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Community
News

December
2021

http://www.dbcuuc.org
Email: cuucnsbfl@gmail.com

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.
 
Attending Church Services in Person

".  
We welcome people back to the church building.
We are respectfully
requesting you wear a mask.
 
The Delta Variant of Covid has experts
concerned. We will not require social distancing, but there will be space
in the rear of the sanctuary for those who want to observe it. Please use
your best judgment as to your health needs.


 We will not offer food or drink at this time. You may bring your own
beverages but please refrain from drinking in the sanctuary. 
Please save your drinks for outside later.

Masks will be available.  Hand sanitizer will also be available. Please use
your best judgment as to your health needs.

You will be asked to fill out our Covid Protocols Form (one time) and sign
in (each time),  prior to entry. This will assist us for contact tracing if it
becomes necessary.

Social distancing is not required. Please use your best judgment as to
your health needs as you socialize with attendees.

***These protocols are subject to change based on the aforementioned
infection rates, vaccination rates, Covid variants and CDC guidelines.


We look forward to seeing more people
as we return to church services in our
church building. 

                                          
                                                                          
CUUC's phone number is:

(386) 308-8080


 Email: info@dbcuuc.org   or   cuucnsbfl@gmail.com
President's Message
Greetings, Beloved Community!

It's the time of year when folks gather to share their joys and concerns with one another  - family, friends, and coworkers - and that means - as guests in our Pulpit and CUUC Folks alike have pointed out  - that people are experiencing 'Holiday Season Stress' again! In spite of reports from Europe - where COVID-19 cases are Spiking again - apparently aided by the vast numbers of children [& some Adults] who've remained UnVaccinated - most of our "fellow Americans" are thinking about who to invite to their Holiday Gatherings. [Recently, Saturday Night Live spoofed retailers' Thanksgiving commercials with a parody that suggested Holiday Hosts are going to need veritable oceans of wine to make it through the festivities this year]... 

At our church we are planning a relaxing time on December 26th, Sharing Inspirations and Singing Together... which will follow a presentation from our lovely Pagan friend Rick de Yampert about Yuletide/Winter Solstice Traditions on December 19th [I Look Forward to being his Service!]... my prayer for all the CUUC 'Family' is that Peace, Joy and Goodwill may fill our hearts this winter!

I think about the tradition of "Welcoming the Stranger to the Feast" - retold in stories and myths for millennia - and I am reminded of this: Many years ago in New Smyrna Beach [on Faulkner Street] a respected Leader for the Florida District of the Unitarian Universalist Association [we no longer have these demarcations in our Denomination - Now we're a part of the UU Southern Region, which stretches across the Southland from the Atlantic Coast to Texas] came to visit our church in the space we were renting from the United Church of Christ in New Smyrna. Our host church's governing board had expressed concerns about the dimensions of their parking lot, and consequently had offered us a chance to rent Meeting Space from them on Sunday Afternoons. 
Our District's Leader, the Reverend Ken Hurto, met with members of our Board of Trustees (including yours truly) and other interested parties, and gave us some advice in answer to the question, "How can we Grow the Size of our Church?" [Our Board really wanted to attract new members]... 

Rev. Hurto said, "You're probably NOT going to like what I have to say. Polls and other methods of gathering data show that when people think, 'Church' they think, 'Sunday Morning.' They DO NOT THINK, 'Sunday Afternoon.' Therefore - although I admire your church's flexibility and resourcefulness, I believe you are going to Fail to attract more new members until you are able to find a space where you can meet on Sunday Mornings - NOT at any other time or day of the week - and if your current 'Landlords' cannot find a way to accommodate this need, I recommend that you MOVE!" [Which is what we actually ended up doing]... 

Reverend Hurto had another piece of advice to share with us that day. He described a small church (like ours) in which certain volunteers had been performing the same roles in their relationship to the church and its congregation for so long that they had come to occupy what he termed, "Silos of Power." He said that an example of this playing out in real time might be someone new to the congregation expressing a wish to try out a different kind of music during a Worship Service, and being told, "You'll need to clear that with John, he's our Music Director - nothing can be done without his Approval." Or perhaps someone suggested a Fund Raiser and was told that only the Chairperson of the Fund Raising Committee could give it the 'Green Light.' Reverend Hurto warned us that "Rigidity" in terms of how power is distributed in a church can feel suffocating to members, friends and even guests who are stepping through the doors of a church for the first time. 

