Monthly Newsletter of the Unitarian
Universalist Congregation of Ormond Beach

56 North Halifax Drive, Ormond Beach, Florida 32176

Theme for April: Becoming

An Invitation to Share Your Hopes for Post-Pandemic Living

A little over one year ago, we had our last in-person service before full shut-down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One. Year.

One year of sheltering at home.  One year of watching the infection rate skyrocket.  One year of watching frontline workers, exhausted, try to save lives.  One year of sorrow for those who died.  One year of watching political leaders fumble public health policy.  One year of wearing masks.  One year of living six feet apart.  One year of living in fear of getting COVID.  For some, one year of living alone.

Yet, it has also been one year of getting three months to the gallon.  One year of clean air.  One year of hearing birdsong again.  One year of reduced carbon emissions.  One year of Zooming with friends and family. One year of Zooming Sunday morning services.  One year of wishing we had bought stock in Zoom.  One year of adopting pets.  One year of assembling 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzles.  One year of never taking paper products for granted again.

One year and we now come full circle to another Easter under the constraints of COVID-19.  But this Easter there is hope, for we now have vaccines that are being administered to a growing number of people every day.  Herd immunity is on the horizon.  We are allowing ourselves to think about meeting face-to-face again.

One year, and we find ourselves on the cusp between the pandemic and a prodigal spring — a spring full of promise, not for life to return to normal, but for life to begin anew, informed for the better by our experience of the past 365+ days. The first Sunday in April is Easter.  

For this Easter service, I invite everyone to send me your best hopes for a post-pandemic life.  I invite you to share the ways in which you intend to live differently — perhaps it will be with new appreciation for the little pleasures in life — perhaps it will be to make less of an impact on the environment — or perhaps it will be to visit the grandchildren more often.

Think about the metaphor of rolling away the stone of confinement and stepping  out into light and fresh air.  What is waiting for you in the newness of the day?  What will you seek in the sweetness of release?   How will we live our lives with just a little more purpose and depth and a little less impact on our environs?   Please share your thoughts for Easter Sunday by emailing them to me at  I look forward to your responses.                             

Yours in Faith and Love, Reverend Kathy

Our President’s Pen – Making Progress

I am happy and proud to be a member of this Unitarian Universalist Congregation.  We actively practice the principles of our religion by supporting the less fortunate, caring for one another and the world around us.

This month we have collected over $4,000 to feed the hungry.  The Alliancecontributed $2,000 and a donor matched it for Dollinger Food Bank.  In addition, we have loaded up our car trunks with donated goods for the homeless.  Our Alliance members have supported other UUCOB members who have had difficulty getting a Covid immunization.  Cards of well wishes have been sent to many members.  We’re refreshing the area around our building and grounds.  And even in the midst of a pandemic, we have welcomed newcomers to our Congregation. 

tall yellow lily in pond

In addition, we are in the process of developing a new and excellent audio-visual system, which will allow     our members and friends to enjoy the discussion group and Sunday service, not only in-person inside our sanctuary, but also at home or traveling via the Internet. 

Our committees have been working diligently to review their committee documents to ensure that we have an excellent record of how a really great UU Congregation operates. 

New parking lot signs are ordered and installation has begun.  Our UUCOB sign on Halifax will soon be refurbished to once again welcome visitors as well as our members and friends.  When our new audio-visual projects are completed, and it is safe to do so, we will gradually offer in-person attendance at our discussion group and Sunday services.   I cannot give you a definite date, but I hope that, following CDC guidelines, we will be open for business in a safe way this summer.  I hope to see you soon in person.

Julie Hilburn

Upcoming Worship Services

March 28th — Rev. Kathy Rickey, “Ostara and Our Commitment to the 7th Principle” 
We will be one week past the Spring Equinox, for many cultures a time to celebrate fertility, rebirth, and the coming fruits of the earth. Let us be reminded of our call to live responsibly within the biosphere that sustains all life on the planet.

April 4th –Rev. Kathy Rickey, “Between the Pandemic and a Prodigal Spring”   
In the Northern hemisphere, this time of year can be a kind of cusp or liminal space between the dormancy of winter and the hyperactivity of life awakened in spring. As we wait for the pandemic to subside like the first thaw of spring, what are our hopes as we return to a new-normal life?

