Unitarians reach out

SSL with Orlando SS 2016-06-17 08.31.39One Orlando SS 2016-06-17 08.31.11

In Orlando, a Unitarian church quickly

responds to a need—-

Three miles from Pulse nightclub, UU congregation hosts grief counselors, blood drive, and gun reform groups. JOSHUA EATON | 6/14/2016 See: https://www.uuworld.org/articles/orlando-uu-response

When the Rev. Kathryn Schmitz woke up early Sunday morning to check the news, she couldn’t believe what she was reading. Schmitz is minister of First Unitarian Church of Orlando, Florida— just three miles from Pulse, a gay nightclub where 29-year-old Omar Mateen opened re early Sunday morning, killing 49 people and wounding 53.

“It had a sense of being impossible, like these things happen somewhere far away,” Schmitz told UU World. “It doesn’t happen in the hospitality capital of the world.”

Schmitz quickly swung into action. She contacted Rachel Christensen, her intern minister—who was leading that morning’s worship service—to discuss how to best address the tragedy during the service, and she sent out Facebook messages asking people to come.

“Come to church today,” Schmitz recalls writing. “We need to be together.”

For the congregation, Schmitz says, the attack felt personal. Many members knew people who were at Pulse during the shooting, though none who were killed. The congregation also has a longstanding relationship with Orlando’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Minister emerita the Rev. Dr. Marni Harmony is lesbian, and the church has been active in supporting marriage equality and hosting LGBT support groups. After the Supreme Court decision last summer that legalized same-sex marriage across the country, it celebrated by marrying fourteen same-sex couples free of charge

In a stroke of serendipity, the church had already scheduled a blood drive for that morning. The bloodmobile was quickly overwhelmed by community members wanting to donate, Schmitz said, and the church had to direct people to other donation centers.

Several members of the drag group the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence attended Sunday’s service, according to Schmitz, after a congregant who’s in the group invited them. About halfway through the service, Schmitz got a call from a local LGBT resource center, The Center, asking if the church had space to host some of its more than 600 volunteer grief counselors.Schmitz is quick to say that she usually doesn’t answer her cell phone during services, even when she isn’t leading them. But she knew that she wanted her church to be available and responsive to others in this time of crisis.

Now, the church is hosting grief counselors from The Center in its education building. It’s also opened its fellowship hall and library to community organizers from LGBT advocacy and gun reform groups who need a local space to work. On Monday, Schmitz said, the church hosted the Rev. Dr. Betty Deas Clark of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, the historically black church where Dylann Roof shot and killed nine worshipers last summer, who was in town working with the gun reform group the Brady Campaign.

Members of First Unitarian Church made up about half of the volunteers who helped set up for the vigil for shooting victims in downtown Orlando Monday evening, and Schmitz led the candle lighting at the vigil, which 7,500 people attended.

On Sunday afternoon, Unitarian Universalist Association President Peter Morales said he was “horried and distraught (http://www.uua.org/pressroom/press-releases/orlando-mass-shooting-uua-president- oers-prayers-victims-community) ” by news of the mass shooting. He expressed sympathy for all victims of the attack, and added, “Unfortunately, this is the kind of violence that is predictable when hatred and fear are aroused by demagogues and when rearms are easily available.”

The motive for the brutal assault is still under investigation. On Sunday, authorities announced that Mateen called 911 during the massacre to make a pledge of loyalty to the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and that the FBI had investigated him twice for links to terrorism. That picture grew more complicated on Monday, as reports emerged (http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2016/06/14/possible- motives-emerge-orlando-shooting/wKtNh3kFunR9S5vXjHj8IM/story.html) that Mateen may have frequented Pulse himself and may have used a gay dating app.

Meanwhile, 27 victims remain hospitalized, according to the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/15/us/orlando-shooting.html) . Doctors at Orlando Regional Medical Center said on Monday that they expect the death toll from Sunday’s shooting to rise (http://www.usatoday.com/videos/news/nation/2016/06/14/85878818/) as six of the victims remain in critical condition.

As news continues to pour in and the investigation unfolds, the Orlando community is trying to make sense of the tragedy and take steps toward healing. As that happens, First Unitarian church is committed to offering a safe, open space for people to come together, Schmitz said. It’s a need she saw in her church on Sunday morning, watching people embrace as they absorbed the news.

“People were just distraught,” Schmitz said, “just clinging to something.”

