Articles, Reflections, & Announcements
Tend the Spark, Carry the Flame
A BIG SHOUT OUT!!!
Our 2021/22 Annual Canvass Pledge Drive has ended. And what an end it is! 92% of our pledge units caused us to reach 98+% of our financial goals. Well done, members of the UUCT!
A Canvass Pledge requires many, many volunteers to be successful. This year we had 24 people (+ me) working directly on the Canvass – this is almost 15% of our total congregation. This is a remarkable number of people. Each of these dedicated volunteers worked diligently throughout the three months of the drive. I would like to name and thank each person for their time and effort.
Here are our pledge drive heroes:
- Canvass Committee and Team Coaches – Ev Anderson, Jennifer Carver, Carolyn Dubard, William Levwood, Annette Pearce, and Debby Tipton
- Team Captains – Bonnie Abellera, Sally Anderson, Warren Brackman, Maggie Cass, Kay Cleary, Elinor Elfner, Erika Frisby, Deborah Holt, Teri Martin, Tom Moore, Linda Oaksford, Rod Oldenberg, Alana Katherine “Kay” Stuart-Tilley, Joanne Taylor, and Janet Temkin
- Graphic Designer and Advisor – Sam Edwards
- Member Status Advisor – Trudy Deyle
- Technical Support and Chief Cheerleader – Adriane Pitt
A HUGE THANK YOU TO YOU ALL!
P.S. If you have not already done so, please complete the questionnaire sent to you in your
package as soon as possible, and no later than April 23 rd . You can also complete it online by clicking this link: https://forms.gle/beJ4bPiBAmVzi7u18
Invitation to the UU Drawdown Ecochallenge
By Ed Oaksford
Project Drawdown is a broad coalition of researchers, scientists, graduate students, PhDs, post-docs, policy makers, business leaders, and activists who have come together to map, measure, and model the best available solutions that can cumulatively reverse global warming within the next 30 years.
The Drawdown Ecochallenge is a customizable and solutions-oriented engagement program focused on reducing carbon in the atmosphere. The actions within this Ecochallenge connect to solutions highlighted in Project Drawdown’s work – research that maps, measures, models, and describes solutions to global warming that already exist. Participants choose actions, complete those actions, and track and share their progress using a robust online platform. When they check off their completed actions, they earn points and see the real-time impact of their actions. The combination of collective action, camaraderie, and friendly competition makes change a little easier — and a lot more fun.
The Drawdown Ecochallenge website platform provides tools and inspiration to turn intention into action and gives participants a fun and social way to think about and act on proven solutions to reverse global warming.
Drawdown Ecochallenge is free and open to the public. Participants can join an existing team, create a new one, or join the Community team. Team captains can set the dates and length of their team’s participation based upon their own goals, timelines, and initiatives. It is recommended that groups and individuals participate for at least three weeks in order to turn their actions into new habits that can be sustained long-term.
The UU Ministry for the Earth has initiated a nation-wide effort to engage as many UU’s as possible in a “UU Drawdown Ecochallenge” for our entire denomination. The ecochallenge has been running since March 19th and will be continuing through June 30th. If folks in our congregation join in, as several in our congregation already have, we will all collectively see just how much can be done to reverse global warming. Granted, we will be starting a little late, but that should be no deterrent to our getting involved.
What better time to make a statement for the environment than during Earth Month. Details will be spelled out in more detail during the coffee hour after our Earth Day Sunday Service on April 18th.
If any of you want to get engaged before that time just email Ed Oaksford at email@example.com and he’ll provide you all the information you need to join and get yourself set up on the UU Team.
Earth Day Service – Restore Our Earth
By Ed Oaksford
The theme of this year’s Earth Day is Restore Our Earth, and in that vein, Sunday’s service on April 18th will focus on the ecosystem services our planet graciously provides.
Healthy ecosystems provide services that are the foundation for human well-being including most significantly, our health. Ecosystem services are the benefits people obtain from ecosystems: provisioning services such as food and water; regulating services such as flood, pest, and disease control; cultural services such as spiritual and recreational benefits; and supporting services, such as nutrient cycling, that maintain the conditions for life on Earth.
Climate change and other environmental degradations have broken our natural systems, leading to new and fatal diseases as well as a breakdown of the global economy. But just as climate change and coronavirus painfully remind us of the harm we’ve caused, our ability to Restore Our Earth reminds us of the opportunities that lay ahead.
We must Restore Our Earth, not just because we care about the natural world, but because we live in it. Every one of us needs a healthy Earth to support our jobs, livelihoods, health, and happiness. A healthy planet is not an option — it is a necessity.
In Sunday’s service on April 18th, several members of our congregation will reflect on various ecosystem services that benefit our lives, how humans have affected them, and what we can do to restore them.
An Update from the COVID-19 Reopening Task Force
UUCT’s COVID-19 Reopening Task Force continues to monitor local data and trends to gauge the progress being made in the greater Leon County area. While some signs are encouraging we know we still have a way to go before complete reopening can happen.
That doesn’t mean that the church is on full lock down. The guidelines crafted by the Task Force and approved by the Board allow for small group gatherings and meetings which have been occurring. Groups of 12 or less have been meeting on the veranda and other outdoor settings for some time now. Recently, plans for the upcoming Art Walk outside the church building were approved and a request to hold Easter egg hunts for kids was also given the go-ahead.
In seeking a balanced, sensible and safe path forward the Task Force continues to review the guidelines and make adjustments that reflect current realities. For example, guidelines for the use of the playgrounds that had restricted use to one family at a time are being relaxed to allow more than one family provided no more than 12 persons are present at a time.
As we move forward and more gatherings on church property are held, please be reminded that the usual precautions remain in force. At gatherings where food and drinks are consumed and masks are off it’s especially important to maintain the six-foot social distance envelop. And when working on campus alone or out of immediate range from others a mask isn’t necessary but needs to be on when the distance is closed. (Complete guidelines are posted on the church website under the Coronavirus Alternative Church Plans tab).
A word about post-vaccine precautions. With more people getting vaccinated there may be some confusion about whether precautions still need to be observed. They do. A recent CDC release stated, “Everyone – even those who are vaccinated – should continue with all mitigation strategies when in public settings.”
Some updates on vaccines:
- Beginning April 5 th all Floridians 16 and over will be eligible to receive the vaccine. To pre-register go to https://myvaccine.fl.gov/. Once you’ve registered you’ll be notified when the vaccine is available. For those vaccine hunters who don’t want to wait, a dose may be obtained earlier by going to a vaccination site just before it closes to receive one of the leftover doses.
- Safe and Healthy Big Bend has launched an informational website that brings
together community resources about COVID-19, including when, where and how to get tested or vaccinated; behaviors to stop the spread; the latest information about COVID- 19 and schools. Visit the site at SafeandHealthyBigBend.com.
- Around Florida vaccines are available at 150 CVS locations, 125 Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club locations, more than 70 Winn Dixie locations, soon-to-be over 600 Walgreens pharmacies and every single one of the 730 Publix pharmacies.
The Leon County Covid-19 Information Portal for Testing and Vaccination Sites can be found at:
We appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we navigate these challenging times.
We look forward to the day in the not too distant future when we can safely gather again at church. Until then, stay well.