Clothes Closet

We have donated 368 pounds of clothing to the St. Paul’s Clothing Closet. They are soliciting volunteers to help them on Monday, 8-1 pm to help sort and hang the clothes, and on Tuesday throughout the morning when people come in and make their selections. Any time you can give is welcome!

Church Cat Volunteers

The church cats are being well cared for by a group of dedicated volunteers. These cats have been with us for many years, and we support the cat colony by feeding them twice a day in such a way that raccoons are discouraged and the cats are kept healthy. All are neutered. We want to welcome new volunteers, Elena Rigg and Jennifer Kula. Pictured are Ann Eustace, Alice Ricker, Elena Rigg, Stuart Walling, Donna Janesky,and Nancy Ratnour. Missing are Martha Aiken, Barbara Whitehead, Briana Feinberg, and Jennifer Kula.

If you wish to participate we can always use additional volunteers and we can always use cat food. Take advantage of those BOGO’s and bring the extra bag to church. And say thanks to the volunteers who respect the inter-dependent web, of which we are a part.

Healthy Eating Class

Healthy Eating Class: November 13th, 12:30 Fletcher room. Come and learn what we put IN, ON, and AROUND our bodies that may be making us sick.

Generosity in Action: Donna Janesky

Donna JaneskyFor November’s Generosity in Action we are recognizing Donna Janesky. Donna contributes her time and talent to the church in so many ways: She chairs the Special Collection Committee, helps head up the Arlington Community Garden, and volunteers regularly at our partner school, Arlington Heights Elementary School. She runs the Ethical Eating Class, is head of the Partner Church Committee for our sister church in Bozod, and she leads the “unoffical” feral/stray cat feeding efforts out of her love of animals. Whew! If that wasn’t enough, we regularly see her at other volunteer efforts whenever help is needed at the church. We truly appreciate all of the effort that Donna makes puts into the betterment of our church community!

Christmas Choir

It’s here!  Our first rehearsal will be November 6 at 12:30 after our church service in the chapel.  We’ll be presenting A Wooly Tale, intergenerational program with a Celtic hymn, traditional carols, and new music you’ll enjoy learning.  Everyone is invited to join – music readers and non-readers alike.  We’ll have practice CD’s or MP3’s so you can learn at home also.  Six rehearsals and our program is the church service on December 18.  For information and encouragement, contact Sharon Scholl at 904-853-6158.

Saying Good-Bye to Guilt-Driven Giving

UUCJ and my boys’ school are huge pillars in my community. Both require significant levels of individual time and money to keep them afloat. As a single mom, I’m usually running on empty. So much of my energy is being poured into raising my kids and doing my own healing work that it’s often unfathomable to give even one hour of my time in any week. I’ve quelled my guilt over not being able to give more by donating a modest amount of my income to church and gritting my way through a weekly bread-baking session with 18 kindergarteners.

 As UUCJ progresses through its annual mission funding drive, in our most recent covenant group meeting we were asked to answer the question: is the church worth your time, talent, and treasure? Instead of answering yes or no, I found myself probing one level deeper in response to other members’ confessed guilt over their current level of giving. I want to know if there’s a better way to give—a way that springs from authentic generosity rather than obligatory guilt and that has an innate cyclical, nourishing nature for both the community and the individual.

 Last week, out of pure guilt, I signed up to participate in a church bake sale to raise funds for hurricane victims in Haiti. Saturday morning rolled around, and I dutifully gathered my baking supplies to make ginger crinkle cookies. I sped my way through mixing the dough without the boys noticing my project. They love to “help,” and we had a school campout to prepare for as well that morning. When I got to the last step, it hit me.

“Boys, go wash your hands. I have something important for you to do,” I said.

 “Okay, mommy!” said my 5 year old, Cameron. His eyes lit up like he was about to be handed his life purpose.

 “Remember how we had to go to the house with our friends to stay safe from the hurricane?” I asked.

 Cameron nodded.

 “Well, there are people in another country called Haiti whose houses got knocked over by the hurricane. We’re going to make cookies so our church can sell them and give the money to the people in Haiti so that they can buy new houses.”

 “Wow! Can I see pictures?” said Cameron. 

 “After we make the cookies,” I said.

 Next I gave them each a pan of sugar and asked them to roll the dough balls through the sugar and place them on a cookie sheet. Cameron had a hard time coating his dough evenly and threw himself on the floor in frustration. He has some sensory integration issues he’s been working through for over a year now, and this is a common scene in our house. I coaxed him back to the table. He tried again and created his own method of completing the task. Instead of rolling the balls, he buried them in a mound of sugar one at a time and shook them off before plopping them on the tray. Leo, my 3 year old, couldn’t care less what his balls looked like and proudly tossed them half way across the table to land in the tray. I cleaned up the boys’ mess and placed the cookies in the oven. Then I sat down with Cameron to show him pictures of Haiti and the damage from hurricane Matthew. I think he really just wanted an excuse to watch a video on my phone, so it wasn’t long until I sent him on his way to play and let me prepare for our camping trip. But later he did ask, “mommy, what about the cookies for the people in the country?” YES, I thought. He listened, and it mattered to him.

 For about 30 minutes of my time, my boys had a positive sensory experience and an effective lesson in empathy and social justice, all while I participated in a volunteer activity. I realize this is small potatoes. But it’s the little things. I asked the Universe to show me a new way, and this is where it starts for me. I’m making it a point to be open to receiving more and bigger experiences like our ginger crinkle cookies for Haiti. I believe it’s vital in sustaining and further building the communities that matter most to us. 

Clothes for the Needy

Over 330 pounds! That’s how many clothes we have delivered to St. Paul’s Clothes Closet so far. Keep ’em coming…clean out those closets! Shoes, baby items, personal care items also welcome.

Clean out those closets, and deposit in the hamper just inside the social hall.  

Garden Work Day

Saturday, Nov 5th (10am – 1pm)

Meet at UUCJ’s garden (growing food for pantries) located at Tree Hill Nature Center (7152 Lone Star Road 32211-East Entrance) to help us prep the beds for the winter growing season. We will be weeding and adding soil. Contact Leslie Gould, our church ground keeper,  with any questions. Tools provided. Bathrooms on site. Wear work clothes and bring gloves if you have them. The more help we have, the more food we can grow!

Mission Funding Progress

What a great start! We have 108 pledges of $186,537.04 toward our budget goal of $265,000. Don’t delay, turn in your commitment forms today!   Fill out your declaration packet here.

Little Free Library Book Donations

Books for young readers and other donations are needed for UUCJ’s Little Free Library. It is on the UUCJ driveway and also on the walk short-cut to the Avalon Hill Apartments just east of the UUCJ Campus. 

Books for young readers, paperback dictionaries, beginner’s cookbooks, books about sports, science, nature and others are all needed. Appropriate DVD’s would also be welcome. These materials may be bought to the social hall on Sundays or left in the church office during the week.