2021/12 Chalice Connections
Dec 1, 2021Chalice Connections hopes to continue its mission this month of presenting timely articles of our Fellowship authored by a wide a range of our friends and members. Articles are welcome and you may email them to me at any time. Fred Parmenter, Editor
Doug’s vision for the new UUFCCWhen Lorrie recently asked for some ideas on how we could all be brought together she received some unexpected suggestions:
Yes, Doug, I’m also excited.
This month’s cartoon was drawn by Joanne Collins. If you want to mention to Joanne how much you like her work she and her husband, Dick Schwarz, usually sit on the left, midway back, near the art wall.____________________________
The Light Touch with John Lee
Christmas RememberedBy the age of three or four, I had made the connection between Christmas, Santa Claus , presents and a Tree. I spent the days before and after Christmas at my grandparents house. It was one of the two places that the entire family of aunts , uncles and cousins gathered for special holidays. Thanksgiving was at the home of my great grandparents and Easter was alternated between the two. Leading up to Christmas, everyone seemed to have a decorated tree with lights and ornaments prominently on display except my grandparents. I also wondered how Santa would survive our chimney which led to a coal furnace in the basement. Would he and the presents burn up? By the time I was put to bed there was still no decorated tree, but I could smell the food preparations. Waking up before dawn, I would run down the stairs to find presents under a decorated tree. I learned by age five that Santa could magically bypass the coal furnace. And by age eight or nine that my grandfather liked to buy the Christmas tree Christmas eve. By age 10 I found out that my mother and grandparents decorated the tree and put out the presents after I was asleep. Adult time and Santa was family. Stephanie Garrett
It was Christmas Eve in our non-central heated home in Dorset, England. The fireplace was emitting warmth and we were doing our Santa Claus duties, devouring the milk and cookies, stuffing the stockings and laying out the toys. It was nearly midnight when we finished our tasks. We eyed the glowing coals in the fireplace and thought sadly of their dying and the cold in the lounge when we arose the next Christmas morning. Suddenly, we understood what we needed to do. We threw more coal on the fire, grabbed a bell we had on the mantle, and headed upstairs. Gleefully clanging the, we shouted: “Merry Christmas- Santa has come”. Christmas always came at midnight in our home ever after no matter where we were.Joanne Collins
Cain and Able?
Photo used with permission – copyright: © 2011 Nancy PierceThis article deals with what is called abelist language. The gist of abelist language is that it is language which promotes the view that people with disabilities are inferior to those without disabilities. And the movement, if you will, of those objecting to abelist language is to increase awareness of the issue and to suggest alternative phrasing that expresses the same view, but does so without using prejudicial words. My first introduction to abelist language was in a choir rehearsal where we were instructed that the hymn “Standing on the Side of Love” was renamed “Answering the Call of Love.” The idea was that the word “standing” was abelist language and this was brought to the attention of the author (Rev. Jason Shelton) who subsequently renamed his hymn. Well it turns out that this change created quite a firestorm in the UUA community. When I first heard of this change I thought it was ridiculous. After all, Rev Shelton did not mean for you to literally go out and find love, then pick a side of it, and then stand on that side. As I need not point out to anybody, it is a metaphor. As time went on I learned the issue of abelist language is gaining traction and becoming a bit more serious – some congregations are considering removing the term “standing committees” from their by laws because of the implied abelist language. So I wrote to the UUA in Boston to ask what their official poilicy, or recommendation, is on such constructs and here is a portion of Heather Bond’s reply:
I would suggest that another way of thinking about this is simply to make the title more truly descriptive. These committees don’t “stand”. They are permanent, right? Or mandated in the bylaws? So why wouldn’t you just say that. “These are the committees mandated by our bylaws” or “these are our permanent committees”. Using “standing committees” is old language that is not truly descriptive of what these committees are all about; it’s a lazy metaphor. Also, yeah, it’s ableist language. It’s easy to fall into customary language. I do it, everybody does it. And it doesn’t hurt to broaden our outlook a bit and think about less customary language and more about precise, inclusive language. This matters particularly in written formats. It’s one thing to fall back on customary language in a conversation with others, where it’s easy to say the thing we’re used to saying. It’s a whole different level in writing where using “standing committees” would be a deliberate use of language that some folx find hurtful.This direction of trying to remove abelist language could certainly be far reaching. Would we ban the phrase “public hearings?” Would scientists be banned from doing “double blind” tests? Would you be shunned if you said you had to run to “catch” the train? So what policy should a caring and progressive congregation like ours follow? I don’t think the answer is complicated. It’s a blend of common sense mixed with the courage to stand your ground. Please email me your thoughts. Fred Parmenter
For this article, I reached out to Rev Shelton, as well as Geron Davis who wrote “Standing on Hallowed Ground” but did not “hear” back from them. To learn more about ableist language consider these references: Ref 1 Ref 2 Ref 3 Ref 4.
