Sign up for third annual campout Oct. 12-14

Our Green Sanctuary Team is now accepting signups for the third annual UUCC campout at Bergfried the weekend of Oct. 12-14, 2018. Click the button below to sign up.

Eliot Chapel, our sister UU church in Kirkwood, Mo., owns the 600-acre Bergfried retreat facility near Hermann, Mo. We had fun there the past two years and expect even more fun this year. It is a great experience for children, and it gives our members and friends a chance to make deeper connections with each other.

Those who attend can expect to enjoy fall colors, campfires, s’mores, singing, hiking, music, games,
and an outdoor Sunday Worship Service. See pictures from the 2016 campout.

You can come and camp out or stay in the cottage or one of the two bunkhouses (first come, first served). The cottage has water, electricity, a double bed, two twin beds and three portable twin floor mattresses that can be used on the screen porch. There are two bunkhouses, one with four beds and other with five. The bunkhouses are rustic but do provide a bunk to sleep on.

The cost will be a small donation to cover food and the hire of the campsite.

When you sign up, please indicate in the comments box if you are willing to help organize the campout – we will need plenty of help.

SAT co-sponsoring Citizens’ University on Aug. 18

Our Social Action Team is co-sponsoring the one-day “Citizens’ University Mid-Missouri” from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18 at Naka Hall-Engineering Building West at 411 S. Sixth St. on the MU campus. The team encourages everyone to register and attend this free opportunity for education, fellowship and hands-on training organized by the Mid-Missouri Solidarity Network.

Rev. Molly will be a speaker on one of the panels, and our member Gretchen Maune is scheduled to speak on another panel.

You can register and find more information about the event and parking instructions here.

Following is a description and schedule of workshops and panel discussions:

Session One – 11 to 11:50 a.m.

I Care; Now What? (Workshop)
Description: Change starts with one person speaking out. Many national movements have started with one or a group of individuals focused on a cause, like the Parkland students. This session will cover how individuals can spark a movement along with stories from citizens that took up a cause and fought within their community for change.
Leader: Barbara Hoppe (Lawyer, PedNet)
Guests: Kristin Bowen (Moms Demand Action); Angela Speck (Lee School Name Change)

Organizing for Action (Workshop)
Description: How do you mobilize your base to make effective change? Our facilitators will cover how to effectively reach your audience. This session will cover how to run effective phone banks, canvassing outreach, and petitioning along with other techniques.
Leader: Dina van der Zalm, Missouri Rural Crisis Center

Winning the Battles (Workshop)
Description: Do you know how to target the real issue underlying the broader problem? Would you like to be able to more easily plan a winnable and significant campaign? Come and learn how to identify a clear target and the best way to motivate your volunteers to action.
Leader: Missouri Jobs with Justice

Intersectional Activism Panel
Description: Intersectional is more than a buzzword. We have an obligation to make our activism intersectional but what is the right way to do that? Panel participants discuss what intersection truly means in today’s civil rights battles and how we can learn from history to strengthen our activism.
Facilitator: Chris Lawrence, Lawrence, Oliver & Assoc.
Michael McPhearson, Veterans for Peace
Kris Hendrix, Expect Us
Jeannette Mox-Oxford,Empower MO
Da’vid de los Aguayos, Worley Street Roundtable
Gretchen Maune, Citizen Activist (tentative)

Session two – Noon to 12:50 p.m.

Diff Conversations & Effective Listening (Workshop)
Description: Change is made through one on one conversations, whether it be with your representative or your neighbor. But how do we have productive conversations when we are at opposite ends of an issue? How can we move a conversation with our adversaries or our allies by really HEARING what they say?
Leader: Nikki McGruder, Inclusive Impact Institute

How to be an Effective Citizen Advocate
Description: Do you know who you should call when you have a concern? Do you feel like no one is listening? Come learn from long-time advocates how you can be most effective in instituting change. Learn the legislative process and how citizens can be involved in changing policy.
Leader: Carolyn Appaman, Sierra Club

