Newsletter of the
Volume 11 Issue 8 September 2003
The Connection For information call (407) 737-4018
Newsletter of the UUU Society, Inc Editor:
Or, if you would like to visit our website Derrie Frost- firstname.lastname@example.org
please go to: Publisher and photographer:
http://www.universityuus.org/ Dutton Ashcraft- email@example.com
This is the newsletter of the University Unitarian Universalist Society. If like many
others you are searching for religious alternatives which are intellectually more
appropriate to modern concerns and times, we invite you to come check us out.
We endeavor toward love, understanding, tolerance, acceptance, and honesty to arrive at
a place where religion fits the individual. We invest a significant portion of our budget in
providing infant care and programs for youth.
If you are concerned about modern societal problems and their implications, we
encourage you to join us on Sunday mornings at 10:30 am. at our new building on
McCulloch Rd. 1/2 mile west of Alafaya Trail.
UUUS SUNDAY SERVICES
Roy & Judy Scherer and the 'Hystorical Players'
"The Grand Union"
What would happen if we could magically time-transport Ben Franklin, Abraham
Lincoln, Queen Elizabeth I, and Attila the Hun to a "Grand Union" in our own
Fellowship Hall? Come hide and watch or boldly participate in the fun.
September 14 POTLUCK SUNDAY
Howard Simon, Executive Director of ACLU Florida
"Privacy and the Patriot Act: Liberties in a Time of Fear"
In the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, homeland security has
become the nation's highest priority. But must we sacrifice our constitutional
commitments to freedom to feel safe?
"Escape from Apartheid"
Nomalanga will discuss her life experiences as a South African including her
struggle to escape her impoverished country to participate in the unlimited
opportunities often taken for granted by citizens of the United States.
Dr. Casey Blood
"Science, Sense, & Soul: The Mystical-Physical Nature of Human
Are science and spirituality incompatible? A Professor Emeritus of Physics from
Rutgers University examines this question from the perspective of both scientist
and mystic concluding that they are not only Compatible, but support and
enhance each other in explaining human existence.
I am very excited about all that is happening! The Covenant Groups are
starting, we are enhancing our advertising and web site, and we will be
hosting a Women's Retreat in September. Please get involved!
Allison Taylor would have loved the Retreat! Here she is with Forrest and Jack
at the new address,
2905 Hunter’s Creek Place,
Plano, TX 75075. She would love to hear from old friends.
UUUS Quarterly Meeting
August 17, 2003
New president Lisa Ruckman expressed her excitement about the new year and
the new board. Current board activities are investigating the use of higher caliber
program presenters, and of advertising to attract potential members. She
announced the formation of Covenant Groups and their importance as
opportunities for more personal involvement.
Trustee Lisa Potchen discussed the Board Retreat held in July. She said it had
been a great opportunity for people to get to know each other, share ideas and
histories, and talk about ways to help the church reach its goals.
Steve Helle presented his idea for a possible church project in the near future, a
Study Action Item (SAI) from this year’s General Assembly. Criminal justice
system and prison reform will be the topic for a series of forums to which the
public would be invited. The plan is to invite two prominent, relevant speakers at
each of four gatherings, with opportunity for questions and answers at the end of
each program. Steve said he hopes Dorothy Warmke’s Social Justice
Committee will be at the center of this project
AUGUST BOARD MEETING HAS FULL PLATE
Highlights: Treasurer Jack Weststrate reported church budgetary matters are
now completely transferred to our new software program, and the accounting
balances ―to the penny.‖ The Board thanked Jack for his hard work in getting this
Public Relations Chair Derrie Frost discussed her ideas for attracting more
people to weekly services. The Board indicated that they would find money in the
budget for specific advertising in the UCF campus newspaper.
Steve Helle, visiting committee chair of the Denominational affairs Committee,
discussed the workings of his committee. He also brought up his idea for a series
of special programs on the criminal justice system and prison reform. The board
appeared to be supportive of his ideas.