 First Unitarian Church of Orlando is asking Unitarian Universalists to make their donations to Equality Florida’s Pulse Victims Fund (https://www.gofundme.com/PulseVictimsFund) and The Center’s Pulse Tragedy Community Fund (https://www.gofundme.com/29bubytq) . For more information on how you can help, see the church’s Orlando United website (http://www.orlandouu.org/orlando-united/) .

(Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal Constitution

Joshua Eaton (https://www.uuworld.org/authors/1931)
Joshua Eaton (http://www.joshuaeaton.net/) is an independent journalist who covers security, human rights, and religion. His work has appeared in the Washington Post, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, Al Jazeera America, and other publications.


Letter to  1u Community 2016 06 19 Letter is a summary statement from Rev. Schmitz

A EDITED Letter to Our 1u Community 2016 06 19 copy 3

The above link is to a letter that Rev. Kathy Schmitz sent to members of her church, the First Unitarian Church of Orlando on Friday, June 17, 2016 to explain the events of the last week as it relates to our members.


The Unitarian church in Orlando is close to the Pulse neighborhood. The minister was alerted Sunday morning. Rev. Kathy Schmitz and members have been involved all week.

You may want to check here for information:

First Unitarian Church of Orlando website and facebook:

http://www.orlandouu.org/  and https://www.facebook.com/orlandouu


The following are some ways Florida Unitarian Universalist communities , UUA associations, and organization friends are involved in recognizing the tragedy this week as reported to UU Justice Florida, a justice network of UU congregations. Actions appropriate to the membership and communities are being considered. Many of our congregations are involved in interfaith events.

This will be edited and changed as information is shared from the Florida UU communities. Any errors or omissions will be corrected and added.


 Shared by LJ of First Unitarian Church of Orlando

Thursday, June 16, 9:00-9:30 am, Rev. Kathy was a guest on a special live edition of Intersection. The special live broadcast on our local NPR station, 90.7 WMFE, will go out to NPR stations across Florida. All shows are recorded and available.

WMFE public radio in Orlando: http://www.wmfe.org/programs:  Rev. Kathy Schmitz, minister of the First Unitarian Church of Orlando was on two programs this week: Friends Talking Faith (The Three Wise Guys) and Intersection.


 Shared by Rev. Kathy Schmitz to 1U members:

There are abundant opportunities to attend vigils this week. I trust you are finding the ones you need to attend. I thought I would share this one because it is in our neighborhood and a chance to connect. I have accepted the invitation to join in prayer with other religious leaders. Peace,Rev. Kathy

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Thien Nguyen
Date: Thu, Jun 16, 2016 at 12:59 AM
Subject: Candle light Vigil w/ Prayer at Mills/50 for June 12th Victims
Good Morning Reverend Kathy and Rachel,
I am reaching out to you as the Vice President of the Vietnamese Association of Central Florida. We are all sadden by the tragic event that happened this past Sunday at Pulse Night Club.

We are holding a candle light vigil with prayers event on Friday, 6/17/16 at 7:00PM at the Mills/50 location to honor the victims and families of this tragedy. We would like to invite you and your church to come join us in this event. We will have local Orlando Vietnamese religious leaders from Buddhist Temples, Churches, and more to join us for a special prayer and remembrance ceremony.

Reverend, it would be an honor for us if you could join the other religious leaders in the prayer. Everyone is welcome in this event. We are reaching out to as many individual and communities as we possibly can, because through this tough time, we need to unite as one.

Event information: Location: 1216 E Colonial Dr., Orlando, FL 32803 (in the lawn of the shopping plaza where there is a Yellow Flag with three Red stripes across from CVS)Times: 7:00pm- 8:30pm  Event weblink to share: https://www.facebook.com/events/1756635044580756


Copied from the UUA Southern Region e-mail sent to members on June 16, 2016-Link to entire Southern Region update available at end of this posting. 


Standing With Faith in Love
Rev. Kenn HurtoThe terrible assault and murders at the Pulse club in Orlando on June 12th reveal the worst of human nature. We Unitarian Universalists share the shock and dismay, the anger and the grief of so many. Personally, my faith in human decency and the transforming power of love is shaken, yet I will remain steadfast in it. I know love will prevail over such hatred and evil.

I am proud of our fellow Unitarian Universalists at the First Unitarian Church and the University Unitarian Universalist Society in Orlando who have brought love to bear in the aftermath of last weekend. Likewise, Unitarian Universalists broadly are offering their help. They are ministers, all!

