Home Weekly Update, July 3

Weekly Update, July 3

Weekly Update, July 3

NEW E-BLAST DEADLINE: Now Tuesday at 3:00 p.m.

Minister’s Message

From Rev. Sam

It is July and I am reminded of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s address to the graduating class of Harvard Divinity School on July 15, 1838—

In this refulgent summer, it has been a luxury to draw the breath of life. The grass grows, the buds burst, the meadow is spotted with fire and gold in the tint of flowers.

I daresay Florida is balmier than that Sunday evening in New England. Still, the earth caresses us in this season of warmth and sun.  We, indeed, draw the breath of life.

However, not all of us breathe so easily these days, either from the Covid virus affecting so many or from those whose life was suffocated from them by the weight of systemic racism.  Part of our mission as church, perhaps, is to create a space where all (all!) breathe freely and easily, and to do our part in creating a world so just.  May it be so.

I want to update you on some leadership changes in the congregation:

  • We’re thrilled that Max Beck is working with us as Media Ministries Consultant beginning July 1. This part-time consulting position continues Max’s previous volunteer work in professionally producing our Sunday worship videos and to help prepare us for vibrant media ministry in the future beyond these days of distancing.
  • Two lay leaders have left their positions having done excellent work in past years.  Website editor Carolina Lofgren leaves that position after tending so carefully with our church website. Jeter Walker is taking up that baton on managing the content and look of the website. Karla Kizzort has turned the Weekly Update over to Gaby after several years of carefully tending that digital publication.  Thanks to both leaders leaving behind good project stewardship and passing it along to two most capable leaders.

This July, I am on vacation at home in Texas. You’ll see me here and there in worship in July, though the virtual pulpit will be nobly occupied by an exciting array of presenters. If you have serious pastoral care issues, contact Patty Reynolds (Lay Pastoral Care Associates), Linda Piantieri (Caring Circle), or Mary Dipboye (Board of Trustees President).  They will contact me in case of pastoral emergencies.


Rev. Sam

This Sunday, July 5

Worship — 10:30 a.m. online via Zoom and Facebook Live

A Congregation for All Users, Rev. Kierstin Homblette Allen, Sarah Gray, Aubrey Connelly-Candelario

Unitarian Universalism promotes a message of welcome for all people. What does it look like for our congregation to tangibly live out this welcome, in the day to day? We’ll explore the concept of radical welcome and what our values call us to be and do together.

Service streamed at 10:30 am: Click here for the Facebook page of First Unitarian Church of Orlando or Click here for ZoomVideo on demand at https://www.orlandouu.org

After Worship

Informal Fellowship — 11:30 a.m., Zoom

Join us for fellowship fun!

Link: https://uuma.zoom.us/j/92261786137
Password:  189674

Welcome Center for Newcomers — 11:30 a.m., Zoom

Are you new? Would you like to learn more about our congregation? Join us to learn more and ask any questions you may have!

Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87592586779?pwd=QW11eTVmTXhVR2xYZGlaZklZcmRaUT09 

Meeting ID: 875 9258 6779
Password:   1U

If you would like to sign up to be on our mailing list, please fill out this form

Sanctuary Update — 11:30 a.m., Zoom

Join us to hear the latest update on the Sanctuary renovation, an option for all-inclusive bathrooms, the possible effect on other items on the contingency list, and what we know about possible financing. Additional dates listed in “This Week.”

Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88644328743?pwd=dmlVRTdHUGdDdTNZQzl6cWMyeG1Tdz09
Password:  930796

Wrestling with Our Understanding of Racism — 11:30 a.m., Zoom

We will be meeting again this Sunday at 11:30 a.m. How have you changed? And how are you changing?  Sharing thoughts and feelings from recent weeks and reactions to this article.

Join our Zoom Discussion: https://tinyurl.com/July5racism

Mystic Grove Monthly Meeting — 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., Zoom

The Mystic Grove is 1U’s pagan affinity group. Everyone is welcome to attend the 1st Sunday Monthly Meetting. Here we discuss how the past ritual went, plan for next ritual, classes, craft circles, and more. Short fellowship time to follow – BYO snack to your computer screen!  Email mysticgrove@orlandouu.org for connection details no later than 12 hours before the event.

First Sunday Fellowship — 5:30 p.m., Zoom

July 5 is the first Sunday of the month, and instead of going out to dinner together as we did pre-covid 19, 1U members and friends will be having “Zoom social gatherings” at 5:30 p.m. These gatherings are opportunities to meet new people and deepen existing relationships. Anyone is welcome to attend any group, and attending different groups helps you to get to know more folks in the congregation! We have hosts who maintain email invitation lists for each area. If you’re interested in being added to an area invitation list, in hosting a new area group, or in getting more information, contact Marty at Fellowship@orlandouu.org.

