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Our mission is to reach out to those who seek a spiritual home.  

Our ongoing work is to build and sustain an open, caring, and accepting community for all ages
... so together we may explore and experience diverse beliefs, grow spiritually, and promote a society that affirms these aspirations.
CUUC's phone number is:

(386) 308-8080

 Email:   or
President's Message

Hello, Friends! 

Let us Welcome in the Springtime Together [each in our own ways!] Let us welcome longer days, Sunshine, and Laughter! [& Vaccine, for Many!]

It has been stated that there are things about which nobody should ever make a joke; comics and comedians have addressed this subject - what kinds of jokes are in 'poor taste' and should be left unsaid. Ironically, by contrast, the human soul appears to hunger for humor as a salve to aid us in times of grief and stress. Since the COVID-19 Pandemic began, our favorite comedians - including the hosts of numerous late-night talk shows - have helped us to cope with the challenges that face our nation daily.

Not that they were out of practice; during the four years of the Trump presidency, misinformation and disinformation became so widespread that TV News reporters had to request instant fact-checking of nearly every statement he and his supporters made concerning the state of the country and the world at large. Many comedians in the public eye were quick to react to this apparent attempt to turn the entire concept of "News" into a circus act by skewering the falsehoods with their commentary, keeping records of their sharp observations in statements on various kinds of media. This became a kind of "public service" for which I - and many millions of others - have been markedly grateful. How ironic that humorists were presenting "News" more directly and honestly than the broadcast news industry which was struggling against such acts of subterfuge.

As the COVID-19 Pandemic arrived on the planet, ready to claim the lives of countless human beings, the power of Truth became more evident; falsehoods about risk factors have claimed lives, and continue to do so. I am Grateful for the comic talents of a number of TV Personalities whose honest refusal to call this Pandemic anything other than a deadly threat to our health and safety has helped me Cope with the challenges of the past year. Among them are Seth Meyers and Amber Ruffin, Stephen Colbert and musician Jon Batiste, Trevor Noah (and his predecessor Jon Stewart), naturalized U.S. Citizen John Oliver, broadcast news anchors Anderson Cooper, Rachel Maddow and Don Lemon [not famous for being comedians but still truth-seekers], and the cast of Saturday Night Live, especially Kate McKinnon, whose ability to leave me literally screaming with laughter is phenomenal... some of these individuals, like me, have learned that "living the truth" of an LGBTQIA identity is not consistent with acceptance of false pretenses put forth by other people, and the result is often 'speaking truth to power.' I was not a fan of the humor presented by Jimmy Kimmel when he debuted on television some years ago; my perception of this man changed during the Pandemic as I saw him honestly relate, as some of the others named above have done, his personal experiences of life in a Pandemic. I have learned that the birth of a newborn child affected by a congenital heart condition in recent years has made him a strong proponent of "Healthcare For All" - and a ready adversary to politicians who have been so quick to dismiss the value of the proposed changes that can make it a reality for our Nation.

I once heard an interviewer ask Whoopi Goldberg whether she would have been able to create "comedic gold" [for example, in the One-Woman Show that set her career in motion] without suffering (she grew up in the bottom rank of the socio-economic ladder); she replied that comedy often comes out of pain; comics often find inspiration for humor in the act of surviving adversity and alienation; "not fitting in" often leads to the kind of realization that can inspire levity and laughter. These days, it seems like things that Goldberg says on television are often capable of starting a controversy - not surprising to me, since she was born under the sign of Scorpio (on November 13th, which happens to be the birthday of my late sister Sally!) - I guess if I were to interview her I might ask, "You grew up in poverty and obscurity; did you ever imagine that people might pay so much attention to the things that you SAY?!" [I Could pose the same question to a number of the people I have named above, and others as well - like Oprah Winfrey. Fame carries a price tag. Some people seem to Crack under the Pressure of their own notoriety...]

I have observed that folks who seek careers in the Ministry seem to handle recognition ["Fame!"] Better than most, perhaps because of their spiritual nature.

