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May 2019 Searchlight

To read the May 2019 Searchlight on this page, scroll down or click the on-page links below to see specific articles:

Minister’s Monthly Worship Message

Our 2018-2019 Theme is Loaded Words – May’s Loaded Word is . . . OBLIGATION

“I believe that every right implies a responsibility;
every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.”

– John D. Rockefeller

When I think of obligation, I usually think of something that is a drag… something I have to do that ties me down and holds me back. The word to me has a sense of resignation that makes it loaded. But, by now you may have noticed my love of word origins and how they can reinvigorate a word for us, so you may not be surprised to learn I looked up the word “obligation.” It comes from the Latin meaning “a binding” and from the verb oblige, the Latin root of which means “to bind or bandage up.”

As usual, the word origin tells me something profound about why obligation can be a spiritual value. We are not only tied down by obligation, but also bound together, bandaged up and healed by our commitments to one another. As we spin through the universe, perhaps it is exactly the ways we choose

to bind ourselves to one another that keep us from flying into a million pieces.

When we bind ourselves with joy to people and communities we love, obligation is a source of deep meaning. When we bind ourselves, even with trepidation, to people and communities we seek to be in solidarity with, obligation is a source of growth for our souls.

See you in church!
Rev. Molly

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May worship services

Sundays at 10:30 a.m.
(May begins our summer schedule of one worship service at 10:30 a.m.)

Sunday, May 5 – “This We Believe” – UUCC Coming of Age Class

Join us for our beloved biennial Coming of Age service when our amazing young people share with us the credos they have developed through a year of hard work, spiritual exploration and deep thinking. Together we welcome these youth into the age of conscience. Also, stay after the service for a very important annual meeting to work with our architects on a building needs assessment!

Sunday, May 12 – Flower Communion – Rev. Molly Housh Gordon and DRE Jamila Batchelder

Join us for our beloved annual flower communion ceremony when we celebrate the unique beauty each person brings to our community. Please bring a flower!

Sunday, May 19 – Music Sunday and Graduation Celebration – Marques J. Ruff and Rev. Molly Housh Gordon

Join us for a music extravaganza as we celebrate the service of our Interim Director of Music Ministry Marques J. Ruff and the accomplishments of our high school graduates.

Sunday, May 26 – “Setting the Alarm: Freedom and Responsibility” – Alexis, Intern Minister

Theologian Frederick Buechner wrote, “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.” We may have different ideas regarding the specifics of this quote, but its essence can spark an exploration into our theme of Obligation. What are we bound to do? What obligations are constructions that might contribute to stability, but can also constrain what is possible for us and others? You’re invited to an exploration of these ideas (and to learn what setting an alarm has to do with anything) for Alexis’ last sermon of this school year. She will resume internship responsibilities in the fall.

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Please attend our Annual Congregational Meeting – Sunday, May 5 after worship

On the agenda:

  • 2019-2020 budget approval
  • Election of new Board of Trustees members
  • Special, interactive presentation from our architects

Childcare and a simple lunch will be provided.

Read more

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Forum – May 2019 – 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.

  • May 5 – Robert Blake will discuss the film ”Big Money” and how money corrupts our political system.
  • May 12 – Mel West will discuss “Some of the Women in my Life.”
  • May 19 – Dolores Clark, TBA.
  • May 26 – For this holiday weekend, Bill Clark will present his bucket list including the Presidency of the United States.

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UUCC Community Garage Sale – 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, May 18

Donations will be received at church:

  • From 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 12
  • From 1-3 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Monday-Friday, May 13-17

We are particularly looking for:

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

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

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Summer lay preaching – what is your sacred text?

Is there a secular text that has shaped your thinking? A book, a poem or a lyric that is rich with meaning for your life? This summer’s lay-led preaching series will engage the secular sacred texts of our congregation, and we’d love to hear from you!

Available dates are June 30, July 21, Aug. 4 and Aug. 18. Email our Worship Associates to claim a date! You’ll receive support from the Worship Associates in creating a well-crafted and meaningful service for our congregation. Prospective preachers are encouraged to attend the Secular Sacred Text Workshop from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, May 4 (see next article).