In the News
Description: Nothing happens in a vacuum. Whether you trust the media or not, we need them and they need us. Join us for a discussion with past editors and activists to learn how to build a strong relationship with the press. Gain knowledge of how to craft your story for media and when to reach out to them.
Leader: Sean Soendker Nickolson or Benjamin Singer, CLEAN Missouri Campaign
Guests: Virginia Young (Former State Capital Bureau Chief, St.Louis Post-Dispatch); Matt Sanders (City Editor Columbia Daily Tribune)

Faith & Social Justice Panel
Description: How do your religion’s values intersect with your politics? Do you have a religious obligation to affect change in your community? What are the benefits and downfalls of intertwining the two?
Facilitator: Laura Schopp, Show Me Dharma
Rev. Sarah Klaassen, Rock Bridge Christian Church
Neveen Ayesh, American Muslims for Palestine
Jeanne Snodgrass, University of Mizzou Hillel
Ruth O-Neill, St. Francis House

Session Three – 2 to 2:50 p.m.

Part 1: Intro to Social Media Tools (Workshop)
Description: Social media plays a big role in activism today. Come learn the basics of how organizations are using Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms. If Donald Trump can use Twitter, so can you!
Leader: Jen Reeves, Born Just Right

Civic Rights: Where does free speech end?
Description: Do you know the line between peaceful protest and civil disobedience? If you do participate in an action, what are your rights if police are called? Join experts in a discussion and gain a better understanding of individual and organization’s rights when speaking out.
Leaders: Attorney Dan Viets and Prof. Sandy Davidson

See You in the Streets (Workshop)
Description: Organizing protests, marches, and other civil actions to make an impact. We will discuss the nitty gritty of how to organize an action, when to work with municipal government (and when not to), how to spread the word, and get the media to cover your event.
Co-Leads: Kris Hendrix (Expect Us); Michael McPherson (Veterans for Peace)
Guest: Cheyenne Green

Legislative Lobbying Panel
Description: Legislators say they want to hear from citizens but how can we make them listen? Legislators, lobbyists, and citizen advocates will share their opinion of the most effective way to ask for what you want, steps to help advance your cause and what has worked and what hasn’t.
Facilitator: George Laur, Citizens Climate Lobby
Robyn Schlep, Citizen Activist
Rep. Martha Stevens, MO House Dist 46
Brian Smith, MRCC
Mike Hoey, Missouri Catholic Conference

Session Four – 3 to 3:50 p.m.

Part 2: Social Media for Advocacy
Description: Social platforms are the great equalizer. Through them organizations can spread their message and call people to action at a moment’s notice. This discussion will cover successful groundswell efforts and discuss the best way to get the word out through social channels.
Leader: Jen Reeves, Born Just Right
Guests: Kris Hendrix, Expect Us

Leveraging Economic Power
Description: “The world is ruled by power and power is obtained by money“-Tadeusz Borowski. Take back your economic power! Learn more about the tools every citizen can utilize to put pressure on corporations and institutions through individual action or group efforts.
Leader: Mark Haim, Mid-MO Peaceworks
Guests: Mizzou Energy Action Coalition

De-escalating Hostility
Description: We often find ourselves in difficult conversations, at the dinner table with friends or family, at work, or attending functions for our causes. This course will help you identify potentially aggressive behavior and give you tools to help diffuse the conflict.
Leader: Pending

Building a More Kind and Just Society Panel
Description: All of the causes we fight for are meant to make the world a better place. How do we help shape our institutions and instill values that benefit society? How do we ensure we work together in the best interest of all? What is working? What isn’t?
Facilitator: Tara Warner-Griggs, Race Matters Friends;Sr. Diversity Assessment & Research Management Consultant
Ed Weisbart, Physicians for a National Health Program
Laura Schopp, Show Me Dharma
Rev. Molly Housh Gordon, Missouri Faith Voices & Unitarian Universalist Church
Rueben Faloughi , Founder Student Coalition for Critical Action; Co-founder Concerned Student 1950
Steve Calloway, Mens Minority Network (tentative)

It’s time to sign up for a Chalice Circle

Now is the time to sign up for 2018-19 Chalice Circles. Click the following button to sign up online:

Members of 2017-18 Chalice Circles also must sign up again. Every effort will be made to keep them in their same group.

Chalice Circles meet regularly to deepen and strengthen interpersonal connections and encourage spiritual growth. They provide a place to share deeply with one another, to build lasting and caring relationships, and to strengthen our church’s sense of community.