This is a danger that small churches often face, and it contributes to the sense of uncertainty that newer members feel when asked to volunteer - either as Greeters/Ushers, or in other ways [like serving on Committees]... He warned us that we would need to be prepared to look out for this phenomena and be prepared to battle it, if we wanted to see our church Grow. He reminded us that our UU Principles embrace the "Democratic Process" and this should play out in both our congregation and our relationship with the surrounding community. He told us that when a small church feels to a newcomer like a 'Social Club' where longtime members are 'chummy' with each other, the newcomer is likely to feel that they are getting a 'Cold Shoulder' in comparison. Some of us may feel that this judgment is too harsh because (1) we're busy with our volunteer duties and/or (2) we are excited to see folks we know and care about and ask how they're doing with their Life Issues... but if we seriously want our Congregation to Grow, we need to honor our commitment to practice 'Radical Hospitality' and make the newcomer feel like an 'Honored Guest!' And one way to Do This is to ASK Them How They Are Doing and What they are Looking Forward To when they Come Through the Doors of our Church - and even "What More could we Do to make a newcomer Feel Welcome?"

[Admittedly - for an Introvert - and UU Congregations typically have Many of these - and YES! I Would classify Myself as an Introvert - though perhaps slightly Less of one than some other folks I know! - Asking these questions when facing a 'Stranger' can feel Awkward! I find what helps Me is to 'Role-Play' as a 'Host' - whether I am meeting someone for the first time or acting as a Service Leader on a Sunday Morning]

Recently I received a communication from a member of our Board of Trustees who had received feedback from some trusted friends that indicated Very Clearly that we can do Significantly Better in this area... and I was saddened to think that anyone would find our church Less than a Friendly Place... but I remembered also that I myself once had attended Services at CUUC 'Occasionally' for about 2 years before I began to feel that the busy, passionate, sometimes very 'self-contained' [Read, "Introverted"] folks I knew at CUUC were people I could call "Friends." 

I remember a conversation that I had with longtime CUUC member Connie Baker around that time; I said, "I might come to church more often if I felt that I had made actual 'Friends' at CUUC instead of just 'Acquaintances' - nobody seems interested... I wonder if it makes a difference whether I show up or not." And Connie replied, "I am sorry to hear that you feel that way. I CAN say THIS: Most of the folks who are Volunteering in some way at our church are busy people - yet they Make Time to Volunteer - and when they DO, it brings them Joy and Satisfaction to Do So. If you also Choose to VOLUNTEER - in whatever Capacity you Can, however you Wish To - you will surely find that folks will warm up to you much faster, as they see your commitment to Help play out through your Actions."

I gave much thought to what she had said. I began to stay after church to help Clean Up and get the building ready for its next use (collecting the trash, emptying smaller cans into the big one, hauling it out to the dumpster, even vacuuming... things I still do, fairly often, after the Service when everyone is gone)...

The following year Bud Cullison [Bless his Heart!] told me he had volunteered to ask me to serve on the CUUC Board of Trustees. I looked at him like he was crazy, and calmly told him that I would be the youngest and Poorest person Ever to Serve on the BOT, almost certainly... I was sure they'd have trouble accepting ME! Bud replied, "We Value DIVERSITY. Let that sink in for a minute. I Actually think these things are GOOD, Because your presence will Help our Board members to see more Perspectives than just that of 'old retired folks!' And we could surely benefit from your Creativity! We NEED People who can 'think outside of the box' on our Board!"

What Bud Cullison did on that day was the exact opposite of the kind of behavior that Reverend Hurto would be coming to warn us against: "Gatekeeping" - when a newcomer is made to feel that they're being 'judged' and 'evaluated' by an established member of a select group of people. And the danger is that some of the "nicest" people we may know have also been guilty of 'Gatekeeping' behaviors - perhaps without ever realizing it! This is why participants at UU General Assembly hear stories from People of Color, Trans Youths and other folks who are still disappointed by the reactions their presence can generate when they enter a new UU Congregation.