Membership – A Brighter Coming DayAs we rise up to to a new beginning,we give thanks for the assurance of, in the words of 19 th century African American Unitarian, Francis Ellen Watkins Harper, “A Brighter Coming Day. ” The Pandemic had a major impact on the health and welfare of many of our congregants and the Congregation as a whole. Our face to face meetings, relationships and social justice initiatives were disrupted. We had to rely on Zoom and YouTube, technologies unfamiliar to many of us, to connect to our spiritual family and outreach to a wider community. And, we did attract people unfamiliar with our Unitarian Universalist denomination who expressed an interest in membership. A decision was made to wait until we as a congregation could open up our doors and programs again. Membership is like a marriage with a commitment to walk together toward a common goal. It is always good to meet the family that you want to join. We the members and friends of UUFCC are ready now to RISE UP and embrace a new day. Our Sunday services have again begun although limited to the number of in service attendees given UUA guidelines. A link will be sent out every Monday to register for Sunday services. It will be different each week so that the number of attendees is known for social distance purposes. Those who are VOLUNTEERS, ie greeters, worship associates, choir members and technical assistants NEED NOT REGISTER. The MEMBERSHIP TEAM consists of, ALL MEMBERS of UUFCC with a coordinating body to execute specific functions such as assuring the availability of greeters for Sunday services, following up on guests who express an interest in our religious community,and to provide an orientation to UUism and the Covenant of our Fellowship. The membership coordinating body will also provide a format to learn about our organizational structure, Fellowship history and to meet with with board members, committee chairpersons and affinity groups. Most important is to facilitate the official joining of our congregation. Any UUFCC member can to be part of our membership coordinating committee or volunteer to assist in a specific activity. The FIRST MEETING of MEMBERSHIP COORDINATING TEAM will be held onsite (or via zoom in you can’t attend in person), MONDAY DECEMBER 6th . A NEW to UU BREAKFAST (bring your own) will be held onsite SATURDAY JANUARY 15th. NEW MEMBER SUNDAY (Book Signing) will be held SUNDAY FEBRUARY 27TH. Reinstated members need not resign the book. UUFCC members can volunteer by submitting their name via Membership@UUFCC.Org. Special recognition and a thank you goes to Lynn Ritchie, our previous membership facilitator who has been assisting in the transition to to our new Membership Team. Stephanie Garrett Membership Point of Contact
Labyrinth WalkOn the 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month at around 9 to 9:30AM you are invited to a labyrinth walk. The labyrinth is a spiral path, created by Rev Dan, where you move slowly and in meditation to the center which was painted by Sharon Desruisseaux (Goding): The labyrinth is on level ground so those with balance concerns will not find it problematic. And, unlike a maze, a labyrinth only goes in one direction so you can’t get lost. Afterwards we often gather around and join in good conversation and fun spurred onward by our own John Lee:
In this issue of our newsletter famed gossip and advice columnist Dear Lucy makes her first appearance. Today she answers questions on chocolates, maleness and infidelity. If you have a question for Dear Lucy you may email them to her and she will answer it next month.
Dear Lucy “On chocolates”November 30, 2021
Dear Lucy, I need chocolate in order to work. Do you think my employer should provide it? If you think I need to buy it myself, would that be tax deductible?Thank you, enaJyraM
Dear enaJyraM,You and I both know your questions is really about love, and I see that you already suspect that the love you buy for yourself will only tax you more. Remember you can never deduct emptiness. Instead, restart your life! Begin with the movie Like Water For Chocolate. Lucy
Dear Lucy “On maleness”
Dear Lucy,It’s bad enough that he’s been taking Yoga classes, but yesterday I caught him shopping for window treatments. What should I do? Is it hopeless? Thank you, Missing my man
Dear missing my man, . It’s a serious problem. But all may not be lost. At least you didn’t say he has taken up quilting.Begin by putting more meat in his diet, training him not to listen when you are talking and sending him to the occasional rodeo. See how that goes and let me know next month. Especially the juicy bits. Lucy
Dear Lucy “On cheating”
Dear Lucy,The other day I noticed an attractive woman crossing the street. Then, as she got closer, I noticed it was my wife! But was I still cheating? Thank you, Wandering eyes
Dear wandering eyes,Ah, that all depends on what you did next. Lucy
UUFCC Book Group
Meets January 22 Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm GladwellWatch for MJ’s Weekly Updates for time and possible ZOOM link. Current coordinator: Mary Jane Williams
Second helpingNovember 8, 2021
C.A.R.E. Homeless Coalition. Habitat for Humanity. Andes Free Clinic. Immokalee Legal Aid Services. CC Public School Homeless. Guardian ad Litem Program. Special Olympics. New Operation Cooper Street. Peace River Wildlife Center. Fill a Backpack Drive. Empty Bowls. UU Service committee. Planned Parenthood. Holiday Help for a Family. Many others.Why this grouping? The question arose, and rightfully so, as to what has happened to the support from the Second Helping collections for the many other causes we had supported pre-pandemic. The answer: The Social Justice Committee (SJC), after discussion, decided that food was the primary necessity during the pandemic and had to take precedence over any other cause. So very worthy are all the causes we have supported, and we hope to return to a broader distribution of our support when the pandemic concerns are diminished. SJC encourages all who can to support the other worthy causes in our community as individuals. They will all be grateful for your help. Herb Levin Chair, Social Justice Committee
Are we all relics?
