June 3
“What I Have Learned About Death”

Rev. Paige Getty will share personal and pastoral reflections about our relationship with death and grief, inspired by her own experience and evolving understandings since her father’s death last summer.

Rev. Paige Getty began her UUCC ministry in 2003. A native of Savannah, Georgia, she earned her bachelor’s degree at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, and her master’s degree in Divinity from Harvard Divinity School.

Paige’s professional ministry has taken her to the First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego, California, and the Shawnee Mission UU Church in Overland Park, Kansas. She has served her local chapter of the UU Ministers Association in multiple roles, including Mentor and Good Offices Person; is trained as a Beyond Categorical Thinking facilitator (UUA) and a Lead Mentor (UUMA); and had the honor of delivering the sermon at the UUA’s Service of the Living Tradition in 2010.

In her local community, Paige serves as Co-Chair of PATH (People Acting Together in Howard), Treasurer and Board member of the newly-forming Columbia Housing Center, and member of the Leadership Development Committee of The Arc of Howard County.

Paige and her spouse, Graham, are the parents of Hallie and Sara, who already are active participants in the UUCC community. The family is happily settled in Columbia, and Paige looks forward to a long and healthy ministry devoted to transforming lives and the world, one moment at a time.

Music: Barbara Jensen

June 10
“Waiting for the Minority Report”

Pastor Thomas H. Poole, Jr. will speak to us saying, “Rarely does the majority opinion lead to the promised land.”

Biography Rev. Thomas H. Poole, Jr. was born and raised in Lake County, FL, in a household that mandated education and community service. He graduated from the Univ. of Virginia and has done graduate study in Religious Ethics at the Univ. of Chicago Divinity School, Yale University, and Payne Theological Seminary. Rev. Poole’s scholastic expertise is in the disciplines of theological ethics, political ethics, and the ethics of race and ethnicity. Rev. Poole serves as the founding pastor of “Mother” Grace African Methodist Episcopal Church in The Villages, FL.

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Rev. Thomas H. Poole, Jr. is the proud son of Thomas Henry Poole, Sr. and Rena Dixon Poole, the father of twenty-six year-old Richard Anthony and twenty-three year-old Taylor Marie. However, he is especially proud to be the husband of his beautiful angel, Rev. Robin Janine Poole—affectionately known as “Rev. Baby.” Thomas was born and raised in Lake County, Florida in a household that mandated education, community service and most importantly a Christ-centered foundation that was developed and nurtured at Saint James African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC) in Eustis, Florida. Both his father and mother are retired schoolteachers from the Lake County Public School System, of which his sister, Rene, is currently serving as an accomplished nationally certified, high school language arts teacher. Thomas’ parents moved to Lake County Florida in the 1950’s at a time when racial hostility was at its peak and organized African-American civil rights resistance was in its infancy. His father exemplified courage and commitment to public service as well as an unnerving trust in the almighty God by faithfully serving for over forty years as a civil rights leader in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) ultimately retiring as the President of the Florida State Conference of Branches. Following in the footsteps of his parents and sister, Reverend Poole earned his teaching certificate and taught in the public schools systems of Orange, Lake, Polk and Osceola Counties (in Florida) in addition to working stints as an administrator in both the Chicago Public School System and the University of Illinois system. Thomas has served as President of the Seminole (FL) County Branch NAACP and after receiving his call to Christian ministry in 1995, Reverend Poole ultimately served as the Chairman of Religious Affairs for the Florida State Conference of NAACP Branches. As is the testimony of many preachers, Reverend Poole struggled with his call to Christian ministry. Albeit unrefined, he had an intense desire and commitment to advance the social welfare of African-Americans but lived in a community where the acknowledged leaders of the Christian faith, blinded by racist ideology, proclaimed and lived out their faith in ways that restricted the full humanity of African-American peoples—–complicating matters even further, those same ideologies were somehow rationalized in the name of our Lord and Savior—Jesus Christ. This fundamental tension fueled the maturation of Reverend Poole’s Christian ministry. After experiencing the sting of divorce and the humiliation of being publicly yet justifiably stripped of ordination, Reverend Poole relocated to Oklahoma City, OK, began teaching in the Oklahoma City Public School System while undergoing an intense period of personal soul-searching under the guidance of his beloved friend and pastor Rev. Lee Arthur Denson (Senior Pastor of Northeast Missionary Baptist Church, Oklahoma City, OK) all in an effort to find firm theological and ethical footing for how his future in Christian ministry was to be carried out in light of his past human failure. It was in Oklahoma City where he married his soul-mate – Robin and through this union, God began to reveal to Reverend Poole a sense of clarity concerning issues of human redemption in the midst of human failure. Reverend Poole’s desire to faithfully explore the various ethical questions that challenge the Christian believer, particularly those of African-American clergy, compelled him to build upon his undergraduate education from The University of Virginia and pursue graduate study in Religious Ethics at the University of Chicago Divinity School, Yale University’s (NT Greek) Language Institute and Payne Theological Seminary. His ultimate academic interest lies in the construction of a practical theological ethic(s) for African-American religious caregivers who desire to engage issues of public policy as it relates to the unique concerns of the African-American community. Reverend Poole’s threefold area of scholastic expertise is in the disciplines of theological ethics, political ethics, and the ethics of race & ethnicity—evidenced by his recently published article Stop Snitching: An Ethical Analysis of the Rule of Rahab. Be advised however, that Reverend Poole’s academic pursuits are not relegated to the ivory tower but are grounded in a most practical Christian context; for he now serves as the founding pastor of “Mother” Grace African Methodist Episcopal Church in The Villages, FL