April 11—Rev. Tracie Barrett, “Come Back to the Well”

We all realize that we “cannot serve from an empty vessel” but after a year of living in a global pandemic, how are our own spiritual vessels doing?  Rev. Tracie Barrett will discuss spiritual practices, why they are important, and suggest ways that we can refill our own wells. 

Rev. Barrett lives in Winter Springs, Florida, and considers herself to be a UU evangelist, sharing the “good news” about our liberal faith.  She is the Minister of Ritual and Liturgy for Soul.Fire: a Unitarian Universalist Ministry, an experimental, experiential, ever-expansive digital ministry focused on worship and retreat experiences rooted in Unitarian Universalist values.  She provides workshops for congregations and other groups, and is pursuing doctoral studies at United Theological School, focusing on revitalizing congregations.

April 18 –  Rev. Kathy Tew Rickey, “Stewardship Sunday: Preparing for a New Normal” 

With our spirits lifted by the coming of spring and the promise of post-pandemic times on the horizon, let us turn our attention to renewing our commitment to the congregational life we share.  For our fiscal year July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022, what will we prepare for and how will we provide abundantly for new ways of doing church together?

April 25 –Kurtland Davies, “Earth-based Thinking in Our Changing Times” 

As we begin to emerge from this year of pandemic and societal turmoil, we are beginning to realize that life    is never going to be quite the same.  This time can be one of change and renewal for all of us.  For help in adjusting to our new circumstances, we can look to the beliefs and visions of indigenous peoples about relationships with other beings and with our Mother Earth.  

May 2 – Barbara Sandberg, “The Missing Tile” 

Barbara will discuss “the missing tile syndrome” and suggest cures to overcome this condition, which can rob us of a happy life.  The term came from Dennis Prager to describe how people often focus on the negative or what they don’t have, rather than enjoying what they do have.  They concentrate on what is missing, instead of what is there. 

Although we will NOT be meeting in person as a congregation for these Sunday services, they will be live-streamed on Zoom each appropriate Sunday at 10:30 a.m.  Please join us and tune in then.  You can access the link for them on our website at

A New Ramp for Scott

scott, dressed in blue, in wheelchair, holding gift basket

While delivering a small food basket to Scott MacPherson on Thanksgiving, and again on Christmas, I noticed that the handicap ramp outside his front door was in disrepair and badly in need of replacement.  Thus, our UUCOB  Caring Committee took on the mission of  providing this safety feature for Scott.

After several handymen refused to take on the work of building a new ramp, we hired Lynn Chapman to tackle the job.  (Lynn is the owner of “She is Handy” a local small-jobs business.) She did extensive research making sure the ramp was ADA compliant and then completed the work. 

Several Caring Committee members and other UU’s have donated money to help pay the costs for labor and materials. Thanks to all who dipped into their pockets to help Scott’s safely transfer from the house to the outdoors.

Joyce Nelson

IN MEMORIAM Bill Patterson  

Bill Patterson, one of our favorite snowbirds, died on March 17th in Blacksburg, Virginia.  When Bill was spending his winters here in Ormond Beach, he attended our UU and shared his gift of music, singing tenor in our choir.  Earlier, Bill had earned a Master’s degree in environmental science at the University of Colorado.  Back in Virginia, he taught biology classes for many years and was deeply concerned about the ecology of the earth.  A celebration of his life will be held this summer at the UU Congregation of Blacksburg, where he was also an active member, singing in their choir.

The Alliance
Helping our Local Charities

When the Alliance started meeting again In November of 2020, the members agreed that sustained support for a few local charities, rather than choosing a different Share-the-Plate partner each month, would be a better fit for a congregation that is meeting  virtually.  For the last two months, the Alliance has been raising money and collecting food items for the Jerry Doliner Food Bank, located in Ormond Beach.  The goal is to raise $2000 in cash, which will be matched by other food bank donors so that the food bank will receive $4000.

four people wearing covid-masks standing behind load of food donations

In addition, Alliance members have been collecting food items in the UUCOB parking lot every Saturday.  Many of our local neighbors and friends who are not actual UUCOB members have donated food.  On March 20, the Religious Education students helped the Alliance with the collection.  According to the food bank staff, UUCOB has contributed more to the program than any of the other churches in the area.  We  thank all who have helped local families who are coping with hunger.

