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January 2020 Searchlight

To read the January 2020 Searchlight on this page, scroll down or click the on-page links below to see specific articles:

Minister’s Monthly Message

2019-2020 worship theme – Living Our Mission:
In the spirit of courageous love, we
forge a community of radical welcome and deep
connection that moves us together to heal the world.

January’s theme is: Deep Connection

“Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon.
Only connect the prose and the passion, and both
will be exalted, and human love will be seen at
its height. Live in fragments no longer.”

– E.M. Forster, Howards End

One of the core features of Unitarian Universalist theology is our recognition that we are all connected. We are bound and wound together inextricably with all of creation, and we know this by our experience, by our best understanding of science, and by the wisdom of many traditions. In a very real sense, deep connection is simply the way of the universe.

Why, then, is it a key phrase of our mission statement? Why do we feel it is something we must create? Because the systems around us are set up to fuel the illusion of our separateness, to help us forget how we need one another, and even to alienate us from our own instincts to connect. Deep connection is the way of the universe, but it is also a deeply countercultural choice. Let us choose it.

Join us this month to connect with our deepest selves, with loved ones and strangers – our human kin, and with the very web that binds us together –greater than the sum of our parts.

See you in church!
Rev. Molly

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January Worship – Sundays at 10:30 a.m.

Sunday, Jan. 5 – “How to Make Friends and Connect with People” – Rev. Molly Housh Gordon

We live in a culture whose structures make deep connection difficult and in which loneliness is climbing. How do we opt into a different way of being with one another when the systems of our world are stacked against us?

Sunday, Jan. 12 – “Listening Deeply” – Rev. Dottie Mathews

Join our Affiliated Community Minister Dottie Mathews to benefit from her wisdom born of years of professional deep listening. How can we connect to one another in a healing way? Just listen!

Sunday, Jan. 19 – “A Single Garment of Destiny” – Rev. Molly Housh Gordon

On Martin Luther King Jr. Sunday, we will explore Dr. King’s philosophy of interconnection and what it means for contemporary justice movements.

Sunday, Jan. 26 – “The House That Love Built” – Founders’ Day Sunday – Rev. Molly Housh Gordon

Join us to celebrate the legacy of our founders and contemplate how we can carry it forward in our own time. What will our legacy be? Stay after worship for church birthday cake and a meeting with our Building Task Force!

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Founders’ Day Weekend – Jan. 25-26

Our annual Founders’ Day Weekend honors our forebears, who first met on Jan. 28, 1951 to begin organizing what would become our church. Plan to join us 68 years later for these activities:

Founders’ Day Service Auction – Jan. 25

This is our premiere annual soirée and church fundraiser. Read more.

Worship – “The House that Love Built” – Jan. 26

We will celebrate the legacy of our founders and contemplate how we can carry it forward. Details above in worship listing.

Congregational Input Meeting – Jan. 26

Join our Building Task Force after worship to hear a report, see preliminary plans, and provide your input as we continue moving toward a capital campaign for building improvements and expansion. Details in next story.

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Building Task Force Congregational Input Meeting

Join us Jan. 26 after worship to share Founder’s Day birthday cake and your input as we continue moving toward a Capital Campaign for building improvements and expansion.

This will be your opportunity to hear a report from our Next Steps Weekend, take a look at the first-draft plans from SOA architects, and share your input on our emerging project.

Questions or comments may be emailed, or contact any members of the Building Task Force: Patty Daus, Kevin Fritsche, Larry Lile, Matthew Bossaller, Rosie Geiser, and Barbara Rupp. See you there!

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Forum – January 2020 – 9 a.m. Sundays

The UU Forum, an adult discussion group open to the public, meets on Sundays from 9 to 10 a.m. Conversation and light refreshments are offered along with the discussion. Forum coordinator: Bill Clark, 573-474-4510.

  • Sunday, Jan. 5: Joanne Vest will present “An Art Review.”
  • Sunday, Jan. 12: “The History of the University of Missouri Concert Series.”
  • Sunday, Jan. 19: Joe Polacco, MU professor emeritus of biochemistry, will present “The Outdoor Adventures of an Indoor Scientist.”
  • Sunday, Jan. 25: Dr. Jack Colwell will give us an “Update on Healthcare.”