It is normal, upon entering a place for the first time, to wonder, "Do I 'fit in' here?" 
I vividly recall visiting a Presbyterian church once, many years ago [it just Happened to be a Presbyterian church - I'm sure it could've been any of a great many churches!] - as a young, openly gay, cisgender white male, and thinking, as I looked around me at all the other people there, 'I DEFINITELY DON'T Fit In Here... I Feel Like Shug Avery [from "The Color Purple"] in a Red Fringe Dress!' [I was actually wearing walk shorts and a button-down shirt - but I am describing how it FELT sitting in a crowd of homogenous-looking, white, cisgender/heterosexual Families!]
I am sad to think that Today [in an era when Social Media has made humans dependent on electronic devices for 'staying in touch' with each other and the Pandemic has made us Even More self-isolating than we had become Already] young people may feel even more 'Different' [Anticipating being Judged and perhaps found 'Lacking'] than I did THEN.

My Prayer for the year 2022 is that our Human Family [Including the members of our church] will Remember that we have more In Common than we have That Separates Us, and use the Opportunities to Come Together and make Changes for the Common GOOD in ways that Benefit ALL OF US, and Open the Door to Others who Seek A Spiritual Home!

Namaste!
Blessed Be!


Joe WolfArth
President, Board of Trustees




 
A Month of Sundays
We have returned to in-person services for those who feel comfortable
attending.  We will also continue to Zoom services for those who are
unable to attend.  Please be patient as we work out our tech issues.  It
is a learning process for all.

December 5th

Will Davis
Native American Spirituality

Service Leader: Barbara Mars

 

December 12th

Debbie Hirsh
 Baha'i Faith and Spirituality

Debbie is a professor at Daytona State College
teaching English as a second language and Public speaking. 
She is an avid kayaker and potter and photographer. She was
transplanted from southern Alabama to Florida thirty years ago and has
been in the Baha'i faith since her early twenties.

SL  Barbara Mars


December 19th

Winter Solstice Celebration

Service Leader: Joe WolfArth
 

December 26th

Day of Goodwill
Michele Moen
 

Each year on December 26th, South Africa celebrates the Day of
Goodwill. The day has become a day to recover from the indulgences of
Christmas festivities. People are also encouraged to give back to society
following the Christmas holiday.

When someone has goodwill toward another person they act in a
compassionate and friendly manner. Goodwill is acting out of compassion
instead of our selfish human nature. It’s also putting the needs of others
before ourselves. On the Day of Goodwill, South Africans distinguish
between their needs and their wants. They give to others with an attitude
of love and charity. What this day isn’t is a cleanup day after Christmas.
 



Check the calendar on our website for the most up to date information on services.

 

Looking Ahead to January's Services ***

Jan 2nd: Marcia Buckingham (member)- Musical Program

Jan 9th: Dan Gribbin  Musical Program

Jan 16 th: Rev. Kalen Fristad, UU Retired Minister

Jan 23rd: National Bible Sunday- Carmen Palmer, PhD Professor of Religious Studies, Stetson Univ.

Jan 30th: Leslie Kemp Poole- The Marjories of Florida- The role of women in the state's Environmental Movement.

 

***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.



December 1st
Book Club
Discussion of  "Caste: The Origins of our Discontent"
by Isabel Wilkerson
Lost Lagoon Restaurant, NSB
Social Distancing Observed/ Bring your Mask
5:00 p.m.
Invitation to  church members to follow via email
or contact Michele Moen for details.

December 13th
Board of Trustees Meeting
1:00  p.m
CUUC Church
403 West St.
NSB
All are welcome!
Contact Joe  WolfArth for details on how to attend

Wednesdays and Saturdays
Chair Yoga

Zoom
links in the Weekly Invite

Fridays  Climate Change Rally
Information will be sent by email
Contact Steve Baker

December Birthdays
12/1 Kermit Hunnicutt
12/6 Victor Brisebois
12/7 Shawn Capers
12/20 Charlie Mars
12/21 Mark Moehring
12/29 Rosa Lake

January Birthdays
Carmen Rivera 1/11
Kathy Parker 1/15
Loretta Clemente 1/17
Joe Wolfarth 1/18
John Hildebrandt 1/28
 

 Garage Sale Results

My deepest thanks to all who worked and helped with this fundraiser.
We did decently well, but not as good as we might have.  Several things did
not work to our advantage.  First, the weather and having to have a rain date.
  Steve spent two hours putting out 20 signs ( the best way to get a crowd),
only to have the city remove almost every one.  This past weekend would
not have been my choice as there were so many other events in town. 
Oh well, lessons learned.

I also want to thank our many donors. We had a lot of top quality stuff.
Some have been retained for sale online or for a future sale.
It was a mighty effort and your help was much appreciated.