Below are some of the local groups with which our people are partnering, ways you might be helpful, and an interview with the Reverend Kathy Schmitz.

Lend a hand where you can. Speak love to power. Stand ever on the side of love.

With gratitude, Rev. Kenn Hurto

UUA Southern Regional Newsletter Special Edition June 16, 2016 soon to be posted at www.uuasouthernregion.org/


Shared June 15, 2016 by Rev. Kathy Schmitz to members and friends

We are receiving incredible support from around the world. This an example.

———- Forwarded message ———-

Rev. Kathy Schmitz, First Unitarian Church of Orlando

Dear Kathy,

On behalf of UU communities in Australia and New Zealand, we stand with your congregation in support of love and also in condemnation of acts of hate and terror. We admire the ongoing work of the First Unitarian Church of Orlando, particularly in the wake of the terrible events at the Pulse nightclub that targeted the LGBTQ community. While we are half a world away geographically, we are as one in the quest for living, working and loving together as human beings regardless of race, colour, creed or sexuality. We can see that the frequently quoted ‘Rejoice in our differences but never forget our common humanity’ has been, and continues to be applied in a real practical way by your Church. You are indeed doers of the word and not hearers only

Warm regards and best wishes


Peter Abrehart – President, Australia New Zealand Unitarian Universalist Association (ANZUUA)




Shared by Rev. Janet Onnie of the UU Fellowship of Marion County:

On Monday evening, June 13, 2016, over 30 UU Fellowship of Marion County (UUFMC) members participated in a vigil sponsored by The Rainbow Family and Friends of The Villages. Rev. Janet Onnie was one of the three main speakers. The text of her statement is below and can also be found at http://www.uufmc.org. Photos of the attendees at the 700­strong event can be found on the UUFMC Facebook page.

On Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 15 UUFMC­ers, including five of the children, attended a vigil sponsored by Ocala Pride and TransOcala. Rev. Onnie joined with representatives from the Muslim community and the MCC (Metropolitan Community Church) to offer a opening blessing for the space on the Ocala Town Square. The UUFMC Director of Religious Education, Marjorie Ginder (who is bi­lingual), followed with a expression of support in the Spanish language.

See Rev. Onnie’s  statement below:

Pulse Nighclub shooting statement

UUFMC PUlse group photos SS 2016-06-22


Copied from Social Justice Network of NE Florida facebook page

Manuel Andrade, Buckman Bridge UU member reported on Social Justice Network of NE Florida facebook on June 15, 2016

Dear friends, I received a call from Melissa Ross today. She is the host of First Coast Connect on NPR 89.9. I was invited to speak on her show tomorrow sometime after 9:00 AM. I will be on with Cindy Watson the executive director of JASMYN . We will be speaking about the impact of the recent murders in Orlando here in Jacksonville. I welcome your support.


Shared June 14, 2016 by the UU Church of Tarpon Springs minister

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Tarpon  Springs, Florida, has a trauma response unit.

Church volunteers are organizing  a community vigil in response to the Orlando attacks.    This vigil is scheduled for Wednesday night, June 15th, at the Church on the Bayou in Tarpon Springs.    This event will begin at 6:00 pm.   All people are invited.

The  Unitarian Universalists are helping with the blood drive that is being organized in Florida.  Blood donations have been requested to help the people who were wounded in Orlando.    Rev. Bob Murphy has additional information about the blood drive and about other trauma response activities.    murphydalzell@aol.com


Shared by Rev. Kathryn Schmitz:

From: Rev. Kathryn Schmitz
Date: Tue, Jun 14, 2016 at 11:28 AM
Subject: Re: Your congregation’s response to Orlando, your community and other congregations

I think the best thing to do is send people to the two Go Fund Me sites being overseen by Equality Florida and The Center.

Both of these are quality organizations doing incredible work to support the community at this time.

Equality Florida is 

the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Through education, grassroots organizing, coalition building, and lobbying, we are changing Florida so that no one suffers harassment or discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. 

The Center‘s Mission & Values

To promote and empower the GLBT Community and its allies through information, education, advocacy and support.

 We look to transform our community by inspiring and connecting people and organizations, promoting acceptance and inclusion, empowering them to achieve their potential

Alternatively, people could be encouraged to reach out to and support their local LGBT resources, which are undoubtedly understanding at this time. They could say they are doing in honor of Orlando.

Sometimes, when we are concerned that marginalized communities will get ignored in a crisis, we UUs do our own fund raising and organizing, In this case, I believe attention is where it needs to be and there is no need to duplicate efforts at this time.