Each Chalice Circle has seven to 10 members and meets at least once per month.

Peace Building Team update

The Peace Building Team is seeking additional team members. Anyone interested in serving on the team may contact the team’s chair, Caya Tanski-French, by phone at 573-447-2915 or 573-673-3925 or by email.

Dave Gibbons has stepped down as a member of the team because of his travel schedule and family commitments. Current members of the team are:

  • Paul Ladehoff – email
  • Anna Lingo – email
  • Caya Tanski-French, Chair – email

2018 UUA General Assembly

The Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly was held this year from June 20 to 24 in Kansas City, Mo. What is GA? It’s part inspiration and spiritual sustenance. It’s an opportunity to mingle with UUs from all over the country and some other countries and engage in issues important to our UU faith. But also, it’s a time to conduct a lot of the business of the association.

This year there were 2,814 registered attendees, including 134 youth. 522 congregations from all 50 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Mexico were represented by 1,570 delegates, including 199 off-site delegates.

Our voting delegates this year were Rev. Molly, Todd Iveson, Peter Holmes, Gretchen Maune, Connie Ordway, and Steve Scott. About 15 other members of our church also attended all or part of GA, and a number of them served as volunteers performing various tasks to keep the show running, in exchange for which they received free registration for GA. For example, Maria Oropallo and Kathie Bergman staffed an information booth to answer questions from attendees, and Larry Lile assisted with the tech staff that provided audio/video services.

The business of the General Assembly takes place in General Sessions. All registered attendees are welcome at these sessions, but only voting delegates can vote.

At the business sessions there was broad consensus for aggressively challenging the criminalization of migrants, people of color, and indigenous people. Delegates overwhelmingly selected “Undoing Intersectional White Supremacy” as a multiyear Congregational Study/Action Issue.

Delegates also endorsed three Actions of Immediate Witness, which all emphasize the urgency of supporting people of color and indigenous people. The first calls for congregational action to draw attention to predatory medical fees charged to incarcerated people, who are disproportionately people of color; the UUA’s Church of the Larger Fellowship developed the resolution in partnership with its 870 incarcerated members.

A second resolution pledged solidarity with indigenous “water protectors,” who have been fighting the placement of liquid natural gas pipelines near Native American lands and who face federal charges for disrupting construction of the pipelines.

The third resolution demanded immediate action to improve U.S. treatment of asylum seekers and migrant families to keep families together. Among other demands, the resolution advocates the abolition of Immigration Customs Enforcement “and the implementation of a system that understands the causes of migration, provides a non-carceral solution while asylum seekers await a decision on their case, and has a fundamental commitment to keeping families together.”

Delegates also approved a group of bylaw changes to bring the UUA’s governing document up to date with current understandings of gender diversity. A proposal introduced last year to change Unitarian Universalism’s “Second Source” from “words and deeds of prophetic women and men” to “words and deeds of prophetic people” passed easily.

A second bylaws amendment changed all gendered pronouns in the bylaws to the gender-inclusive “they/them/their.”

A third bylaws amendment will allow religious educators who are active members of the Liberal Religious Educators Association to serve as voting delegates at future GAs.

The assembly also approved bylaws changes adding two youth trustees to the 11 at-large trustees on the UUA Board of Trustees; allowing the role of moderator at GA to be filled by more than one person; modifying the length of terms of service on committees; and simplifying the social witness resolutions process.

Join the Denominational Affairs Team

The primary responsibility of our new Denominational Affairs Team is to act as a liaison between our congregation and both the Unitarian Universalist Association and the MidAmerica Region. The team will:

  • Meet to discuss issues of denominational concern.
  • Promote education on UUA General Assembly social justice statements in collaboration with other teams.
  • Foster an understanding of and commitment to what it means to be a responsible member of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations.

Through these efforts, the Denominational Affairs Team will prepare a pool of people in our congregation to be delegates to the General Assembly and regional meetings.

For more information, contact Steve Scott at 573-442-1865 or by email.