Thanks.
Barbara Mars

Singing Bowl Sangha at Community Unitarian Universalist Church 

At 8:45 AM on Sunday morning there is a group that meets in our sanctuary to meditate.  They are called the Singing Bowl Sangha.  You might know some of the members, as a few of them stick around to attend our service.  If you are interested in meditating with a group, this is an open invitation to our members and friends to join the Sangha.  For more information, please call Margret Anglin                    407 252-5726

 

Different Observances for the Month of December
 

December 1 WORLD AIDS DAY- International day of action on HIV and AIDS.
https://www.worldaidsday.org/

December 3 INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES- Raises awareness about persons with disabilities in order to improve their lives and provide them with equal opportunity.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations'_International_Day_of_Persons_with_Disabilities

December 8 BODHI DAY • Buddhist Also known as Rohatsu, commemorates the day that the Buddha, Siddharta Gautama, experienced enlightenment or spiritual awakening (bodhi). Celebrated on the eighth day either of December or the 12th month of the lunar calendar.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhi_Day

December 10 HUMAN RIGHTS DAY -On this day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Rights_Day

December 12 OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE • Christian Celebrates the apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary (by her title, Our Lady of Guadalupe, the Patroness of Mexico and the Americas) before Juan Diego, an indigenous convert to Roman Catholicism, on the Mexican hill of Tepeyac in 1531.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Our_Lady_of_Guadalupe

December 15 BILL OF RIGHTS DAY -Commemorates the signing into law of the ten original amendments of the United States Constitution in 1791.
https://www.uscourts.gov/about-federal-courts/educational-resources/annual-observances/bill-rights-day

December 21 WINTER SOLSTICE- Marks the first day of the season of winter. The length of time between sunrise and sunset is the shortest of the year with the sun shining closest to the Southern Hemisphere and the farthest from the Northern Hemisphere.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_solstice

December 24 CHRISTMAS EVE • Christian Celebration of the arrival of Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem for the birth of Jesus.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_Eve

December 25 CHRISTMAS • Western Christian Commemorates the birth of Jesus.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas

December 26 2021–January 1, 2022 KWANZAA A seven-day celebration honoring African American heritage and its continued vitality. “Kwanzaa” means “first fruits (of the harvest)” in Swahili.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwanzaa

December 29 WOUNDED KNEE DAY On December 29, 1890 more than 200 Lakota Sioux were massacred by U.S. troops at Wounded Knee in South Dakota.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wounded_Knee_Massacre

December 31 NEW YEAR’S EVE In the Gregorian calendar, New Year's Eve, the last day of the year, is on December 31. In many countries, New Year's Eve is celebrated at evening social gatherings, where many people dance, eat, drink. etc.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Year's_Eve

This list was taken from the Anti-Defamation League found at this link:
http://www.adl.org/education/resources/tools-and-strategies/calendar-of-observances

Just for Fun

December Fun Holidays- Funny, Random and Weird
Dec 1    Wednesday    Eat a Red Apple Day
Dec 2    Thursday    Fritters Day
Dec 3    Friday    Make a Gift Day
Dec 4    Saturday    Wear Brown Shoes Day
Dec 5    Sunday    Day of the Ninja
Dec 6    Monday    Put on Your Own Shoes Day
Dec 6    Monday    Microwave Oven Day
Dec 7    Tuesday    Letter Writing Day
Dec 8    Wednesday    Pretend to Be a Time Traveler Day
Dec 9    Thursday    Christmas Card Day
Dec 10    Friday    Dewey Decimal System Day
Dec 10    Friday    Jane Addams Day
Dec 10    Friday    Official Lost and Found Day
Dec 11    Saturday    Noodle Ring Day
Dec 12    Sunday    Gingerbread House Day
Dec 14    Tuesday    Monkey Day
Dec 16    Thursday    Chocolate Covered Anything Day
Dec 17    Friday    Wright Brothers Day
Dec 17    Friday    Underdog Day
Dec 17    Friday    Ugly Sweater Day
Dec 20    Monday    Sangria Day
Dec 21    Tuesday    International Dalek Remembrance Day
Dec 22    Wednesday    Date Nut Bread Day
Dec 23    Thursday    Festivus
Dec 24    Friday    Eggnog Day
Dec 25    Saturday    Grav Mass Day
Dec 25    Saturday    A'phabet Day or No "L" Day
Dec 26    Sunday    Thank You Note Day
Dec 27    Monday    No Interruptions Day
Dec 28    Tuesday    Card Playing Day
Dec 29    Wednesday    Pepper Pot Day
Dec 30    Thursday    Bicarbonate of Soda Day
Dec 31    Friday    Make Up Your Mind Day

https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/fun/
Famous Unitarian Universalists