It was with great sadness that our church's leadership learned recently of the passing of the Rev. Dr. Don Musser, who has been a "Guest in the Pulpit" for CUUC many times over so many years... A former chaplain for the U.S. military and a longtime ordained minister, Don Musser had authored numerous books over the decades and was a distinguished "Emeritus" professor of the Religious Studies Department at Stetson University in Deland, where his presence was still strong even after his retirement. He was a Cancer Survivor twice over, and was up-front about Sharing his Thoughts and Experiences in this with our congregation. Many of us saw Don as "one of our own" because of his devotion to exploring human spirituality and the degree of comfort he had come to feel, "letting his hair down" in the more intimate setting of our worship services. I viewed him as a Friend. It was fitting that I was his Service Leader for his last appearance - on ZOOM on December 27th, 2020, when he helped us reconcile the effects of a year unlike any other, capped by 9 months of Pandemic and Quarantine. I was saddened to bring Don news of the deaths of CUUC Members Bud Cullison and Lloyd Dunham earlier that month, and he said, "I'm just reeling; but Joe, I am glad that I heard it from you. You know how much I admired each of them. And Lloyd and Laurie Dunham have been true mentors to me - almost like parents - though I know I'm 'too Old' to Say that  - they're not a whole generation older than I am, but still... - so Good to Me, so Caring!" 

We will Miss Don Musser - his insights and his wisdom and his sense of humor - and his positive attitude. It's unfortunate that when Cancer came to his body a third time, it was determined to win the battle, and quickly. But we at CUUC will remember him always, and I personally like to think of a very happy reunion that was awaiting him in the Spirit World!

The Pandemic has left so many of us "weary" - and our CUUC Board of Trustees has also been affected. We are activating our Nominating Committee to seek out individuals who will step up to Leadership Roles, as Trustees are NEEDED for the ongoing oversight and care of our church and its operations. One person who will be stepping down from the position of Trustee is our beloved Kathi Smith, who has served continuously almost since she joined our church, and writes the beautiful "invitation" emails that you are receiving each week to promote the following Sunday Morning Service. PLEASE, if you are a writer willing to take over this project (& are "Good With Deadlines!" As I most certainly AM NOT!) - Consider Volunteering! [FYI, writing the "Invitation email" Need Not ALSO require that you be willing to serve as a Trustee! These can be Separate Tasks for Different People - Kathi just Happens to be a PowerHouse!] A TEAM of Dedicated Volunteers Always has been the Driving Force behind CUUC -  something Don Musser saw over his many years of speaking engagements with us, and complimented us on consistently! He told us not to underestimate ourselves, because a church doesn't need to be a Large One in order for it to become a Force to be Reckoned With - in the Best Sense of the Words!


Joe WolfArth
President, Board of Trustees
Community Unitarian Universalist Church
New Smyrna Beach, FL

A Month of Sundays

April 4th

Kurtland & Gaia Davies

"Aladdin and the Adventure of Intentionality"

When we were little kids, we all knew that someday we would come upon
a genie who would fulfill all our wishes.  When we grew up, we were sad to discover that this
wasn’t quite how life worked!  But wishes can still come true if we can discover
the right incantations!

We are living in a greatly changed world.  A lot of us are feeling a bit lost.
  Feelings of separation, isolation, sadness, boredom, or uselessness may be getting to us. 

Come along with Gaia and Kurtland to the Land of Intentions to
explore ways to find new purpose and meaning in our lives.

Service Leader: Debbi Zill

April 11th

Mark Winwood
"The Diamond Sutra: Inclusiveness and Impermanence " 

Mark will share some of the thoughtful aspects of one of
Mahayana Buddhism's most revered (and studied) wisdom texts:
"The Perfection of Wisdom that Cuts Like a Diamond Sutra" -- aka
the Diamond Sutra. Included will be discussion of wholesome attitudes
and the Bodhisattvas path.  Specific excerpts of the text will be available
online for download and review.  
Service Leader: Linda & Mike McGraw

April 18th

Bud Murphy
"The Information Age & Evolution"
Do we, Unitarian Universalists, have values and beliefs with transformational
power.  Is our unwillingness to declare what is absolutely true, right and good
essential to that transformative dynamic? Can the UUA without official
dogma or creed position us as pivotal in the tipping point of human evolution?
As the path to the future appears to close due to the impact of humans, does
a moral revolution stand between us and that desirable and sustainable future? 
Service Leader: Kathi Smith

April 25th
Jenny Nazak

To Be Announced

Service Leader: Barbara Mars

Check the calendar on our website for the most up to date information on services.
Our May-February services were presented over Zoom Meeting
on the Internet. We will continue with this format until we can
join each other in worship.
Looking Ahead to May's Services
May 2nd.  Suzanne Garrison "Leadership in a Volunteer Organization"    Service Leader: Debbi Zill

May 9th  Rev. Mark Spivey  "Mother's Day"  Service Leader: Nancy McCormick

May 16th   Joe WolfArth   "UUism & Principles"  

May 23rd   Ronald Melvin   Service Leader:  Michael & Linda McGraw

May 30th   Rev. Faerie Elaine Silver, Musical Ministry   "Scientific Prayer -A Method for Manifestation   Service Leader: Joe WolfArth

Please check the calendar for the most up-to-date service information.

