality, our team has officially renamed ourselves the Sanctuary/Immigrant Justice Team. Of course, we will remain ready to respond quickly should a need arise, but in the meantime, we are working hard on many avenues of pursuing justice for our immigrant friends and neighbors in and near Columbia.

On Nov. 3 we held a Tamale Lunch fundraiser after the second service. The food was once again extraordinarily delicious, and the time of fellowship was truly enjoyable. The proceeds were split between the asylum-seeking family we are helping to support and the Honduras Team. Thanks to all who came out to offer their generous support for these important causes!

If you would like to get involved in the work of this team, please email either co-chair, Allie Gassman or Dave Gibbons.

 

We’re hosting Room at the Inn Dec. 8-22 – volunteers needed

“Room at the Inn,” Columbia’s emergency winter homeless shelter that moves among churches, will open at UUCC on Sunday, Dec. 8 and continue through Sunday, Dec. 22 before moving to the second church.

The success of the shelter depends on the participation of many volunteers. Please be a volunteer! There many ways to volunteer and two ways to sign up.

  • Go to the Room at the Inn website and click on the volunteer button, or
  • Sign up at the table in our Greeting Area after worship

 

The choir wants YOU for Christmas Eve

We are featuring a mass choir on Christmas Eve, and we hope many of you will participate!

We will be performing the final two movements (“That Was a Christmas Long Ago” and “Alleluia!”) from Margaret Bonds’ “Ballad of the Brown King” at the 8 p.m. service. We need as many voices as we can to make it as powerful as it deserves to be. They are very fun songs and accessible. No music reading ability necessary, just a love for singing and fellowship.

Email Music Director Jeremy Wagner for information or to express interest.

 

December adult R.E. – Holiday First Aid

Join us for our Adult Religious Education mini-mester on Tuesdays Dec, 3, 10, and 17 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Centering Room to engage in some Holiday First Aid with Rev. Molly as we encounter this high-pressure time of year.

Bonus: Come at 6 p.m. before the class to enjoy a short, contemplative Advent Vespers Service with silence, poetry, and song.

Class schedule:

  • Dec. 3 – Caring for our Spirits: Let’s find a spiritual center for the holiday season with personal reflections and communal practices.
  • Dec. 10 – Caring for our Bodies: We will discuss practices for nourishing and soothing the body during a time that can be filled with anxiety triggers, harmful diet-talk, and more.
  • Dec. 17 – Caring for our Relationships: Time to learn about Family Systems 101 and strategize how to hold good boundaries as the season sends us into proximity with people we love and struggle with.

 

Founders’ Day Service Auction – Jan. 25, 2020

Now is the time to think about your service donation

Are you excited? We Auction Team members sure are! The Founders’ Day Auction is UUCC’s premiere soirée, and for a mere $10, you will enjoy a fun and festive fête when we get together to raise money for the church, enjoy music, drinks, food, and the opportunity to win the service of your dreams!

So, two things –

One: Save the date -Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020, 6:30-8:30 p.m. Reserve your tickets at $10 each.

Two: We need donations! Since this is a service auction, think of a service (little or big) that you could offer.

  • Can you babysit, pet-sit, or house-sit?
  • Do you cook or repair things?
  • Are you good at music, painting or photography?
  • Do you have sports tickets you could donate or a weekend or overnight hide-away?
  • Can you teach someone a craft or mend some clothes?
  • Surely you can dust, right?

Groups could offer to do yard work, car detailing, window washing or paint a room in someone’s house. Be creative. What makes you special? Share it!

Look for the auction button coming soon on our website home page to:

  • Make a service donation
  • Sign up to bring food or help with the auction
  • Purchase auction tickets

 

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.

 

Worship schedule change – only one service at 10:30 a.m. starting Dec. 1

After deep consideration by the Worship Associates and with the full support of the Board of Trustees, we have made the decision to consolidate back to one worship service at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings starting Sunday, Dec. 1. Forum will meet at 9 a.m. as always, and Mindfulness Meditation will take place from 9:30 to 10:10 a.m.

