UUCJ Book Club

The next book discussion will be on Mark Sullivan’s novel, Beneath a Scarlet Sky. The group will meet at 1:00 pm on Mon., Dec. 4, at Books-a-Million near Regency. The novel is inspired by a true story of an Italian teenager who saved many Jews at the end of WWII by leading them over the Alps to Switzerland.

ICARE Community Problems Assembly

Nov. 14 at Christ the King Catholic Church, 720 Arlington Rd. N, at 7 PM

ICARE gets results!  Be a part of justice in Jacksonville! All Justice Ministry Network members are expected to be there.  Anyone interested in the efforts of ICARE is invited. All JMNs will be voting on a new problem to be addressed this year.

Contact Lois Hoeft Lbhjax2@comcast.net or 904-477-8320 for more information.

Save the Date! Dec. 8 Concert

We are excited to announce the Greg Greenway and Reggie Harris concert “Deeper than the Skin,” Friday, Dec.8, 7:00 PM, at UUCJ. The program was presented at UUA’s GA in New Orleans in June. Details will follow.

Crisis in Myanmar

The ethnic abuses taking place in Burma are a human tragedy and this is just one of the places where your donation to the UUSC (Unitarian Universalist Service Committee) can help.  Read more about it when we start our campaign on Nov. 19th.

Caring Candles

As many of you know, our DRE, Tyler Burley, has been under treatment for a blood infection since October 21, 2017.  He was discharged from Baptist South Hospital on October 30, 2017 and he is continuing his treatment at home.  He expects to be back at church after November 23, 2017.  He is very grateful for all of the expressions of good wishes from his UUCJ family.  Our healing thoughts and support go out to Tyler and Elizabeth.

Christmas Choir for Sure!

Our theme is endings and beginnings and how these are celebrated by cultures over the world (Jewish, Japanese, English, etc).  Music readers and non-readers of all ages are invited to sing.  You will receive a CD with your part so you can rehearse at home.  Group rehearsals begin on Sunday, October 28 from 12:30 to 1:30 in the chapel, and weekly until our program on December 10. If you like to sing, here’s your chance.  For encouragement, contact Sharon Scholl.

Nov 5th ~ Labyrinth Walk 10 a.m. (weather permitting!)


Join us for walking meditation at the labyrinth Sunday morning, starting at 10 a.m. Enter into into November by reflecting on gratitude and thankfulness.   And mark your calendar for a First Sunday Labyrinth Walk this fall, winter and spring! Contact Donna Janesky or Karen Kempf for more information.

The labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness. It combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. It represents a journey to our own center and back again into the world.

Spiritual Studies

We meet weekly in the Channing Room from 9:30 – 10:30.


  • Nov 5 – Sharon Scholl – Meditation for Those Who Can’t Sit Still
  • Nov 12 – A God of Ones Own

All are welcome. Leisla Sansom – 904-745-7803

President’s Letter: October 2017

Dear Members of the UUCJ Congregation,

I’m Mark Dickens, your new President as of June 2017. This is my first monthly letter to you and I’d just like to give you a short update on a few of the things we’ve been working on.

For many months we’ve had separate Task Forces working on some far reaching issues:

  • Should we modify our Mission and Vision Statements? We’ve got four draft Mission Statements and two draft Vision Statements we’ll send you next month to ponder before the vote.
  •  Staffing Task Force has been analyzing who on our church staff does what, who SHOULD do what, who should we hire to do what isn’t being done, how much of that can we afford, how should the performance of our professional staff be evaluated, and what about pay?
  • We’ve conducted two surveys in the last few months to evaluate how you think we’re doing and what yourpriorities are for moving forward. Mike Plummer has analyzed what you said and the Board has developed plans to fix what is broken and to steer toward the goals you have given us. More on the survey results in another communication. Speaking of Communications, that’s a glaring need and we plan to hire a part time Communications Director in January as well as stand up a Communications Committee now – and yes we need to get the President to send out monthly letters…


  • The renewal of the Fleming Nature Walk begun just before Irma is nearing completion.
  • We’ve set aside $80,000 to have the roof on the South Wing REPLACED (instead of repaired yet again) the contract is almost signed and work will begin soon.
  • We want to expand opportunities for FUN and are establishing a new committee, maybe something like, “Fun Raising Cmte.”, to work on having more things we used to have like 8 person dinners; a Men’s Club; outings; etc. It will also focus on other internal social opportunities.
  • We haven’t found anyone willing to lead it but we plan to begin a 3-year Capital Campaign to grow our church facilities – we’re considering hiring professionals to help us with that.
  • Before the end of the year we want to improve the outside lighting in the parking lots and other spaces around the campus. It’ll be an interim solution but we need to do something.

Our congregation is growing almost weekly, and not just in size, our demographics are broadening and becoming even more inclusive (witness the many new children running around). To quote the Sheriff in that famous Shakespearean movie about the shark, “We’re going to need a bigger boat.”

Thanks for your support and I look forward to serving you for another two months.


Mark Dickens
Board President, UUCJ

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