Adult meals: $8; youth 11-17: $5; children 3-10: $3; children 2 and younger are free. Vegetarian entree always available.
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GA Issues Discussion: On June 2, at 12:30 p.m. in the sanctuary, come hear about the issues and elections that will be part of the business agenda at General Assembly June 19-23 in Louisville, KY. What are the issues that Unitarian Universalists will be grappling with this year at our General Assembly? Think “Immigration as a Moral Issue” and “Reproductive Justice.” What are the positions of leadership that will be decided at this meeting in Louisville June 19-23? Only the President, Moderator, Board of Trustee members, and a handful of others who will steer our movement over the next years. Important stuff. You can learn more about it on June 2, as the Denominational Affairs Committee presents information on these items. Delegates to General Assembly will receive their credentials at that time, but all interested people are invited to attend. For more information, contact Gail Sphar – Denominational Affairs
All meetings are held from 6-8 p.m. in the Norris House Youth Room, unless otherwise noted. All youth in grades 9-12 are welcome.
Youth Group Meeting Schedule:
- Sunday, May 19 – Church picnic at 1 p.m., Edwin Warner Park, site 10. Bring food to share, and bring your favorite games and sports equipment. Then meet back at FUUN at 5:45 p.m. for the annual Scavenger Hunt and welcoming of eighth graders!
- Sunday, May 26 – No Youth Group—enjoy your Memorial Day holiday.
- Special Event on Tuesday, May 28 – Pool Party and Laser Tag!
Please contact Suzanne LeBeau at firstname.lastname@example.org for updated information.
Adult RE Classes meet on Wednesday nights 7-8:30 p.m. and Sunday mornings 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., unless otherwise noted. Child care is available. Schedule is subject to change.
May 15, 22 and 29 (Fireside Room)
Participants in this workshop, led by our senior minister, the Rev. Gail Seavey, and our associate minister for music, the Rev. Jason Shelton, will explore the purpose, substance and style of UU worship, and examine the roles of music, readings, meditation and prayer, sermons and liturgy, both as individual elements and as parts of the whole. This is a creative, hands-on workshop. This class is a prerequisite for becoming a worship associate, but it is not required that you become one if you take the class.
A Visit from Delvin Farms
May 15 (Classroom A)
There are many reasons to join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and buy a share in a farm’s harvest. Some people join for the amazingly fresh food. Some people enjoy the connection to a specific farm and farmer. Others just want to support their local food system and are looking for a simple, one-stop way to do so. Delvin Farms is a three generation family, 96-acre farm along the Harpeth River in College Grove, TN, that grows certified organic fruits and vegetables. They will share photos of the farm and talk about their growing methods, sharing information about the advantages and logistics of participating in a CSA.
Wednesday Night Multigenerational FUUN!
It was a hit last summer, so we’re bringing it back! For the months of June, July and August, Adult Religious Education will offer one multigenerational activity on Wednesday evenings.
It may be a movie, in which case it will be a G-rated classic that is less than one hour and 30 minutes. With one exception: We can’t resist showing The Wizard of Oz, which is one hour and 43 minutes, so we’ll start early that night.
It may be a game night. There’ll be Candy Land, Chutes and Ladders, and matching games for the children. For the adults, it will be games like Apples to Apples, Scrabble, or Trivial Pursuit. Bring your favorite game!
Or it may be an arts and crafts night. Who knows what that might be!
All offerings will be in classroom A. Here’s what we have to look forward to in June:
- June 5 – no programming
- June 12 – Movie Night: 101 Dalmations, hosted by Victoria Raschke
- June 19 – Movie Night: Toy Story, hosted by Marguerite Mills
- June 26 – Game Night, hosted by Paige DeBenedittis
Beginning in the fall of 2011, several Sunday morning programmatic changes were implemented. These changes came about as a result of the findings and recommendations of the 2009 Strategic Plan and include:
- Children’s RE time
- Worship time
- Addition of Sunday Adult RE classes
- Increased sanctuary and social hall space
Please take a moment and help us assess the impact of these changes by completing the Program Council’s brief survey (link below). Thank you!
The Nominating Committee is pleased to submit the following nominees for leadership positions. This slate will be voted on at the June congregational meeting. At the June meeting, members will also vote on a proposal to restructure certain board positions. This slate reflects both contingencies.
Board of Directors:
Nominee to be Determined, Vice President/ President-Elect, 1 year (If the proposed restructure does not pass, this person will be nominated for Board At-Large.)
Tanya Surawicz, Secretary, 2 years (re-nomination). Tanya and family joined FUUN in 2007 shortly after relocating here from Chicago. Prior to moving, she was an active member at Second Unitarian Church in Chicago. At FUUN, Tanya has served as co-chair of Social Justice committee for two years, adult co-chair of the YAC (youth-adult council) for one year, a greeter, and is currently completing a two-year term as Board Secretary. Tanya and her husband Bill have three teenage children: Austin (19), Joanna (17), and Henry (13); a dog and two cats. She is looking forward to continuing her board position for a second and final term.