Thank you so much for your care and concern. Rev. Kathy


Shared on June 14, 2016 from JC, a member of First Unitarian Church of Orlando 

Sunday was difficult for everyone in the Orlando area.  As a member of First Unitarian of Orlando, we were able to be with other members of the congregation on Sunday to cry and start to heal.  Everyone in Orlando is shaken but so full of compassion for the victims and for each other.  There happened to be a previously scheduled blood drive at church but by the time my husband and I arrived it was already full and they were turning people away.  The lines to give blood have been enormous throughout the greater Orlando area.  One man at Monday’s vigil mentioned he waited in line 8 hours to give blood.

Monday afternoon an email went out to the church members requesting volunteers for the evening vigil at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.  The vigil was amazing.  There was love, tears and fellowship at the vigil.  People were grieving but there was no fear, only feelings of strength and determination to thrive and grow in love. A poignant moment was when the Pulse staff arrived on stage to resounding applause and support.  Rev. Kathy Schmitz of First Unitarian was chosen and did a wonderful job when she gave the prayer at the lighting of the candles.  No one will forget the church bells tolling slowly for each of the victims.

I noticed some members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and asked for a photo with them. They looked shaken and sad as were so many people there.  I knew about the Sisters from a talk given last year at First U by one of their members.  From their website: The Sisters devote ourselves to community service, ministry and outreach to those on the edges, and to promoting human rights, respect for diversity and spiritual enlightenment.  I’ve attached that and other photos.

My take-away from the past few days:

  • There is more goodness and love than hate
  • There is no justification for assault rifles in the USA.
  • I will recommit to making a positive difference
  • I am thankful for the UU congregation
Cleary and Perpetual

At Dr. Philips Vigil -1U member and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence


Shared by Manatee UU Fellowship on June 14, 2016

From: muufoffice@manateeuuf.org
To: muufoffice@manateeuuf.org
Subject: News Release
Date: Tue, 14 Jun 2016 16:31:44 +0000

Faith, Violence and the LBGTQ Community

An Open Conversation in a Safe Place Offered at Noon on Sunday

After all the candles have been lit and all the prayers have been said, there’s still a need to talk with others and listen to the deeper questions. That’s why the Manatee Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 322 15th Street W, will sponsor an open conversation in a safe place to discuss Faith, Violence and the LBGTQ Community.

The Rev. Dee Graham, consulting minister, and Valerie Fisher, professional counselor and director of PRISM youth group, will moderate the participatory discussion following the 10:30am Sunday service.

“After the shock of the moment wanes, people need somewhere to express all the emotions that flood in. This violence makes a particular challenge for those who are having their first experiences with LBGTQ people, perhaps even just learning about members of their own family,” said Rev. Dee Graham in a press release. “We want to provide the support and understanding for these conversations to begin.”


Shared June 13, 2016 by Joyce and David of UU Jacksonville

Last Sunday evening in Jacksonville there was a citywide vigil in Memorial Park sponsored by the Jacksonville Coalition for Equality to show support and love for victims of the Pulse Nightclub tragedy.  There was also a call to renew and redouble efforts to secure passage of an expanded Jacksonville Human Rights Ordinance adding sexual orientation and gender identity to its protected classes.

UU Congregation of Jacksonville (UUCJ) is a JCE Coalition partner and I am on its Steering Committee. UUCJ Minister, Philip Baber was invited to speak at Sunday’s vigil and I have shared his remarks on the UU Justice Florida FaceBook page.


Shared June 13, 2016 by KM, UU Venice member

UUs in Venice participated in the vigil held at the Suncoast Cathedral in Venice and at Five Points Park in Sarasota. This was the notice that our congregation sent out on Monday morning:

SunCoast Cathedral MCC, 3276 East Venice Ave., Venice, FL  will be holding a Candlelight Prayer Vigil tonight (Monday, June 13) at 7:30pm to remember and pray for the victims of the Orlando shooting and their families. We invite you to join us in solidarity with Orlando.  Sharon Van Butsel for Rev. Gina Durbin

Also tonight at 8 PM in downtown Sarasota at Five Points Park, there will be a candlelight vigil for the shooting victims of the PULSE nightclub in Orlando. The vigil is being organized by the Harvey Milk Festival. Check their Facebook page to confirm.