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Sabbatical – A time for renewal and exploration

Dear UU Churchers,

I am very grateful to announce that this summer, at the end of my eighth year of service as minister of our congregation, I will taking a four-month sabbatical from May 11 (the day after our Flower Communion Service) to Sept. 8, 2020 (in time to resume the pulpit for the first Sunday of the church year).

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 the minister, who generally earns one month of sabbatical per year of service up to a limit of six months.

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 recharge my batteries in this way.

My deep hope is that this time away will be of benefit to the congregation as I return refreshed and full of new ideas and rekindled energy, and as the congregation explores new ideas and perspectives in my absence with a part-time sabbatical minister. My additional hope is that by taking my sabbatical during the summertime, my absence will be less keenly felt than it might be at other times.

I am particularly confident in the capacity of our congregational leadership and amazing staff to keep our shared ministry moving along very well after their excellent smooth handling of my parental leaves. This congregation knows from recent memory that I am only one cog in the practiced running of our operations.

Look forward to more details in the coming months as we finalize more plans, hire a part-time sabbatical minister to support the congregation, and form a sabbatical team to support the sabbatical minister and congregation alike!

In deep gratitude,
Rev. Molly

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President’s Perspective – Our need to elevate our mission

by Mindy McPherson, 2019-20 President

As we move into the new year, I wanted to offer my deepest thanks to those of you who participated in the Next Steps Weekend in December. I appreciate the time that you spent with our consultant, Rachel Maxwell, and I appreciate the thoughtful conversations that were shared over the weekend.

The Building Task Force and the Board of Trustees will continue to reflect upon the important takeaways from our work with Rachel. I implore you to do the same. If you were not able to meet with Rachel or attend the summary presentation, or have not yet fully engaged in meaningful contemplation about issues surrounding our physical space, please review the summary PowerPoint here. Please continue to wrestle with our challenges and dream about the effective use of our collective strengths. Ask the tough questions. Share your valuable point of view and insight. Keep the conversations going.

Rev. Molly recently shared a Facebook post from Maurice Moe Mitchell. While the post speaks directly to organizational efforts, I believe that we can draw on the sentiment and be encouraged to maintain mission-focus in our work.

“extractive organizing, where people are viewed as volunteers and donors, will never build movements that can transform our conditions.

“however, an authentic, soul-deep commitment to new social relations that prioritize things like connection, meaning, belonging, joy, pleasure, kindness, and compassion can.

“these are not trite and sentimental luxuries. rather, they are requirements for our victory.”

Maurice Moe Mitchell – posted Dec. 13, 2019)
https://www.facebook.com/mauricemitchell

The Next Steps Weekend afforded me the opportunity to pause and be reminded that this work is driven by our need to elevate our mission: “In the spirit of courageous love, we forge a community of radical welcome and deep connection that moves us together to heal the world.”

Wishing you blessings in the New Year.

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Founders’ Day Service Auction – Jan. 25, 2020

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 and 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! Because 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 on our website home page (or click the button below) to make a service donation, sign up to bring food or help with the auction, and purchase auction tickets. If the Paypal button does not work for you, we will be taking names before and after services starting in January.

Founders’ Day Service Auction – Jan. 25, 2020

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Sharing the Ministry Tea – 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4

Join the Committee on Ministry for a Ministry Tea at the top of the year!

We will celebrate your ministries with pie and snacks, and we will set our intentions for 2020 together. Be thinking about your personal intention for the year, the intention of your ministry team, and your intention for our community. We’ll also spend some time talking about budgeting and how to resource your intentions and make them real.

Join us at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4 in the Church Greeting Area. All are welcome, and childcare will be provided.

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All Church Games Night – 6:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11

Bring your favorite game and your favorite party snack and join us for a night of board games and fun!

Childcare will be provided. RSVP by email if you need childcare so we will have enough staff.

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Festival of Sharing – January 2020

For the month of January, the Festival of Sharing focus is on the “Missouri Paper Products Pack” project. Each box will consist of the following items:

  • 3 wrapped packages of toilet paper with 4 double rolls each (unable to receive 12 rolls in one package)
  • 2 rolls paper towels (good quality)
  • 2 facial tissue (large rectangular boxes)

In 2018, there were requests for 7,688 of these packs statewide, but only 1,280 were provided. Paper products are critical for low-income families because food assistance coupons cannot be used to purchase them.