Charlie Akers, Finance Council Chair, 2 years (re-nomination). A member since November 1979, Charlie Akers has served two 3-year terms as a FUUN Endowment Trustee, been a canvasser on three Stewardship campaigns, a member of the Strategic Planning Team, a member of both the Ministerial and the AMFM Sabbatical Committees, and has co-authored two Church annual financial reviews. He worked on the Finance Committee, prior to becoming Chair in 2011. He has been a volunteer on other work projects, both indoors and out, and advises that the good fellowship and the delicious lunches always guarantee that those projects are time well spent. Plus, they help the church.
Liz Schneider, Ministerial Council Chair, 2 years. Liz Schneider has been a member of FUUN since 1991. She has been on the Caring Committee for most of the last 20 years and taught Children’s Religious Education for several years. She was chair of the Membership Committee for many years and continues on that committee as the Greeter Coordinator. She served two terms on the Nominating Committee and helps out with the Grounds Committee when she can. She volunteers in the office and prepares the columbarium when needed. In 2007, Liz received the Virginia Grantham Service Award. (If the proposed restructure does not pass, Liz will be nominated for At-Large.)
Keith Wilson, Operations Council Chair, 1 year (finishing term on Board, currently At-Large).As with everything else in his life, Keith feels that the more he has given himself to this church community, the more it has given to him. He has been involved in religious education as a volunteer teacher, and he chaired the Sanctuary Expansion Committee. Keith is currently serving as an At-Large member of the Board. (If the proposed restructure does not pass, Keith will continue At-Large.)
Paul Gherman, Personnel Chair, 2 years (currently At-Large). Paul Gherman has been a UU since 1986. During this time, he has been a member of four churches. He served as president of the Blacksburg church. At FUUN, he has chaired the Stewardship Committee, served on the Social Area Planning and Construction Committees, and is currently an AtLarge member of the Board. In his former work life, he was the University Librarian at Vanderbilt. In the early part of his career, he focused on personnel administration in libraries, and he is the author of several articles on that topic.
Vicky Tataryn, At-Large, 2 years (re-nomination). Vicky has been a member of FUUN for over two decades. During that time, she has served as Greeter Coordinator and taught RE at several levels. She has been involved with the “Coming of Age” program, with teaching OWL to middle and senior high, and as an active participant in the Dinners for Nine groups. This will be her second term on the Board. She has two sons: Atajan and Nick. She is caretaker to multiple cats and dogs. Vicky has been a nurse for over three decades. Her primary field of practice has been Home Health nursing. She is married to Gene Dixon, her high school sweetheart.
Ibba Surface, 3 years. Ibba and her family began attending First UU of Nashville in 1992 and she became a member in 1994. Her first volunteer work was as an RE teacher and since then has served on the Board for three years (one as secretary and two as president) as well as on the Nominating, Ministerial Relations, Stewardship, Facilities and Fellowship Committees. She chaired the 2001 Building Design Committee, the 2005 Ministerial Search Committee, the Fellowship Hall Design Committee, and the Operations Cluster. Currently you’ll find her greeting church-comers on second Sundays, as she has for more than a dozen years. In her work outside the church, Ibba is a partner in a structural engineering firm and an enthusiastic but fair-weather gardener. She and husband Tom share their home with Lulu the Dog and Ms. Mary-Kat.
Cindi Brown, 2 years (re-nomination). Cindi Brown has been a member of FUUN since 2007. She did a lot of volunteer recruiting in her capacity as Adult Religious Education committee chair, a role she filled for three years. She is co-author of Eternally Compelling, a year-long Unitarian Universalist adult religious education curriculum exploring the sacred texts of the world’s major religions (www.eternallycompelling.org). She has also served as a Children’s Religious Education teacher, a Coming of Age mentor, and a greeter. She is well-known around church for her interest in the connections between personality psychology and spirituality. This will be her second term on the Nominating Committee, which she currently chairs.
Lawanna Edwards, 2 years. LaWanna Edwards has been a member for over 20 years. She has served on the Board for two terms. She has chaired the Fundraising Committee and has been a first Sunday greeter for over 10 years. She taught the 2-3 year old children for two years. She looks forward to serving on the Nominating Committee in the coming year.
Emma Smyth, 2 years. Emma Smyth is a member of FUUN. In her professional life, she is the Manager of Artistic Administration at the Nashville Symphony. Emma holds a Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, and a Master of Arts in Flute Performance and Artistic Administration from New York University.