President’s Perspective

Summer should get a speeding ticket.” – Unknown

By Barbara Rupp, 2018-19 President

Normally, summer seems the most fleeting of seasons to me (though I’m pretty sure that Missouri’s spring of 2018 lasted only about 10 days!). Still, even though I am not a fan of the heat and humidity of summer, it is a bit of a magical season for me. Kids are typically out of school, with no pressure about homework and tests. Some were lucky enough to have a family vacation, or at least some picnics, or a trip to a lake or river for a float trip. Sometimes just watching fireflies on a summer evening can bring some very special memories.

As summer winds down and fall schedules power up, I hope each of us can find moments within our weeks to remember the best of this summer or summers of our past and let those memories bring a smile to our face and needed feelings of relaxation when most needed.

This fall will bring plenty to keep us busy, and much that can bring us anxiety and stress. Let us help each other find those moments of summer when most needed.

Sunday School for Grown-Ups! Adult RE at UUCC

Save the Date – R.E. for grown-ups on Tuesday evenings

Join us as we launch a new adult religious education program starting this fall!

We’ll have something interesting on offer every Tuesday evening from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in two tracks:

  • Theology/Spirituality
  • Current Events/Social Justice.

This fall, we’ll be offering multi-session curricula on “What Moves Us: Unitarian Universalist Theology” and “Unitarian Universalists and Class.”

Childcare will be provided, and quarterly pot-luck dinners will offer learners the chance to connect and socialize. See you there!


Mark your calendars for the annual interfaith effort to raise funds to relieve hunger here in Columbia and Mid-Missouri, across the U.S. and around the world. This event is sponsored by Church World Service.

This year the event will be taking place at 2 p.m. Sept. 23 at Stephens Lake Park. Kids are welcome, and the Walk is designed for all levels of abilities.

Watch for the CROP Walk table in the greeting area during the weeks leading up to the Walk. You can sign up for the Walk and donate either at the table in the greeting area or at the Columbia CROP Walk website.

Email Allie Gassmann for more information.

Festival of Sharing Ministry Team Update

Rev. Mel West and his wife Barbara of Columbia, Mo. created the Festival of Sharing project 30 years ago. It started small but kept growing as more people wanted to participate. Our UU Church collaborates with 30 different Missouri faith groups to provide critical items to people in need.

We create packs and kits, with items requested by the trusted Missouri, national and international aid agencies. The agencies distribute our gifts via their own networks. Our kits, packs, special projects and monetary donations promote social justice by providing health, nutrition, disaster aid and education.

There are Festival of Sharing projects displayed on two tables in the greeting area of the church. We hope you will find a project that is meaningful to you. It is so satisfying to be helping someone less fortunate. You can sign up on the clipboards to indicate interest.

In the past we have taken our Festival of Sharing projects to the Missouri State Fair Arena in Sedalia in mid-October. However, it has become too expensive to go to Sedalia for a Friday overnight for youth activities and all-day Saturday activities. Therefore, this year Festival of Sharing has organized Sharefests in seven regions of Missouri.

Churches in our Central Region will take their Festival of Sharing projects to the Tipton United Methodist Church, 204 U.S. Highway 50. Our donations can be dropped off there on Friday, Sept. 21 from 4 to 7 p.m. or on Saturday, Sept. 22 from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Call Marian Hjelmfelt, our Festival of Sharing Coordinator, at 573-449-5118 or 573-999-2265 or send her an email for more information or to volunteer to help.

Steps planned to reduce noise as worship begins

A note from the Worship Associates Team

Our members and friends may recall that we had a couple of “Congregational Conversations” in February and March as part of our search for a new Director of Music Ministry. The Worship Associates co-sponsored the first conversation because it specifically explored the relationship between music and the worship experience. Those conversations raised some concerns about our worship together that we want to address.

One of the things mentioned repeatedly was the level of noise in the sanctuary during the prelude. The prelude should be a time for congregants to center themselves and prepare for worship. In our congregation, it has become common for people to continue their conversations while entering the sanctuary, or after they’ve taken a seat, and sometimes even raise their voices over the music. Many found this disruptive to their own worship experience and/or disrespectful to musicians who’ve come to share their gifts of music with the congregation.

We know this isn’t intentional – we are just a gregarious lot! And, as a congregation, we have not been all that clear about what we expect at the beginning of service. The Worship Associates have now identified several steps intended to rectify this situation. We will be experimenting with these ideas over the summer to see which have the most merit, and we wanted to let you know what to expect.