Collection boxes will be available in the church greeting area.

– Bonnie Johnson
Festival of Sharing Chair

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Walk on the Wild Side – 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26

The Green Sanctuary Team is sponsoring monthly walks on the fourth Sunday most months throughout the year to explore the beauty of local woods and creeks (Gans Creek, Three Creeks and Mark Twain National Forest). Meet at the church at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26.

Shrug off your civilized self for a short time and come with us into the peace of wild things.

The walks are suitable for reasonably fit 10- to 70-year-olds. Children are very welcome. There will be plenty of stops along the way. For more information, talk to Peter Holmes.

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Rev. Molly’s office hours

Rev. Molly’s weekly Community Office Hours are at Kaldi’s Coffee downtown from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursdays. She is also always happy to meet by appointment. You can schedule an appointment by email or online.

Please 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!

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For our newcomers: “Getting to Know UU” – Jan. 5

For those who want to know more about us. Offered by the Welcoming Team on the first Sunday each month in the minister’s office after the 10:30 a.m. service for about 30 minutes. Childcare is provided.

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Membership classes – Jan. 12 and 26

If you feel ready to become a member of UUCC, you are invited to join us for these membership classes offered by our Welcoming Team:

  • Jan. 12 – 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. – History of Unitarians and Universalists
  • Jan. 26 – 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. – Getting involved at UUCC

A vegetarian lunch will be provided. Childcare can be provided with one week’s notice. RSVP to 573-442-5764 or by email.

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January 2020 news from the Social Action Team

Solidarity Rally and March is scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18 at the Courthouse Plaza in Columbia. Jan. 25 is the bad-weather backup date. Rev. Molly is one of the speakers. The Social Action Team is co-sponsoring this event. Volunteers are needed! As of this writing, volunteers are especially needed to patrol the march. There will be training for this activity in early January. Perhaps this is something for which UUs can volunteer. For information, and to contact organizers to volunteer, the Facebook event is at https://www.facebook.com/events/445931839670915/.

Faith-to-Action (FTA) collections scheduled in January are:

  • Jan. 5: The Center Project
  • Jan. 12: Minority Men’s Network Educational Foundation
  • Jan. 19: Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty

Brief information on each of these organizations can be found here. Remember that if you are unable to attend church service or Forum that day, you can always send in a check any time in January. Make the check out to UUCC, with FTA and the organization’s name in the memo line, and the church administrator will include it in our church’s total donation.

FTA: How are we doing? Check out the totals collected for each recipient at the end of each month here.

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A standing invitation from the Social Action Team

Our Social Action Team invites all church members and all friends who have an interest in social justice to join our Social Action Team. Help us shape and strengthen our work. There are five aspects of our social justice work:

  1. Direct Service (e.g. Loaves and Fishes, Room at the Inn)
  2. Fundraising (e.g. through Faith-to-Action, fundraisers such as the Honduras Trivia Night, sales of artisan crafts, etc. to support social justice work)
  3. Education (learning about systems of injustice, our role in them, and how to effect systemic change)
    Advocacy and Witness (e.g. work with Race Matters, Friends, showing up at City Council, Solidarity
  4. 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)

Please consider participation in any of our subcommittees or teams such as the Anti-Racism Subcommittee, Economic Justice Subcommittee, Honduras Team, 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.

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Get your UUCC Social Action Team T-Shirt!

Your $20 helps UUCC with our many social action projects. Contact Caya Tanski, Allie Gassmann or Sarah Wolcott for more information or to place your order.

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UUCC Caring Ministry

Our Caring Ministry Team needs many hands and caring hearts! Email Meredith Donaldson or call the church office at 573-442-5764 to volunteer.

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Programs and Events

Sharing the Ministry Tea – Jan. 4, 2020

Join the Committee on Ministry for a Ministry Tea at the top of the year!

We will gather in the Greeting Area at 2 p.m. Jan. 4 to celebrate your ministries with pie and snacks, and we will set our intentions for 2020 together. Be thinking about your personal intention for the year, the intention of your ministry team, and your intention for our community. We’ll also spend some time talking about budgeting and how to resource your intentions and make them real.