Shared June 14, 2016 by Ileen C of UU Fellowship of Centre County

The UU Fellowship of Centre County in State College PA is holding a vigil at 6 pm tonight Standing on the Side of Love for Orlando. The interim minister is Rev. Gabi Parks.


Shared on June 15, 2016 from JL at Vero Beach UU

Dear Members and Friends of the UUFVB Community,

All of us are heart-sick over the senseless deaths and injuries that occurred Saturday night at the gay dance club in Orlando, when a hateful individual took more than 50 lives and wounded many more. This is a time for all Americans to once again come together, give voice to their sorrow and grief, and work to ensure that such violence is rebuked.

To this end, two events have been quickly planned here in Vere Beach for this Wednesday, June 15.

First at 6:30 pm an Interfaith Prayer Service will be held at the Community Church of Vero Beach. Clergy from many local congregations will participate, and the local Islamic community has agreed to participate with a speaker and reader. Please attend if your schedule permits. (Unfortunately, I, along with several other local clergy will be out of town due to previous commitments.)

Then at 8pm the same Wednesday night (June 15), there will be a Candlelight Vigil in Riverside Park, sponsored by Compassion Vero and others. As soon as the plans for the Candlelight Vigil are finalized, we will post the information on the UUFVB Facebook page.

In the meantime, please hold all the many persons affected by this senseless violence in your thoughts and prayers.

Rev. Scott Alexander
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Vero Beach
1590 27th Avenue Vero Beach, FL 32960

About the Interfaith Service at Vero Beach:Participants included, St. Helens Catholic Church, Temple Bet h El, Islamic Center of Treasure Coast, Kashi Ashram, Our Savior Lutheran, St. Augustine of Canterbury, Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints, Community Church, First Presbyterian, Indian River Islamic Center . This will be an hour of singing , praying, sharing and caring. Accolades to the courageous faith communities who are stepping out into uncharted territory to care for one another while seeking to find a common thread instead of joining in a banter of hatred. .

Sebastian -near Vero Beach

When: 8 p.m. Tuesday Where: Riverview Park, 600 U.S. 1, Sebastian

About: Honor those lost in Orlando at candlelight vigil and moment of respect and closure.

Sebastian’s Sikh community attended #orlandoshooting vigil. All 49 victims of #orlandoshooting read aloud at Riverview Park vigil.

About 150 in Riverview Park in #sebastian for #orlandoshooting vigil
— Amid sobs and hugs there were prayers and even some laughter as about 200 people came to Sebastian’s Riverview Park to remember and honor the 49 killed in an Orlando nightclub over the weekend.“It’s not about embracing a movement,” said Pastor Mike Lyle of Crossroads Fellowship, “a religion or about reacting to anything.” Instead, the vigil for the victims and survivors of the terror attack at Pulse, a gay nightclub, was meant as a way for the community to “respond the way God would want us to respond,” he said.

Lyle encouraged those who gathered to honor those affected by the attack and to pray for the impacted families who are now grieving, and for those who were injured and are healing.“Pray for wisdom of God for the leaders of this nation,” Pastor Lyle said.


Shared June 14, 2016 by the minister of Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville

– June 12 – a lit candle accompanied an extended prayer during the service with responsive element where congregation repeated back words similar to the prayer of St. Francis – “may I be an instrument of peace” etc.

– June 12 – Email from minister to congregation including extended meditation from Rev. Keith Kron

– June 12 – Minister Rev. Dr. Maureen Killoran and two lay leaders were interviewed for public radio. This played Sunday evening and Monday morning

– June 12 – several posts on our Facebook page, including the UUA’s graphic. Minister also shared the gofundme on her personal facebook page.

– June 13 – Minister and at least a dozen congregants attended the city-wide vigil.

– June 14 – Minister sent blog to congregation calling us to hold ourselves accountable to our values – support the Muslim community, look at what is needed to be truly welcoming to LGBTQ people at this time.

– June 14 – Minister conducted several pastoral counseling sessions, some by email, some in her office.

