OUTREACH — A KEY CHURCH FUNCTION
Every UU congregation has an obligation to undertake and maintain outreach activities. No organizations operate in a vacuum, and that is especially true of churches, who are “religious citizens” in service to the communities where they are located.
Beyond traditional “church type” activities like volunteering for charities, contributing to the annual UUA “Guest at Your Table” program, maintaining a Minister’s Discretionary Fund for helping the extremely needy whether or not they belong to our congregation, and providing volunteer support to various human rights organizations and causes, UUCT wanted to do more here in the greater Tampa Bay Area.
The answer to this challenge has been and remains Public Events, providing Tampa Bay Area residents with exciting musical performances and provocative public policy discussions open to the public in easily accessible venues. Three such programs are currently affiliated with UUCT:
- Concerts in the UU Dome. Started in 1996 by congregation member and now-famed promoter Gloria Holloway, these performances take place on Sunday mid afternoons and typically feature local and Florida folk performers who happen to be touring in the area and have time to come do a show on our campus. Since performances are geared to a given act’s availability, they are not scheduled on a regular basis.
- CUUPS (Coven of UU Pagans). Circles in the Woods is a CUUPS (Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans) chapter affiliated with UUCT. Circles in the Woods is the sponsor of and liaison with affiliated pagan study groups that meet at UUCT. The group holds meetings and sponsors events at UUCT periodically throughout the year.
- The Emerson Forum. Named after famous Unitarian Ralph Waldo Emerson, this provocative series was started in 2011 by congregation members Jay Hall and Dr. Ron Hammerle. The forum happens twice a year in different venues around the Tampa Bay Area, thereby giving a broader range of area residents the opportunity to attend. The current Emerson focus is on how survivors cope after the death of a loved one.
- Humanists of Tampa (Secular Humanist, Agnostic, Atheist Group) is a group at UUCT committed to supporting humanists, agnostics, atheists, deists, and others who view human activity as the basis for moral systems and view humans as integral parts of the nature of the cosmos. The group meets at UUCT on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m and the 4th Sunday of the month at 9:45am in the Multi-Purpose Building.
Detailed information about each of these activities can be found in the pages following this one (use the drop-down menu on the “Public Events” tab above to go to any page that interests you). We hope you’ll explore each and get involved in any of these initiatives that pique your interest. Or, please join us and feel free to spearhead a new outreach public event of your own.