Children & Youth Religious Education

Welcome to week three of our at-home summer RE program for families! Check the websiteprivate RE facebook group, and RE weekly update to access activities. Family Connection & Support group (all ages) on Wednesday, July 8 at 3 p.m. and our Virtual Playdate (preschool/early childhood) on Friday, July 10 at 12 p.m.   If you would like a set of supplies for your family or to RSVP to fellowship events, respond here or contact Sarah at REcoordinator@orlandouu.org.

This Week

Wednesday – July 8 

WUURL “Tea at Ten” Gatherings — 10:00 a.m., via Zoom

WUURL (Women UUs Relishing Life) gathers for weekly “Tea at Ten” chats on all Wednesdays of the month, except the 4th one. (4th Wednesday WUURL gatherings happen at 11:30am). Want to participate but not yet on the WUURL list? Contact wuurl@orlandouu.org for information, and to access current Zoom links.

Family Connection & Support Group — 3:00 p.m., Online via Zoom

Parents, kids and youth welcome. Bring an art project to show everyone and stay to enjoy some virtual drawing games! Zoom information can be found here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/642808627.

Online Drop-In Covenant Group — 7:00-8:30 pm, via Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/5812270111

Needing extra support or connection, or an opportunity to explore spiritual thoughts? Join this special Zoom Drop-In Covenant group. You do not need to be currently in a covenant group. Anyone is welcome to join us.

Additional Sanctuary Update Meeting Opportunities on  Wed. July 8 at 8:00 p.m.,   Fri July 10 at 2:30 p.m. &  Sun July 12 at 11:30 a.m.

Sanctuary Update — via Zoom

During the Annual Congregational Meeting the idea of using the opportunity of the Sanctuary Renovation to create all-user bathrooms was suggested. The Board took this idea seriously and created a Task Force to evaluate this suggestion. At this Sunday’s service, Rev Kierstin will touch on the theology of this approach.  Now it is time to share what we have learned and hear your thoughts and reactions, links to the Zoom meetings is listed below (the same link will work during the times listed above). Meetings will include a general update on the renovation, an option for all-inclusive bathrooms, the possible effect on other items on the contingency list, and what we know about possible financing. Join us for one of the discussions.

Meeting Link

Meeting ID: 857 8254 5705

Tai Chi Gathers on  Sat. July 4,   Tues July 7 &  Thurs July 9

Tai Chi — 9:00 a.m., Wadeview Park

Tai Chi for Health resumes its Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday schedule at Wadeview Park, 2177 S. Summerlin Ave., just south of Kaley near Boone High School. Social distancing is maintained and masks are required. If you need gentle exercise, join us. For information, email taichi@orlandouu.org.

Friday– July 17

Virtual Bonfire Party — 7:00 p.m., Zoom

Gather around the “virtual bonfire” with your device to share your jokes, poems, stories, songs, and more! This fellowship event is almost like a “bardic circle lite.” Email mysticgrove@orlandouu.org to register, no later than 24 hours in advance for Zoom connection details to be sent to you on the day. Your turn is 5-7 min long and you may perform. pass, or you can request a performance from someone else in the circle with the understanding that they might decline.

Our Compassionate Community 

Your Care Teams

Lay Pastoral Associates provide buddy relationships of deep listening and care to be a companion with you through difficult times. Contact PastoralAssociates@OrlandoUU.org.  The Caring Circle offers practical help with rides to medical appointments, help with meals, pet care, etc. Dayle Steakley is the July contact, reachable at CaringCircle@OrlandoUU.org.

Hurricane Season is here! Contact your hurricane partner now and make plans! No hurricane partner? Caring Circle can help you get one. Email CaringCircle@OrlandoUU.org.

Joys and Concerns

To share your joys or concerns please send an email to joysandconcerns@orlandouu.org

We join with so many others these days who are witnessing to heal racism and dismantle white supremacy in our nation.

We continue to remember those suffering from Covid-19, both from the illness itself and from the consequences of it in our communities.

But Wait, There’s More!

Free Sweet Potatoes in the 1U Garden

In September, we’ll harvest sweet potatoes in the 1U Garden and divvy them up to anyone in the congregation who wants them, but if you want some now, bring a pitchfork or shovel and help yoursel! Many are poking their heads out of the ground and are ready. Once you dig them, let them sit for 60 days in a cool, dry place. That’s so they’ll sweeten. Most of our sweet potato vines are in the perma-garden, north of the walkway, behind the peach tree and in front of the pineapples.  Questions? Contact Rene Stutzman.