Upcoming Events
Check the weekly invite to see if our other church groups
begin using Zoom to meet online.

April 7th
Book Club
Discussion of "The Lost City of the Monkey God"
Lost Lagoon Restaurant, NSB
Social Distancing Observed/ Bring your Mask
3:30 p.m.
Invitation to  church members to follow via email
or contact Michele Moen for details.

April 12th
Board of Trustees Meeting
2 p.m.

via Zoom
All are invited to attend virtually. Please contact
Joe WolfArth for Zoom link

Wednesdays and Saturdays
Chair Yoga

links in the Weekly Invite

Fridays  Climate Change Rally
Corner of SR-.44 and Mission Rd New Smyrna Beach
4 p.m.
Email church email for more information on how to join

April's Birthdays
4/5 Connie Baker
4/6 Jack Koppelman
4/7 Lu Giammatteo
4/7 Marcia Buckingham
4/21 Martha Swanson

May Birthdays
 5/5 Terry Bishop
5/6 Suzanne Ronneau
5/18 Faith Madore
5/21 Michele Moen

Passover Continues

through April 4th

Spotlight on Member, Board Member

Barbara J Mars

I spent the first thirty-five years in Pennsylvania where in 1957 I both graduated from Temple University and got married.  I came to Florida with my five children in 1973 to marry my present husband.  A widower with three children.  We raised our family of eight in Titusville.  I worked for a time as a dental hygienist.  I then got interested in Real Estate and restoring old buildings.  This led to an interest in art and antiques.  I opened my first antique shop “The Dusty Rose” in 1982 in Titusville.

My husband's job took us to Virginia in 1988 where we restored a large home and ran a Bed and Breakfast for a few years.  I also continued in the antique business.

In 1993 we returned to Florida.  I returned to school and got a degree in Organizational Management with plans to continue for a degree in mental health counseling. I soon realized this would not bring me joy so I followed my heart for a career in design.  I received my degree in Interior Design in 2003 and enjoyed a twelve-year career in the field.

My husband retired in 1997 and we had time for the usual travel and good times. In 2016, I suffered a serious illness and we realized it was time to downsize and simplify our lives.  Hence our move to New Smyrna.  Two of our daughters were already living here as we have long had ties to New Smyrna Beach with our first beach house in 1974 and the family feels at home here. 

In Titusville I was very involved with the Unity Church from building a new church, hiring a minister, teaching Sunday School and heading the Library and book sales.  I had also attended the Unitarian Universalist Church while in Pennsylvania and Virginia and in coming to New Smyrna this was the best fit.

I feel very fortunate to have found this group and this church.  I look forward to serving on the board.


Sad News

It is with heavy heart that we announce the passing of Dr. Don. W. Musser, Professor of Religious Studies, Emeritus, at Stetson University.  Dr. Musser lost a third battle with cancer.  Dr. Musser was a frequent speaker at CUUC and we will miss his thoughts on life and religion.  Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Different Observances for the Month of April

April- Full Month- GENOCIDE AWARENESS MONTHA month that marks important anniversaries for past and contemporary genocides. Throughout the month, individuals, communities and organizations join together to remember and honor victims and survivors of mass atrocities.

 Introduced in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets as a way to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States.

April 1 HOLY THURSDAY • Christian
Also known as Maundy Thursday, it is celebrated on the Thursday before Easter commemorating the Last Supper, at which Jesus and the Apostles were together for the last time before the Crucifixion.

April 2 GOOD FRIDAY • ChristianKnown as Holy Friday in Eastern Christianity, it commemorates the Crucifixion of Jesus on the Friday before Easter/Pascha.

April 4 EASTER • ChristianKnown as Pascha in Eastern Christianity, it celebrates the resurrection of Jesus.

April 8 YOM HASHOAH • Jewish: 
“Holocaust Remembrance Day” memorializes the heroic martyrdom of six million Jews who perished in the Nazi Holocaust.