Rev. Dr. Maureen Killoran, AIM, PTS, Developmental Minister,Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville, Florida





Links to all original Organization/Association  communications:

UUA article edited for Thursday for Orlando Unitarian Universalists reach o…nightclub massacre | UU World Magazine copy

Southern Region June Pulse 1-4 pages June 2016

Church of Larger Fellowship message June 14, 2016 copy

News Alert- NC NAACP Holding a …Memorial Vigil and Prayer Against Hate copyInterfaith Council Newsletter–Special Edition June 14, 2016







































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Interfaith Climate Group

For UU Gainesville’s list of events: http://uufg.org/events/upcoming-events.htmlInterfaith Climate GroupGainesville June 2016ECAnn2016flyer-1 copy

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Hands across the Land is coming to your Beach or City

May 21 at noon

See website: http://www.handsacrossthesand.com/hands-across-the-land/

 Hands Across the Sand / Land, founded in 2010, has grown into an international movement. People came together to join hands, forming symbolic barriers against spilled oil and to stand against the impacts of other forms of extreme energy.

The world’s climate is changing due to the use of dirty fuels. Lets come together in solidarity and say NO to dirty fuels and YES to clean energy.

Find an event that is already happening in your location. If you do not see an event you can attend, host one yourself.  Fill out the form on the website soon as there are two steps and a waiting period to have it approved. Its easy and the organizers provide all you need to make it successful! If you missed this year, be ready for next year!! UU congregations: Find the sponsor and plan together for the event.

Sites as of May 15, 2016   Go to Hands Across the Sand website for directions and info 

  • New Smyrna Beach

  • Cocoa Beach, Lori Wilson Beach

  • Daytona Beach, Hartford Beach Approach

  • Englewood, Englewood Beach Park, Manasota Key

  • Fernandina Beach, Main Beach Fernandina Beach Florida

  • Lauderdale, Ft. Lauderdale Beach*

  • Indian Rocks Beach, Pinellas County 18th Ave Park, Indian Rocks Beach

  • Jacksonville Beach, Fl 32250, Jacksonville Beach End Of Beach Blvd*

  • Lake Worth, Lake Worth Fl

  • Lauderdale By The Sea, Lauderdale By The Sea, North Of Pier   Surfrider Broward Chapter Offshore Seismic Testing / Lauderdale by the Sea

  • Miami Beach, On The Sand – 501 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach | Fl 33139

  • Ochopee, 11 Mile Road, Entrance To Raccoon Point Oil Field, Big Cypress National Preserve

  • Pensacola Beach, Casino Beach, 41 Fort Pickens Road, Pensacola Beach, Florida 32526

  • Riviera Beach, Singer Island Beach

  • Santa Rosa Beach, Ed Walline Public Beach Access, Offshore Drilling

  • Santa Rosa Beach, Ed Walline Public Beach Access

  • Tallahassee, Florida Capitol- Waller Park (dolphin Statue)

  • Tarpon Springs, Fred Howard Park*

  • Treasure Island, Bilmar Beach Resort

  • Vero Beach, Tracking Station Park, Vero Beach

*Unitarian Universalist congregations  reporting involvement as of May 5, 2016

UU Church of Tarpon Springs announces: 

At the May 21st event,  the Tarpon Springs UU  “Hands Across the Sands” event will begin an involvement in a Florida Unitarian Universalist initiative to support the building of resilient communities. The UU Tarpon Springs Climate Leader, Gerald Goen will be announced, and involvement with Jan Booher’s grant initiative will begin. Information about hurricane preparedness, sea level rise, fracking, and year-round and long term neighborhood preparedness will be offered at the Tarpon Springs event.

Learn about the Tarpon Springs initiative: http://www.uutarpon.org/uu_calendar.html

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Earth Day Events in Florida

April 23, 2016

In Boca Raton

Florida Earth Festival  10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

University Woodlands Park, 2601 St. Andrews Blvd, Boca Raton, FL 33434

Florida Earth Festival’s 3rd Annual Earth Day Fair, April 23rd. We’re doing it again! Get ready for Green products, Urban gardening, Electric cars, Crafts, Biodegradable supplies, Workshops and more.

Website: http://www.floridaearthfestival.com
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FloridaEarthFestival

UU Fellowship of Boca Raton: http://www.uufbr.org/

In Gainesville

A month of Earth Day events at UU Fellowship of Gainesville 


From World Water Day to Earth Day (March 22 to April 22), Unitarian Universalists and other people of faith and conscience take action to build resistance to climate change and add our moral voices to the movement for climate justice. Organized by Commit2Respond, the Unitarian Universalist climate justice coalition, individuals, families, groups, and congregations engage to learn together, and take action to shift to a low carbon future, advance the human rights of frontline communities, and grow the climate justice movement. You may learn more at http://www.uua.org/environment/climate/climate-justice-month

PACHAMAMA SYMPOSIUM ~ Sunday, April 24, 2-5pm  Free and open to the Public

Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream: A Pachamama Symposium. Climate change, social justice, leadership, action, inspiration. This is a transformative social justice workshop that explores the challenges and possibilities of this moment in time and the role people can play in creating a new future. Free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. Reserve your spot by email to  Pachamama@uufg.org.