There several reasons for this decision. We added an early service to relieve crowding in the sanctuary, but after giving it a good and committed try over four years, we found that the 9 a.m. service never really reached the critical mass necessary to be sustainable, averaging only around 20-30 in attendance. It seems that it is not the solution we are looking for at this time.

Additionally, we feel the early service is not currently the best use of the substantial volunteer and staff time it requires. We want refocus our energies, especially as we prepare to consider a major building improvement project.

We look forward to worshiping together again as one big community on Sundays!

Here are some ideas for how you can help ensure there is enough space for everyone and particularly for visitors:

  • Park in the Shepard Elementary School parking lot and leave closer parking spaces for visitors. Even better, consider carpooling or biking to church!
  • Move to the middle of your row in the sanctuary, thereby leaving the outer seats for late-comers and visitors.
  • Use the front rows in the sanctuary.
  • Look out for visitors who seem unsure where to sit on a Sunday and invite them to sit with you or help them find an empty seat.
  • Encourage your children to sit up front on the RE rug before they head to class.

 

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.

 

Intern Minister Alexis to explore new path

From Intern Minister Alexis:

Dear UUCC Community,

During a sermon in February, I talked about how being in meaningful relationships with people and engaging with different ideas can call us to adjust the stories we write for ourselves. Little did I know how my intended storyline was about to change!

I write to you, dear community, with a mix of excitement and sadness, to let you know that my story is calling me to explore a new path, one that means ending my internship.

My time as an intern paralleled with seminary courses delving into aspects of Christian theology and biblical studies that captured my interest. As I had time to reflect upon my seminary experiences over the summer, I was surprised to realize these interests were calling me down an ordination track different from what I originally expected. After talking with trusted mentors, I have discerned a desire to explore another faith tradition, namely Disciples of Christ, a progressive Christian denomination.

This exciting new development is accompanied by sadness, because it means I will be leaving my internship to give my whole attention this new path.

Serving UUCC has been a great joy and honor, and I am full of gratitude for each one of you. I will miss you very much. The fact that my inspiration to explore another faith tradition is due to revelation rather than hardship is a great gift.

Thank you for being a space that allowed me to develop as a minister. Thank you for providing support and learning that will always be a part of whatever good I do in ministry.

I will be at both services on Sept. 8 to formally punctuate the transition from being your intern, and I hope to see you there to thank you in person. You are welcome to contact me by email if you’d like between now and Sept. 8.

In Gratitude,
Alexis

From Rev. Molly Housh Gordon:

Dear UU Churchers,

What a gift it has been to have Alexis learning and working with us over the last year. She has brought so many skills and talents to bear upon our ministry, and it has been an honor and a joy to be a part of her formation into ministry. I know that she will be a gifted minister in the tradition that calls to her heart and that we will always share the work of loving this world together.

We are sad to see her go, but it is the work of Unitarian Universalism to support the conscience and resource the spiritual journey, even when that work occasionally leads people away from us. We can be proud to be an important part of Alexis’ journey.

I hope that you will join us in worship on Sept. 8 for a ritual of release to send Alexis off into the rest of her journey with our blessing, love, and very best wishes.

And I hope and believe that with Alexis having paved the way, we will have many future opportunities to serve in a teaching and mentoring role for ministers-to-be. I look forward with you to those opportunities.

In Faith,
Rev. Molly

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

Rev. Molly’s new office hours

Beginning in June, Rev. Molly’s Community Office Hours will be held at Kaldi’s Coffee downtown on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (instead of Tuesdays).

Rev. Molly is also always happy to meet by appointment with members, visitors, newcomers and community partners. Regular office hours at church are 1-4 p.m. Tuesdays, but appointments can be scheduled on other days and at other times, including evenings and weekends.

Please do reach out if you’d like to chat about life, find your place in the church, process something difficult, find a listening ear, or discuss a project together!

You can schedule an appointment with Rev. Molly here or by sending her an email.

 

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.

 

 

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.

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.