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July 2017
Journey newsletter
Our Mission: 
Buckman Bridge Unitarian Universalist Church exists to create and nourish a loving community that seeks justice and respect for all.
Worship Services
President's Place
Treasurer's Corner
Activities & Events
Member News

Worship Services

Services are held Sundays at 10:30 am 

8447 Manresa Avenue, Jacksonville, FL 32244
Church Phone: (904) 276-3739 •
Check the BBUUC Calendar for information on other programming.
July 2 Service:
Michelle Adams-Manning
of "Equality Florida"

“Safe and Healthy School Project”
Worship Leader:  Dave Austin
Accompanist:  Sydney Crisp

About our Service:
Equality Florida Institute's Safe and Healthy Schools Program aims to create a culture of inclusion while countering the bullying, harassment, social isolation, and bigotry that dramatically increase risk factors for LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning) students.

Through this program, we seek to shift the culture so that each of Florida’s 67 school districts will adopt comprehensive, nationally recognized best practices for meeting the needs of LGBTQ students and in doing so build a model that can be replicated nationwide.

About our Speaker:
Michelle is the Development Officer for North Equality Florida which encompasses Jacksonville, Gainesville, and Tallahassee. She has been living in the Jacksonville area since 2011, originally coming from Michigan leaving the snow and cold behind.

Michelle's career has been in higher education, specifically working within Student Affairs and addressing the needs of college students. Most recently coming from the University of North Florida where she worked with students who lived in the residence halls. At UNF, she quickly became involved with the LGBT Center on campus, becoming a mentor for LGBT students, working to create a preferred name policy on campus which would allow trans* students to use a preferred name rather than their birth name in the university system. Additionally, Michelle got her feel for development by helping with the UNF’s LGBT Center's annual Building Bridges Fundraising event. It was through these activities that Michelle felt her passion shifting towards advocating for LGBT people in the greater Florida community. Michelle still loves education though, as she pursues her doctorate in educational leadership at the University of North Florida.

Pennies from Heaven is July 2

   Please bring your extra change for a special collection to benefit our local Meals on Wheels program. Thanks to all who donated their pennies last month! The Pennies from Heaven collection for Meals on Wheels the first week in June was $164.96. 
July 9 Service:
Dr. Mark Yount
“We Are All Queer”
Worship Leader:  Grace Repass
Accompanist:  Gary Smart
About our Service:
The word itself makes us uncomfortable.  Some LGBTQ activists have used the word to provoke, advocate and assert their pride.  That same attitude can take us to a deeper level of gay-straight solidarity as we deconstruct the line between ‘gay’ and ‘straight’ – beginning with our speaker.  Let's turn our discomfort to affirmation of our "queer" individuality.  All of us!

About our Speaker:
Since joining BBUUC in 1997, Dr. Mark Yount has given over 100 sermons, chaired committees, served on the Board, and served as Youth Adviser. Mark taught philosophy at Trinity College (Hartford), St. Joseph’s (Philadelphia), and Jacksonville University. He has degrees in Philosophy from William and Mary (BA), Villanova (MA), and the University of Colorado at Boulder (Ph.D.). Mark works with Mental Health America of NE FL, helping homeless/at-risk people apply for disability benefits.
July 16 Service:
Dr. Julie Ingersoll
Today's Controversies Over Religious Freedom
Worship Leader:
  Kris Kines
Accompanist:  Gary Smart
About our Service:
Dr. Ingersoll will be addressing today’s controversies over religious freedom.
About our Speaker:
Dr. Ingersoll is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Religious Studies Program Coordinate at the University of North Florida. She is author of three books: “Baptist and Methodist Faiths in America,” “Evangelical Christian Women: War Stories in the Gender Battles,” and “Building God’s Kingdom: Inside the World of Christian Reconstruction.”

July 23 Service:
Lauren Hooker
Celebrating Diversity with Music,
Storytelling and Dialogue

Worship Leader: 
Jenn Glassman

About our Service:
Join Pianist/Vocalist/Native Flute Player, Percussionist and Storyteller Lauren Hooker from Teaneck, NJ for a service of interactive and joyful music and meditation as she shares with us ways of not just tolerating but embracing our cultural diversity.  Artistic Director of Musical Legends and the former Teaneck Cultural Arts Coalition, Ms. Hooker is embarking on a tour of UU congregations across the country this summer that are Sanctuaries for Immigrants or at least sympathetic to their situation.