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Secular Sacred Text Workshop – 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, May 4

Intrigued by the idea of what might make a secular text sacred? Join us for a workshop exploring various spiritual practices related to reading. Inspired by the podcast Harry Potter and the Sacred Text, we’ll learn together about practices like Lectio Divina, Havruta, Floralegium and more. Bring your own text – the book, poem, or lyric that is a touchstone for you – and we’ll delve into bits of each of the texts together.

All ages are welcome, and those who are interested in summer preaching are especially encouraged to attend. Childcare available upon request. RSVP to Rev. Molly by email.

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President’s Perspective – On being president

By Barbara Rupp, 2018-19 President

My term as president will be ending in another month, and my biggest surprise is how quickly it has passed. A few people have asked me, with what is possibly a look of sympathy in their eyes, how time-consuming and difficult this role has been. I’m delighted to report that the position of president has not been anything close to a “burn-out” experience. Rather, it has enabled me to get to know more members of the congregation and has made me even more grateful to have this wonderful church in Columbia.

Three things have caught my interest the most this past year. The first, and the one that stands out the most, is how this church community came together to bridge the budget gap when our initial stewardship campaign fell short of its goal. What is remarkable is that it was not just one or two families giving unusually large pledges – though we are fortunate to have some members who are quite generous in their support – but it was a large percentage of members pitching in to pledge what they felt they could do to help. Sometimes that was an extra $50 or $100, sometimes significantly more, and new members also stepped up to help. It spoke volumes about what this church means to us and our determination to see it thrive. Kudos to all!

Another area of interest this past year has been the Building Needs Task Force and our work with the architectural firm SOA. The architects will attend our May 5 Annual Congregational Meeting and, hopefully, help move us forward on this important project for the next few years. We are also talking with fund-raising consultants who will be helping us reach our goals.

Last, but not least, my time as president has brought me a bit more in touch with members of our community who give of their time and energy over and over again to help out both at our church and in our larger community. We have some remarkable people in our midst, and I feel fortunate to have been able to work with a few of you this year.

So, not surprisingly, I feel that both being on the Board of Trustees and being president have been an honor and privilege, not a chore. Next time someone comes up to you (and it might be me next year!) and asks you to please consider serving on the board, I hope you’ll see it as the opportunity it is.

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Adult R.E. for May

Spring Book Club continues from 6:30 to 8 p.m. May 7 with the final meeting of the discussion of the UUA Common Read Selection, Justice on Earth, People of Faith Working at the Intersections of Race,Class and Environment edited by Manish Mishra-Marzetti and Jennifer Nordstrom,. The class is led by Melissa Ensign-Bedford. Sign up on the website to help us plan, especially if you need child care.

On May 14, 21 and 28 from 6:30 to 8 p.m., Jan Weaver will be leading a discussion on “Managing Your After Life.” In this three week class, you can explore choices related to what to do with your stuff (May 14), what to do with your remains (May 21), and what you want people to remember about you (May 28). Discussions will only concern after-life choices, not end-of-life choices. None of the choices discussed will constitute legal or medical advice. This is just an opportunity to explore options in advance and provide useful input to those who will be taking care of your business after your life is over. Jan’s disclaimer is that she is not an expert in any of these things, just curious and good at finding things out. You may attend any or all, and please sign up here.

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May focus for Festival of Sharing

For the month of May, the Festival of Sharing focus is on the “Missouri Personal Hygiene Pack” project. These packs are for adults who have experienced a crisis situation or are experiencing homelessness. Place the following items in a large ziplock bag (2 to 2.5 gallon):

  • 1 fluoride toothpaste (6 oz or more)
  • 1 toothbrush (in original package)
  • 1 bath-size bar of soap (in package)
  • 1 bottle skin lotion (11-14 oz)
  • 1 bottle shampoo (11-14 oz)
  • 1 washcloth
  • 1 deodorant
  • 2 razors (disposable)
  • 1 comb or brush
  • 1 hand towel

In 2018, there were requests for 9,831 hygiene kits statewide, but only 2,798 were provided. Collection boxes are available in the church greeting area.

