Current News

On this page:

Introducing Your DRE Search Team
Green Sanctuary Team News
Updated Church Website Coming Soon
Second Annual Honduras Trivia Night a Great Success
Columbia CROP Hunger Walk Receives Columbia Values Diversity Award
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee Contributions
UUCC Staffing "Room at the Inn" March 1-7
Strategic Planning: A Guide for Our Future
UUCC Grounds Team Vision
Take a Walk to the Park - Easy Access Created
UUCC Once Again a Top-Level Supporter of Diversity Breakfast

Introducing Your DRE Search Team

As we prepare for the summer retirement of Lisa Fritsche, our beloved Director of Religious Education (DRE), we have been working hard on transition planning. Your R.E. Team and I have spent the fall gathering input and doing our own discernment regarding the future of our program. Here are some of the priorities that have emerged:

  • Expand the DRE position as much as is possible at this time – from 25 hours/week 10 months of the year to 35 hours/week from September to May and 10 hours/week from June to August.

  • Add to the position oversight and support for our high school age youth program and seek a candidate who enjoys working with teens and understands our philosophy of youth leadership development and youth- led curricula.

  • Emphasize our growing focus on multi-generational community building, including multi-generational worship, multi-generational fellowship, and support to families raising UU kids.

  • Emphasize our mission of radical welcome and our desire to become increasingly accessible to individuals of all ages, abilities, learning needs, and experiences.

  • Seek a candidate conversant in varying curricula and pedagogies to this end.

We have now gathered a Search Team that will partner with me in a search process for our new Director of Religious Education. We will be advertising the position nationally and regionally, and we are also very open to local candidates. By March 1, we plan to have the position posted and to be accepting applicants.

Members of your DRE Search Team are: Carol Arnold, Heather Carver, Joe Collins, Adele Dorman (youth member), Kadie Elmore (youth member), Tracey Milarsky, and Dennis Murphy.

Please do not hesitate to be in touch with me or one of our search team members if you have questions or comments about our hiring process!

In Faith,
Rev. Molly

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Green Sanctuary Team News

Plastics Recycling

Because the City of Columbia now takes all types of plastics for recycling, the GS Team has discontinued its plastic recycling project. Those individuals living in the Columbia city limits should use curbside recycling at their home. However, if you live outside the city limits and would like to recycle, please contact one of the following by email about delivering your recyclables to the church: Patty Daus or Vic Myers.

Lay-Led Worship Service

The GS Lay-Led Service is Sunday, March 15. Please join us for a service celebrating spring. GS plans to sell enthusiasm-building T-shirts either on March 15 or the following Sunday. Watch for a table in the greeting area to place your order and to check out the T-shirts on display.

Vegetarian Cooking Class

Another vegetarian cooking class will be offered in late March. The cost of the class is $5/person to defray costs for ingredients. If interested please contact Lisa Guillory by email regarding what nights are convenient, and a date will be announced later.

Transportation Project

Surveys are underway to determine vehicle use for church activities, and a plan will be presented this year for alternate transportation. If interested in serving on the GS project group for transportation and ethical use of vehicles, please email Allie GassmannJan Weaver or Ellen Thomas.

Harvest Supper

Harvest Supper is in the fall, and that seems far from now, but it takes lots of planning to feed 100 people! The GS team is seeking two people to co-chair the Harvest Supper planning group. Contact Lisa Guillory if you like to cook and have fresh ideas about how to convey the importance of eating local food.

Earth Day

Columbia Area Earth Day Festival is Sunday, April 19. In March you’ll be sent a link for SignUpGenius so we can begin organizing volunteers, but it’s important to mark the date on your calendars now so you’ll "save the date."

Green Sanctuary Accreditation

The GS Team continues planning for submitting an application for Green Sanctuary Accreditation, but the challenges are great. We are investigating partnerships and projects with Missouri Rural Crisis Center, Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture, School Garden Projects (CCUA), and Harvest of the Month Program (Slow Food Katy Trail). We welcome any and all ideas for how to partner with local organizations to live the value of ethical food production and consumption, and to aid communities and neighborhoods harmed by current practices. Please contact a GS member to get involved.

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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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Second Annual Honduras Trivia Night a Great Success

The second annual trivia night put on by the Honduras Covenant Group on Jan. 24 was attended by more than 100 people. The evening included a chili contest, a silent auction, fair trade sewing cooperative items for sale, and a bar. The winning table won tickets to the Ragtag Cinema donated by Tracy Lane. Joelle Quoirin, the chili contest winner, won an apron.

The trivia night raised $3,600! Most of this money and the money raised through the Faith-to-Action collection in October will be contributed to the health clinic in El Pital, the microfinance organization Adelante and the Juan Pablo Segundo Fair Trade Sewing Cooperative and Community Center. Also, the church general fund will receive $500.

More details are to come in the April newsletter on how the money is being spent and on plans for the next Honduras trip. The group will keep you posted!

In the meantime, thank you to everyone who came to the trivia night and made it such a fun and successful event. Thank you to all who donated and bought silent auction items. Thank you for everyone’s generosity. And thank you to all who weren’t able to make it but still donated and to the whole church for your enthusiasm and interest.

– Allie Gassmann, Social Action Team

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Columbia CROP Hunger Walk Receives Columbia Values Diversity Award

The Columbia CROP Hunger Walk and 5K Run was honored as the 2015 Columbia Values Diversity Award Winner - Group Division at the annual Columbia Diversity Celebration on Thursday, Jan. 15.