Safe Congregational Panel:
Jeannie Alexander, 2 years. Jeannie Alexander is the head chaplain of Riverbend Maximum Security Institution. Prior to her appointment at Riverbend, she was active in street chaplaincy and homeless outreach for six years, working through various congregations and nonprofits. She has also taught Religion and Philosophy at the college and university level for the past seven years at Georgia State University and Nashville State Community College. She was also a writer for and served on the board of directors of The Contributor street newspaper from 2008-2012. Jeannie is a co-founder of Amos House Community in Nashville, and also a co-founder of Open Table a nonprofit homeless outreach and community building organization in Nashville. In Atlanta, prior to moving to Nashville in 2007, she served as co-pastor of Mercy Community Church. She is a former attorney who practiced corporate trial law in Texas, where she served on the board of directors for the Center for Survivors of Torture. Jeannie is a frequent speaker at conferences, churches, colleges, and seminaries with a focus on Restorative Justice, Poverty, and the American Mass Incarceration Prison System, and as an abolitionist to end the death penalty. She holds an undergraduate degree in Philosophy from Georgia State University, a Masters in Religious Studies, and a Juris Doctorate from Cornell. She lives in the Old Hickory Village with her 3 cats and 2 dogs, and enjoys cooking for friends, thinking and writing about the wholly holy natural world, and photography. She is struggling to learn how to take a day “off” and simply be. Last, but not least, she is in love with FUUN!
David Dickinson, 2 years (re-nomination). David grew up the child and grandchild of ministers – United Church of Christ (not Church of Christ) – so has long had an insider’s view of the complexities of church life. After his requisite years of being a non-churched youth and prompted by the arrival of two daughters, he found his way with his family to the UU church in Lexington, MA. In that church, he and Ann were married in a Jewish-UU wedding. The first thing he did when considering a move to Nashville was to find FUUN on the web. David and Ann joined the choir as soon as they walked through the door, and are still singing and enjoying its fellowship and services. David is a professor of education at Peabody College.
Dana Perkins, 2 years. Since signing the book in 2008, Dana has enjoyed the FUUN community in various ways. Her committee history includes Social Justice, Children’s Religious Education, and Adult Religious Education. She has been a teacher of the middle school Sunday school class for five years. Once, long ago, in Mississippi, a favorite priest told Dana to find a UU church because she surely was no Episcopalian. However, when she moved to Nashville in 2005, she quite forgot all about the recommendation as a result of culture shock, and it took Sue Alley’s love of FUUN to remind Dana about the excellent advice. It then took only five minutes for Dana to recognize that FUUN is a bit of home and more. And this is her “happy ever after” story.
Parish Minister’s Advisory Committee:
Rebecca Lee, 2 years (re-nomination). Rebecca Lee moved to Nashville with husband Ron and daughter Caitlin in 1995 and found FUUN shortly thereafter. She had previously attended Tennessee Valley UU and Westside UU in Knoxville; her UU claim to fame was that she and Ron were married by John Buehrens, former UUA president (John did a good job — they’ve been married for 33 years). At FUUN, Rebecca was drafted within the first three weeks of attendance to help at the UNICEF Halloween party. She has also served as an RE teacher, was on the Program Committee for WomenSpirit, and served two terms on the Board. She has recently become the facilitator of one of the Tuesday afternoon Covenant Groups after being a member of the group for almost 5 years. Rebecca remains and will be forever grateful for the support and love demonstrated by FUUN after the Caitlin’s death in 2008. This will be her second term on the Parrish Minister’s Advisory Committee.
Alan Leiserson, 2 years. Alan has been hanging out around FUUN in various capacities for longer than he can remember, starting by age 2. He attended Sunday school in the old building on Fairfax Avenue as well as the present building. One of his teachers was Jean Morgan (for whom the Morgan House is named). He was active in the Liberal Religious Youth (LRY) group, and president of it during his senior year of high school. Since the mid-80′s, when he and Anna Belle moved back to Nashville after being away for many years, he has been a Sunday school teacher, a canvasser, the chair of the Long Range Planning Committee, chair of the Worship Committee, a member of the Music Minister Transition Committee, At-Large Board Member, Program Council chair, and chair of the Governance Task Force.
John Mott, 2 years (re-nomination). John Mott joined the church in the mid-90s. He helped get the church web site started and assisted with the Publicity Committee (precursor to the Communication Committee), taught children’s RE, and went on to work with the youth, becoming a youth advisor and being active with the youth program both at our church and for the then-Mid-South District. He was invited to join the Board of Directors as an At-Large member in 2000 and took over as Program Council Chair. At the district level, he served on the district board as communications liaison. He helped restart Wednesday night dinners after they were stopped and was active with them for several years. He has helped with the church auction in a variety of ways for over a decade. In 2008, he became Board President and served for one term during the time of our latest strategic plan. Since then, he’s been serving on Nominating Committee, the Parish Minister’s Advisory Committee and the Leadership Development Committee. When he’s not writing software or walking with his partner, Ashley Crownover, he can be found posting obsessively on Facebook.