First, please be aware that the prelude starts a few minutes before the scheduled service time. We will let you know that the prelude is about to begin by ringing the bell, just as we do now. There will also be an announcement from the pulpit, for those already seated. Ushers will then close all but one of the sanctuary doors. Signs on the doors will remind folks to enter quietly at that point – and also serve as a reminder for those remaining in the greeting area during the service that they should be mindful of how easily sound carries into the sanctuary.

The Worship Associates hope congregants will find that these changes help improve their worship experience. We will be revisiting what we think works (and doesn’t) at future Worship Associate meetings. We would welcome comments and suggestions as we test the process this summer. Feel free to contact us by email.

Faith-to-Action nominations requested

The UUCC Social Action Team is requesting nominations for Faith-to-Action Collection recipients for the 2018-2019 church year.  The team is accepting nominations only until Oct. 1, 2018.

Nominations can be made by completing an online form available here – or on a paper form available here or from the Church Administrator. If the paper form is used, put the completed form in the Social Action Team mailbox at the church or mail it to Social Action Team, Unitarian Universalist Church, 2615 Shepard Blvd., Columbia, MO 65201.

Selection Criteria: Nominees may be local, regional, national, or international organizations, programs, or agencies that align with our church mission and vision.  Preference will be given to local or regional efforts with which the congregation has an ongoing working relationship.  For non-local efforts, preference will be given to those with an established connection to the UUA, UUSC or a regional UU ministry.

Memorial for Naoma Powell

From Kathie Bergman, Church Administrator:

Naoma Powell was a member of UUCC and one of its most dedicated supporters. For 30 years, she designed and created our banners and provided flowers and other adornments for our sanctuary. Each year, she wrote a poem on the theme of water, and for many years that poem was part of a choral reading for our fall water ceremony.

A few years ago, Naoma died in poverty – not destitution, but a chosen path in life. She was trained as a potter and dedicated her life to bringing potting and other art forms to people whose opportunities were limited. She used her own resources to create Access Arts for young people with serious handicaps. She became a skilled grant writer to develop a fine facility that is still in our community. She used none of those grants to support herself, but lived simply and frugally.

If there was ever a person in our midst who would qualify as a saint in other religious traditions, it was Naoma Powell. Some of us who treasure her generosity would like to dedicate a bench in our memorial garden to her memory. We can do it for about $800. If you knew Naoma, or if you value what she stood for, please consider a contribution to the Naoma Powell Memorial Fund. Checks should be made out to UUCC with Powell Fund in the memo line.

Sanctuary Team reports shower installation progress

With the shower drain stopped up, Larry Lile tests the flooring underlay material that will be topped with tile for water-tightness. Click photo for larger version.

Our Sanctuary Congregation Team continues to prepare for the day when we are asked to provide sanctuary to someone with precarious immigration status. When you are at church, take a look at the progress being made in remodeling an upstairs bathroom to include a shower.

Larry Lile is doing the remodeling with the help of volunteers. Allie Gassmann assures that Larry gives patient, encouraging instruction to those who offer their help.

Please volunteer for this effort by emailing Dave Gibbons.

UUCC-sponsored refugee family

Several years ago the UUCC Social Action Team sponsored a Sudanese refugee family (the Tota family). Over the years, church members and friends have provided assistance to the family in a number of capacities.

This year the last of the family’s five children needs to acquire citizenship, which costs $1,370. This issue was discussed at the last monthly meeting of the SAT, and the team voted approval to reimburse the Tota family from the Social Action Operating Fund. We would like to offer our congregation the opportunity to replace the money in any amount so the SAT can continue to have funds available for extraordinary needs.

Please make checks payable to UUCC with “Refugee” or “Tota Family” in the memo line and mail or bring to the church.

Soon there will be a display of more information about the Tota family in the Greeting Area.

New! UUCC Member Connect Program

The mission of the Member Connect Program is to assist UUCC members and friends in finding their place in our church community through deeper connection, service, and spiritual exploration. To do this a team of connectors is available to have a conversation with every member of the church who is interested. These conversations will give members a chance to reflect on their spiritual journey, their connection with the church, and their level of involvement in church life.

