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Current News

On this page:

All-Church Garage Sale
Sign Up for Summer Lay-Led Worship
DRE Position Expanded, Re-Advertised
Social Action Team Seeks Faith-to-Action Nominations
Green Sanctuary Team News
Stewardship 2015 - We Outdid Ourselves!
Garden Dreams Become Plans and Move Toward Reality
Naomi Powell Memorial Bench Donations Being Accepted
Updated Church Website Coming Soon


All-Church Garage Sale

Items for sale awaited buyers in the sanctuary.

Beginning Tuesday, May 19, volunteers led by Qhyrrae Michaelieu started receiving, sorting and pricing items for our annual All-Church Garage Sale, which took place from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 23.

Qhyrrae reported that sale receipts totaled $1,696.50.

Among the helpers were Kadie Elmore, Karen Dwyer, Sharon Huntze, Joe Camille, Suzanne Bowles, Maria Oropallo, Meredith Donaldson, Peter Holmes, Barbara Carter, Patty Daus, Lisa Fritsche, Anja Ashton, Janet Groat, Vic Myers, and Gena Scott.

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Sign Up for Summer Lay-Led Worship

With summer right around the corner, it is time to consider signing up to lead a summer service. There is a poster board for sign-up in the Greeting Area with available dates and spaces for you to list your name and your lay-led topic. Feel free to team up with others to lead a summer service if that is more your style.

Also, note that Rev. Molly will be leading a Lay-led Worship Training Workshop for those considering leading services either this summer or in the future. The workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 16, with breakfast provided. Childcare will be available upon request – please request by May 8, 2015. If you are unable to attend the workshop but interested in leading a lay-led service, please see Rev. Molly.

If you have questions about either leading a summer service or attending the training workshop, please email either Rev. Molly or Will Palmer.

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DRE Position Expanded, Re-Advertised

Thanks to our stellar stewardship drive, we have been able to expand our Director of Religious Education position all the way to 35 hours/week year-round, with a commensurate salary and benefits package. We are re-advertising the job with these changes, and we would love your help getting the word out!

If you know of likely candidates, please do send them to our website, where our job listing is front and center as a blue link at the top of the home page. View job listing.

DRE Search Team members are Carol Arnold, Heather Carver, Joe Collins, Adele Dorman, Kadie Elmore, Tracey Milarsky, and Dennis Murphy.

If you have questions or comments about our hiring process, please do be in touch with me at 442-5764 or by email, or contact one of our search team members.

In Faith,
Rev. Molly

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Social Action Team Seeks Faith-to-Action Nominations

Once again the UU Social Action Team is accepting Faith-to-Action Collection recipient nominations for the next church year. Next year's recipients will begin receiving collection awards in September 2015. At least 14, and possibly as many as 18, recipients will be selected for the year and will receive awards by the end of May 2016. The team is accepting nominations immediately and will begin selecting recipients after June 10, 2015. The selection process is expected to be completed in September 2015.

From now to June 10, we encourage and would like to receive recipient nominations from members and friends of the church. Nominations must be made in writing by completing a Faith-to-Action Recipient Nomination Form (WordPDF) and returning it to the church administrator or Wiley Miller, chair of the Social Action Team. It is strongly recommended that nominations be submitted electronically by email to the church administrator. A nomination form is attached to this announcement. However, if you should need additional forms, they can be obtained from the church administrator or Wiley Miller.

Nominees can be local, regional, national, or international programs, agencies, organizations or efforts that exemplify one or more Unitarian Universalist principles. Final selections will be made by the Social Action Team, and the team's decisions will be final. Nominations received after June 10, 2015, may be accepted and considered, but preference will be given to nominations received prior to June 10.

When completing the Nomination Form, please consider the Social Action Team's belief that brevity is as important as the quality and content of responses. Please respond within the space provided on the nomination form, and do not add additional paper. Typewritten and electronically submitted nominations are preferred. However, if providing typed responses is impossible, please print carefully. Near the end of the nomination form, space is provided for any brief additional comments that you believe might be helpful to the understanding and selection of your nominee. Additional comments are not required, but they will be welcomed if you think they might be of use. If you have any additional questions about completing the nomination form, please contact Wiley Miller or any other member of the team.

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Green Sanctuary Team News

The Transportation Group of Green Sanctuary Team has launched “Travel a Different Path,” asking congregants to be mindful of the environmental impact of cars. We want to draw attention to alternative transportation and ride-sharing.

We chose four Sundays to “travel a different path,” two in April and two in May. For April 19, we asked that people park a quarter to half mile away from the church and walk that distance to church. For April 26, we asked that people do the above plus carpool or explore carpooling options with neighbors.

Please join us in May for continued efforts to reduce the number of cars used to travel to church and to reduce parking lot use. For May 3, continue the above, and if your partner needs to be at church earlier or stay later, a quiet place will be provided to work or socialize while you wait. For May 10, continue the above and/or bike, walk, or wheel to church.

The pamphlet “Mindful Journeys” is available in the greeting area. Please pick one up and explore more options for traveling to church. The present average “people to vehicle” ratio is 1.7. As the congregation becomes more mindful of how we travel to church, we can improve that to a ratio of 2! If you have questions or ideas please contact Jan Weaver, Allie Gassmann or Ellen Thomas.

GS would like to partner with Slow Food Katy Trail and Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture in their Harvest of the Month Program that takes place in several of Columbia’s elementary schools. Harvest of the Month brings together farmers, students and teachers. Each time a farmer gives a short presentation, introducing students to local foods and teaching them easy preparation of seasonal produce and products.

We need volunteers to commit two hours once a month for nine months during the 2015-16 academic year to help students pour, stir, and cook, and to stimulate discussion about seasonal vegetables, healthy eating, and the importance of farmers. Please contact Lisa Guillory for more information.