Want to Support Frontline Social Justice Leaders?

Some trusted leaders and friends of mine are connecting Black, Indigenous and People of Color organizers to money and vacation homes this summer. If you have a vacation home, car, camping gear, and/or extra funds available, pledge here: bit.ly/vacation-offering. To nominate a person or organization that could benefit from access to these things, see bit.ly/mutual-aid-vacay. Matchmaking began July 1 so please fill out and share now. Sustainability in social movements requires rest, time for spiritual practice, arts and processing, and sharing of resources. If you’re not sure what your role is right now, maybe it’s this!

—Rev. Kierstin

Looking to Volunteer During the General Election?

We are seeking volunteers to fill roles for the upcoming elections on November 3. Once again we are joining the Supervisor of Elections Office Adopt-A-Precinct Program to serve our community and raise funds for the church. To volunteer on election day, you must be registered to vote in Orange County, FL, attend a training class, and be at your assigned polling place by 6:00 a.m. on Election Day. If interested, email Gaby at programassistant1u@gmail.com.

Vote From Home! 

If you would prefer to vote my mail due to concerns about Covid-19, The League of Women Voters of Orange County (LWVOC), a grassroots, non-partisan organization, is recommending online voter registration and requesting a Vote-By-Mail Ballot (VBM) now. Early voting and voting on election day are still options, but Vote-By-Mail provides and ensures a convenient, and safe path to ensure everyone’s voice will be heard. Click the link for more information on voting options: League of Women Voters Voting Guide.

Curious about UU Wellspring?

Watch this video from 1U members and others about UU Wellspring, a year-long spiritual deepening program beginning in August. Online retreat is required on August 8 from 1:00-5:00 p.m. Sign up for the Tuesday afternoon 2:00-4:00 p.m. group or the Thursday evening group 8:00-10:00 p.m. group. Tuesday is led by John Hartgering and Beverly Alig; Thursday is led by Rev. Kierstin Homblette Allen. Contact Linnea Nelson with questions or Gaby to sign up. Spaces are still available in both sessions and we hope to finalize groups this month.

Volunteer at Second Harvest Food Bank

Are you available to help volunteer packing and sorting at Second Harvest Food Bank Sat. Aug 1 from 1-4 pm? If you are, please register at http://1uandmeetup.shfbcf.volunteerhub.com. A short training will be provided.  Masks must be worn as well as closed toed shoes.

Share-the-Plate Schedule 

Thank you so much to everyone for you patience as we altered our original Share the Plate schedule to accommodate the changing landscape amidst Covid-19. We will be resuming the original schedule with Bridge the Gap Coalition in July, LGBTQ History Month in August, and the Adult Literacy League in September. We are also calling for nominations for the upcoming year 2020-2021. Have an organization you’d like to nominate? Fill out the form HERE.

Orlando Solar Co-op Opens to All Orange County Homeowners

1U partners with the City of Orlando to offer homeowners a pathway to access affordable solar photovoltaic arrays for their homes. Orlando Solar Co-op 2020 is now open to all homeowners throughout Orange County. Since 2015, when 1U helped to launch the first solar co-ops in Florida, more than 20 1U families (1,600 families statewide) have installed solar on their homes through the co-ops. For more information, visit solarunitedneighbors.org/orlando. Contact Mary Dipboye or Michael Cohen to learn more.

Sharing news by text, blog, facebook?  Add one more share:

Many of you are signed up for the 1U googlegroup and if you are, consider sharing justice information, meetings on line,  links of importance –by sending an email to 1UJustice@googlegroups.com. Not signed up?  Email Social Justice: socialjustice@orlandouu.org to sign up for the 1Ujustice googlegroups email list. We only need your first name and your email address.

Your Gifts Support Our Many Ministries

How to give:

1U Website – Use the Donate button on the upper right-hand section of the home page and follow the directions.

Text – Send a text to 407-456-7082 with the amount you’d like to contribute. Make sure to include the dollar sign before the amount (for example: $50). NOTE: Do not place a space between the dollar sign and the dollar amount. Within a few minutes, you’ll be sent a text with a link to register. Click on the link. Enter your cardholder name, and credit or debit card information. You will receive a text verification and a receipt via email. For future giving, send a text with the amount you are giving and it will process automatically. For donating to Share the Plate, use the texting code: sharedplate


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First Unitarian Church of Orlando

Phone: 407-898-3621

Email: webmaster@OrlandoUU.org

Website: https://www.orlandouu.org

Transition Minister: Rev. Samuel Schaal

Email: RevSam@OrlandoUU.org

Affiliate Minister: Rev. Kierstin Homblette Allen

Email: RevKierstin@OrlandoUU.org