If you would like to participate in a meeting with a connector or would like to volunteer to be a connector, email Peter Holmes or Rosie Geiser

– Peter Holmes and Rosie Geiser, co-chairs

New Chalice Is Dedicated

Rev. Molly lit the new chalice on Jan. 28 from a flame passed from the chalice made by Naoma Powell.

Our observance of the 67th anniversary of our church’s founding at worship services on Jan. 28, 2018 included dedication of a beautiful new metal chalice purchased and given to the church by a member couple.

The late Naoma Powell made the chalice we had been using since 2006 after the congregation’s previous chalice broke, and it was always intended to be temporary. Naoma’s chalice served us long and well, but was showing signs of wear. To protect this beloved artifact, it is being officially “retired” from active duty but will always have a place in our sanctuary and will still be used for special occasions.

The new chalice is larger and will be easier to see from all parts of the sanctuary, in keeping with the needs of our growing congregation. It was dedicated with Naoma’s own January 2006 words of dedication of the chalice now being retired:

Though chalice changes, the flame burns bright.
Not holder, not cup but flame that offers light.
Flame that lights the darkness.
Flame, in its burning, illumines night.
Flame, its double halo, bringing light to shadow, warmth to shade.
Flame, re-igniting


Meet the Chalice Artist

Ryan Schmidt

Our new chalice that was dedicated at the Jan. 28 worship services was crafted by Ryan Schmidt, a metal artist based in Cumberland Gap, Tenn.

Ryan owned and managed a motorcycle repair shop in Kansas City before moving to Tennessee in 2015. Shortly after moving he met a neighbor, William Brock, a traditional blacksmith who taught Ryan the art of blacksmithing. Ryan’s passion is creating custom-made functional objects, ornamental ironwork, sculptures, and furniture. He is a member of several professional blacksmithing groups.

When Ryan is not creating art at his shop, Mitty’s Metal Art (, he likes to get out and explore the surrounding Appalachian region on his Harley or mountain bike. Ryan is not a UU but is familiar with our denomination through friends.

Music Director search extended

From the Music Director Search Team:

Late last spring Rev. Molly formed a search team tasked with finding a replacement for our beloved Desi Long upon her retirement. Our immediate need – music for the summer services – was fairly easily met by our “deep bench” of volunteer musicians, for whom we are ALL most grateful!

The longer-term question of how best to minister through music, to both the congregation and the larger community, was far more complex. Rev. Molly has already described much of that initial process of creating an interim period in earlier communications, so we won’t repeat them here. Suffice it to say we were most fortunate to secure Marques J. Ruff as our Interim Director of Music Ministry. It was our hope that Marques could manage the immediate tasks as well as help us articulate a clear vision for UUCC’s music program and better define the skills needed by candidates for a permanent position.

Our committee met recently to discuss what we’ve learned in this first half of the church year and to review the search timeline we’d originally established.

We have already seen a number of changes. Choir rehearsals are longer and performances more frequent. We have benefited from the addition of Arun Garg as our new professional accompanist for the choir and our services. Both the choir and the congregation have had a chance to experience a diverse musical repertoire. The feedback we hear is largely positive, but we still feel there is much more to learn about music and culture in our congregation – what we love, what is uncomfortable, what is possible, and more. We want to fully engage the congregation in this conversation so that we have a more complete understanding of what we are looking for in a permanent director.

It is the consensus of the committee that our original timeline of one program year (about nine months) did not allow sufficient time for securing and reflecting on your input. We feel it is critically important to take the time we need to listen first, then recruit, select, and hire a permanent director that is the right long-term fit for our congregation.

To that end, we must adjust our search timeline. This is also, in part, because our process is being happily interrupted by our minister’s parental leave, from the end of March to mid-June 2018.

Our revised timeline extends the search process through May of 2019. That also means lengthening the interim period, allowing Marques more time to work with the congregation and with the search committee. We are very pleased to share that Marques has agreed to extend his engagement with us through May 2019. As previously stated, the interim director is not eligible to apply for the permanent position. And we are sure that Marques will be off to impressive new adventures when his degree program ends in May of 2019.

Key points in the revised timeline appear below.

