Message from Rev. Richard ‘Bud’ Murphy, UUJF President

Just Saying 5/25/2021


“Begin with the end in mind!” I first came across this “obvious” notion. as a naïve student of philosophy. Many years later I would encounter it again with Stephen Covey in his, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” where he lists, “Begin with the End in Mind.” as his second habit. Management consultants see clear measurable goals as essential to success.  Even Yogi Berra said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else”.  With the pandemic and all the uncertainty swirling in national and international politics, the media, social networks, and even mainstream religion, we could “take refuge” in the ultimate triumph of good over evil but even here we are likely to encounter differing definitions of good and evil.  
“Begin with the end in mind.” Wait, perhaps these philosophers are speaking about something besides our next project.  What if the end they are suggesting we keep in mind is our personal end?  What if keeping our own mysterious destiny in perspective changes how we encounter our world and one another. Simone de Beauvoir in her, “The Ethics of Ambiguity” confronts our tendency to seek comfort in a belief in our continued existence, as a failure to acknowledge the ambiguity of existence.  We are and then we are not.  Our challenge is to stay open to ambiguity and mystery.
Eastern philosophers speak of being enriched by the contemplation of death.  Perhaps keeping our end in mind can offer a perspective that guards against hubris and idolatries, leaving us open to and resonating with imagined and unimagined possibilities.
Share the journey!
Richard “Bud” Murphy, UUJF Pres.


Legislative Update

The 2022 Legislative Session will convene in January and will be preceded by six weeks of committee meetings when state legislators will be in Tallahassee.  The first week of meetings will be held Sept. 20 to Sept. 24 and the last from Nov. 29 to Dec. 3. Thus, it will be important for congregations and organizations to form their Legislative Action teams over the summer months and request appointments to meet with their legislators either in person or virtually before the first of these pre-session meetings and before their appointment calendars fill up.

Each team will receive a suggested agenda and list of missed opportunities that progressive Floridians supported in the 2021 session that ended in April.   Regrettably these proposed bills were never placed on committee agendas for a hearings or votes and died in committee.  Our goal will be to show there is significant public interest and support for passage of these bills when they will most likely be re-introduced in the 2022 session.

Listed below are twelve categories which will be amended over the summer to include items of missed opportunities.  Each team is encouraged to prioritize or focus on those categories which are of greatest interest in your congregation, organization or community.
1. Home Rule vs. Preemption to the State
2. Accountability of Police and Law Enforcement
3. Health Care Affordability and Accessibility
4. Public School Education
5. Environmental Sustainability
6. Representative Democracy/Election Reform
7. Human Rights (esp. for Women, Children and Minorities) 
8. Public Safety
9. Budget and Taxation
10. Jobs and Economic Opportunity
11. Immigration
12. Redistricting

Looking ahead to the 2022 session, it is expected Governor DeSantis will most likely follow the lead of his State Board of Education Commissioner and 15 other states in efforts to muzzle the teaching of Critical Race Theory in Florida’s Public Schools.  By participating in your organizations’ Legislative Advocacy Teams, you will be showing strong public support for a school curriculum that teaches critical analysis as a tool for addressing complex issues in today’s diverse and fast changing world.


News and Events from the UUA, UUSC, Congregations and Affiliated Organizations


UU Congregation of Lake County (UUCLC)

June 13, Reducing our Carbon Footprint.
When:  Sunday, June 13, 7pm – 9pm


National Popular Vote Compact

Join us June 3, at 7 pm for a discussion led by Pam Edwards-Roine with The League of Women Voters and Floridians for the National Popular Vote and what we can do to advocate for the NPVC here in Florida.

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It has been enacted into law by 15 states and DC with 195 electoral votes. It needs an additional 75 electoral votes to go into effect.

Pam currently serves as the Northeast Florida Director of Floridians for the National Popular Vote and is leading the fight here in Florida for the National Popular Vote.

Presented by the Indivisible Florida Network.



A Candidates Forum sponsored by the Election Campaign Practices Committee (ECPC) is scheduled for June 1 at 5 p.m. PT / 6 p.m. MT / 7 p.m. CT / 8 p.m. ET. Jay Kiskel and Rev. Sam Trumbore are running for a single position (#8) on the UUA Board of Trustees. Candidates will give statements, answer questions, and engage in discussion. Rev. KC Slack and Elizabeth McGregor of the ECPC will serve as moderators. Attendees are invited to submit questions for the candidates in advance by email to, or during the forum by typing them into the Q&A panel. Register for the Candidates Forum Webinar on Zoom.


Register now for the 100% virtual General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association, June 23-27 . Participants will worship, witness, learn, connect, and make policy for the Association through democratic process. Registration is open to all.

Registration is $200 per person. Financial support for registration as well as a payment plan are available. General Assembly registrants receive access to the 2021 Online Participation Portal including live and on-demand video content, the virtual exhibit hall, chat features, support, and a (new!) GA mobile app.

Voting Rights - Georgia and Florida at GA: 2021 Ware Lecture: Stacey Abrams and Desmond Meade will be the Ware Lecture speakers on Saturday, June 26, 7 pm EDT.

Stop the Line 3 Pipeline in Northern Minnesota

We rise together for treaties. We rise together for climate. We rise together for our water. We rise together for one another. On June 5-8, we will gather in Northern Minnesota to put our bodies on the line, to stop construction and tell the world that the days of tar sands pipelines are over. Only a major, nonviolent uprising - including direct action - will propel this issue to the top of the nation’s consciousness and force Biden to act. We are rising.

UUSC is organizing a UU faith leader delegation!
Are you a faith leader interested in joining this in person gathering?
UUSC is calling on faith leaders to be in solidarity with the movement to Stop Line 3.
Reach out to for more information on financial support and how to join!
Agenda & Faith Leader Events for June 5th- 8th include:
June 5th: Welcome and shabbat service in the evening.
June 6th: An interfaith worship in the morning followed by workshops throughout the afternoon.
June 7th: Opportunities for direct action at Line 3 throughout the day on Monday.
Logistics and information
Lodging Information:
MUUSJA has reserved the Northern Pines Camp with bunkbed, dorm-style cabins in Park Rapids, MN for the multi-faith delegation. Most daytime events will be at a large hall on the White Earth Reservation or at the Welcome Water Protectors camp in Palisade.
Cost: The cost for a bed in a cabin and one hot dinner meal per day in the camp dining room is $60/day
If you are tenting or car-camping the cost is $10/day
Accessibility:  Please use the sign-up form to indicate need for accessibility accommodations. We're collaborating with organizers from the reservations and campground to make this weekend as accessible for everyone as is possible at these locations.

Please submit news and upcoming events in your congregation for the July newsletter to in time for publication June 25.

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Is your congregation involved in upcoming social justice initiatives in our area? Send us a link or more information to publicize your programs and actions.

Unitarian Universalist Justice Florida Action Network
P.O. Box 1310 | Orange Park, Florida 32067

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