– Bonnie Johnson, Festival of Sharing Chair

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Social Action Team news – Faith-to-Action nominations requested

Spring has arrived, and spring worship services nourish us week after week. But fall is just around the corner, and with it… a new church year and a new set of Faith-to-Action (FTA) collections!
Accordingly, your Social Action Team has opened on-line nominations for FTA recipients for the 2019-20 church year – click the purple button near the top of the website home page – or click here – to go to the nomination form.

The team requests that nominations be submitted by July 15. Nominations submitted later may be considered if there is not a full set of recipients, but nominations submitted by July 15 will receive priority.

This is your chance to nominate an organization that reflects your UU values and brings good to our community.

Because the Annual Congregational Meeting is scheduled on May 5 when the Social Action Team would usually meet, the May meeting of the team has been moved to 3:30 p.m. Saturday April 27. After that, the next regular meeting will be at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, June 2. All are welcome at the team’s meetings.

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A standing invitation from the UUCC Social Action Team

The Social Action Team invites 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’s 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)
  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)

Beyond joining SAT, please consider participation in any of our subcommittees or other 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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2020 Honduras trip in planning stage

The UUCC Honduras Ministry Team is starting to plan its fifth trip to the Cangrejal River Valley in Honduras – tentatively in March 2020. The main project will be building latrines, and additional projects will be determined by what the community needs are and what skills and interests team members can offer.

Team members will participate in monthly meetings in preparation for the trip and will be involved in fundraising. Scholarships are available.

If you would like to learn more, please email Allie Gassmann.

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‘Tamales and Tales’ event raises more than $2,000

On April 7 the UUCC Sanctuary Team, together with members of the Rock Bridge Christian Church Sanctuary Team, put on a “Tamales and Tales from the Border” event. More than $2,000 was raised to support a father and his daughter who recently arrived here from Honduras seeking asylum. Their sponsors, Kristine Smith and family, were also in attendance.

The father told us about how they are fleeing violence and death threats resulting from their involvement in opposition party politics. He talked about the deterioration of basic human rights in Honduras. His wife and other daughter are still in Honduras, also fearing for their lives. He is hoping to bring them here soon, although that will be very hard and may take some time.

We also heard from Rev. Dottie Mathews, who shared about her various trips to the border and to detention centers there and about her work to find people who will sponsor families seeking asylum. Attendees got some ideas of how they can help this specific family and other people seeking asylum and how to advocate for humane, compassionate and just immigration policies and practices.

If you would like to join the work of the UUCC Sanctuary Team, please email:

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Green Sanctuary Team happenings

The Green Sanctuary Team has continued to partner with the Missouri Rural Crisis Center to help preserve air and water quality throughout the state threatened by large animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Members participated in two lobby days this spring, and we thank everyone who contributed to the Faith-to-Action collection at the April 28 service. For more information on this important issue and how to get involved, check out our bulletin board display in the corner of the Greeting Area.

On May 12 there will be another opportunity to support an organization working hard for our community. This collection will go to the “Planting for the Pantry” program of the Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, growing literally tons of fresh produce to be distributed through local food pantries.

Coming in June: The annual Down By the Riverside service on June 2 and the next Stream Team sampling on June 15 – meet at the church at 1:30 p.m. to travel to the sampling site and join in wet-foot citizen science.

Our meetings are on the first Thursday of each month from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the church. All are welcome to join us.

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A note from Alexis, our ministerial intern

While I am looking forward to the change of pace summer will provide, I am certain I will miss this congregation after my school year ends in May. The second and final year of my internship with UUCC will begin in the fall, and I will be happy to resume meeting with individual members, working with and learning from committees, and being a part of Sunday worship when August arrives.

Thank you for your radical welcome to me as your intern. Your kindness and support mean a great deal to me, and I am honored to be part of the life of this congregation.

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Programs and Events

Jazz Rep Lab UUCC Thank-You Concert – 7 p.m. Friday, May 3

This free and family-friendly concert should run about an hour and one-half and feature a number of performers, including several members of our congregation. The music featured will be mainly jazz standards with an original tune or two since the study and performance of jazz is the primary focus of the group.