Please join us. All are welcome, and childcare will be provided.

7th-9th Grade OWL Parent Orientation – Jan. 5, 2020

Parents will meet from noon to 2 p.m. Jan. 5 to go over what will be covered in our sex ed program, what the expectations for the class will be,, and to answer all your questions.

Attending the parent orientation is a requirement for your child to participate in this program. If you have questions, please email DRE Jamila Batchelder.

Non-toxic Masculinity Men’s Group – Jan. 6, 2020

The Non-Toxic Masculinity Men’s Group meets at the church at 7 p.m. on the first Monday of each month.

The group serves cisgendered, straight, white men who are working to detoxify their masculinity and privilege so that they can stop doing damage to others and become active allies of marginalized groups.

For more information, contact Jeff Ordway.

Conversations, Etc. – Jan. 8, 2020

Conversations, Etc., the UUCC women’s group, will meet at the church at noon, Wednesday, Jan. 8. Bring a brown bag lunch

Come and enjoy the company of friends. Questions? Call Melinda Farhangi at 573- 445-6326.

Junior Youth Night – Jan. 10, 2020

Junior Youth will be playing games with the YRUU high school youth group as we work to form connections between these two groups.

Men’s Group – Jan. 11, 2020

The UUCC Men’s Group meets on the second, fourth, and fifth Saturdays of each month at 8 a.m. at the Holiday Inn Executive Center. The group is open to all men. There are no fees and no reservations are necessary.

The agenda is an open discussion of whatever is on the minds of those in attendance – and breakfast! For more information, contact Wiley Miller at 573-864-8574 or by email.

UUCC Book Discussion Group – Jan. 11, 2020

The UUCC Book Discussion Group will meet at noon, Saturday, Jan. 11 at Surah Korean Cuisine & BBQ, 3510 I 70 Drive SE.

Bring a book you have read to discuss briefly. Contact Pam Springsteel at 573-445-0642 or by email if you have questions.

All Church Games Night – Jan. 11, 2020

Bring your favorite game and your favorite party snack and join us from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 11 for a night of board games and fun! Childcare provided. RSVP by email if you need childcare so we will have enough staff.

Membership class – Jan. 12, 2020

If you feel ready to become a member of UUCC, the Welcoming Team invites you to attend “History of Unitarians and Universalists” from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Jan. 12.

A vegetarian lunch will be provided. Childcare can be provided with one week’s notice. RSVP to 573-442-5764 or by email.

A second membership class, “Getting Involved at UUCC, will be offered from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Jan. 26.

Solidarity Rally and March – Jan. 18, 2020

The Solidarity Rally and March is scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18 at the Courthouse Plaza in Columbia. Jan. 25 is the bad-weather backup date. Rev. Molly is one of the speakers. The Social Action Team is co-sponsoring this event.

Volunteers are needed, especially to patrol the march. There will be training for this activity in early January. For information, and to contact organizers to volunteer, the Facebook event is at https://www.facebook.com/events/445931839670915/.

Loaves and Fishes – Jan. 19, 2020

UUCC provides the evening meal at Loaves and Fishes on the third Sunday each month – Jan. 19 this month.

Please sign up here to prepare food for this meal and/or to help set up, serve and clean up.

Serving meals at Loaves and Fishes is a project of our Social Action Team. Email Diane Suhler for more information.

Men’s Group – Jan. 25, 2020

The UUCC Men’s Group meets on the second, fourth, and fifth Saturdays of each month at 8 a.m. at the Holiday Inn Executive Center. The group is open to all men. There are no fees and no reservations are necessary.

The agenda is an open discussion of whatever is on the minds of those in attendance – and breakfast! For more information, contact Wiley Miller at 573-864-8574 or by email.

Third annual Founders’ Day Service Auction – Jan. 25, 2020

The third annual Founders’ Day Service Auction will take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25. This is our premiere annual soiree and church fundraiser. Read more.

Membership class – Jan. 26, 2020

If you feel ready to become a member of UUCC, the Welcoming Team invites you to attend “Getting Involved at UUCC” from 11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Jan. 26.

A vegetarian lunch will be provided. Childcare can be provided with one week’s notice. RSVP to 442-5764 or by email.

