Auction: Our Annual Fundraiser
Each winter, Manatee UU Fellowship holds an Annual Auction — both silent and live — to help support our fellowship. This is our fellowship’s major fundraising event of the year.
Starting in the fall, our auction chair, Carol Bartz, begins preparations for soliciting donations of items to auction off from local businesses and from our membership. Mid-January, a catalog of items up for bid is prepared and released. In-person viewing times for silent auction items are scheduled at our building.
Silent auction bidding is by email, text or phone call, and is open until the day before the live auction — always a fun event with music and of course an auctioneer! — held early in February after our regular Sunday service, accompanied by a luncheon.
Regular Auction updates are posted on the News page of this website under “Announcements.” Please contact Carol for more information or to volunteer to help with all aspects of this important event. Organizers for the luncheon are always especially needed.
Chair: Carol Bartz
Beloved Circles: A Small Group Ministry
Small Group Ministry is a network of small groups 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.
Chair: Reverend Fred
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. For nearly 30 years, Manatee UU Fellowship has served as a local 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 are posted in News/Announcements.
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.
Chair: Carol Alt
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!
Chair: Carol Bartz
Racial Concerns Discussion Group
The Racial Concerns Discussion Group is 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 eager 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. 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!
On the first Wednesday of each month, fellowship members and friends gather at an area restaurant for food, drinks, and fun. Check ‘Announcements’ on our website News page — or our website Calendar — for latest location.
In addition, each year we attend a Bradenton Marauders baseball game at LECOM Park (formerly McKechnie Field). Most recently, we have attended the team’s Nine Devils Tribute Night, an annual event recognizing the members of the historic Nine Devils baseball team that represented Bradenton in the Florida State Negro League.
Other events take place throughout the year. Most recently we enjoyed a group trip to an art exhibit by our member Peg Green, whose beautiful fabric art also graces our Sanctuary.