Music: Barbara Jensen


June 17
“The Phenomenon of Life: Cosmology, Evolutionary Biology, and the World of Religions”

Joe Simonetta’s message is based on his latest book, “7 Words That Can Change the World, The Simple Truth and the Death of Sacred Cows.” www.7WordsChangeTheWorld.com

Neale Donald Walsch (Conversations With God) in his foreword to this book describes Seven Words That Can Change The World as “The Formula. The Answer. The Way,” a totally empowering piece of writing.” Walsch goes on to write: “Of course, everyone has the Formula, The Answer, The Way! Still, it is nice to have it articulated so brilliantly, so fluently, so directly and unambiguously as we see it here.” “A new, clear voice of sanity. This book will help to awaken us from the commercial trance into which we have so blindly wandered.” Pulitzer Prize-winning author, John E. Mack, M.D. writes that “Simonetta is a skilled writer who makes every word in this slim volume count, a master at crafting basic truths simply and elegantly.” (Notes are from NAPRA Review Magazine (Networking Alternatives for Publishers, Retailers & Artists))
Music: Barbara Jensen

Special Collection for Planned Parenthood by Sarah Scully

June 24
“One Nation, Under Law”

Dr. Robert Tucker will be our speaker. His sermon will examine this nation’s Pledge of Allegiance and its controversial phrase, “under God.”

Robert P. Tucker received the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Theology from the University of Chicago. He holds the B.A. degree, magna cum laude, in Religion and Philosophy from Texas Christian University. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Dr. Tucker’s career has combined teaching and ministry. He taught Religion, Philosophy, Ethics and Logic at Yankton College (in South Dakota) and at Florida Southern College (in Lakeland) and has served congregations in Texas, Illinois, South Dakota, Nebraska, Virginia, and Florida. From 1995 through 2008, Dr. Tucker served as the Minister of the U.U. Congregation of Lakeland. Now retired, he is Minister Emeritus of that Congregation. Dr. Tucker has been a member of both the Florida District UUA Board of Directors and the Board of the UU in the Pines. He is also a Founding Board Member of the Humanist Association of West Central Florida.

Music: Barbara Jensen