Our CROP Hunger WALK and 5K Run includes people from faith traditions across our community – Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Baha’i and others. We may walk in different circles throughout the year, but we come together at the WALK/5K Run to raise funds to fight hunger and help meet the needs of people here at home and around the world.
Local and online donations from our September WALK & 5K Run totaled $14,062.05.
Local funds (25% of the total, or $3,515.00) are now being put to work through:

  • Loaves & Fishes Soup Kitchen

  • Russell Chapel CME Community Food Pantry

  • The Latter House Kingdom Ministries Food Pantry

  • Fifth Street Christian Church’s Feed the Community program

Global funds (75% of the total) help support the ecumenical ministry of Church World Service which works with partners around the world – including the United States – to eradicate hunger and poverty by providing sustainable self-help and development, disaster relief, and refugee assistance. Our world needs compassionate care and development more than ever.
The generous support of our community is greatly appreciated! Watch for ways you can participate in this project in fall 2015.

– UUCC CROP Walk Organizer Allie Gassmann, Social Action Team

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Unitarian Universalist Service Committee Contributions

Our church contributed $725 to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) via the Faith-to-Action collection held on Dec. 21.

Also, the “instant” Guest-at-Your-Table collection at the Jan. 4 potluck brought $585 in individual membership contributions to UUSC. Other people contributed independently to "Guest."

Thanks to everyone who helps UUSC carry out its mission in our name.

What is UUSC’s mission? To find out, visit

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UUCC Staffing "Room at the Inn" March 1-7, 2015

For the second year in a row, UUCC is participating in the interfaith "Room at the Inn" homeless shelter. Last year we hosted the shelter in December.

This year our Social Action Team agreed to recruit volunteers from our church to staff the shelter for two weeks. Our first week staffing the shelter was the week of Christmas. The second week will be March 1-7.

The Social Action Team is now seeking volunteers from among our members and friends to staff the shelter March 1-7. Please sign up at SignUpGenius.

Shelter volunteers must attend required training if they have not done so previously. The next training session will be held at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 16 at First Baptist Church, 1112 E. Broadway.

More information about Room at the Inn.

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Strategic Planning: A Guide for Our Future

The Strategic Planning team has assembled the ideas and concepts derived from last fall’s cottage meetings, and we are finding some major and minor themes running through the list. We appreciate all the people who came out to tell us what they want UUCC to be like in the near and far future.

Some concrete ideas:

  • Two Sunday worship services

  • Open a downtown location

  • Develop a ministry on campus for students

  • Build a community garden on our property

  • Reconstruct the deck

  • Live-stream our services

Your thoughts?

If you were unable to attend a cottage meeting and you want your voice to be heard, consider participating in new meetings being developed around a common time and place of interested people. We would like these meetings to take place in groups, not one-to-one. We have found that ideas and questions are best reviewed with others who share our goal of designing what UUCC will be like in 5-10-20 years.

If you would like to add your voice, please contact Mary Denson at 573-823-3757 or by email to participate in a meeting.

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UUCC Grounds Team Vision

Imagine our Unitarian Universalist Church set in a woodland garden that feels peaceful, welcoming, and fascinating. Where you feel at home and want to spend time exploring or just sitting and connecting with the vibrant life around you. Where you can take a walk along winding footpaths and discover little nooks and dells where somebody has placed a sculpture or built a stone cairn. Where you can sit in the shade and watch insects going about their busy lives, listen to the birds singing, and have a relaxed talk with friends. Imagine a wild, safe, playground for your children where they can explore and discover and learn to feel at home in nature.

This is what I want to create at UUCC. I want to make the gardens and woodlands attractive and accessible members of all ages so that the grounds become a natural extension of our church and of our worship. So that our worship and celebration is not confined to a building but expanded to include the rich resources of the wilderness that surrounds it. I want to create a beautiful and soulful woodland garden that will be an inspiration to everybody who visits it.

The Grounds Team meets every second Saturday of the month at 9 a.m.

– Peter Holmes, Team Leader

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Take a Walk to the Park – Easy Access Created

Shepard Boulevard Park Playground

Members of the UUCC Grounds Team recently created easy access for our kids and parents to Shepard Boulevard Park, which is just east of our church’s grounds.

A new sign near our church playground will direct you through the rail fence and into the park. The trees along the newly-opened fence have been trimmed to provide a line of sight from the church grounds to the city park and playground.

We encourage our church families to take advantage of this welcoming and well-maintained public playground – it’s right next door!

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UUCC Once Again a Top-Level Supporter of Diversity Breakfast

For the third year in a row, UUCC was a top-level "Champion of Diversity" sponsor of the Columbia Values Diversity Breakfast – and the only church at that level of sponsorship. Thanks to the Social Action Team for organizing our participation in the annual event.

The well-attended breakfast was held in the Expo Hall at the Holiday Inn Executive Center on Thursday morning, Jan. 15. The featured presentation was a multi-media artistic performance, "Unending Harmonies: The Life and Music of John William "Blind" Boone," by Mary Barile.

UUCC representatives filled two tables, pictured below.

At one table, clockwise from left, were Desi Long, Andrew Twaddle, Sarah Wolcott-
Twaddle, Joan Mudrick, Steve Mudrick, Jack Clark, Rosetta Miller and Wiley Miller.

At the other table, clockwise from left, were Jeremy Milarsky, Marg Tyler, Gena Scott,
Steve Scott, Rev. Molly Housh Gordon, Ene-Kaja Chippendale and and Michael Chippendale.

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