Associate Minister for Music’s Advisory Committee:
Sharon Ruiz, 2 years (re-nomination). Sharon Ruiz has lived in Nashville since 2002, and became a member if FUUN in 2005. She previously taught Pre-K Religious Education with her spouse, Jacob Hathaway. They have two children, Solana and Ezra. She works as a public defender for Davidson County. She is the current chair of the Associate Minister for Music’s Advisory Committee.
Matt Smyth, 2 years. Matt Smyth moved to Nashville in 2009 to work as a music teacher at Montgomery Bell Academy. He attended Moravian College for his undergraduate degree and then moved to New York City in 2005 to perform and work in the music business. Before moving to Nashville, Matt was a graduate student at the University of Oklahoma, where he graduated Suma Cum Laude. Recently, Matt was the sabbatical music director here at FUUN.
Phil Thomason, 2 years (re-nomination). Phil Thomason has been a member of First UU since 1976 and has held various positions, including president in 1995-1996. He has served on the Board of Directors as well as chairing the Nominating Committee. This will be his second term on the Associate Minister for Music’s Advisory Committee.
Kyle Elias, 2 years. Kyle has been a member at FUUN for at least 15 years. She served on the RE committee for approximately 10 years, served one term as Board Secretary, has been a choir member for many years now, and recently agreed to serve on the Welcoming Environment Task Force. She have helped set up the silent auction portion of our annual auction fundraiser for many years. She has also volunteered with Room in the Inn over the years as a driver, a host, and food provider.
There is still an open position on the Board. If you or someone you know would be a good fit for this position, please contact a member of the Nominating Committee (Carol Bapty, Jack Bliek, Cindi Brown, Emily Green-Cain, Bill Latimer, John Mott, or Tom Surface), send an email to email@example.com, or fill out our online suggestion form at http://firstuunashville.org/committees/nominating/nominate.php.
The Movie Group usually meets on the second Sunday of the month from 12:15-1:30 p.m. in the Emerson Room. However, as May 12 is Mother’s Day, this event has been postponed until Sunday, May 19. We will discuss “Another Earth” (it’s on Netflix). Please Come!
Join the Young Adult Group for good food and conversation after the second service on Sunday, May 19. For details, contact Holly Mueller at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hello, I’m Virginia Moreland. I’ve been a member here at First Unitarian Universalist church for three years and was a friend for two years before officially joining. The first committee I joined at FUUN was the Communication Committee – also known as Comm Comm. I’m currently finishing out my second year as the chair. I’ve been asked by the Stewardship Committee to speak to you today as part of the annual stewardship campaign.
I’ve spent the last several days trying to come up with an idea for my talk. Let me tell you, asking people for money is hard. I didn’t want to frighten with any dire predictions and i didn’t want to lay on a guilt trip…at least not yet.
Instead, I’d like to take you to a happy place. We all like happy places, right? One thing I’ve learned in the five years I’ve been on Comm Comm is you all have lots of ideas and suggestions for better communications — new features to our web site, new channels for keeping people informed, new forums for congregants to engage each other. And they are great ideas. So sit back for a minute, relax and let me paint a quick picture of what life could look like at First UU.
You’ve just logged on to the newly designed First Unitarian web site. You missed the last service, so you click on the embedded video recording and watch while you drink your morning coffee. Then you visit the online unified calendar to see what events are coming up. You spot one you’d like to attend and register online. Then you remember you need to schedule a room for your committee meeting and submit a quick reservation. Next, you hop over to the FUUN Facebook page and join in a spirited discussion with other members on what spirituality means.
This little vignette may seem rather simple, but it represents a giant leap in our communications program. Right now, the communications function of this church is done almost exclusively by volunteers. Updating the web site, editing and designing newsletters, maintaining Facebook, twitter, helping with event promotions, etc. There’s no such thing as “downtime” when it comes to communications. It’s ongoing, and in today’s possibly overly connected world, it’s more critical than ever to have a multi-channel, comprehensive communications program. With a congregation spanning from the very young to the very mature, there is no one best avenue to reach everyone anymore. Good communications requires someone’s singular attention.
So I’ll just be honest. As the Comm Comm chair, I’m confessing that we simply can’t do it. We can maintain the status quo. We can keep the web site we have, keep the newsletter coming out each month and such. But as volunteers, we simply don’t have the time required to go to the next level. That requires a communications director on staff. With this dedicated position, this church can move beyond the status quo to build a communications program that connects our current congregation, invites and engages newcomers, and offers a thriving community for sharing ideas and supporting each other.
I’m hoping you would like to see this sort of future for our church as well. We can’t create this future without your help, so I ask you to please be generous and support the stewardship campaign this year.