Adult Religious Education
Several times during the year, Rev. Fred L Hammond hosts small discussion groups related to our mission as a Unitarian Universalist fellowship. Recently, we’ve had sessions concerning a revision to our congregation’s Mission Statement. Currently, in coordination with our Racial Concerns Discussion Group, we are reading and discussing the book Mistakes and Miracles: Congregations on the Road to Multiculturalism. This is part of a Common Read project by the Unitarian Universalist Association. Please check News/Announcements and the Calendar on this website for schedule and future topic details.
Chair: Reverend Fred
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED FOR 2022!
Our Annual Auction 2022 surpassed our goal of $7,000, totaling $7,349! Thank you to Bob Yavis who not only served as auctioneer for the live auction, but also worked diligently to get more than 40 business-donated gift certificates for the auction. Thank you to everyone who participated in the auction by donating, bidding, or helping with the final stage pick up days.
We had 131 items in the auction, 13 of which were in the live auction. While the bidding was done virtually via email or phone over the last week of January, there were also daily viewing times available so that people could stop in and see the items pictured in the catalog. The evening tally sheets kept everyone up to date with the status of the bidding on each item and generated some bidding wars! We had a good time with the live auction over Zoom the final day with 20 door prizes given to the lucky winners. The $500 bid for the knitted blanket created by the Knit ‘n Chat group was definitely a highlight!
More important than the revenue brought in is the excitement the auction generates and the connections we make with one another. Though due to the pandemic we did not have the usual in-home dinners offered there were still a few outdoor activities or other events for people to sign up for. We look forward to being in person next year with a luncheon or other type of gathering for our live auction.
As suggested by the owner of the auction software, we donated $250 to the UU Guatemalan Scholarship Fund instead of paying the yearly fee for the software we used.
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
The Caring Circle was initiated to offer recognition and support to members of the congregation. Comprised of caring and compassionate church members, the group sends cards, provides phone calls, and offers emotional support and assistance as needed. The Caring Circle can assist the minister in memorial services and other ceremonies.
Chair: Cindy Evans
Past Great Decisions Topics:
- Changing Demographics by Joseph Chamie
- Outer Space by Eric Berger
- Climate Change by Ron Bee
- Russia and the U.S. by Allen Lynch
- Myanmar and ASEAN by Hunter Mardton
- Quad Alliance by Kevin Rudd
- Drug Policy in Latin America by Monica Serano
- Industrial Policy by Johnathon Chanis
- Biden’s Agenda by John Ikenberry
- 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?
Great Decisions Discussion Group
Great Decisions Discussion Group is an annual seminar held during February and March using the Great Decisions Manual published by the U.S. Foreign Policy Association of New York. Our group, more than 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.
Meetings are once a week for about 2 hours each time. Each meeting covers a different area of foreign policy. The areas are chosen by the Foreign Policy Association of New York. Discussion groups are held around the nation. The Bradenton group has been hosted by Manatee UU Fellowship for more than 25 years and includes both fellowship members and folks from the community.
Each meeting is hosted by a different member of our local group. In addition to the curriculum book, we watch a discussion video by professionals in the field and have an open discussion on it. We ask only that you try to read the suggested material (usually about 10 pages from the curriculum book), let others speak uninterrupted and keep an open mind about all opinions. The cost of the book and a share in the video is about $35. There are no other costs.
Everyone is welcome. Contact Bill by phone or via this website using the contact button below to get the Zoom contact link along with a copy of the book.
Great Decisions was formed in 1919 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.
Chair: Bill Hayes
Meetings: Mondays at 10 a.m., February – March
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 return 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 (see photo from Oct. 11, 2022)— so we are continuing to hold these events there. Note new schedule: As of December 2022, we will meet there on the first Tuesday 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 is B-A-C-K! Finally, after two long years, we resumed this popular activity on April 8, when 24 people gathered in the social room and on the deck with plates full of what many said was the best potluck food ever. It truly was delicious. And so much fun to reconnect and share stories with old and new friends.
Share a Dish dinners continue 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
Weekly Chat Group
Please consider joining our Weekly Chat Group that meets on Zoom every Thursday at 11 a.m. Begun as a way to keep in touch during the earliest days of COVID, it has grown into a popular midweek check-in that continues to nourish and sustain many of our members and friends.
Each meeting begins with everyone checking in and letting us know how they are feeling, or they might have a problem they would like to share and get feedback from the group.
After everyone in the Zoom meeting has spoken, Rev. Fred L Hammond leads a discussion on a question that has been sent to everyone. Recently we talked about occupations, the one that was part of our working life, and if you could have chosen another what it would have been. Someone wanted to be another Mother Teresa, and my husband, Dr. Volicer, wanted to be a Playboy photographer!
The mix of serious talk and some conversations that are just fun make Thursdays a very special day. Please join us for this seriously humorous group, every Thursday at 11 a.m.
An email reminder with the Zoom link is sent to everyone on our mailing list each Wednesday. See Joyce Simard for more information.
— Joyce Simard