Event Calendar



* 10:00 and 11:30 a.m. "The Nicest Gifts You Ever Received," sermon by Rev. Roger Fritts
We give that which is alive in us: our joy, our interest, our understanding, our humor, our sadness. We receive that which is alive in others: their happiness, their excitement, their knowledge, their laughter, their pain.

* 10:00 and 11:30 a.m. Music: Bharat Chandra, Clarinet; Don Bryn, Piano

Bharat Chandra has served as Principal Clarinet of the Sarasota Orchestra since 2001. He also serves as Principal Clarinet of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, directed by Marin Alsop, and the Nordic Symphony Orchestra, directed by Anu Tali. Bharat is founder and president of the non-profit organization, KAETA (Kids And Elders Through Arts), and lives with his wife and two daughters in Sarasota.

* 10:15 a.m. Forum: "Diversity Sampler"

What does diversity mean to you? How would you describe yourself in terms of acceptance towards diversity? Professor Jody McBrien, a member of our church and the new Co-coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion at the University of South Florida Sarasota–Manatee, will engage us in these questions and the importance of understanding diversity and ourselves. It will be a taste of the 8-week series on Diversity to be offered at our church in February-March, sponsored by the Social Justice Committee. Presenter, Dr. Jody McBrien, Moderator, Fred Sirasky.

* 11:30 a.m. TED Talk Talk: We're building a dystopia just to make people click on ads

We're building an artificial intelligence powered dystopia, one click at a time, says techno-sociologist Zeynep Tufekci. Complex mathematical algorithms are increasingly used to make consequential decisions about us, and many of these decisions are subjective and have no right answer. In this eye-opening talk, she explains what algorithms are, how companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon use them to get you to click on ads, and how they are also used to organize your access to political and social information. And the machines aren't the real threat. We need to recognize just how the powerful might use AI to control us -- and what we can do in response.

Unitarian Universalists of Lakewood Ranch

* 10:00 a.m. "Say Your Truths and Seek Them in Others," video presentation by Elizabeth Lesser

Elizabeth Lesser describes the healing process of putting aside pride and defensiveness to make way for soul-baring and truth-telling.  This lyrical, unexpectedly funny talk deals with the serious themes of frayed relationships and the death of a loved one.  Elizabeth shares her belief that "you don't have to wait for a life-or-death situation to clean up the relationships that matter to you. Be like a new kind of first responder ... the one to take the first courageous step toward the other." 

* 10:00 a.m. Music:  Eleanor Lvov, concert pianist


* Nursery:  Loving care for infants and toddlers is available during the 10:00 a.m. and the 11:30 a.m. Service.
* RE Classes:  A religious education program is available for children & youth during the 10:00 a.m. Service.  Child Care for children 10 and under is available during the 11:30 am Service.

* RE Classes, Sunday, December 10, 10:00 a.m.

* This Sunday, the children will meet in the West Wing for a special program on "The Joy of Giving." It's the Holiday Time and we're talking giving - the happiness that comes from giving to others. As part of our program, the children will also be assembling holiday bags to donate to the Sarasota Public Housing after-school program. 

* Our Whole Lives (OWL) Classes for Youth - Teen Room, 10:30 a.m.  OWL is a comprehensive sexuality education curriculum for youth.  A Parental/Guardian consent form is required to participate in this program.  Please contact Susan ( if you are interested in having your teen attend the program but have not signed the consent form. 

* Parents Night Out and Holiday Decorating Party is Saturday, December 16, from 5:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.  Drop the children off in the West Wing for an evening of holiday decorating, crafts, games, dinner and a movie.  Sign up in the West Wing or contact Susan:

* Save the Date: Our annual Christmas Eve Family Service is December 24 at 5:30 p.m.  Join us as we gather for a special celebration of the holiday season. This year, we are planning a "no -rehearsal" Nativity Pageant.  Want to help with the Service?  Have a part in mind?  Good with costumes?  Please let Susan know:


* Second Sunday Potluck will be after the second service on December 10, at 12:30 p.m.  Please bring food to serve 8 people: casseroles, main dishes, salads, sandwiches, desserts.  Vegetarian and vegan dishes are encouraged. 

* Thank you to the UUCS congregants for your generous donation of $916 to the ALSO Youth organization.  Your generosity will help provide peer support services, education programs, advocacy and referrals for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex and questioning youth ages 13 to 21.   

* See into your own true nature

"Nothing ever exists entirely alone," according to the Buddha. "Everything is in relation to everything else." Zen Buddhism is seeing into your own true nature. The Zen group meets for meditation on Sunday nights at 7 p.m. in the Reeb Room on the church campus. Join us and other UU members. It costs nothing except an hour or so of your time and could impact the rest of your life. 


