Articles, Reflections, & Announcements
For the past nine months the world has responded to the threat of Covid-19 by sheltering in place and being apart from others. That’s forced us to find new ways to stay connected, mainly through virtual platforms. But we are a congregation that thrives on connectivity so it’s been difficult to be distanced during this initial phase of the pandemic. Looking ahead UUCT is considering first steps toward returning to in-person gatherings for our church family while employing stringent safety guidelines.
What’s being considered is a 30 minute contemplative service on the veranda. Guidelines would include social distancing, wearing masks and no singing. We would like to begin in November. But first we need to know if the congregation is ready to venture into this next phase knowing that safety would be the priority. Understand that this is not intended to replace the Sunday Zoom services. Those will continue. You may wonder what a contemplative service would look like. It would not mimic the program of a Sunday service, rather it would include a poem or reading, periods of silence, and a time to share what’s on our hearts.
Please take a moment to respond to this one question survey: Would you attend a 30 minute contemplative service on the veranda with safety guidelines? Please respond no later than Wednesday October 21 at 12pm.
God Squad Hosted by The Village Square
On Friday, October 23 at noon God Squad launches its 11th season of improbable conversations on faith and politics. Unlike the previous ten seasons, we’ll be live via Zoom until it’s safe for large crowds to gather again in public. To defy current trends, we’ll spend the first program of the season not talking about politics. “Our broken hearts: Civility (and humanity) in 2020” will leave behind all the usual recriminations for a single golden hour to just be human with another. No politics, just people.
The conversation will be facilitated by God Squad regulars Father Tim Holeda of St. Thomas More Co-Cathedral and Betsy Ouellette Zierden (formerly of Good Samaritan United Methodist Church), who will be joined by our special guests Father Dustin Feddon of Joseph House and Rev. William Levwood of Unitarian Universalist Church of Tallahassee. As usual, God Squad is free (especially now that you’re making your own lunch) and open to the public.
RSVP for the October 23rd program here: https://ttvs.org/GodSquadKickoff
Your favorite God Squad regulars will be facilitating more important upcoming conversations through the full season, online here: https://tlh.villagesquare.us/events/god-squad/ Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or at 850-281-1223.
A Page from the Macon Community Garden Journal
By Steve Urse
A page from the Macon Community Garden Journal 10/4/20 Lizette Kelly, Sustainable Tallahassee Community Garden Network & Local Food
It’s finally FALL! September and October are always a hive of activity in the garden. We’re continuing to harvest the last of the summer crops and planting fall favorites. This summer’s sweet potato harvest is over 100 pounds so far and counting. Saturday volunteers also harvested fruit from the Roselle hibiscus shrubs to be dried for tea and processed into jelly to share. The cranberry hibiscus bushes are still beautiful and produce leaves that are a sweet, tasty addition to salad and can be brewed for tea. Our tabasco pepper plants are still prolific and generating over 2-4 quart containers of peppers each week for making into pepper sauce (a favorite over fall greens).
The last of the sweet potatoes will be harvested soon. Then we’ll add compost and fall transplants such as curly and Winterbor kale, Georgia collards, mustard greens, and Green Magic broccoli. Earlier this month volunteers seeded purple top turnips, lettuce, radishes and some kale varieties. These fall favorites will be ready for harvest around Thanksgiving for the first time and most will continue to produce fresh greens through the winter. Local herbalists Rei and Eva began what will soon be a wonderful culinary and medicinal herb garden in the center of our garden space.
This effort would not be possible without the continued support of the volunteers who help each week such as Janet, Steve, Ed, and Leroy who battle weeds, harvest produce and continually nurture the garden. Ed and Leroy also have introduced us to new and interesting types of vegetables and fruit for the North Florida garden. Thanks also to Janet’s friend Fred who brought many loads of mulch for our walkways. Our newest volunteer Javed joined us just in time for fall planting and also gathered knowledge from the experienced gardeners to put into practice at home. We also thank our Macon residents such as Kenny who runs the irrigation system each week to keep the garden watered and Beverly for weeding. This weekend the Blue family, new Macon gardeners, planted their first garden. After planting their own bed of collards, kale and broccoli, they helped dig sweet potatoes for distribution and plant “shared” neighborhood crops.
Elder Charlotta Ivy from Faith Chapel Pentecostal Church and Pastor Youman from Mount Zion Primitive Baptist Church have distributed produce through their respective churches this year to help us reach as many residents as possible. This fall we hope to start a contactless doorstep delivery program within the neighborhood with the help of both parishes.
Covid-19 has changed the way we garden is subtle ways, by reducing the number of gardeners on site and covering smiles, so often seen in the garden, with masks. But the nurturing spirit and vitality of the garden is still there in the budding plants and fruitful harvest.
Each Saturday volunteers will gather at the Macon Community Garden from 8:30 am to 11:30. Workers and visitors are welcome to join this UUCT Food Justice Initiative. Contact Steve Urse at email@example.com.
