Event Calendar


* Help us preserve Celery Fields for the more than 200 species of birds and other wildlife that depend on the wetlands to breed, to roost and to feed themselves and their offspring.
Join the protest on August 19, 10:00 am - 12:00 at Apex and Palmer to keep the proposed recycling dump out of the birds' back yard!

* The Women's Group will be meeting on Saturday, August 19 at 10:30 a.m. in the Lexow Wing. Some of the topics we might discuss are:
- do you set goals for yourself and how do you do it?
- what gives you the most joy in your life now and why?
- how important to you is it to be in the resistance?  
- or, do you have artwork or craft for a show and tell?
We'll have coffee and tea; bring fruits or goodies to share.


* 10:30 a.m. "Liberal Religion and Empowerment," sermon by Rev. Brock Leach. 

We've come to think of liberalism in institutional terms, wondering what's wrong with our governments or our denominations and what we can do to fix them.  No doubt these are critically important questions, especially right now.  But the heart of liberalism is empowerment -- individually and collectively.  What would it mean to exercise that power to create our future?

Rev. Brock Leach is a Unitarian Universalist minister, social entrepreneur, and affiliated community minister of the UU Church of Sarasota.

He currently serves as an executive consultant to the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) for its Multifaith Futures initiative and is helping develop and lead its Entrepreneurial Ministry program. Prior to that he was vice-president of mission, strategy and innovation for the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC), the denomination's international human rights agency. At UUSC he helped create and launch the UU College of Social Justice and Commit2Respond, a UU-wide campaign for Climate Justice. Brock has served on the board of the YMCA of the USA, is past chair of the board of Habitat for Humanity Sarasota; and is currently Chair Emeritus of the board of Children First, Sarasota County's Head Start agency. Internationally, he serves on the boards of UUSC and Mavuno Congo and is a mentor for the Global Good Fund's fellowship program for social entrepreneurs. Prior to seminary, Brock had a 24-year career as an executive for PepsiCo. He received his BA in economics from the
University of Colorado Boulder, his MBA in finance and marketing from the University of Chicago, and his Master of Divinity degree from Meadville Lombard Theological School.

* 10:30 a.m. Music: Natalie Helm, Principal Cello, Sarasota Orchestra; Don Bryn, piano

A native of Louisville, KY, Natalie Helm joined the Sarasota Orchestra as principal cellist last season. Most recently, she held the Principal and Cello Fellowship position for the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra and currently is a member of the Des Moines Metro Opera. She studied with Peter Wiley and David Soyer at the Curtis Institute of Music, where she received her Bachelor of Music in 2011, and with Ronald Leonard at the Colburn School, where she received an Artist Diploma in 2014. She has appeared as soloist with orchestras around the country including the Dana Point Symphony, the Montgomery Symphony, the Richardson Symphony, the Louisville Orchestra, the World Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the Colburn Symphony Orchestra; won top prizes at international competitions including the Lennox International Competition, Blount-Slawson Young Artist Competition, Kingsville Young Artist Competition, MTNA, and NPR's From the Top; and appeared with the American Contemporary Ballet, Domingo-Thorton Young Artist Program, and Yamaha Music Foundation. 

* 9:30 - 10:15 a.m. Forum, Jefferson Room, "The Challenge and Future ​of Small Farmer Fairtrade"
Selling Equal Exchange coffee and fair trade chocolate and other products are activities of our Social Justice Committee. Ted Weihe has decades of experience working with small farmers through US AID and other workers.  He will share his insights into the challenges facing the fair trade movement today. Presenter, Ted Weihe; Moderator Louise Stinespring.

​* 11:45 a.m. TED Talk Talk: "Which country does the most good?"
It's an unexpected side effect of globalization: problems that once would have stayed local - say, a bank lending out too much money - now have consequences worldwide. But still, countries operate independently, as if alone on the planet. Policy advisor Simon Anholt has dreamed up an unusual scale to get governments thinking outwardly: The Good Country Index. In a riveting and funny talk, he answers the question, "Which country does the most good?" The answer may surprise you (especially if you live in the US or China).  Discussion follows the presentation.  Moderators, DeeAnna Dowdle and Susan Eisman.


* Nursery:  Loving care for infants and toddlers is available during the 10:30 a.m. Service.
* RE Classes:  A religious education program is available for children during the 10:30 a.m. Service.

* Our RE Summer Program is underway. Join us as we explore our 7 UU Principles through stories, science, games and crafts. Special activities during the summer include marshmallow building, digging for our principles and crafting a chalice.  The program is for children Pre-K through 5th Grade.  Registration is not required and visitors are always welcome.

* The Sunday morning Youth Group (6-12th graders) is taking a break for the summer.  Youth is encouraged to attend Sunday morning services or volunteer in the children’s program.

* RE Open House & Splash Party - Sunday, September 10th.  Join us on the East Lawn from 10:30 am to 1:30 pm for this big event.  We're having a giant water slide, games and refreshments. There will also be special games for youth and a wading pool for toddlers.   Families, friends and visitors are all welcome.

* Volunteers Needed to assist in the Nursery Room one Sunday a month.  Please contact Susan at, if you are interested in helping with our littlest UU's.


* There will be no Zen meditation at church this Sunday, August 20
Sunday night Zen meditation will be canceled this weekend as both co-leaders will be out of town. Instead, we are recommending that participants meditate in their homes around the same time on Sunday night (7:30 or so) in the tradition and spirit of zazen. Zen meditation will return the following Sunday, August 27, the final Sunday of the summer season. Until then, remember these words from the Buddha:
"In the end these things matter most:
How well did you love?
 How fully did you live?
 How deeply did you let go?"

