Articles, Reflections, & Announcements

 

Tend the Spark, Carry the Flame

Keeping it All Going Behind the Scenes

By Jennifer Carver

As we wind down our pledge drive for the 2021-2022 fiscal year (and hopefully the COVID-19 pandemic as well), we want to give a SHOUT OUT to all the people who have gone above and beyond to make sure that our church and all individual members didn’t just survive but thrived during this year of the pandemic. These hardworking people include our UUCT Executive Board, our staff, key committees, such as finance and membership, and others who keep our facilities, Sunday services, and programs running. Their efforts, many of them behind-the-scenes, take place during what used to be “normal” times, and these staff and volunteers quickly refocused their efforts to work during the last year, to keep UUCT furthering its mission of inspiring all to seek freely, live ethically, and nurture each other and the Earth.

Our Executive Board members who have answered the call to serve the congregation as leaders during this time have continuously stepped up, working with our staff and other volunteers to rethink how we do church in a big way. Each board member focuses on areas of our church’s shared ministry, such as buildings and grounds, religious exploration, church community and membership, worship, social justice, and finance.  Our board members have led us well over this year, and we appreciate their efforts.

Our staff, Rev. William, Music Director Angel De Armendi, Interim Music Director Li Kynvi, Director of Religious Exploration Helen Rivers, Office Administrator Adriane Pitt, and Sexton Les Campbell, have worked to inspire us, find new ways of nurturing our spirits, and keep the facilities and programs in shape in this pandemic isolation. While our nursery has been dark during this time, before the pandemic, our dedicated child care workers performed an essential function for the parents of small children among us.

Other key committees and groups of volunteers work tirelessly to keep UUCT running. The finance committee, budget coordinator, personnel committee, membership, and outreach volunteers connect us, keep the bills paid, and think about our future when we can return to our facilities and gather together in person. Our Sunday services have kept on keeping on with the help of our Worship Associates and tech support/audiovisual volunteers, offering vibrant and interactive Sunday services and social hour opportunities.

We had to seek new ways of achieving our vision of being a diverse community of communities, living our beliefs, embodying compassion and justice, growing and nurturing visionary leaders, gathering together to learn, grow, and play, and reaching out to all to actively expand our circle of caring. We have done this work this past year, though in adifferent way. We have stretched ourselves to see things differently, staying connected to and supporting each other.

We have tended our sparks and carried our flames this year, and we have been transformed. We will never be quite the same as we were before, and we will carry these experiences into our new ways of being together at UUCT — growing ourselves and our faith. All of us have a role to play as we keep our shared ministry growing.

 


Don’t Call Me a White Supremacist!

by Bob Deyle

When the UUA began using the term “white supremacy” to talk about how its institutional systems and culture promote and uphold white dominance, I thought it was a tactical mistake. “White supremacy” immediately conjured images of the KKK, neo-Nazis, and white nationalists. I was irked, if not quite apoplectic, by the inference that all UU congregations are complicit in white supremacy, and by extension, I am too. Why risk turning off the very people whose calling to the UU principle to affirm and promote justice, equity, and compassion should make them ready allies in this struggle?

Reading Robin DeAngelo and Ibram Kendi has brought me new perspectives. DeAngelo suggests that white supremacy describes the culture we inhabit, a culture that positions white people and whiteness as ideal, as the norm. And she also argues that white supremacy is a socio-political economic system of domination and structural power that privileges, centralizes, and elevates white people as a group.

What does this imply for me? I acknowledge that I am privileged to be a member of the dominant white supremacy culture but I believe I am a “good white person.”

Kendi’s point is that people are not racist or anti-racist; it’s their individual thoughts and actions that are. From that I infer that it’s not enough for me to affirm justice, equity, and compassion; I must promote these values. Toward that end, I am participating in Allies for Racial Equity at UUCT  (ARE@UUCT) and, through UUCT, in Tallahassee’s Capital Area Justice Ministry.

 


Volunteer Opportunity – Collecting Treasurer

By Dan D’Arcangelis, VP for Finance

UUCT is looking for a volunteer to serve as Collecting Treasurer starting on July 1st. The Collecting Treasurer oversees all incoming money to our church, recording and depositing any payments UUCT receives. The only qualifications are computer literacy and a willingness to learn our accounting software, PowerChurch. Training will be provided by our current Collecting Treasurer, Marty Beech who has done fantastic work for UUCT for many years, as well as other members of the Finance Committee as needed.

If you are interested in serving in this role, please contact our VP for Finance at ddarcangelis@gmail.com.