Beloved Circles: A Small Group Ministry
Small Group Ministry is a network of small groups (up to 10) whose main objective is to provide opportunity for friends and members of the fellowship to develop deeper connections and wider service within the community at large. We call our network Beloved Circles.
We expect through Beloved Circles to deepen our understanding of Unitarian Universalist values, be further challenged to action and spiritual growth, and to be prompted to express, in a more consistent way, our principles and values in the community.
Additionally, Small Group Ministry offers opportunities to search and grow at each individual’s own pace, and in each individual’s own way through learning together and loving one another.
Each group meets a minimum of once a month, and all have trained facilitators. Once a year, Beloved Circles perform an activity that will support the fellowship as a whole, and participate in an activity that will address a community concern.
Membership in the fellowship is not a requirement to join and participate in a Beloved Circle. All are welcome. Please check news and announcements on this website for updates and schedules. The new network of Beloved Circles begins in October 2023.
Chair: Reverend Fred
AUCTION 2023: WE DID IT!
Once again our Annual Auction met our goal of $7,000 — with a grand total of $7,451. Thank you to all who participated by donating something, bidding on something, making a cash donation, or just enjoying the excitement. Bob Yavis outdid himself this time by getting over 60 gift certificates from local businesses while Bernita Franzel kept track of them all on a spreadsheet.
This time we had 163 items to bid on with the largest category being Gift Certificates. Our next largest category was Art/Handcrafted showcasing many of our members’ talents. The rest of the many items, services, and events were generously donated by members and friends to include Electronics, Meals Together & More, Housewares, Food & Beverages, Green & Healthy Living, Services, and Miscellaneous.
Thank you to Bob for serving as auctioneer; Shirley Loebel for playfully playing the piano for the Live Auction; Linda Wilke for putting together the luncheon that preceded the Live Auction; Bill Hayes, June Mohns, and Sharon Chofey for serving as cashiers; Dennis Foye and Bill Mohns for selling raffle tickets; and to all who helped with setup and cleanup.
Please share your thoughts and ideas on how to make our auction even better next year!
— Carol Bartz
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 was formed after World War I, when it was felt that as the U.S. was the world leader, its citizenry should be aware of what is happening around the world. The Foreign Policy Association was formed and it developed the framework for Great Decisions. Today there are hundreds, if not thousands, of local groups throughout the country using a curriculum from the Foreign Policy Association. All of the Great Decisions groups study the same topics. This year, 2023, was Manatee UU Fellowship’s 27th year as a host, with sessions held in February and March.
If you are interested in foreign policy, please join us next year. An organizational meeting is held in January, and participant-led sessions run through February and March. Details for 2024 will be posted here in December.
Contact Bill Hayes for more information.
Chair: Bill Hayes
Meetings: Mondays at 10 a.m., February – March
Past Great Decisions Topics Include:
- Global Famine
- Climate Migration
- Changing Demographics
- Outer Space
- Russia and the U.S.
- Myanmar and ASEAN
- Drug Policy in Latin America
- Industrial Policy
- Biden’s Agenda
- Global Supply Chains and National Security
- China’s Role in Africa
- The Korean Peninsula
- Roles of International Organizations in a Global Pandemic
- The End of Globalization?
Knit ‘n Chat
Our Knit ‘n Chat group provides a fun time to do any kind of handwork and chat together, catching up with and supporting each other plus sharing our current work. And there has often been a social outreach aspect to the literal work of our hands, with special knitting projects for service groups such as Hope Family Services of Bradenton and Knitting4Peace.
Knit ‘n Chat is one of the “Peace Pods” of Knitting4Peace, an organization “crafting hope, healing and peace, one stitch at a time.” Since its founding in June 2006, Knitting4Peace has delivered requested handmade items to more than 212,405 people living in communities across the United States and 84 countries around the world.
We meet in person in the fellowship social room or on the back deck of the fellowship, depending on the weather. Living in Florida enables us to use this wonderful outdoor space much of the year.
So, please join us on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 10 a.m. and contact us through this website for more information.
Chairs: Carol Alt and AJ Wolff
Meetings: 1st and 3rd Tuesdays, 10:00 am
As we have returned to our building, we are once again be able to peruse the library shelves and check books out! We have a number of new books, not all of which are cataloged.
On display for easy finding are four books donated by Mary Desmone and Steve Henry:
- Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
- A Perilous Path: Talking Race, Inequality, and the Law by Sherrilyn Ifill & Loretta Lynch
- Selma, Lord, Selma: Girlhood Memories of the Civil-Rights Days by Sheyann Webb & Rachel West Nelson
- While the World Watched by Carolyn Maull McKinstry
Other newly added books include:
- 99 to 1: How Wealth Inequality is Wrecking the World and What We Can Do About It by Chuck Collins
- Gabby: A Story of Courage and Hope by Gabrielle Giffords & Mark Kelly
- Lighting the Fires of Freedom: African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement by Janet Dewart Bell
- Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times by Jonathan Sacks
- Together: The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World by Vivek H. Murthy
- Too Much and Never Enough by Mary L. Trump
- The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
- Why Do We Still Have the Electoral College? by Alexander Keyssar.
There are many more; all you need to do to borrow a book is complete a check out form and take your selected book(s) home!
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
MONTHLY SOCIAL OUTING
In November 2021 we decided to try Motorworks Brewing for our monthly social outing, and it turned out to be a fine decision — the 150-year-old oak tree spread its lighted branches across the entire patio area, ample parking, lots of space for us to be together — so we are continuing to hold these events there. Note new schedule: As of August 2023, we will meet there on the first WEDNESDAY of each month, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The address is 1014 9th St. W, Bradenton. Come early for a parking place right next to the building. Everyone is welcome.
You can check out the venue online: https://motorworksbrewing.com/bradenton
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: 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. every second Monday of the month on Zoom
Share a Dish
Share a Dish potluck dinners are held in our fellowship’s social room on the third Friday of each month at 6 p.m. (A few times a year the event becomes a ‘Share a Brunch’ following our Sunday service; please check our calendar and News/Announcements for the latest info.) Sometimes there’s music or a movie or travel talk or a guest speaker, and sometimes we just meet, eat, and talk. All are welcome to bring a dish to share and join us!
We are currently looking for someone to coordinate this activity on a monthly basis. If you would like to be that person, please contact Carol Bartz or Sally Isham directly or through this website.
Chair: Sally Isham