This April, the Alliance will raise money for Family Renew Community. Years ago, UUCOB helped start this housing-and-social-support program for local families with children who might otherwise be homeless. Several members of our congregation have served on the Family Renew Board of Trustees. Each year, the Alliance has chosen Family Renew as a Share-the-Plate partner and served a soup lunch after a Sunday service in order to raise funds for the program.  However, for now we cannot meet or serve food in our UUCOB building.  Instead, we urge members of the congregation to make generous donations to Family Renew.  Because of the jobs lost during  the pandemic, and the increase in evictions and foreclosures, the need is greater than ever.  You can mail your check to UUCOB with “for Family Renew” in the memo line.

Ellen Nielson                                                                                                                

Sue Sheehan  An Interview with Dorothy Dobbins

Sue joined our UU in December 2019, just as the pandemic was descending upon us.

I was born in the Bronx and grew up in Smithtown, New York.  My career included teaching grades 1-6 in Commack, New York, being the property coordinator for SUNY Stony Brook and working as a DCAS buyer for the Department of Defense.

In 1998, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and the symptoms forced me to leave my job in New York and relocate to Flagler Beach.  The symptoms included extreme fatigue, problems with recall and retrieval, muscle spasms, and a reaction to extreme temperature changes.

I was glad to have a diagnosis so I could deal with it. I used all the temperature maintaining gizmos the medical field had to offer and set a schedule  for periods of rest throughout the day.

I loved teaching and began with one class a day at Daytona State College, teaching for five more years!  But now that I am retired, I travel extensively on my own terms. This is freedom for me, and I choose tours with a slower itinerary.  When I travel on my own, I build in rests that also help me experience the culture more fully. Since I am also interested in government, I attend local and county government meetings to help maintain a grassroots presence. I also join gatherings and demonstrations that I feel help me contribute to making society function as a democracy. My newest delight is joining the UU.  I love the philosophy and the people, and I have become involved in many activities that have become my newest path to contentment.

Press Release—March 17, 2021
The UUA Decries Anti-Asian Violence

The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) joins leaders across the country in decrying the recent surge of hate crimes against Asians and Asian-Americans.  In this last year, violence and verbal harassment targeting this community have been exacerbated by anti-Asian rhetoric and blame.

We call on federal, state, and local governments at every level to send the clear message that such actions will not be tolerated.  We are in solidarity with victims, survivors, and families who have suffered loss and pain.

This country has a shameful history of racist acts towards the Asian community.  It includes the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the U.S. incarceration of approximately 120,000 Japanese Americans during the Second World War.

Long-standing racist tropes about Asians as “other” are  deeply embedded in the national consciousness.  These stereotypes fuel current discrimination and we all need to reflect on how they can subtly shape unconscious bias or  even outright hatred and violence.

In the midst of the forces of hate that
seek to undermine our fundamental interdependence,
we must re-affirm our compassion and responsibility for one another.

This recent rise in anti-Asian violence has been incited in large measure by the xenophobic rhetoric and misinformation about the Coronavirus pandemic that was spread by the previous president. In contrast, it was gratifying to hear President Biden declare in his recent speech, “It’s wrong, it’s un-American, and it must stop.”

We know these acts of violence are rooted in the same white supremacy and hate that takes the lives of Black, Indigenous, and Latinx people.  White supremacy culture works hard to pit marginalized communities against each other to prevent the formation of powerful coalitions.  We must condemn media narratives that cast this as a “Black vs. Asian” issue.  We need to affirm the interconnectedness of Black and Asian communities and all people who are against hatred—and recognize that this discrimination was born of the extremism that hurts us all.

This rise in violence is another result of systemic racism that is rooted deeply in the United States.  It is  a wake-up call that it’s time for America to take a long, hard look in the mirror.  We must confront ignorance with information and education.  We must not tolerate the racist violence and the multiple systemic crises of injustice that the COVID pandemic has laid bare.

As Unitarian Universalists, we affirm that every human life is important and worthy of respect.  In the midst of the forces of hate that seek to undermine our fundamental interdependence, we must re-affirm our compassion and responsibility to one another.

We call upon all of our religious leaders to condemn widely in their congregations and communities this anti-Asian violence and to partner with organizations combatting these crimes.  We must all respond to incidents of hate while also addressing the root causes of violence and bigotry.