April 21 RAMA NAVAMI • Hindu: Celebrates the birthday of Rama, king of ancient India, hero of the epic Ramayana, and seventh incarnation of Vishnu.

April 13–May 13 RAMADAN • Islamic: 
Observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Qur'an to the Prophet Muhammad.

April 14 VAISAKHI (also spelled Baisakhi) • Sikh
The festival which celebrates the founding of the Sikh community as the Khalsa (community of the initiated). On this day, Sikhs gather and celebrate Vaisakhi at their local Gurdwaras (Sikh house of worship) by remembering this day as the birth of the Khalsa.

April 20–May 1 FESTIVAL OF RIDVÁN • Bahá’í:
 Annual festival commemorating the 12 days when Bahá’u’lláh, the prophet-founder of the Bahá’í Faith, resided in a garden called Ridván (Paradise) and publicly proclaimed his mission as God’s messenger for this age. The first (April 20), ninth (April 28), and twelfth (May 1) days are celebrated as holy days when Baha’is suspend work.

April 23rd- DAY OF SILENCEStudents take a day-long vow of silence to protest the actual silencing of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) students and their straight allies due to bias and harassment.

 Memorializes the genocide of approximately 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1923 in Turkey.

April 27 THERAVADA NEW YEAR • Buddhist
In Theravada countries the New Year is celebrated on the first full moon day in April.

April 30 LAG B’OMER • Jewish
Celebrates the end of a divine-sent plague and/or Roman occupation during Rabbi Akiva’s lifetime (died c. 135 CE).

This list of observances was taken from "The Calendar of Observances" from the Anti Defamation League.

Supporter of  Unitarian Universalist Beliefs

May Sarton
May 3, 1912 – July 16, 1995
Poet, Novelist, Memoirist

May Sarton wrote 53 books, including 19 novels, 17 books of poetry, 15 nonfiction works, 2 children's books, a play, and additional screenplays.[10][11] According to The Poetry Foundation, Sarton's style as defined by critics is "calm, cultured, and urbane." In much of her writing, Sarton maintains a politically conscious lens, but what is considered May Sarton's best and most enduring work lies in her journals and memoirs, particularly Plant Dreaming Deep (about her early years at Nelson, ca. 1958-68), Journal of a Solitude (1972-1973, often considered her best), The House by the Sea (1974-1976), Recovering (1978-1979) and At Seventy (1982-1983). In these fragile, rambling and honest accounts of her solitary life, she deals with such issues as aging, isolation, solitude, friendship, love and relationships, lesbianism, self-doubt, success and failure, envy, gratitude for life's simple pleasures, love of nature (particularly of flowers), the changing seasons, spirituality and, importantly, the constant struggles of a creative life. Sarton's later journals are not of the same quality, as she endeavored to keep writing through ill health and by dictation.

Although many of her earlier works, such as Encounter in April, contain vivid erotic female imagery, May Sarton often emphasized in her journals that she didn't see herself as a "lesbian" writer: "The vision of life in my work is not limited to one segment of humanity...and has little to do with sexual proclivity". Rather she wanted to touch on what is universally human about love in all its manifestations. 

Please read her full  Wikipedia entry, from which this section was copied. Click here for the entry:  as well as a UU World  article declaring her "our poet."

March Book Club Meeting at Lost Lagoon 


Charlotte, Donna, Audrey, Dana, Loretta, Rosa, Michele, Barbara, and  Katy
Missing from picture: Anna & Sonia
Book Club Picks for 2021
April 7th
The Lost City of the Monkey God
by Douglas Preston (non fiction/adventure)
Since the days of conquistador Hernán Cortés, rumors have circulated about a lost city of immense wealth hidden somewhere in the Honduran interior, called the White City or the Lost City of the Monkey God. Indigenous tribes speak of ancestors who fled there to escape the Spanish invaders, and they warn that anyone who enters this sacred city will fall ill and die. In 1940, swashbuckling journalist Theodore Morde returned from the rainforest with hundreds of artifacts and an electrifying story of having found the Lost City of the Monkey God-but then committed suicide without revealing its location.

Three quarters of a century later, bestselling author Doug Preston joined a team of scientists on a groundbreaking new quest. In 2012 he climbed aboard a rickety, single-engine plane carrying the machine that would change everything: lidar, a highly advanced, classified technology that could map the terrain under the densest rainforest canopy. In an unexplored valley ringed by steep mountains, that flight revealed the unmistakable image of a sprawling metropolis, tantalizing evidence of not just an undiscovered city but an enigmatic, lost civilization. ...