Spiritual Dimensions of Climate Action

“The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity.” ~Al Gore

This five-part series begins Sunday, April 3 and has three objectives:

  • To explore ethical questions connected to climate change, and to address them within the context of the spiritual teachings of the world’s religions.
  • To practically apply spiritual teachings in our everyday personal lives which will benefit the environment and future generations.
  • To carry out an action project.
  1. Sunday, April 3, 9:00-10:15 am, Common Room
    Watch the video “Home” together, or if you prefer you may watch it at home instead, at http://www.youtube.com/homeproject#p/a/f/0/jqxENMKaeCU
  2. Sunday, April 10, 9:00-10:15 am, Common Room
    Impacts of Climate Change. We will discuss the film “Home.”

III. Sunday, April 17, 9:00-10:15 am, Common Room
Spiritual and Ethical Dimensions – the Individual. Spirituality as opposed to materialism. Impact of individual actions.

  1. Sunday, April 24, 9:00-10:15 am, Common Room
    The Role of Society. Aspects of justice. Poverty and climate change. Decide on individual or group
    community service project.
  2. Sunday, May 1, 9:00-10:15 am, Common Room
    A Challenge to All of Us. The role of religious communities. What is progress? Reports on action projects.

 In Orlando

Central Florida Earth Day 10 am – 6 p.m.

Lake Eola Park, 512 E. Washington St. Orlando, FL

SPEAKERS + presentations + ENVIRONMENTAL & HUMANE EDUCATION + Earth Kids Zone + ARTIST CORNER + Artist Corner + LIVE MUSIC AND ENTERTAINMENT 250+ Eco-friendly vendors

Website for activities and presentations: http://www.CFEARTHDAY.ORG

First Unitarian Church of Orlando table at Festival at www.orlandouu.org/

University UU Fellowship of Orlando at http://www.universityuus.org/

April 17th – Chris Castro “Orlando’s Journey To Be One Of The Most Sustainable Cities in America” Over the next two decades, the City of Orlando is aiming to be one of the greenest and most sustainable cities in the country, with a strong focus on growing the economy, environmental protection, and enhancing quality of life for all residents. Chris Castro, Senior Advisor and Sustainability Program Manager for Mayor Dyer and the City of Orlando ‘Green Works’ initiative, speaks.

In Jacksonville

EARTH DAY and Ecology Fair on April 23, 2016 at Jacksonville Landing 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Fun-filled day for the whole family. FREE local festival to learn about conservation, reducing energy and water use, preventing pollution and how to live a more sustainable lifestyle.

Earth Day and Ecology Fair website: https://www.earthdayjax.com/

UU Church of Jacksonville at http://www.uucj.org

Buckman Bridge of Orange Park at http://www.bbuuc.org/

In Tampa

Appreciating the Earth April Sundays:

Why I am a Humanist,Why I am a Religious Naturalist,Green day every day-Overcoming Inertia, Just be in Awe

Unitarian Universalist Church of Tampa –uutampa.org/

EcoFest on April 23, 2016 at Lowry Park at 7525 N. Boulevard, Tampa 10 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.


April 16, 2016

at UU Fellowship of Charlotte County at 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at 1532 Forrest Nelson Blvd, Port Charlotte

Why do we need an Earth Day?

The movement encourages education and invigorates individuals to take action to protect our planet. Earth Day is the largest civic event in the world, incorporating more than a billion people per year. Locally, celebrate with us at our annual Earth Day celebration with family-friendly games, environmental activities and lunch!

Who: For the young and young-at-heart who care about protecting our environment!

Fee: This is a free community event open to KCB members and non-members.

See http://www.uufcc.org/ regarding UU Fellowship of Charlotte County

It is also a great time to pledge your support to protect Charlotte County’s environment by Adopting-A-Road, or registering your family and friends for our annual Great American Cleanup,  and Coastal Cleanup.

Affiliated with Keep Charlotte Beautiful Keep America Beautiful Affiliate



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Dialogue: Racism

Saturday, April 2nd (10 AM to 5 PM) and Sunday, April 3rd (1 PM to 5 PM).

at UU Fellowship of Boca Raton (UUFBR)

2601 St. Andrews Boulevard, Boca Raton, FL

Presented by the CENTER FOR THE HEALING OF RACISM Internalize Oneness of Houston, Texas.