The concert itself is offered as a thank-you to the church for sharing the use of its space as a gathering and rehearsal venue for the Rep Lab. So mark your calendars and plan on joining us for a night of musical entertainment.

Secular Sacred Text Workshop – 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, May 4

Intrigued by the idea of what might make a secular text sacred? Join us for a workshop exploring various spiritual practices related to reading. Inspired by the podcast Harry Potter and the Sacred Text, we’ll learn together about practices like Lectio Divina, Havruta, Floralegium and more. Bring your own text – the book, poem, or lyric that is a touchstone for you – and we’ll delve into bits of each of the texts together.
All ages are welcome, and those who are interested in summer preaching are especially encouraged to attend. Childcare available upon request. RSVP to Rev. Molly by email.

UU Life Writers – 10:30 a.m. May 4 and 18

The Life Writers theme this spring is from Forrest Gump, “Life is like a box of chocolates….” We are finding that chocolate really improves our stories.

Join us on Saturdays, May 4 and 18 at 10:30 a.m. in the Centering Room. Bring your own paper and favorite writing tool. For further information email Fran Reynolds.

Welcoming Team Announces: For Our Newcomers – Sunday, May 5

The Welcoming Team invites newcomers to attend “Getting to Know UU” (for those who want to know more about us).

The sessions take place cn the first Sunday each month in the minister’s office after the 11 a.m. worship service for about 30 minutes. Childcare is provided.

Spring Book Club – 6:30 to 8 p.m. May 7

The Spring Book Club Adult RE program will conclude with the final meeting of the discussion of the UUA Common Read Selection, Justice on Earth, People of Faith Working at the Intersections of Race,Class and Environment edited by Manish Mishra-Marzetti and Jennifer Nordstrom,. The class is led by Melissa Ensign-Bedford. Sign up here to help us plan, especially if you need child care.

Conversations, Etc. – noon May 8

Conversations, Etc., the UUCC women’s group, will meet at the church at noon May 8. Bring a brown bag lunch. Come and enjoy the company of friends. Questions? Call Melinda Farhangi at 573-445-6326.

UUCC Book Discussion – 5 p.m. May 10

The UUCC Book Discussion Group will meet at 5 p.m. May 10 at Bamboo Terrace, 3101 W. Broadway, Suite 101. Bring a book you have read to discuss briefly.

Contact Pam Springsteel at 573-445-0642 or by email if you have questions.

Men’s Group – 8 a.m. May 11 and 25

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.

Office closed – May 13-14

The church office will be closed Monday and Tuesday, May 13-14. Email the Church Administrator or call 573-442-5764 to make alternate arrangements if you cannot come in later that week.

Adult RE – “Managing Your After Life” – 6:30 to 8 p.m. May 14, 21 and 28

Jan Weaver will be leading an Adult RE discussion on “Managing Your After Life” in this three week class. You can explore:

  • May 14 – choices related to what to do with your stuff
  • May 21 – what to do with your remains (May 21), and
  • May 28 – what you want people to remember about you

Discussions will only concern after-life choices, not end-of-life choices. None of the choices discussed will constitute legal or medical advice. This is just an opportunity to explore options in advance and provide useful input to those who will be taking care of your business after your life is over.

Jan’s disclaimer is that she is not an expert in any of these things, just curious and good at finding things out. You may attend any or all, and please sign up here.

UUCC provides Loaves and Fishes meal on third Sundays – May 19 this month

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

X-ennial Supper Club – 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday, May 19

If you are somewhere in your 20s-40s and interested in new connections with fellow UU Churchers, join us at the church for this potluck style dinner and socializing. Child care and pizza for kids will be provided. Please bring a dish to share if you can!

A Walk on the Wild Side – Sunday, May 26

Meet at 1:30 p.m. at the church on the fourth Sunday each month

The Green Sanctuary Team is sponsoring monthly walks to explore the beauty of local woods and creeks (Gans Creek, Three Creeks and Mark Twain National Forest). Shrug off your civilized self for a time and come with us into the peace of wild things.