  • Winter/Spring 2018 – Congregational Conversations
  • Spring/Summer 2018 – Finalize job description
  • Early Fall 2018 – Post and Advertise Job
  • Late Fall/Early Winter 2018 – Conduct Interviews
  • By January 2019 – Make and finalize offer
  • June 1, 2019 – Permanent Director of Music Ministry begins work

We have tentatively scheduled two congregational conversations to inform our search. One will occur in February and another in March. Our topics will include your present experiences and future dreams for music at UUCC. You’ll receive more detailed information shortly!

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact any of us.

With all our best,

Kara Braudis
Cande Iveson
Pack Matthews
Neil Minturn

Your Amazon shopping can benefit UUCC

Do you do online shopping at Amazon? If so, your purchases can now benefit our church with a contribution from Amazon of 0.5% of the purchase price.

Here’s how to get started:

1. In your browser, go to

2. Sign in using your normal Amazon username and password.

3. Next you will see a screen with a box on the right asking you to “Select a charity.”

4. In the bottom of that box, where it says “Or pick your own charitable organization,” type “Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia” in the box and click the “Search” button.

5. Next you will see a screen showing our church with the location listed as “Columbia MO,” and there may be other churches listed. Click the “Select” button next to our church’s name.

6. Finally, you will see another screen with a checkbox to indicate that you understand that you must always start at to support our church. After clicking the checkbox, you can click the “Start Shopping” button which will take you to the main Amazon screen.

A tutorial covering the above steps and including screenshots is available in a printable PDF.

In the future, always start your Amazon shopping at so that your purchases will benefit UUCC. You will find all the same Amazon products and prices there as regular Amazon.

Tip: If you have set up a bookmark or favorite for Amazon, be sure to change it to the new address.

Finally, don’t forget that you can also donate to UUCC when you do grocery shopping at Schnucks – read more.

UUCC receives Peaceworks award

Allie accepting award. Click to enlarge.

UUCC was given an award recognizing our social action work and Rev. Molly’s exemplary leadership in social action – particularly our sanctuary work – at the annual dinner of Mid-Missouri Peaceworks on Saturday evening, Nov. 11, at the Missouri United Methodist Church.

Allie Gassman of our Social Action Team accepted the award on behalf of our church.

Allie said, “It was a great honor to be able to accept the award on behalf of our church – especially in the presence of all the seasoned activists in the room.”

The framed award certificate, shown in the photo below, is on display on the credenza in our Greeting Area.

Please welcome April Rodeghero as Sunday Morning Assistant


Please welcome our new Sunday Morning Assistant, April Rodeghero, who began her work with us in October.

April is mother to a seven-year-old and to one-year-old twins. She has worked with MU Adventure Club, Missouri Afterschool Network and the Columbia Housing Authority. Now she works as a postpartum doula, supporting parents in their new roles. She has attended UUCC occasionally in the past year or so.

April will welcome your friendship and your help in the church kitchen – especially on potluck days for setup and cleanup! Please let’s show April our radical welcoming spirit!

Marques Ruff Named Interim Music Director

Rev. Molly Housh Gordon made the following announcement on Aug. 20, 2017:

Marques Ruff

I am very pleased to introduce to you our new Interim Director of Music Ministry, Marques Jerrell Ruff, who will be working with us for this transitional year beginning Sunday, August 20,2017.

Marques comes to us fresh off of several years touring as a member of the Grammy-winning vocal ensemble Chanticleer. A graduate of Central Connecticut State University with a degree in music, he is excited to begin his Master of Music in Choral Conducting at Mizzou this fall!

A lover of classical, jazz, gospel and show tunes, Marques is also a writer and rather good amateur chef. When not listening to and/or creating music, he can be found enjoying nature, new restaurants, and falling down the hole that is video suggestions on YouTube.

Our search team was especially impressed by Marques’ excellence across an extremely wide variety of musical styles, and we are excited to see how he helps our congregation grow musically, as we dream together about our long-term musical hopes and goals.

In faith and song!
Rev. Molly

UUA has first elected woman President

Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray

Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray was selected by delegates as the first elected woman President of the Unitarian Universalist Association at the June 21-25 General Assembly in New Orleans. She had been the lead minister of the UU Congregation of Phoenix, Ariz., where she became well known for her work on behalf of immigrants, since 2008. Read more.