The Board’s meeting time has changed from second Tuesday to second
Wednesday of the month, 7 P.M. and interested members are as usual invited to
Mike Campbell, Board Secretary
After a summer of free-form children's classes exploring topics from chess to
cartooning (thank you, volunteer teachers!), religious education classes gear up
again on Sept. 7. Classes are held from 9:30-10:30 a.m., after which children join
adults for the first part of the 10:30 service.
This year's theme is UU identity and traditions.
Treasure Hunting will engage ages 3 to 7 in exploring the importance of each
person, the power of feelings, the joy of friendship, the excitement of the search
for truth, and the harmony of nature.
We believe will involve children grades 2-5 in learning and living our Unitarian
Universalist Principles through stories, discussions, activities, and worship
Traditions With a Wink is intended to give middle schoolers a clear
understanding of their UU faith and how it fits into the larger religious world.
Lessons involve games, movement, and fun.
Adult R.E.: A series on Ralph Waldo Emerson is underway, led by Dorothy
Aug. 31 - Is Emerson still controversial?
Sept. 7 - What is Self-reliance?
Sept. 14 - What About Community and Social Action?
Sept. 21 - What Role Does Nature Play in Emerson's Religion and Our Own?
Sept. 28 - What are Emerson's Ideas About God, and What Are Our Own?
Julie Barrett and Diane Burns
SOMETHING NEW FOR YOU
Are you a ―Cultural Creative?‖ Sociologist Paul H. Ray says there are about 50
million people in this country who are idealistic, altruistic and religiously more
liberal than other Americans. They share distinctive values such as ecological
sustainability, women’s issues, self-actualization, spirituality and social
conscience, to name just a few topics. Yet, they consider themselves to be alone
in the world because our media does not reflect their values and attitudes. Does
this strike a cord in your life?
If you are looking for a sense of community and would like to share personal
communication within a group where you can listen and talk in a truly open, safe
environment, without reservations, about your values and your inner work, UUUS
invites you to be part of a new experience. Our Covenant Groups are meeting for
the first time this month on Sunday September 14th and Thursday the 18th and
will continue on a monthly basis. The Sunday daytime group will start after the
Potluck at 1:00 and the evening group on Thursday will be at 7:30.
The Covenant Group Steering Committee invites UUUS members and friends to
participate in one of these two sessions to share the experience with the group
before you decide it is not for you. Author Robert Hill, who is a UU District
Executive in the Southwestern Conference, has written a book about Covenant
Groups. In ―Saving the World Ten At A Time,‖ he states that the defining purpose
of a Covenant Group is to bring people into right relationship with each other and
with the larger world. If any part of this has piqued your interest and you think the
small group experience would be beneficial in your life, we invite you to join with
us in this exciting journey.
Registration forms are on the table. Call for more information and if you have
special needs, such as transportation: Kathy Anderson, Mike Campbell or
NOW we know who we are! Well over one third of an estimated 110 members
and friends returned their Who Are We, Really surveys, which poked
shamelessly into personal facts and feelings, some responding with real relish,
all with good humor! Be proud of ourselves: direct mail agencies puff with pride if
they get a less than 2% return.
Here’s what we found out, without being redundant about things we already
know, like how smart we are. As you might have guessed, most of us are eligible
for AARP: 16 of the 43 respondents are over 70, 19 are between 50 and 70, and
7 are somewhere between 25 and 49.
Asked about our religious roots, and allowed to check more than one, half of us
think of ourselves as Humanists, followed closely by Agnostics. Only 12 of us
checked Atheist, 3 had always been Unitarian, and one daring soul eschewed all
other choices and opted for Environmentalist only. Two of us embraced
everything on the list! Interestingly enough, 7 think of ourselves as Christians.
Now for the juicy stuff. Asked to declare for a minister or a lay-led congregation,
6 would like a minister, and 2 think they’d like a part-time minister.
Overwhelmingly, 21, respondents prefer to be lay-led, although there are a
couple of qualifiers, i.e. ―depends on speakers!‖
A significant number (18) also felt the church membership needs to grow. Most of
these envision a cast of 200 with 150 a close second.
Does the word ―God‖ make us feel uncomfortable? 18 reported feeling very or
somewhat uncomfortable, while 17 feel at ease with this familiar term and to 6,
the word means a comforting spiritual presence.