* Our church's Chalice Group Committee is in need of a new Chair. Duties include training Chalice group facilitators, facilitating a group and steering interested members and friends to open groups. Training materials are already prepared.

There are currently three groups that meet. Each group is autonomous and chooses its own topics to study. The purpose of a Chalice group is deep listening on topics such as "What I Would Do if I Won the Lottery" and "The 7 UU Principles."

Usually groups operate on 12-16 week cycle, meet twice per month and last about 1 1/2- 2 hours per session. Assembled materials for many topics are already prepared. If interested, please contact Kim Roden at


* A memorial service for Fred Sargent who passed away on August 8 will be held on Saturday August 26 at 2 p.m.  Rev. Brock Leach will officiate.

* Nancy Sciore will be moving into assisted living in Dunedin.  She is staying with her daughter and can receive cards care of Weaver, 2317 Glenmoor Road N, Clearwater, FL, 33764

* We are here to help members and friends in times of need. If you are having surgery, coping with a serious medical problem, or just having a difficult time, let us know. We’ll try to provide support. You can contact us by phone at 371-4974, ext. 6 to leave a message, by email at, or with a "Request for Care" form that you can find at the visitors table in the courtyard on Sundays.


* A Tribute from Gail Perr Czina was received:
in honor of Gail Colella for all that Gail gave to the church through her leadership and positive attitudes and to celebrate Klaus Obermeit and his media leadership in making the Sunday services and other events so interesting.

* Please welcome our new church member Joyce Fitzpatrick, who joined the church Sunday, August 6.

* Members can access a printable directory of our membership on the Website,  Go to "Members Corner" from the home page -- if you need the password, please call the church office.  The directory was updated on August 11.

* Happy Birthday to the following members:  

August 18 Bill Boyd
August 20 Monte Hayes
August 21 Judy Croce
August 22 Anne McFarlane
August 22 Don Slate             
August 22 Lawrence Carman 
August 23 Ed Loomis  
August 24 Genevieve Perkins
August 24 Rick Sandler

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 UUCS Board of Trustees will be holding its monthly meeting on Tuesday, August 22, at 7 p.m. in the Lexow Wing.  This meeting is open to our church community; an agenda may be found on our website.

* The Poetry Appreciation group meets twice a month in the Jefferson Room on the first and third Monday of the month at 1 p.m. You can read the poetry of others, your own poetry, or just sit and listen in appreciation. Please contact June Brasgalla if you are interested in joining us.

* The Women's Group book club will meet on Friday, August 25 at 2 pm in the Teen Room to discuss "My Beloved World," Sonia Sotomayor's autobiography.  We welcome all UU women to join us.  Read the book and let's talk.  We'll have a good time getting to know one another...join us.



* Social Justice petitions, ready for your signature can be found at the Social Justice table each Sunday.  Stop by and sign one. Periodically we will feature a petition in the Contact.  The current featured petition is:

Restoration of a Felon's Voting Rights
Nearly 1.5 million people in Florida are excluded from voting because of prior convictions. These are our family members, friends, and neighbors who have already repaid their debts to our society and earned the opportunity to participate in our democracy. 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.  We need 1 million signatures from registered Florida voters by December 31, 2017. If we get the required signatures, this issue will be on the November 2018 ballot and we can vote to change the law.
This petition is on the Social Justice Table. Stop by and sign one. Even if you signed one last year, you must fill out another petition.    


* Attend the County Commission Meeting on August 23 regarding Celery Fields, starting at 9:00 am and going for the entire day. Be there to demonstrate the need to keep this flourishing ecological and environmental jewel from being developed by a cement recycler!!! Read more on the UU website.

* The Coalition of Immokalee Workers is having a protest rally at Wendy's at 1627 N Washington Blvd on Sunday, August 27 at 2 pm. Our church has long supported this farm workers' organization and the Fair Food Alliance which gives workers in the tomato fields decent working conditions and an extra penny a pound for their labor. Wear your yellow Love shirt.

* Bethesda House Volunteers Needed:  Bethesda House provides services to those living with AIDS and HIV.  Their nutritional center (food pantry) has reopened.  Volunteers are needed Friday mornings from 9 to 12:30. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Susan Hallock at

* Have a suggestion for a Call to Action?  Email: at least one week in advance of any activity or meeting.

* Want to meet nice people on Sunday mornings and learn about local social justice issues? Volunteer to help at the Social Justice table after the service.  New volunteers are teamed up with experienced volunteers so you won't have to work alone.  Interested?  Call Skip Seager at 414-559-6750 or email

* Purchase Fair Trade items including chocolate, coffees, teas and olive oil at the Social Justice table.  For Fair Trade special orders, contact Suzie Brucklacher at, subject line Fair Trade Special Order. 


Our Share-the-Plate collection for next Sunday, August 27, will be for the Resurrection House.

* 10:30 a.m. "Tidewell – It’s More Than You Think," sermon by Lisa Wright, Tidewell liaison & care giver.
The sermon will cover the following topics: Challenges of Hospice, Spiritual Aspects of Hospice Care, How Does Hospice Operate In and Connect with the Community? What Services Does Tidewell Hospice Provide and Who Pays for Hospice Care? How Does One Access Hospice Services? LGBT Community in Relation to Hospice Services and an Overview of Advanced Directives.

* 10:30 a.m. Music: Jane Hoffman, flute; Don Bryn, piano

* 9:30 - 10:15 a.m. Forum, Jefferson Room, "What is the Trump Administration's Policy Toward the Arab World? "
The Trump visit this spring to Saudi Arabia and Israel/Palestine suggests his administration has an Arab-world foreign policy, but wiser counsel says it is chaotic and even dangerous for American interests.  Presenter, John Stinespring; Moderator, Don Diddams.

​* 11:45 a.m. TED Talk Talk: TBD