September 2022 
 
 
Just Saying
from Rev. Richard ‘Bud’ Murphy,
UUJF President
 
 

We share our ability to focus with all sentient beings! We focus when we take in information and we focus when we form intentions and direct our energy through action. A lot has been written about the law of attraction. Depending on who's commenting, it can be described as a mysterious, magnetic like force, bringing the object of our intention into our lives! Perhaps less mystifying than the law of attraction is the observation that when we act with intention and observe the laws of ordinary physics, we can reasonably expect to accomplish our goals. Focus is important because it is the gateway to thinking functions such as: perception, memory, learning, reasoning, problem solving, and decision making. Without good focus, all aspects of our ability to think will suffer. If you can't focus effectively, you can't think effectively nor act effectively! Our ability to focus can be impaired. When many things trigger our attention, we can find narrowing our focusing a challenge. We can also focus too narrowly excluding relevant information. We benefit by practicing mindfulness. Carl Sagan in his 1995 book, “The Demon-Haunted World” assert: 

“Not explaining science seems to me perverse. When you're in love, you want to tell the world. This book is a personal statement, reflecting my lifelong love affair with science. He continues, [Science] “…is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness. The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30-second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance. As I write, the number one video cassette rental in America is the Dumber and Dumber, Beavis and Butthead remains popular. … I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - [...] when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.”

May we respect the scientific process and nurture our ability to focus.

 

Legislative Update

 
 

Update:

Environmental Stewardship: Our Role and Responsibility

Thursday, September 1, 2022 at 6:30 ET-on line

Please join the Healthy and Clean Water supporters for a multi-faith discussion on our relationship with the earth and the right to healthy and clean water. Water quality specialists will discuss the issues with our water throughout the state and Faith leaders who will discuss their role with the earth's protection. The program will include poetry readings. Mary G., the Northwest Regional Coordinator, ordained minister and environmental scientist, will be hosting the event and facilitating the conversation.To receive a Zoom link, please email earthethicsaction@gmail.com.

The rationale behind Amendment creation, discussion and adoption: Until state senators and representatives choose to listen to their constituents, Amendments to the state constitution are one of the only ways the majority of Florida voters can be heard on state issues.

Include a link to the the petition in your congregation's Newsletter and Facebook page. Encourage members of your organization and congregation to circulate petitions to place this amendment on the 2024 General Election ballot. Become a Key Ambassador in your County.

UU Justice Florida supports this proposed Amendment to the Florida Constitution establishing the Right to Clean and Healthy Water

 

Legislative Agenda

Personal freedoms, local control, the rights and safety of transgender persons, equitable health care for everybody, reproductive rights, classroom freedoms and the right to assemble are being restricted in Florida.  This fall  we will be updating the Legislative Advocacy section on the UUJF website so that you can start communicating with the nominees and elected officials about issues you care about  in advance of the 2023 session.   Submit your thoughts and suggestions to info@uujusticefl.org.

 

Environmental Justice 

 
 

 

UUJF Climate Resilience Ministry Updates 

Jan Booher, executive director of the Climate Resilience Ministry, facilitates and assists organizations, congregations and advocacy organizations to work together on long term climate resiliency issues impacting them. Read about the projects that are being assisted by this Ministry. Does your area have a climate concern and people who want to work together more effectively?

Being a Better Relative Project in southern Florida
Inspired by this UU Service Committee (UUSC) program, four Unitarian Universalist congregations (UU Congregation of Ft. Myers, All Faiths Unitarian Congregation, Unitarian Church of Sarasota and the UU Congregation of Greater Naples) in partnership with the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians aspire to find out about the true situation in the Everglades and Big Cypress and how they (and UUJF as a statewide support network)can be of service to help alleviate the present challenges of protecting precious wetlands from oil exploration, extraction, development, and big agriculture. 
This project is at the research and planning stage and there is a plan to schedule a series of 5 conversations for guided  sharing of history and experiences.  UUJF is the statewide partner.
 
From Resilience to Restoration:
Leveraging Houses of Faith to Move the Gulf South.
Unitarian Universalist Justice Florida (UUJF) will participate on this grant from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine grant
The grant has been awarded to the lead organization The People’s Justice Council (PJC) in the category of Innovative Community Engagement Methods.
Partners collaborating on the grant include:
● Education, Economics, Environmental, Climate, and Health Organization (EEECHO)
● Texas Impact
● Gulf Coast Creation Care (GCCC)
● Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy (GCCLP)
● Interfaith Power & Light (IPL) chapters throughout the Southeast
 
The initial focus will be on 7 counties in the Florida panhandle where CAT 5 Hurricane Michael
had a tremendous impact in October 2018. The houses of faith were extremely active during the
response to that hurricane, and are still providing leadership and support in the communities that
were still recovering from Hurricane Michael when the COVID-19 pandemic began to ravage
the communities both in terms of the spread of COVID-19 and in terms of social and economic
impacts. These counties include the rural poor and many BIPOC communities living the Jim
Crow legacy.
 

 Events at Congregations

UUJF will be sharing activities happening at our congregations in the future.  Some are on line, others are not.  Just reading what another congregation is doing may give you a great idea for your own congregation. Please share your justice opportunities with our Florida congregations.