Questions about the meaning of the word ―spiritual‖ elicited many vague
references, but one is able to imagine from much that was said that a spiritual
service might involve flowers, poetry, art, music, dance.
On October 12 we’ll be doing a program on Who Are We, Really? and can
enhance, clarify and maybe nail down some of our opinions then, as well as give
those who weren’t able to participate a chance to express themselves!
Circle Suppers Under New Management! Vivacious redhead Janet
March is not only the newly named First Saturday Suppers Super-Hostess, she’s
throwing the first party! Sign up
TODAY at the Greeter’s Table and check her instructions, or call her at 407 977
0817, e-mail Jmarch@cfl.rr.com.
Check with Clark Slayman. He matches rides to people needing them at 407
Book Discussion Club
Saturday, September 27 at 9:00 AM
“Toxic Sludge Is Good for You!: Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations
Industry”, by John C. Stauber and Sheldon Rampton.
In this chilling analysis of Public Relations as the big, bad $10 billion business of image
manipulation, the authors quote a company spokesman’s sanitized explanation of the
1975 Three-Mile Island nuclear accident. A spark in the accumulated hydrogen bubble
could result in a ―spontaneous energetic disassembly.‖
The new euphemism for sewage sludge, ―biosolids,‖ tries to convince us that municipal
sludge, replete with an astounding array of toxic substances, is good for farm soil. Under
the banner of the organization Business for Social Responsibility, Ben & Jerry’s and the
Body Shop are keeping company with ―some of the most environmentally destructive
corporations on the planet,‖ and giant advertising agencies are selling national policies,
as Hill and Knowlton did in selling the Gulf War to the American public.
Up for discussion: Much of the consumer and political world is created by for-hire
mouthpieces in expensive neckties. Although most large news organizations at least
rewrite PR materials, many smaller markets "rip and read" pre-packaged video news
releases. How do we detect ―the spin?‖
LUNCH BUNCH TO MEET AGAIN!
Eileen and Wilmer Aist will be back behind the sandwich board at the Logo
Vista Clubhouse Wed., Sep. 10 at high noon. For a $2 donation you’ll get
delicious deli and the inside scoop from speaker Roy Scherer: ―Everything You
Ever Wanted to Know about Medicare but Were Afraid to Ask!‖ Questions? Call
407 628 3938.
Kat Fieler is doing online business now as PriceOfMeds.com, catering mostly to
senior citizens and offering ―brand name non-schedule medications at discount
prices.‖ She’s trying to keep the overhead low, so if you’re making a friendship
call and get a business message, don’t hang up!
There was a Richard Cohen sighting last Sunday; just checking on business,
not yet ready to come back from Cape Cod…
Gary Przyborski, our new WebMaster, has been huddling with Al Veilleux to
make the transition to new management almost seamless, and reports nothing
but admiration for Al's past leadership and expertise despite debilitating illness.
Some updates are already in effect--look for more and more at
NEW MEMBER Gary Przyborski (pronounced priz – bor –ski ) is tall, fit, and with
some memory pattern of George Hamilton’s tan good looks. From the day Cathy Parry
first brought him round he’s been launching opinions and fitting in easily amongst the
regularly opinionated. (You probably thought, ―he’s got to be a Unitarian.‖
The second thing you must have noticed was that he introduces himself as Cathy
Parry’s boyfriend, demonstrating up front a strong sense of identification and
commitment refreshingly unusual among wary males. I remember thinking how
delightfully straightforward, and so wasn’t at all surprised, and tremendously pleased
when, after a couple of months of visiting Gary suddenly asked: ―What do you have to do
to become a member around here?‖ Or that he jumped at a big job—taking over our web
site. Or that he has big ideas for expanding it.
When I asked him to send me a brief bio, this is what he said: ―Besides being Kathy
Parry’s boyfriend, I’m 46 and have a daughter Rachel attending USF in architecture
school. I work as an electrical engineer for Alcon, in the research park, working on their
LADARWave system. I read, write, and do photography (none of the above as frequently
as I would like to). I’m currently involved in the 20/20 half-marathon run coming up in
January at Disney World. I’ll tell you more later‖. Do you doubt that he will?