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s life may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in
his beauty on the water and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.
I come into the presence of still water,
and I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light.
For a time I rest in the grace of the world and am free.

In the summer, from May through September, wear shoes and shorts suitable for wading in creeks. Bathing suits and towels might be a good idea, too.

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

Down by the Riverside Worship and Potluck Brunch – Sunday, June 2

Worship at 10:30 a.m. – Brunch at 11:30 a.m.

Come and enjoy our annual get-together at Katfish Katy’s on the the Missouri River at Huntsdale – a chance to enjoy the company of our church members in a beautiful setting right on the banks of the river.

Kaleidoscope Pagan Gathering – 6 p.m. Saturday, June 22

Join us as we celebrate Litha, the summer Solstice. The longest day and the shortest night are here. The Sun stands in his glory and full strength. Glory with him, this bringer of warmth, light and hope.
Gather with Kaleidoscope at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 22 at the church. We will join in ritual, followed by a potluck and friendship.

All are welcome, no matter what their personal paths.

Mindfulness Meditation at 10:05 a.m. Sundays

Join us for Mindfulness Meditation every Sunday from 10:05 to 10:50 a.m. We meet in the Centering Room, the Schweitzer classroom, or at the Fire Circle when the weather is good.

Meditators of all levels of experience are welcome. This is mainly silent meditation with some instruction, if needed, and with brief selected readings from eminent teachers.

For more information, email Peter Holmes.

Non-toxic masculinity men’s group – 7 p.m. Mondays at church

The Non-Toxic Masculinity Men’s Group meets at the church at 7 p.m. Monday evenings.

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

For more information, email Jeff Ordway.

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REflections

DRE’s May Message

In May at UUCC, we are thinking about the idea of obligation. The original Latin meaning of the word refers to binding ourselves to something, often in a sacred context, and that sense of restriction is why it has such loaded meaning to us. But what if instead of thinking of it as restrictive ties, we think of it instead as how we weave ourselves into that which we hold dear or sacred?

We are coming to the end of an amazing year in religious education. I write this after having returned from a weekend-long retreat with our Coming of Age class, in which teachers and mentors gave so generously of their time to be there for these young people at an important turning point in their life. I saw a mentor sit with hands intertwined with the youth she was mentoring as the youth shared her insights into life. What beautiful obligation to the next generation!

It is a joy watching this weaving together of community every Sunday in our religious education program. Thank you to all of you who have made this your obligation.

Sincerely,
Jamila Batchelder
Director of Religious Education

Coming of Age Service – May 5

The Coming of Age Class has been working all year to answer big questions about who they are and what they believe. The final step in their coming of age is to share with you their faith statements in a service they put together themselves. These are extraordinary young people, and this final step requires a lot of courage on their part. Please show them your support by attending their service.

Junior Youth Night – 6-8 p.m. May 10

This will be our final Junior Youth Night of the year! We will be celebrating with a cookout.

Bridging Service – May 19

We will honor all of our graduating seniors in the worship service on May 19. As is our tradition, we will read anonymous letters from parents sharing their thoughts and feelings about watching their children reach adulthood and reminiscing about their child hood. Please let DRE Jamila Batchelder know by email if your graduating senior plans to participate in the service.

RE Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon at noon June 9

Mark your calendars now! In deep appreciation for all our RE volunteers do for our children, we will be celebrating them. All RE families are invited. Please RSVP by email.

May R.E. Schedule

Note: In May, we will go to one service only at 10:30

  • May 5: Regular RE Classes and Coming of Age Service
  • May 12: Flower Communion Intergenerational Service
  • May 19: Regular RE Classes
  • May 26: Service Sunday

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Our Staff

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

Alexis, Intern Minister
Office Hours: By appointment
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

Marques J. Ruff, Interim Music Director
Rehearsals on Wednesdays at 7 p.m.
Email

April Rodeghero, Sunday Morning Assistant
Email

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2018-2019 Board of Trustees

Barbara Rupp, President
Mindy McPherson, President-Elect
Todd Iveson, Past President
Patty Daus, Treasurer
Sam Buffaloe, Secretary
Mark Johnson
Gretchen Maune
Elaine Martin

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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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