“Down by the Riverside” is May 30-31 at Katfish Katy’s Campground at Huntsdale. The main worship service will be at the campground rather than at the church building. Arrive Saturday evening and bring a dish to share. Come share music and storytelling, and camp overnight if you like, or return in the morning for worship. Coffee, pancakes and sausages will be ready at 9 a.m. Sunday. If you would like to help plan the worship service, or help in any way, contact Peter Holmes.

GS is proposing a church purchasing policy for obtaining cleaning products that are less harmful to the environment. The rough draft of the policy is being reviewed, and recommendations for purchase and lists of products will be given to Church Administrator Kathie Bergmann.

Our next meeting is at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 12. All are welcome.

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Stewardship 2015 - We Outdid Ourselves!

With great joy and pride in our community, the Stewardship Team thanks everyone who pledged and helped make this year's annual stewardship campaign a truly astounding one.

At the outset, we set an ambitious goal of 100% pledging, and we received a record 164 pledges – a stunning 96% of potential pledgers. Wow! Your pledges show that our community truly understands that we are all in this together.

Here are two more amazing facts:

  • Excluding our largest pledge, the average pledge this year was $1,544, an increase of 40% over last year's average of $1,103.

  • We received pledges from a record 33 first-time pledgers.

And a final stunning fact: We not only reached, but surpassed our $260,000 dollar goal to fully fund our needs in the coming church year. Total pledges are now $287,625!

Your generosity will allow us to substantially expand our Religious Education staff position, provide adequate resources for our many wonderful ministries and programs, and make a modest start on rebuilding badly depleted reserve funds needed for unforeseen and emergency expenses.

We hoped for a good result, but with your help, together we all picked up our oars and sailed this campaign right off the map into the kind of abundance we only dreamed about.

Thanks again to everyone!

– In Spirit and Service, Steve Scott, Stewardship Team Chair

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Garden Dreams Become Plans and Move Toward Reality

Plan for front gardens, drawn by Sue Bartelette and colored by Jeanne Murphy.

Energy and excitement have been building among the members of our UUCC Grounds Team. We've been envisioning the church grounds as an embodiment of our heartfelt valuing of the interdependent web of life.

We've been dreaming about the woods of which we are the designated stewards. We've been dreaming about the life-giving water that enters and flows across our land. We've been dreaming about the gardens in front of the building. And as we dream, we have tried to form a vision of what is truly possible.

We've had consultations with foresters, native landscapers, hydrologists, and we've gotten great tips from a professional entomologist. We've spent hours outside tending the plant life and examining the trees and topography. We've spent hours inside thinking about choices facing us concerning the needs of the congregation, the conventional methods our culture uses, and our moral stance in relation to all factors. Our brains have been swimming. But we have organized some of this complexity into a few plans.

Most recently, we've been honing in on the particulars of a plan for how we can improve our front gardens to enhance their life-giving biodiversity, and at the same time enhance their capacity to welcome and encourage the humans who come to this place. At our request, a professional native landscaper has created this plan for transformation of our front gardens. It's a solid plan, backed by knowledge and lengthy experience.

The plan features a great variety of native plants which evolved with our native insects. Milkweeds will provide nurseries where Monarch butterflies can lay eggs. Summer blooming coneflowers will provide nectar just when butterfly populations are expanding in late spring, and later they'll produce nutritious seed for wintering goldfinches. Late blooming asters will attract a lively insect party late into the fall.

The same continuous bloom that keeps the insects and birds interested all through the seasons will also be a delight to our members and visitors as the visual display changes from week to week with every bud, bloom, and fruit appearing in natures proper time. And, consideration has been given to other human needs like maintenance effort. These plants are ones that, when established, will not need us to baby them with spraying, watering, or pruning.

Additionally, their arrangement will serve to welcome us to our beloved place. For example, on the parking lot island, lower plants and additional stepping stones will naturally lead our eye toward the entrance, rather than sending up a symbolic barrier.

The members of the grounds team are really excited about this plan. And, truth is, we wish we could make our dreams come true right now! We did get a rough bid for potentially having this done professionally (anybody have $9,000 handy?) But in reality, the long process of doing this transforming work ourselves step-by-step may be the only way we will manifest our dream. The long process may also be the truest expression of our caring relationships, and of our commitment to stewardship of the interdependent web of all existance of which we are most definitely an integral part.

Knowing that so many in our congregation share a deep connection with the natural world, we want to keep you informed of our plans, and invite you to join us on this journey. I've told you about many hours that our team has devoted to this task, but for myself and I think for the others, it has been a labor of love in respectful community that we find fulfilling and pleasant.

– Carol Arnold, Grounds Team Member

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Naomi Powell Memorial Bench Donations Being Accepted

We are now accepting donations for the Naomi Powell memorial bench in our Memorial Garden.

Naomi was the creator of Access Arts and a stalwart member of UUCC from its beginning. She was an artist and poet who decorated the sanctuary weekly. She lived to be of service to others.

To contribute, write a check to the church with "Powell Memorial Fund" on the memo line. Church Administrator Kathie Bergman will manage the fund.

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Updated church website coming soon

Our current church website, launched in August 2011, is undergoing a complete redesign that will be unveiled in the next couple of months. The updated site will use the Wordpress web publishing platform, which will allow for much greater interactivity.

The existing content will be repackaged in a cleaner, easy-to-navigate format.
Included on the new site will be a minister’s blog, an R.E. news blog and a general news blog, all of which will automatically feed new posts to our public Facebook page.

The Wordpress system will allow multiple people to update the site as needed and enable us to host our own calendar and sign-ups instead of relying on external websites for those functions.

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