* Welcome to the following members who joined the church on Sunday:

Linda Billings
Jan Hartman
Marti Hill
Ann Paige


* A Tribute Gift has been received from Gail and Richard Czina to celebrate the life of Nancy Sciore whose bubbling personality, voice, crafts and decorations leave a huge gap around our church home.

* Caring helps members and friends of our UU community with short term needs such as meals, transportation and visitations.  Check out the wall rack in the Lexow for resource information in Sarasota.  If you or someone you know needs assistance, please contact Dee Widder at 377-9028 or

* The Suncoast Blood Bank has put out an appeal for blood donors.  It is a struggle for them to collect enough blood products to support our hospitals' needs.  The address is: 1760 Mound Street, Sarasota.  Every donation is extremely valuable.


* Please consider parking in the Cardinal Mooney High School lot which provides extra parking space to us during the season, for your convenience. Drive into the main Cardinal Mooney entrance, then to the far southwest corner of their parking lot, closest to the church, and follow the signs to the church. Note that there are new handicapped spots by the library and another four handicapped spots behind the sanctuary, with a ramp leading up to the sanctuary.

* Happy Birthday to the following members: 

Dec 8    Suzanne Drake, Muriel Redifer, John Stinespring
Dec 9    Chris Bonner, Bonnie McMurray
Dec 10  Barry Dyer, Kathy Jones
Dec 11  Dana Keller
Dec 12  Claudia Holtzclaw
Dec 14  Joan Bennett, Dick Happy
Dec 15  Bonnie Hepburn, Lynda Hill, Mel Thomas, Kathy Brackett

If you are a member with a birthday this week that is not listed here, please inform the office.

* Does the Minister have your Memorial Form on file?  Has your emergency contact information changed since you filled out the form?  Update and submit your form for a memorial service and have peace of mind knowing you've made choices easier for your loved ones.  The form can be found online at or in the church office.

* Would you like to share good news or honor a friend who passed away?  Make a Tribute donation today and send your check, with a Tribute form, to the office.  Forms are available in the office and online.  The Tribute will be acknowledged in the Weekly Contact.


* The Board of Trustees of the church will be meeting on Tuesday, December 12 at 7:00 p.m. in the Lexow Wing.  Members are invited to attend.

* Final Notice: Receiving for the annual Members’ Art Exhibit is Friday, December 15 from 9 to 10 a.m. in the Lexow Wing Gallery (note time change - please bring your work in by 10 a.m.). The Arts Council invites all UUCS Members and Friends to participate. Each person may submit up to two pieces no larger than 16 x 20 inches each, or one larger piece up to 30 x 30 inches.  Three-dimensional pieces -- such as glass or ceramic vessels -- will also be accepted. To reserve your space, please provide the title card information for your work (Title, Medium, Price, and your name, and email or phone contact information) to Gail Coppock at no later than December 10th!

* UU WOMEN'S GROUP:  The next meeting is on Saturday, December 16, at 10:30 am.  Bring a short family holiday story to share - Pot Luck lunch at 11:45 - bring a warm, hot, or cold dish to share or a holiday dessert, if you wish - all UU women invited!

* The next meeting of Interweave Suncoast will be a Pot Luck party at the home of Bill Geller, Sunday, December 17 at 12:30 p.m.  Bring a dish to share at this social event.  All are welcome!

* Get Together Dinners
Now is the time to sign up for our Winter 2018 Get Together Dinners
. The dates are January 27, February 24, and March 24. It is a great way to get to know new friends at the church and/or reacquaint with old friends. The dinners, usually 6 to 12 people, are held in people's homes. The host provides the main dish and guests bring the sides, hors d'oeuvres, and dessert. See the Participant Letter on the Church website for additional information. Registration forms are available at the Get Together Dinner table in the courtyard December 10, 17, and 24, or save paper and register online  Deadline for registering is December 24. Please consider being a host one of the months if possible. If you are not sure of your plans, we encourage you to sign up for our Wait List.

* "Discovering UUCS" - A Newcomer Orientation
Saturday, January 6, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Lexow Wing

If you are considering membership, this workshop is for you. Reverend Fritts will discuss our history and explore with you what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist and a member of this church. Some of our church leaders will join us for lunch to talk about the many activities here and to get acquainted with you. The Membership Committee provides lunch. Be sure to sign up at the Welcome Center!

* "Mindfulness in Plain English" class begins January 3

It's hard to read anything about stress these days without some mention of "Mindfulness." This class will introduce and expand upon the principles and practices of Mindfulness as a pathway to a more peaceful life. Specific instruction in the practice of mindful meditation will be given as well as related practices designed to relieve the anxiety that so many of us experience today. This course is open to everyone, especially to those who "can't meditate!" Everyone is treated as a beginner in this class and literally ANYONE can learn to meditate.   No Fee. Donation basket. Contact Charlie Bradt: for more information.

