White supremacy teach-ins May 7 and June 18

Our Unitarian Universalist Association has been doing some painful grappling with the ways that racism and oppression live in our institutions, even despite our highest values and best intentions.

Amidst these struggles, the Black Lives of UU Organization has called upon our UU congregations across the country to join together in offering a “White Supremacy Teach-In.” Almost 500 congregations will be doing just that!

Join us to explore what white supremacy culture means in today’s world (hint: it doesn’t just mean hate groups) and to grapple with how racism and oppression live in our institutions as well. We will have two opportunities for this Teach-In:

  • In a workshop with potluck lunch on Sunday, May 7 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. after the second service (please bring a dish to share).
  • In a worship service on Sunday, June 18.

Join us for one, or even better, for both.

Desi Long retirement celebration May 14

Join us at 10 a.m. May 14 for one big service to celebrate Desi Long and her nearly 25 years of service as our Music Director.

Upon her decision to retire this year, Desi wishes to communicate her love for our congregation and how much she has enjoyed working with staff, musicians and choir members.

She plans to remain an active member of the church and to enjoy the flexibility of being able to travel and spend more time with her daughter. Perhaps she can even sleep-in some Sundays!

All our staff, leaders, and members join our hearts in expressing our deep gratitude for Desi’s service and for the strength of our music program.

Join us May 14 to celebrate, and stay for cake and congratulations to Desi after the service.

Caring Ministry seeks help

The UUCC Caring Ministry Coordinating Team is looking for help in caring for our members. Please check out what we do to learn how you can help.

This ministry is based on the belief that we are all inherently worthy of care and meaningful connections with others. We provide support in times of celebration and challenge. Support may include cards, calls, visits, meals, and assistance with errands, transportation, or other needs.

There are opportunities for all to contribute their time or skills even if you have a busy schedule.

Many hands make light work, and a contribution from your heart is needed and will be appreciated. Please consider joining our team and/or helping out periodically with a specific service or task. We keep in touch by email, phone and at weekly worship services.

Meredith Donaldson and Winn Scott, Co-Chairs

Summer Lay-led Worship Planning Now!

What’s your service? We all have a sermon inside. If you’re ready to share yours, sign up to lead one of the summer lay-led services.

You will be supported in bringing your idea and inspiration to life through a worship workshop with Rev. Molly from 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, June 3.

You will also have the assistance of the Worship Associates (Rebecca Graves, Cande Iveson, Anja Eick, Jeff Ordway, Sam Otten, and Desi Long), and they are ready even now to take your questions.

If you’re interested in leading a summer service, please sign up at the visitors table or email the Worship Associates.

Green Sanctuary Team Updates

Coming soon:

  • Green Sanctuary service on April 30.  Come at 9 or 11 a.m. to celebrate Mother Earth, with music and thoughtful reflection.
  • Bike or walk part or all of your journey to church in May, and join the GS team for a breakfast celebration on Sunday, May 21.
  • Movie night: “Farming Was My Life” with a taste of local food and a panel discussion including Adam Saunders from Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture,  and other Missouri family farmers, on Tuesday, May 30, from 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Mark your calendar for Down By the Riverside June 3 and 4. Like last year, not a campout, but dinner on Saturday, and breakfast and a service on Sunday at the former Katfish Katy’s campground.

The GS team is working hard toward certification! You are welcome to get involved as a team member or on individual projects! Our next meeting is at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 9 at the home of Suzanne Griffin, 4506 Revere Court.

The process requires a series of events in the areas of worship and celebration, religious education, sustainable living actions and an environmental justice project.

The centerpiece of the Green Sanctuary certification process is our environmental justice project. We will be teaming up with the Missouri Rural Crisis Center (MRCC), formed in the 1980s to save Missouri family farms from industrializing and consolidating agriculture and the policies that promote those forces.

MRCC is working to keep small family farms in business, in contrast to Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), which can allow up to 17,499 hogs within 2,000 feet of a neighbor’s home and unlimited numbers of animals within 100 feet of a stream. A Class 1A CAFO (17,500 hogs) can generate as much waste as the city of St. Louis! This volume of manure is not beneficial to the neighborhood! Air emissions from ponds and from spraying can cause nausea, headaches, vomiting, diarrhea and pulmonary edema, and pollute the water for the entire community.

Communities in Missouri’s Class 3 (agricultural) counties have only one way to protect themselves – county health ordinances. This technique has kept CAFO numbers in Missouri around 500, while our neighbor to the north, Iowa, has 11,000! Twenty Missouri counties so far have passed health ordinances, but every year since 2003, our legislature has tried to push through bills making it more difficult for counties to have a say in their own health and environmental regulations.

We are working with MRCC to raise awareness of this issue and to continue to fight for our rural communities and small family farmers who want to protect Missouri’s water quality. This issue is termed “Local Control,” and allows counties to vote for restrictions on pollution. It does not allow them to have less stringent regulations than the state.

What can you do?

  • Learn more! Visit the MRCC website.
  • Come to our movie night and discussion on May 30! See details above.
  • Sign the local control petition online.
  • Think about the source of your food, in this case, pork products. Consider small local providers like Patchwork Family Farms or Sullivan Farms.

Music Director Desi Long Will Retire May 31

Our Music Director, Desi Long, will retire from the position on May 31, 2017. Desi and Rev. Molly sent the following message to the UUCC community:

It is with great celebration of nearly 25 wonderful years of service that we write to inform you of Desi Long’s retirement as music director effective May 31, 2017.

Upon her decision to retire this year, Desi wishes to communicate her love for our congregation and how much she has enjoyed working with staff, musicians and choir members. She plans to remain an active member of the church and to enjoy the flexibility of being able to travel and spend more time with her daughter. Perhaps she can even sleep-in some Sundays!

Molly wishes to express our deep gratitude for Desi’s service and for the strength of our music program. We will be celebrating Desi upon her retirement at our Flower Communion service on Sunday, May 14. Don’t miss it!

Our custom has long been to use volunteer musicians for worship in the summer months, which we will do as usual this summer. This will allow the church adequate time for a process of imagining the future of our music program and engaging a search for our next music director. We all remain committed to great music at the UU Church of Columbia!

In faith,
Desi Long and Rev. Molly Housh Gordon