Presenters: Cherry Steinwender, executive director, and Lucy McLaughlin

The two day workshop will include an overview of racism’s history and how it is perpetuated, how people may inadvertently participate in racism, the role of stereotypes (internalized and institutionalized), and cultural racism. The co-presenters will assist participants to determine ways to act on the workshop experience.

To learn more about this opportunity and UUFBR’s Healing Justice Group, call 561-482-2001 (administrator) or visit the UUFBR website at http://www.uufbr.org/ or to access the flier in the newsletter, page 7, use: http://www.uufbr.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/UNICORN-03-2016-E.pdf.  To learn more about the CENTER FOR THE HEALING OF RACISM and the presenters. go to http://www.centerhealingracism.org/.   Registration is limited to 50 participants, $20.00 is requested to cover lunch on Saturday and refreshments.

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Farmworkers, Climate Change and Agriculture

Panel Discussion

Thursday, March 31, 2016, 6-8 p.m.

At First Unitarian Church of Orlando

1901 East Robinson St.

Orlando, FL 32803


Farmworkers Association of Florida & YAYA-Justice for Farmworkers

RSVP on Facebook


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Awaken the Dream Symposium

And, Changing the Dream Symposium

April 2, 2016 10-4, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Venice, Donation requested.

Registration info can be found at: http://bit.ly/Venice_Symposium

Previous Pachamama events: 

Saturday, March 5, 2016, 1 pm-5 pm

First Unitarian Church of Orlando, 1901 East Robinson St.

Co-Sponsored by Light Partners and First Unitarian

To register and learn more about 1U and/or this Pachamama symposium:

http://www.orlandouu.org/ in Latest News

and/or https://www.pachamama.org/workshop/3033/awaken-the-dreamer

Where on Earth are we going? And what can we do about it?

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Climate Solutions for a Sustainable World

How We Can Make a Difference

Citizens’ Climate Lobby/Citizens’ Climate Education

The Patel College of Global Sustainability at USF
are co-sponsoring a one-day conference

Saturday, February 27, 2016 Registration at at 9:00 a.m.

The Patel College for Global Sustainability at University of South Florida (USF) at  4202 E. Fowler Ave, Tampa


U.S. Representative David Jolly (FL-13)

Dr. Timothy Dixon- Keynote Speaker

Dr. John Van Leer

Graduate Students of the Patel College of Global Sustainability

Donald Addu and Jay Butera of the Citizens’ Cimate Lobby 

For more information about speakers, event schedule and registration:

Copy the link below into the address line (URL) of your browser:


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Challenging Islamophobia

Presentation & Discussion on Islamophobia:From State-Sponsored Policies    to Speech and Physical Attacks

Sunday, January 31, 2016
UU Church of Fort Meyers, 13411 Shire Lane Miller Sanctuary
Presentation: Noon – 1:30 p.m.
Breakout sessions: 1:45-3:00 p.m

Speakers, Alan Levine and Donna Nevelwill discuss the intersections among different forms & manifestations of anti-Muslim discrimination & related issues of civil/human rights. Breakout sessions will discuss organizing as partners and allies in the movement to challenge Islamophobia.

Organizing information: Go to Jewish Voice for Peace 

For more information, link here to UU Church of Fort Myers

Space limited. Contact Prita for a space at this workshop.

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Winging It in SW Florida:

2016 Holton Eco-Preserve Bill Brewer Family Gardens Conference Series

Gardening with Natives for

Birds, Bees, Bats, and Butterflies

Saturday, January 23, 2016  between 9:00 a.m. – 2 p.m.

UU Church of Fort Myers

13411 Shire Lane, Fort Myers 33912

Featured Speakers: Charles Sobczak and Rachel Singletary, Joy Hazell

Exhibitors and break-out activities relating to Florida-Friendly Landscaping

Pre-register at http://familygardens.eventbrite.com 

$15.00 per person-$20 per family (3 or more members)

Inquiries to Peg  at pegger103@hotmail.com

Offered in collaboration with University of Florida IFAS Extension.

The Holton Eco Preserve Bill Brewer Family Gardens is a Community Service Project of the UU Church of Fort Myers

More information here: Holton Eco-Preserve

More information about Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers: www.uucfm.org/</

View a flier for this event: http://uugardens.org/images/conferenceflyer.jpg



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