An earlier membership class, “History of Unitarians and Universalists” was scheduled on Jan. 12.

Building Task Force Congregational Input Meeting – Jan. 26, 2020

Join the Building Task Force after worship on Jan. 26 to share Founder’s Day birthday cake and your input as we continue moving toward a Capital Campaign for building improvements and expansion.

This will be your opportunity to hear a report from our Next Steps Weekend, take a look at the first draft plans from SOA architects, and share your input on our emerging project.

Questions or comments may be emailed, or contact any members of the Building Task Force – Patty Daus, Kevin Fritsche, Larry Lile, Matthew Bossaller, Rosie Geiser, and Barbara Rupp. See you there!

Walk on the Wild Side – Jan. 26, 2020

The Green Sanctuary Team is sponsoring monthly walks on the fourth Sunday most months throughout the year to explore the beauty of local woods and creeks (Gans Creek, Three Creeks and Mark Twain National Forest). Meet at 1:30 p.m. at the church.

Shrug off your civilized self for a short time and come with us into the peace of wild things.

The walks are suitable for reasonably fit 10- to 70-year-olds. Children are very welcome. There will be plenty of stops along the way. For more information, talk to Peter Holmes.

Kaleidoscope Pagan gathering – Jan. 31, 2020

Join Kaleidoscope as we celebrate Imbolc, also known as Brigid’s Feast. The first stirrings of life after the long winter appear. Brigid shines the light of creativity upon us. Growth begins.

Gather with us at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31 at the church. We will join in ritual, followed by a potluck and friendship. All are welcome, no matter what their personal paths.

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REflections

DRE’s January Message

Welcome to a new year at UUCC! In January we will be focusing on the theme of deep connection.
It is my deepest wish for our R.E. community that all of our children form deep connections here – with children in their classes, with children both younger and older than them, and with adults in our broader community. Throughout the month of January, we have numerous events on the church calendar focused on creating opportunities to create these deep connections. And I hope we continue it beyond the month of January.

If you have ideas for events that would deepen connections within our church, please do share with me at our R.E. Team. I look forward to a fantastic 2020 with my very favorite community.

Sincerely,
Jamila Batchelder
Director of Religious Education

7th-9th Grade OWL Parent Orientation – Noon-2 p.m. Jan. 5

Parents will meet to learn what will be covered in our sex education program, to hear what the expectations for the class will be, and to get their questions answered.

Attending the parent orientation is a requirement for children to participate in OWL. If you have questions, please email DRE Jamila Batchelder.

Junior Youth Night – 6:30-8 p.m. Jan. 10

Junior Youth will be playing games with the YRUU high school youth group as we work to form connections between these two groups.

All Church Games Night – 6:30-8:30 p.m. Jan. 11

Bring your favorite game and your favorite party snack and join us for a night of board games and fun! Childcare will be provided. RSVP by email if you need childcare so we will have enough staff.

January R.E. Class Schedule

  • Jan. 5: Regular RE Classes
  • Jan. 12: Regular RE Classes
  • Jan. 19: Service Sunday – cooking for Loaves and Fishes
  • Jan. 26: Intergenerational Worship Service

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Our Staff

Rev. Molly Housh Gordon, Minister
Office Hours:
    Tuesdays 1-4 p.m. at church
    Thursdays 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Kaldi’s Coffee Downtown
    By appointment (including evenings and weekends)
Email

Suzanne Clark, Administrator
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Telephone: 573-442-5764
Email

Jamila Batchelder, Director of Religious Education
Office Hours: Wednesdays 10 a.m.-noon and by appointment
Email

Jeremy Wagner, Director of Music Ministry
Email

Hans Bridger Heruth, Accompanist
Email

April Rodeghero, Sunday Morning Assistant
Email

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2019-2020 Board of Trustees

Mindy McPherson, President
Michela Skelton Birk, President-Elect
Sam Buffaloe, Secretary
Jeremy Duke, Treasurer
Barbara Rupp, Past President
Gretchen Maune
Mark Johnson
Elaine Martin
Rebecca Graves

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Searchlight publication information

The Searchlight is published monthly by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia, Missouri.

Submissions: By email or postal mail to Church Administrator. The deadline for submissions is noon on the third Monday of each month for the following month’s edition.

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