From the UUA website:

Racial Justice—Join Us on Zoom for These Interesting Life-Long-Learning Programs

Wednesday, March 31st at 4:00 p.m.:  Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston book discussion presented by Dan Gribbin

portrait of zora neale hurston wearing cap, pearls, gray dress long sleeved

In her 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston, a leading light of the Harlem Renaissance, documents the hard lives of women in Florida in the decades following the Civil War. 

The novel is set in the late 1920s, in Eatonville, but stretches back two generations to explore concepts of masculinity and femininity in the black community.  When the heroine opts for a relationship with a drifter, they end up in the agricultural community along Lake Okeechobee in a classic example of “wrong place, wrong time”—the devastating hurricane of 1928.

Wednesday, April 7th at 4:00 p.m.: For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf,
Play by Ntozake Shange presented by Reinhold Schlieper and Linda Kalaydjian

With humor and honesty, playwright and poet Ntozake Shange weaves together seven poetic monologues, with music and dance, to express the experiences and struggles of African-American women in a racist, sexist society.  Ms. Shange notes that “the colors of the rainbow . . . became the essence of these women.”

Program for April

Our Life-Long-Learning programs are varied and involve topics related to philosophy, history and the arts as well as science and education.  Each session includes time for audience questions/comments.  Although LLL programs usually take place in our church building, because of the coronavirus, our spring programs instead will be available through our new website and featured there through Zoom on Wednesdays, from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Dr. Betty Green, “Language and Linguistics” at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 28th

During this LLL program Dr. Betty Green will briefly describe her journey through language acquisition, cultural experiences along the way, as well as some of the obstructions that have littered the way from mono-linguistic people she has met.  Dr. Green, who was born and raised in Denmark, will briefly touch on the history of language, language families,  and the cultural aspects that are integrated into language acquisition, language learning, and culture.

Dr. Green has a Master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language & Bilingual Education from NOVA Southeastern University and an Curriculum & Instruction/Multicultural Education from the University of Central Florida.  She has been an educator for more than 25 years, with specialty in second language learning and multicultural education as well as curriculum and instruction.

Tom Hilburn

Quotation for the Month

“Be The Change You Want To See In The World.”


Calendar of Events

Please visit our calendar to see dates and information about our events:

image of a calendar

Upcoming Worship Services

  • March 28 “Ostara and Our Commitment to the 7th Principle”Presenter: Rev. Kathy Rickey, Service Leader: Carolyn West
  • April 4 “Between the Pandemic and a Prodigal Spring”Presenter: Rev. Kathy Rickey with the congregation
  • April 11  “Come Back to the Well”Presenter: Rev. Kathy Rickey, Service Leader: Dan Gribbin
  • April 18  “Stewardship Sunday: Preparing for a New Normal”Presenter: Rev. Kathy Rickey, Service Leader: Cliff Jackson
  • April 25  “Earth-based Thinking in Our Changing Times”Presenter: Kurtland Davies, Service Leader: Gaia Davies
  • May 2  “The Missing Tile”Presenter: Barbara Sandburg, Service Leader: Cliff Jackson

You can access the Zoom link for the services on our website at

Although we will not be meeting together in our church building for these services, you can still join us for them.  They will be live streamed on Zoom at 10:30 a.m. on each appropriate Sunday. We appreciate our musicians and technical folks who are helping to facilitate these Zoom sessions!

April Birthdays

Row of colorful cupcakes

3rd John Horner 
3rd Sara Rivers 
10th Reinhold Schlieper
11th Gaia Davies
13th Janet Boes 
17th Tim Wixted 
20th Marge Dash
21st Jan Taylor
26th Dan Gribbin
29th Rhoni Bachschmidt
30th Betty Green

Church administrator Cathy Jackson will be working from home. You can e-mail her or leave a message at 677-6172.

Rev. Kathy Tew Rickey, Minister: 
Julie Hilburn, President:                          
RE teachers: Debra Hanson and Mary Wentzel                                      
Carolyn West: Jotter Monthly News
Betty Green: Weekly E-News
Cathy Jackson: Office Administrator
Office e-mail or call 386-677-6172              
Sunday Discussion Group 9:30 a.m. via Zoom  
Sunday Worship Services 10:30 a.m. via Zoom                                   
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