WELCOMING COMMITTEE DISCUSSIONS
WORKSHOPS The MUUF Welcoming Congregation Committee will be offering the Welcoming Congregation education and empowerment workshops beginning in October and continuing until March. The workshops will be held on the 2nd Saturday of the month from 10:00 AM until noon. These workshops were presented 20 years ago at which time transgender issues were not addressed. These workshops are open to Straight, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans-gendered persons both from the Fellowship and the community. Some of the topics will be:
What we know and how we learned it
Common elements of oppression Experiences of GLBT people,
Religion and homosexuality.
We need at least 8 people for a viable discussion group. There will be a signup sheet on the table in the social room. The first workshop will be on Saturday, October 8th at 10 AM.
MOVIE DISCUSSIONS Our GLBT movie series will be on the 4th Saturday of each month (October through May), at 10:00am. Pizza and spirited discussion will follow. Donations gladly accepted. Tentatively our first movie will be “Mysterious Skin,” a multiple award-winning independent film.
Play Reading Group
Through mid-October, the Play
Reading group will meet the first and third Fridays at 2 pm in the Social Room. (Watch for possible date and time change beginning Thursday, October 20.) Beginning September 16 a new play will be selected. “Death of a Salesman” has been suggested. A comedy has been suggested. Join us and let loose the Barrymore ghost that lives within us all!
A Special Collection will be held on Sunday, September
18, to benefit the local branch of Planned Parenthood. MUUF has been a longtime supporter of this organization which provides health services to women. Services include affordable birth control, gynecological exams, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, and abortion services. Often, Planned Parenthood is the only organization providing these services at an affordable level. Al Usack will be the point person.
Library News and Book Sale
There will be a work session for members of the Library Committee and interested book lovers on Friday, September 2 at 11:00 to look through our shelves to determine which books will be removed and made available for a book sale. The book sale will begin Sunday, Sept. 4 and continue throughout the week until Sep. 11. If you feel inspired to cull your own bookshelves at home, you may wish to donate:
(A) books that are suitable for our library, and/or (B) books that you want to add to the sale.
The proceeds will go towards purchase of new books for MUUF. (Our Social Justice Committee will find a home for unsold books.)
We have recently added over 80 books to our
DIVERSITY WITH MUSIC
Our choir has sung at Ward Temple African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, and the AME choir has sung with us. Special events like our Gospel Song Fest, and Civil Rights Songs, are among favorite evenings followed by fellowship and food. Celebrating the two choirs’ anniversary in 2014 the AME choir recognized our great mutual relationship by presenting us with a trophy and a certificate, in gratitude for our joint participation in music.
Singers of United Land (SOUL) is a group with different singers every year, from different countries. They have visited us for five years on their tour throughout the Eastern United States. Their songs are from their homelands in their own languages with native instruments. Each year the singers bring a message of universal understanding. We provide housing for them for a week during which they sing at local schools and teach children about the value of diversity. We present a free local concert for the public with a reception following, enjoying talk with the singers. In 2014 the singers were from Croatia, Taiwan, Nigeria, Uruguay. www.singersofunitedlands.org
DIVERSITY IN WELCOMING ACTIVITIES
Welcoming Workshops have been put on hold since the chair of that Committee has been ill. We hope to continue this very valuable program of DVDs and lunch followed by discussion, held on Saturday mornings. The DVDs focus on issues pertaining to GLBTQ, minority or cultural concerns.
We have participated in all three Gay Pride events with 2016 being the 3rd year of Manatee County’s Gay Pride Day. Gay Pride is sponsored by PRISM which we support by special collection each year. In 2015 we hosted PRISM for their Saturday meetings until a permanent location was found. Pictures of our Gay Pride participation will be put in our Gallery. More information about PRISM can be found at: http://www.prismyouth.org
In 2016 after Gay Marriage was pronounced legal in Florida, our congregation performed three marriages and a marriage renewal on January 11. See pictures of the weddings under heading: Gallery.
STANDING ON THE SIDE OF LOVE
Standing on the Side of Love is a Spiritual Journey for Social Justice. MUUF participated in the UUA’s “30 Days of Love” program in 2014 for the first time. Our guest speakers were inspiring, and the special music from our choir was uplifting. We also gave two “Courageous Love” awards: one, posthumously to Harry T. Moore, the founder of the NAACP in Florida, and to Susie Copeland, the current President of the Manatee County NAACP.
Rev. Charles McKenzie began, as he has for several years, with a tribute to Martin Luther King. If you haven’t seen his one-man show as MLK, you’re really missing something special.
Duncan Teague, a ministerial candidate from Atlanta, stayed with us for 2 weeks, thanks to the generous hosting of one of our members. What a dynamic and inspiring speaker he is!
James Delgado, a local attorney, told us his story as an American-born Hispanic, and the effects it had on him and on his children.
Henry Lawrence, migrant worker, retired pro-football star, gospel and blues singer, and local hero. He told us the story of his early life and the struggles of his family. He pays it forward with his Youth Foundation.