Adult Religious Education
Becoming Prophetic People
Our worship theme for the months of September and October will be our second source: Words and Deeds of prophetic people which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion and the transforming power of love.
Dovetailing with this worship theme is Manatee Justice Ministry’s next phase of development, where member congregations would host house meetings for members to share the stories of injustice happening in Manatee County. The goal of these meetings for Manatee Justice Ministry is to consolidate this information to present at Manatee Justice Ministry’s inaugural rally in November. Based on what rises to the top as priority, Manatee Justice Ministry members at this rally will choose what our first justice issue will be in Manatee County.
In support of this goal and in conjunction with our worship theme, we will be hosting on Zoom our own version of these meetings, titled “Becoming Prophetic People.” The following have agreed to facilitate four meetings to be held between Sept. 20 and Oct. 20: Carol Bartz, Bill Hayes, Barbara Ehren, and John Isham.
We want as many people as possible in our congregation to participate in these discussions. Jean-Luc Adrien, our coordinator from Manatee Justice Ministry, will have trained our facilitators in conducting these meetings. Expect in the coming weeks to receive an invite to attend one of these meetings on Zoom.
These conversations will be rich and informative as many of us have seen firsthand the pain that perhaps we or our neighbors have experienced. When Carol, Bill, Barbara, or John contact you about joining them in this meeting, say yes to being a prophetic person willing to challenge the powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion and the transforming power of love.
— Rev. Fred L Hammond
Chair: Reverend Fred
Auction 2021 final results
by Carol Bartz
Previously we reported that “it is conceivable that we could reach our goal of $7,000.” We did! Our total sales were $5,497 with an additional $1,700 in cash donations made, bringing the total to $7,194. We sent $200 as a donation to the UU Guatemalan Scholarship Program in lieu of paying for the use of the online software (as suggested by the developer).
Thank you once again to all who participated by donating or bidding on items. Mary Frances Kordick helped with the dropoff process when people brought their items for storage until the auction; Chris MacCormack, Sharon Chofey, Bernita Franzel, Sally Isham, and Carol Alt each assisted with pick up of items and gift certificates; Karen Salzinger prepared the slides for the Zoom live auction; John Isham handled the tech side of slide sharing; and most of all thanks to Bob Yavis who procured the gift certificates, door prizes, and served as auctioneer!
The following is a letter we received thanking us for the donation we made instead of paying for the use of Community Auction Services software that we use each year for our auction:
Dear Manatee Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Members,
Thank you so much for your contribution of $200 to the Jefferson Unitarian Church Guatemala Scholarship Fund. This fund was established in 2007 to provide educational opportunities for Mayan girls and boys who live in extreme poverty and cannot afford to go beyond sixth grade without financial support for tuition, books, uniforms, and other expenses.
Our scholarship program has enabled 182 students to attend school. To date 67 students have graduated from high school, helping to lift their families out of poverty. Many are planning to study at university.
Again, your generosity is greatly appreciated. Thank you!
For the JUC Guatemala Scholarship Program
Chair: Carol Bartz
Meetings: January and February
The Manatee Unitarian Universalist Book Club is composed of a small group of congenial persons, usually between eight and ten per meeting — not necessarily the same each time — who enjoy reading and then discussing books on a variety of topics. These books are usually nonfiction and related in some way to social justice or UU principles. If we do read fiction, it would be related to an actual historic event or social problem. We stay away from academic tomes.
The group meets on the first Monday of each month at 2 p.m. During the pandemic our meetings are via Zoom. The discussions are light, frequently filled with laughter, and respectful of a variety of opinions. The books to be read are suggested and chosen by the group. This is how we maintain a variety of topics.
We have been meeting since 2015.
Everyone is welcome; you don’t have to be a Manatee UU Fellowship member to participate. Come and join us!
Chair: Bill Hayes
Meetings: 1st Monday at 2:00 pm
Great Decisions Discussion Group
Great Decisions Discussion Group is an annual seminar, held each of 8 weeks during February and March using the Great Decisions Manual published by the U.S. Foreign Policy Association of New York. Our group, 25 years old, is an official group, registered on the Great Decisions website, and is open to the public. As a result, the discussion participants are not only from our Fellowship, but also from the community.
In addition to the curriculum book, we watch a discussion video by professionals in the field. The cost of the book and a share in the video is $30. A different group member serves as discussion leader each week.
This year, the discussion will be held on Zoom, and topics are:
- Global Supply Chains and National Security
- Persian Gulf Security Issues
- Brexit and the European Union
- Struggles Over the Melting Arctic
- China’s Role in Africa
- The Korean Peninsula
- Roles of International Organizations in a Global Pandemic
- The End of Globalization?
Chair: Bill Hayes
Meetings: Mondays at 10 a.m. February 1 – March 22, 2021
Browse our Past
Past Great Decisions Topics:
- Climate Change and the Global Order
- India and Pakistan
- Red Sea Security
- Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking
- US Relations with the Northern Triangle
- China’s Road Into Latin America
- The Philippines and the US
- Artificial Intelligence and Data
- Nuclear Negotiation: Back to the Future
- The Middle East Regional Disorder
- The Rise of Populism in Europe
- Decoding US – China Trade
- Refugees and Global Migration
- Cyber Conflicts and Geopolitics
- The US and Mexico: Partnership Tested
- State of the State Department and Diplomacy
Knit ‘n Chat
Chairs: Carol Alt and AJ Wolff
Meetings: 1st and 3rd Tuesdays, 10:00 am
Men’s Discussion and Support Group
John Isham, Facilitator
The Men’s group meets twice a month on the second and fourth Wednesday at 2 p.m. on Zoom (while our building is closed due to COVID-19). The Zoom link for the meeting is sent out by email prior to the start.
Because of the wide-ranging backgrounds and interests of our male membership, discussions have been lively and thought-provoking. There is no limit to the subjects we discuss, and each meeting we have a topic suggested by a member. Some topics have been, and can be, significant events, personal successes and failures, brief personal histories, families, childhoods, fathers, mothers, siblings, children, gripes and irritations, fears and fights, the male side of relationships, the seven UU Principles, just to scratch the surface.
We open with an impulse of sound, have a brief reading and do a check-in. Each “holder of the gavel” has the floor without interruption for up to five minutes. Afterwards, questions or comments are welcomed and then the gavel is passed on. Meetings last for an hour and a half but can go on longer if people desire.
The support function of the group means we stand ready to help anyone with personal needs who makes a request. Personal facts are private, confidential and respected not to be disclosed outside of the meeting.
Facilitator: John Isham
Meetings: 2nd and 4th Wednesdays, 2:00 pm
Racial Concerns Discussion Group
The Racial Concerns Group is a new Fellowship organization and is still feeling its way. This is good because it can go wherever its members desire. Right now we are researching, learning, discussing and acting on the many racial issues facing our community and nation. Our interests take us back into slavery and up to the latest police brutality. We will use books, movies, documentaries, periodicals, newspapers, music, field trips and other sources for information. We are anxious to live up to our UU principles, especially to promote the worth and dignity of each person.
Chairs: Bill Hayes and Cindy Evans
Meetings: 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. every second Monday on Zoom