May 3rd
Handmaid’s Tale
by Margaret Atwood (dystopian/civil liberties/classic)


In Margaret Atwood’s dystopian future, environmental disasters and declining birthrates have led to a Second American Civil War. The result is the rise of the Republic of Gilead, a totalitarian regime that enforces rigid social roles and enslaves the few remaining fertile women. Offred is one of these, a Handmaid bound to produce children for one of Gilead’s commanders. Deprived of her husband, her child, her freedom, and even her own name, Offred clings to her memories and her will to survive.

June 2
by Charlotte McConaghy (novel/suspense/environment)

Franny Stone has always been the kind of woman who is able to love but unable to stay. Leaving behind everything but her research gear, she arrives in Greenland with a singular purpose: to follow the last Arctic terns in the world on what might be their final migration to Antarctica. Franny talks her way onto a fishing boat, and she and the crew set sail, traveling ever further from shore and safety. But as Franny’s history begins to unspool—a passionate love affair, an absent family, a devastating crime—it becomes clear that she is chasing more than just the birds. When Franny's dark secrets catch up with her, how much is she willing to risk for one more chance at redemption?

July 7
The Mighty and Almighty 
by Madeline Albright (political)


Does America, as George W. Bush has proclaimed, have a special mission, derived from God, to bring liberty and democracy to the world? How much influence does the Christian right have over U.S. foreign policy? And how should America deal with violent Islamist extremists?

Madeleine Albright, the former secretary of state and bestselling author of Madam Secretary, offers a thoughtful and often surprising look at the role of religion in shaping America's approach to the world. Drawing upon her experiences while in office and her own deepest beliefs about morality, the United States, and the present state of world affairs, a woman noted for plain speaking offers her thoughts about the most controversial topics of our time.

August 4th
The Creek
by J.T. Glisson (Florida non fiction)

Jake (J.T.) Glisson is a natural-born storyteller. His love of Florida nature is apparent as you read through “The Creek” or peruse his screen play, “Sigsbee.” He grew-up in the backwoods of Florida. Glisson considered Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings his friend and confidante. In addition to being an author and screenwriter, Glisson is an accomplished artist, illustrating all the pictures in “The Creek.”’ Discover more about the wild and wonderful world of Cross Creek and North Central Florida by delving into the tales found in his works.

September 1st
 War of the Worldviews:Where Science and Spirituality Meet
by Deepak Chopra  and Leonard Mlodinow   (spiritual/science)

October 6th
Love in the Time of Cholera -
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is heartbroken, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs—yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again.

November 3rd 
 Good Morning Midnight
by Lily Brooks Dalton (science fiction)

Augustine, a brilliant, aging astronomer, is consumed by the stars. For years he has lived in remote outposts, studying the sky for evidence of how the universe began. At his latest posting, in a research center in the Arctic, news of a catastrophic event arrives. The scientists are forced to evacuate, but Augustine stubbornly refuses to abandon his work. Shortly after the others have gone, Augustine discovers a mysterious child, Iris, and realizes the airwaves have gone silent. They are alone.

At the same time, Mission Specialist Sullivan is aboard the Aether on its return flight from Jupiter. The astronauts are the first human beings to delve this deep into space, and Sully has made peace with the sacrifices required of her: a daughter left behind, a marriage ended. So far the journey has been a success, but when Mission Control falls inexplicably silent, Sully and her crew mates are forced to wonder if they will ever get home.

As Augustine and Sully each face an uncertain future against forbidding yet beautiful landscapes, their stories gradually intertwine in a profound and unexpected conclusion. In crystalline prose, Good Morning, Midnight poses the most important questions: What endures at the end of the world? How do we make sense of our lives?
December 1st
by Isabel Wilkerson - (non fiction/civil liberties/rights)

The Pulitzer Prize–winning, bestselling author of The Warmth of Other Suns examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions.

Dana Jacobsen is our Newsletter Editor.  Please send articles to
her at with the subject line "for CUUC  newsletter".
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CUUC's phone number is:

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Community Unitarian Universalist Church
403 West Street
New Smyrna Beach, 32168

(386) 308-8080

Mailing Address:
P. O. Box 238063
Port Orange, FL 32123

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Our mailing address is:
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