* Great Decisions Program Starting in January

Are you interested in foreign policy and global issues?  Join new member Karen Welcome for eight Saturday afternoons analyzing in depth and discussing eight of the currently most critical U.S. foreign policy issues. No fee for the class, but there is a one-time fee of $30 for a briefing book, supplied by the U.S. Foreign Policy Association, which provides detailed background information, as well as policy options for each of the eight topics. First session is Saturday, January 27 and will be held every other Saturday, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. at the church. Don't wait to register. Group size will be limited to the first 12 UUCS members.  For questions, or to register, contact Karen Welcome at  


Upcoming Events

* Dr. Jody McBrien and the Social Justice Committee, are presenting an eight week Embracing Diversity workshop on consecutive Monday nights beginning February 5.   On December 10, please join Dr. McBrien for a workshop 'sampler' at the Forum at 10:15 in the Reeb Room. 

* Americans use 100 BILLION plastic shopping bags a year, almost 1500 per family. And only 1% are recycled.  Learn what we're doing about it as a congregation.  Join the Green Team in the West Wing on Sunday, December 10 at 12:45.  The Green Team is a subcommittee of the Social Justice Committee.
* Indivisible Bradenton Pro-gressive Meeting, Monday, December 11, 6 p.m. at the Manatee UU Fellowship, 322 15th St West in Bradenton.

* Rethinking Plastics Tuesday, December 12 at 6:30 p.m., at Fogartyville, 525 Kumquat in Sarasota, between Orange and Lemon and between 4th and 6th Streets, near Sarasota Military Academy and the Blue Rooster Restaurant.

* Vigil for Gun Victims:  December 14 at 6 p.m. at the 1st Congregational United Church of Christ, 1031 South Euclid Ave, Sarasota.  This vigil is being organized by the Brady Campaign. Please join them in remembrance of the many victims of gun violence.

Call to Action

* Tax reform has passed the Senate and House in separate bills.  Let your Members of Congress know what you think!  Contact information?  Keep reading:
* Our church has a terrific new webpage with all the contact information you could want for activism at the local state and federal levels.  Go to click on the Social Justice tab, then Activist Corner.

* Want to see more diversity in state and local government offices?  Go to, an organization that is "helping progressives under 35 run for office." What can you do to mentor a younger candidate?

At the Social Justice Table

* Nearly 1.5 million people in Florida are excluded from voting because of prior convictions. In this next election, we have an opportunity to amend the state's constitution and return the ability to vote to Floridians who have done their time and paid their debt to society. The state of Florida requires 766,200 signatures from registered Florida voters in order to have the issue on the November 2018 ballot.  The petition is at the Social Justice Table. Stop by and sign one. Even if you signed one last year, you must fill out another petition.
* Backpack Volunteers are still needed for our next packing at All Faiths Food Bank (AAFB) on December 21. UU Sarasota volunteers pack 2,000 bags each month, helping to assure that local children do not go hungry on the weekends. AFFB has added a number of distribution locations, some receiving daily packs of food. Check out the bulletin board for their Annual Report and the entire list of locations. Sign up to volunteer for December 21st or upcoming months at the Social Justice table. Thank You!

* Our Social Justice Table needs volunteers in the courtyard on Sunday mornings.  Contact Skip Seager at or call 414-559-6750.  Help get petitions signed, sell Fair Trade items such as chocolate, tea, and coffee, and meet new people.  Paired with an experienced volunteer, you'll set up the table before our service(s) and staff it for about 30 minutes after.



* 10:00 and 11:30 a.m. "The Birth of Jesus," sermon by Rev Roger Fritts

The infancy narratives in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke are myths, not historical accounts. Still, do they have symbolic meaning to us in 2017?

* 10:00 a.m. Music: Choir; Don Bryn, Piano
* 11:30 a.m. Music: Mindy Simmons, guitar and vocals; Ed Kinder, Piano

* 10:15 a.m. Forum: "The Refugee Experience of Muslims in America"

Professor Reza Jalali, a Kurd from Iran living and teaching in Maine, is a human rights and refugee activist and a writer who teaches Islam at the Bangor Theological Seminary and is Muslim Chaplain at Bates College. Presenter: Reza Jalali, Moderator: Fred Sirasky.

* 11:30 a.m. TED Talk Talk, Reeb Room

Unitarian Universalists of Lakewood Ranch

* 10:00 a.m. Service at 6600 River Club Blvd, Bradenton