Thomas Jefferson
April 13, 1743– July 4, 1826
American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher,
and Founding Father who served as
the third president of the United States


" Was Thomas Jefferson Really a Unitarian?"
an excerpt taken from  UU World;  for the complete article click here:
https://www.uuworld.org/articles/was-thomas-jefferson-really-unitarian

And what about Thomas Jefferson? The consensus seems to be that he had strong Unitarian sympathies but did not formally belong to any Unitarian church. There have been acres of sermons, articles, and books written on whether Jefferson thought of himself as a Unitarian. Those who prefer to regard Jefferson as an independent deist tend to highlight the letter where he says, “I am of a sect by myself, as far as I know.” Those who want to hold him up as a UU role model point to another letter where he says, “The population of my neighborhood is too slender, and is too much divided into other sects to maintain any one preacher well. I must therefore be contented with being a Unitarian by myself.” Jefferson was a regular donor to St. Anne’s Episcopal Church in Charlottesville, Virginia, and served on its vestry, but he was also known to worship at Joseph Priestley’s Unitarian church in Philadelphia.

With Jefferson, there’s yet another wrinkle, which is whether Unitarian Universalists really want to claim him at all. Eleven years ago [in 1993], at the UUA’s General Assembly, a group led by African-American UU ministers expressed outrage at plans to commemorate Thomas Jefferson’s 250th birthday. They asserted that “Thomas Jefferson’s role in the racial history of the United States is not one which African Americans, native Americans, or others victimized by the ‘founding fathers’ wish to honor.”

It turned out that this was not an isolated complaint from a politically correct fringe. There had been UUs quietly upset for decades over Jefferson’s exalted spot in the UU pantheon. One result of the protest was four years of passionate debate over whether the name of the UUA’s Thomas Jefferson District ought to be changed. The final vote was 75 to 51 in favor of dropping the name—short of the two-thirds majority required to enact the change. For the time being, it’s still the Thomas Jefferson District. Some UUs have no idea that there was ever a controversy, some people still don’t get what the fuss was about, and others wince every time they hear or see the district name. [Update: The district assembly finally approved changing the name in 2011.] 

So many labels can be pinned onto Jefferson: hero, statesman, genius; slaveowner, racist, sinner; enlightened, tradition-bound. To call him by any single one of these is to leave out crucial parts of the story. To call him a Unitarian or a Universalist doesn’t really give us a true handle on what he believed—which goes for all of the other Founding Fathers and celebrities on the lists of Famous UUs, regardless of whether they were official UUs or UUs by association or “UUs-at-heart.”

The words “Unitarian” and “Universalist” are no more adequate than “Asian” and “American” when it comes to describing you, me, each other, or our ancestors. At best, the words are hints; they are not definitions. To use them carelessly—to be content with superficial assumptions and summary categorizations—cheats us of both the heartening and heartrending complexities of our truths.

Remaining Book Club Picks for 2021

December 1st
Caste
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.

Book Club Picks for 2022
 

January 5 

The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times

by Jane Goodall
Nonfiction environment
In this urgent bookJane Goodall shares her Four Reasons for Hope for a better future. How do we stay hopeful when everything seems hopeless?

 

February 2nd

Kindred


by Octavia Butler 1979

The first science fiction written by a black woman, Kindred has become a cornerstone of black American literature. This combination of slave memoir, fantasy, and historical fiction is a novel of rich literary complexity. Having just celebrated her 26th birthday in 1976 California, Dana, an African-American woman, is suddenly and inexplicably wrenched through time into antebellum Maryland. 

 

March 2nd 

The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak 2005
It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.

By her brother's graveside, Liesel's life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger's Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library, wherever there are books to be found.

But these are dangerous times. When Liesel's foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel's world is both opened up, and closed down.
 

April 6th

Everything I Never Told you
by Celeste Ng 2014

So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos.

A profoundly moving story of family, secrets, and longing, Everything I Never Told You is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.