Register Now for Upcoming Screenings of The Condor and the Eagle
Friday, November 6th
3-5:30pm PT / 4-6:30pm MT / 5-7:30m CT/ 6-8:30pm ET
SIGN UP TO CO-HOST WITH YOUR CONGREGATION / ORGANIZATION: HERE
Co-hosted by Bull Run Unitarian Universalists, Prince William Conservation Alliance, Williamsburg JCC Indivisible, Earth Rise Indivisible, Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice (UUSJ), Unitarian Universalist Church of Loudoun, Earth Justice Team, Citizens Climate Lobby, Prince William Chapter, Mothers Out Front, and the Greater Prince William Climate Action Network.
Thursday, November 19th
5:30-8pm PT / 6:30-9pm MT / 7:30-10pm CT/ 8:30-11pm ET
SIGN UP TO CO-HOST WITH YOUR CONGREGATION / ORGANIZATION: HERE
Co-hosted by North State Climate Action, and the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, GA
ABOUT THE FILM – WATCH THE TRAILER
The Condor & The Eagle premiered in October 2019 at the Woodstock Film Festival, was selected by 28 world-renowned film festivals and has won 8 awards including Best Environmental Documentary at the 2019 Red Nation Film Festival.
Witnessing the overwhelming and terrifying current political climate, many are looking for answers or a form of immediate sacred activism to aid in this rapid need for change. As world climate scientists predict unprecedented global catastrophes, The Condor & The Eagle film features frontline Indigenous women leaders deploying unparalleled global response. The documentary offers a glimpse into a developing spiritual renaissance as the film’s four protagonists learn from each other’s long legacy of resistance to colonialism and its extractive economy on an unexpectedly challenging and liberating journey, which will forever change their attachment to the Earth and one another.
Join Us for Mindful Meditation
Join us in peace and meditation at 3pm EST every Sunday. We are a delightful group of people welcoming you to sit and Zoom with us. If you are new to meditation that is great too! We like to take turns guiding the meditation, so if you would like to share your experience, great, although it is not a requirement. Email Arden at firstname.lastname@example.org to join our practice and for further information.
October Women’s Lunch Bunch
Join the next Women’s Lunch Bunch gathering on Wednesday October 21 for a time to share your joys, despair, recent activities, or frustrations.
We begin at 11:30 am. If you arrive after 11:30 you may find that we have already gone into breakout rooms, but as soon as we can will will invite you to join one of those rooms. Bring something to eat or drink, or not. If you cannot make it this month, we meet every month on the third Wednesday via Zoom. For a link to the meeting contact Linda Oaksford and she will add you to the mailing list.
CARES Act – Charitable Contribution Tax Deductions
As November approaches, if you’re anything like me there’s one thing on your mind: TAXES.
Every year, I count the minutes until TurboTax is released so I can start tinkering in earnest with our return. With December 31st fast approaching and being an important deadline for some decisions that can impact your 2020 taxes, I wanted to draw your attention to a couple of items from the CARES Act that you might not know about.
First, for those who claim the standard deduction, the CARES Act creates an above the linededuction for cash contributions to charitable organizations. This deduction is available up to $300 total per return (notably the amount is the same regardless of Married, Single, or Head of Household filing status). So, if you have not yet donated $300 during 2020, you might consider accelerating some of your contributions so they happen for the 2020 tax year.
Second, if you think you might itemize for 2020, the CARES Act increased the limit for deducting cash charitable contributions from 60% of AGI to 100% of AGI. If you’re considering a large donation to UUCT or another charity, particularly with funds that might be originating in a traditional retirement account such as an IRA or 401K, you may want to consider getting that taken care of before December 31st.
For more information, please see the UUA’s website here: https://plannedgiving.uua.org/cares-act
I also found illuminating the article at Fidelity Charitable here:
Please do not consider the above to be tax or legal advice. Consult with an appropriate
City Clean Energy Survey- Your Input is Needed
By Steve Urse
City Clean Energy Plan Survey – Your Input Needed The City has taken giant strides towards achieving 100% net clean, renewable energy by 2050 with some transportation goals by 2035. Both goals should result in cleaner air for all citizens. The solar farm and purchases of electric cars and buses are leading the way. Utility staff reported accomplishments and next steps to the City Commission on Wednesday September 23.
Community input is vital to the development of the plan. As such, an online Clean Energy Plan Survey has been developed and posted to the City’s website. Results from this initial survey will be used to facilitate future outreach efforts including community discussions that will occur in the coming weeks and months.
The survey will remain online for several weeks and the City would appreciate your input. The link to learn more about accomplishments so far and to participate follows:
Steve Urse, member City Utility Citizens’ Advisory Committee
Old Guys Lunch now on the Veranda
By John Sample
The Old Guys Lunch will begin meeting every other Wednesday on the veranda at UUCT beginning 10/21 from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm . People can bring, but not share food, wear masks, and follow social distancing guidelines of 6 feet separation. Our group process will continue with checking in regarding our personal health and welfare, update on UUCT members who cannot attend because of health or other reasons, and lively discuss events of the day. Finally OGL members will again send a RSVP if they plan to attend. If interested in joining, email John Sample email@example.com