 

A Labor Day of Love 

Nature Coast UU Fellowship, 7633 N Florida Ave. Citrus Springs 
September 4 at Sunday Service at 10:30 am 
Contact rubitime@gmail.com for link to service. 
 

Our Labor Day speaker  Prof. Jeff Nall brings Nature Coast UU a unique program about Bell Hooks, a major black feminist lesbian theorist.

Get UpToDate on feminism. Starting her first book at 19, until her recent death, Bell wrote about 30 books- including some children’s books, Bell choses Love as a theme, a goal, a desire, a verb, an action. What could be more UU? 

Don’t miss your chance to catch up and catch on… Belle is what today’s young people are studying and reading and quoting.

 
 
 
 

Monthly Forum with Cynthia Graham about Paradise Park

Friday, September 16 at 4:00pm
Tri-County Unitarian Universalists
7280 SE 135th St. Summerfield, FL 34491
For more information, call 240-475-2111

Cynthia Graham, an educator, photographer, and lecturer whose advocacy was instrumental in the installation of a “first” black historical marker by the Bureau of Historic Preservation at the former entrance of Paradise Park at Silver Springs, will speak on the history of Paradise Park and local civil rights leaders.  

The author's books will be for sale following the program.  This will be the first of a monthly forum series at Tri-County Unitarian Universalists on the third Friday of the month at 4:00pm.  Masks will be required if area COVID statistics remain high. A congregational potluck or outdoor refreshments will follow the forum-guided by area COVID statistics.

 
 
 

News at Congregations 

 
 

Unitarian Universalists of Clearwater

UUJF is pleased to announce that UU Clearwater will receive grant money  to assist their community's GOTV (Get out the Vote) campaign. UU Clearwater is working with the lead partner, NAACP Clearwater/Upper Pinellas County Branch, and local chapters of the League of Women Voters, and Indivisible. 

 
 
 

News and Events from UU Wider World and UUJF

 
 
 
 
 
 

Southern Region

If you want to support the work of the leaders of your congregation or want to learn more about what makes UU congregations tick, consider taking Leadership classes with the Southern Region. 
Check with your Board members, minister or Council to see if others are attending. UUJF will reimburse up to four members from each congregation.  
 The Southern Region Leadership Experience (LE) is a three-part, nine-month, online course designed to support leaders at all levels. The sections of the Leadership Experience must be taken in sequential order. They can be taken over two or even three years. Learn more about the Leadership Experience track below. 
Check with your Board members, minister or Council to see if others are attending. UUJF will reimburse up to four members from each congregation.  
 

Unitarian Unitarian Association 

Side with Love Action Center has created a newly designed initiative called UPLIFT Action for Reproductive Rights
UPLIFT Action says:
From the rising tide of “Don’t Say Gay” laws, to the criminalization of life-saving gender-affirming and abortion care, our bodies and our identities are being targeted in deadly ways. Rooted in our Unitarian Universalist affirmation of the inherent worth and dignity of all people—including all bodies, and all identities—Side With Love is proud to introduce UPLIFT Action, our new campaign organizing for LGBTQIA+, Gender, and Reproductive Justice. Together, we commit to growing our skills, deepening our spiritual grounding, honing our analysis, and fighting together for a world in which everybody is sacred.
To learn more, click here. To learn about other Side with Love actions, click here
 
 
 
UUJF Funding Announcement
Congregational Member Funding Opportunity
 
 

UU Justice Florida (UUJF) is offering a funding opportunity to kick start, energize or supplement your Unitarian Universalist inspired outreach work.

What we are offering

UUJF is offering grants of up to $1,000.00 to aid a UU group’s work that supports UU Justice Florida’s major goal of promoting justice, equity, and compassion in public policy in Florida. UUJF’s core issues are Democracy in Action, Environmental Justice, Public Health and Safety, Immigration Reform, LGBTQ+ and Gender Justice.

Request an application here.

Applicants need to complete the Google Application form to receive funding for your UU group’s work and submit it to UUJF for review and acceptance.  Once your request is approved by the UUJF Board, you, your minister or/and Board president will be sent the approved application and they will be asked to acknowledge your grant and plans. Please remember, your project’s purpose(s) must align with UU Justice Florida’s goals and core issues as described above. 

Your responsibilities

You will be responsible for saving receipts of expenditures and writing a simple narrative report regarding the results of your project within 6 months of grant acceptance. If the project continues past six months, a preliminary report and receipts collected to that point needs to be submitted, with a final report and receipts by the end of 12 months.

More detailed information will accompany the application.

 
 
 
 

Please submit news and upcoming events in your congregation for the October newsletter to info@uujusticefl.org in time for publication Sept. 25.

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Visit the UUJF website and UUJF Facebook group
View archived UUJF newsletters.
 
Does your congregation have an online sermon or event that addresses a Justice issue?
Is your congregation involved in upcoming social justice initiatives in our area? Send us a note to info@uujusticefl.org for more information or to publicize your programs and actions.
 

Unitarian Universalist Justice Florida
P.O. Box 1310 | Orange Park, Florida 32067
  info@uujusticefl.org

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