More than 4,000 UUs attended G.A., including some 1,800 delegates from more than 500 UU congregations. UUCC’s delegates were Rev. Molly Housh Gordon, Patty Daus, Tracey Milarsky, Jeanne and Dennis Murphy, and Gena and Steve Scott.

Also attending from UUCC were DRE Jamila Batchelder along with four YRUU members and one 9-year-old. The young people carried our UUCC banner in the banner parade at the opening celebration on June 21.

Five of our young people lined up to carry our UUCC banner in the banner parade at the UUA General Assembly. See them in action in the video below.

Our UUCC banner was carried by five of our young people in the banner parade at the Opening Celebration of the UUA General Assembly (G.A.) in New Orleans on June 21, 2017. In this short clip they are seen entering the Great Hall of the New Orleans Convention Center and later proceeding out of the hall.

Read more about the many important actions taken by delegates and the UUA Board of Trustees at G.A.

Grieving Circle restructured

After two years, our beloved Grieving Circle will cease to automatically meet every month. We are restructuring the circle to instead offer support and fellowship “upon request.”

If you or someone you know would like to meet in a facilitated grieving circle, or you wish to be in a place where you can freely and safely express your grief, please contact Rev Molly, Maria Oropallo, Barbara Carter, or Greg Bergman. All of our contact information is in the church directory on our website. Or you can send us an email.

Grieving a loss is personal and can sometimes be overwhelming. A community can provide great support in your time of need. With deep connection, love and patience, we hold your grief in our gentle embrace.

Joys and Sorrows now on website

Joys and Sorrows shared during our worship services and noted for the e-newsletter can now be found on our website on a password-protected page. You will find the page on the Members/Friends tab of the main menu – or you can click here.

You must be registered to access the password-protected pages on the website. Information about how to register can also be found on the Members/Friends tab of the main menu – or click here. Register here if you’re not already registered.

Welcome to the UUCC Woodland!

From left, Erin Osbourne, Jeanne Murphy and Corinne Mann enjoying the new benches.

Members and friends, young and old, have long enjoyed the outdoor spaces behind our building – for peaceful walks, interspecies connections, spiritual regeneration, ceremonies honoring life transitions, and good old fashioned fun. Much has been done by our members to preserve this natural space, to shepherd its good health, and to make it respectfully accessible.

Please feel welcome to explore and enjoy the area behind the church building:

  • A wide walking trail opens near the west end of the property, just yards away from the asphalt drive and continues to the Memorial Garden on the east side.
  • Partway down that woodland trail, two new sitting benches are situated on a flat spot among sheltering cedars.
  • A fire circle with benches can be found between the meadow and the memorial garden.

We are all lucky to have members who are keepers of the woods, and we keepers of the woods are grateful to have woods to keep! While many have helped, special thanks go to Peter Holmes and
Vic Meyer who have worked so consistently in the woods, laying out the trail and fire circle, making benches, and spearheading the ongoing honeysuckle removal.

May we continue to engage with and honor this interspecies home that supports our faith community!

– Carol Arnold

Please Feed the Food Barrel

food_barrelOur Social Action Team sponsors a food collection year-round for the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri.

Donations of canned meats and fish, stews, peanut butter and powdered milk are especially appreciated, but other non-perishable food items are welcome.

Help us to help individuals in need! If you wish to have a receipt for a tax deduction, talk to Kathie Bergman, church administrator.

Supporting UUCC by Grocery Shopping

Shoppers – support the church with your purchasing power!

If you shop at Schnuck’s Supermarket in Columbia, here is an easy way to earn money for our church! Follow these steps:

  1. Ask for a My Schnucks card at the Customer Service counter.
  2. When next at your computer, go to
  3. Hover over the “Programs” menu and select “Schnucks Fundraising” from the drop-down menu.
  4. Click on “eScrip” in number 2 under “How It Works.”
  5. Fill in the form to become registered.
  6. When you come to the choice of charities under “Select your school or nonprofit,” find “Unitarian Universalist-Columbia, Mo” in the drop-down list and click on the box to mark a check.
  7. Then click Update.

That is all! Just keep your user name and password for the Schnuck’s website in case you wish to return to it. UUCC will get a little bonus every time you shop at Schnuck’s and show your My Schnucks card at the checkout.