“Fossil Hunting on the Peace”
(not all dirt is gossip)My name is Bill Howat you may also know me as “Fossil Bill” and I love digging up evidence of Florida’s ancient past whenever I can. I’ve been active in this hobby for about 12 years now and have learned a lot about the different types of fossils that can be found in Florida, though there is still so very much to learn… On days that I go collecting, I usually arrive at the Peace River around 9 or 10 AM. I bring my long handled metal detecting scoop (if you don’t own one, a shovel will do), an old pair of sneakers, a nail apron and dive bags to hold my small/medium finds, a pill bottle or other small container to hold anything delicate or fragile, a 5-gallon bucket to bring water in and larger finds out, and a floating sift screen to sift the dirt and sand out of the gravel that I dig up from the bottom. It is very easy to get dehydrated so I bring in about 3 bottles of water and a bottle of Powerade to replenish electrolytes. I have found a lot of Miocene, Pliocene, and Pleistocene aged fossils in the Peace River dating back 23.03 million years. Sometimes it can be a bit confusing when trying to identify some things, since some of the animals back then have relatives that are alive now (Extant), whereas some only lived during a certain period and have died out (Extinct). You can find invertebrate fossils and vertebrate fossils from aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Some examples of invertebrates that I find are: sea urchin spines, partial sand dollars, partial sea urchins, petrified wood, and agatized shells. Some examples of the vertebrate fossils I have found are: shark teeth, horse teeth, puffer fish mouth-plates, stingray mouth-plate sections and barbs, fish teeth, fish vertebrae, horse vertebrae, horse toe-bones, bird bones, dolphin vertebrae, whale vertebrae, glyptodont osteoderms, sloth osteoderms, giant armadillo osteoderms, whale teeth, and more… I find it peaceful, yet so exciting. You will not find something in every scoop, but you never know what will be in the next one either. If you plan on giving fossil hunting a try, please register with the Florida Museum of Natural history for a fossil permit. 2 Pieces of advice: When in doubt of what something is… Take it with you, you can always throw it in a garden at home if it’s nothing. …and never be afraid to look through material that someone has already looked at… You never know what they might have missed. Happy Hunting!
Poor old dronesWhen Summer grieves The dying leaves Which Autumn fans to fire, The drones still eat Of honey sweet As much as they desire. But when the days No longer blaze, Those poor old drones are banished: Doors are barred (The girls stand guard), And bed and board have vanished. Whiskered Frost Has now embossed The boughs with silver glitter. Without a hive Drones can’t survive, For Winter’s breath is bitter. With soft caress, In flowing dress, Its pastel colors matching, Spring arrives. Inside the hives, And brand-new drones are hatching. Sharon Whitehill
Ann & Chuck Dever Regional Park
Dec 1, 2021The park is located at 6961 San Casa Drive in , Englewood and is quite large. It has restrooms, tennis courts, a pool, picnic shelters and, what we care about, a very nice mile or two nature trail. When you first drive in you might think you have the wrong location, but follow the road a rather long distance around a rotary and toward the back you find the parking places for the trail(s): The are a few trails but the longest one goes across Oyster Creek: and makes a large circle as this map shows near the top: The trail is wide. Dogs, if leashed, are allowed and you will meet quite a few. The trail is wide and flat so those with balance issues should experience no difficulties. It is suitable for running as well as enjoying a slow walk. Fred & Dorothy Parmenter
Oct 14, 2021Lisa & Allen Roberts continue this month telling us about another of their favorite eateries, the Twisted Fork.
Have you been to the Twisted Fork? Situated next to the Harley Davidson dealership on Veterans Highway, is a casual and stimulating spot to delight your tastebuds. The energy is high when bands are playing outside. You can hear the music inside while looking at the many large screened televisions and colorful biker regalia on the walls.The menu is casual and tasty. Expect to pay $15. for a burger. The twisted -shaped fries are delicious. There is pizza, salad or grilled cheese for vegetarians. I had a salad with salmon. The fish was cooked perfectly. Al had a blue cheese burger that he enjoyed. I’d only recommend this for lunch. Great place to bring an out of town guest.
A Christmas Carol
Greetings All. This post Is a bit different from the past reviews. This is a preview of what is yet to come. You will be visited by 3 Spirits if you choice to continue on this journey.Performances Dec 10 to 20th 2021. This is a play yet to be. The performers have been cast and currently in rehearsals. From past years experience (I was cast in the production 2 years ago) I highly recommend this as a holiday tradition. Many talents from all ages. Pay attention to the list of cast members, many are related. Acting in a play with a parent or sibling, I find magical. The sets are always amazing. The beautiful songs and voices are moving. It is exciting each year how the 3 ghosts are dedicated So help to end this year with a reward to yourself, enjoy a grand Holiday production. To all you “beautiful people in the dark.” Happy Holidays. Patrick Eaton