May 4th


Poisonwood Bible

by Barbara Kingsolver 1998

The Poisonwood Bible
 is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it -- from garden seeds to Scripture -- is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family's tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.

 

June 1st

Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod
by Gary Paulsen  1994

Paulsen and his team of dogs endured snowstorms, frostbite, dogfights, moose attacks, sleeplessness, and hallucinations in the relentless push to go on. Map and color photographs.

 

July 6th

UNBroken:A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption
by Laura Hillenbrand 2010

On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane's bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

 

August 3rd

His Very Best, Jimmy Carter, A life
by Jonathan Alter 2020

From one of America’s most-respected journalists and modern historians comes the first full-length biography of Jimmy Carter, the thirty-ninth president of the United States and Nobel Prize–winning humanitarian.

September  7th

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive
 by Stephanie Land 2019

At 28, Stephanie Land’s plans of breaking free from the roots of her hometown in the Pacific Northwest to chase her dreams of attending a university and becoming a writer, were cut short when a summer fling turned into an unexpected pregnancy. She turned to housekeeping to make ends meet, and with a tenacious grip on her dream to provide her daughter the very best life possible, Stephanie worked days and took classes online to earn a college degree, and began to write relentlessly.

Maid explores the underbelly of upper-middle class America and the reality of what it’s like to be in service to them. 

October 5th

Cloud Cockoo Land by Anthony Doerr

Finalist for the 2021 National Book Award, longlisted for the 2022 Andrew Carnegie Medal, and  New York Times bestseller!

Thirteen-year-old Anna, an orphan, lives inside the formidable walls of Constantinople in a house of women who make their living embroidering the robes of priests. Restless, insatiably curious, Anna learns to read, and in this ancient city, famous for its libraries, she finds a book, the story of Aethon, who longs to be turned into a bird so that he can fly to a utopian paradise in the sky. This she reads to her ailing sister as the walls of the only place she has known are bombarded in the great siege of Constantinople. Outside the walls is Omeir, a village boy, miles from home, conscripted with his beloved oxen into the invading army. His path and Anna’s will cross.

Five hundred years later, in a library in Idaho, octogenarian Zeno, who learned Greek as a prisoner of war, rehearses five children in a play adaptation of Aethon’s story, preserved against all odds through centuries. Tucked among the library shelves is a bomb, planted by a troubled, idealistic teenager, Seymour. This is another siege. And in a not-so-distant future, on the interstellar ship Argos, Konstance is alone in a vault, copying on scraps of sacking the story of Aethon, told to her by her father. She has never set foot on our planet.

 

November   2nd

Squeeze Me
by Carl Hiaasen  2020. 
Hiaasen dedicated the novel to his younger brother, Rob, who was killed during the Capital Gazette shooting on June 28, 2018. The book debuted at #2 on the New York Times Best Seller list

Carl Hiaasen's Squeeze Me is set among the landed gentry of Palm Beach. A prominent high-society matron--who happens to be a fierce supporter of the President and founding member of the POTUSSIES--has gone missing at a swank gala. When the wealthy dowager, Kiki Pew Fitzsimmons, is later found dead in a concrete grave, panic and chaos erupt. The President immediately declares that Kiki Pew was the victim of rampaging immigrant hordes. This, as it turns out, is far from the truth. Meanwhile a bizarre discovery in the middle of the road brings the First Lady's motorcade to a grinding halt (followed by some grinding between the First Lady and a lovestruck Secret Service agent). Enter Angie Armstrong, wildlife wrangler extraordinaire, who arrives at her own conclusions after she is summoned to the posh island to deal with a mysterious and impolite influx of huge, hungry pythons . . .

 

December 7th

21 Lessons for the 21st Century 
by Yuval  Noah Harari 2018

How do computers and robots change the meaning of being human? How do we deal with the epidemic of fake news? Are nations and religions still relevant? What should we teach our children?

Yuval Noah Harari's 21 Lessons for the 21st Century is a probing and visionary investigation into today's most urgent issues as we move into the uncharted territory of the future. As technology advances faster than our understanding of it, hacking becomes a tactic of war, and the world feels more polarized than ever, Harari addresses the challenge of navigating life in the face of constant and disorienting change and raises the important questions we need to ask ourselves in order to survive.

 

The descriptions and pictures were taken from GoodReads website.

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Community Unitarian Universalist Church
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