About our Speaker:
Lauren Hooker is an award-winning Vocalist/Pianist, Songwriter and Storyteller with three critically acclaimed CDs and numerous radio and television appearances to her credit. Based in the NY Metropolitan area, she has performed at The Omega Institute, The Cathedral of St John the Divine in NYC and The Cape May Jazz Festival to name a few. Lauren serves as Artistic Director and performs in her Arts in Education Company Musical Legends, LLC. Now in its 25th year, they have been commissioned several times by The Cathedral of St John the Divine in NYC, and have been featured in WBGO’s Jazz Concert Series for Children, The Newark Museum, and Liberty Science Center to name a few. Their unique brand of bringing to life Authentic Legends through interactive music, storytelling and movement has enchanted thousands of children and adults in countless schools, museums, libraries and festivals to rave reviews. Lauren has earned Community and Artistic Awards having served as Artistic Director for numerous First Night Celebrations via an Arts Coalition she co-founded. Ordained as an Interfaith Musical Celebrant-Minister, she officiates and provides music for celebration of life ceremonies while working on her “You Can Do It Too” Interactive Book Series. Her teaching credits include: Bank St School in NYC, several Montessori Schools and as a Teaching Artist in the NYC Public Schools with Arts Horizons.

July 30 Service:
Collaborative Service

Lughnasadh: A Harvest of Blessings

Worship Leader:  Meghan Kaminski
Accompanist:  Eileen Morrison

About our Service:
In honor of Lughnasadh, the first of the three harvest festivals, Rev. OakLore shares a message of celebration, exploring spiritual stewardship and honoring the place of adversity among the harvest of our life’s blessings. Offering personal reflections on times of hardship in his own life, Rev. OakLore illustrates how purpose can be drawn from suffering, and how such purpose can inspire moments of total spiritual ecstasy.

About our Speaker:

Rev. E.J. OakLore is the founder of the Celtic-inspired Neopagan church known as
The Druidcraft Fellowship, and is the senior Priest of the local TDF congregation Heart of Manannán, based in Yulee, FL.

OakLore is a certified pastoral counselor, a published writer, philosopher, an accomplished liturgist, bard, shaman, singer, and Reiki practitioner. He completed his undergraduate degree with Covenant of Avalon Theological Seminary in 2004 and is currently pursuing graduate studies in Religious and Metaphysical Philosophy with the University of Sedona.

Rev. OakLore has been a commentator in local and national media, helping to educate the public and correct misinformation about Pagan beliefs and practices. He has appeared on MSNBC’s The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, and his remarks have been published by the Associated Press, the Albany Times Union, The New York Daily News, and The Washington Post. He writes a celebrated blog on Earth-based spirituality and Neopaganism called Into The Nemeton located on the web at:
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President's Pen

Greetings to All,

It is with great pleasure and excitement that I look forward to the next year that I will serve as president of Buckman Bridge Unitarian Universalist Church. Roughly five years ago, I became a member of this congregation. In this time, I have experienced and grown so much within my beloved faith of Unitarian 
Universalism. I live my principles day in and day out. Even when compassion in human relationships is in short supply. Even when I observe our faith not fully meeting the needs of our impoverished, differently abled, and POCI (people of color and indigenous) brothers and sisters. I continue because I believe that our faith is strong enough to do what is just as opposed to what is easy

Currently, our faith is at a crossroads on several key issues regarding accessibility and race relations. When you are at crossroads, it is important to take time to ask the difficult questions. Do we continue to move forward with business as usual, to avoid conflict, hoping that no will notice our inaction? Do we go left and decide to do the difficult work that comes with confronting elitist, patriarchal, white supremacist, and ableist culture? Do we go right and dig in our heels and stress that what we are doing is the “right way” while everything outside of our way is wrong?

Obviously, I do not have the answer to which direction our faith will go. What I do know is that sustainable change is time consuming, difficult, messy, and uncomfortable, but ultimately worth it. I continue to pray for our congregation to have the courage to take on these changes. I am honored that this congregation is entrusting me to lead the way of change.  

Namaste, Blessed Be, Ashe’,
Vanessa Sampson Birchell

DRE Dwellings

Dear Congregants,

Below you will see my formal resignation to the board, but I needed my final article to you as your Director of Religious Education to be something more than a good bye. 

Over the last few years, I have attempted to help our church find its way to being the best version of itself. My work with our Religious Education Committee has been more than just curriculum and Sunday School. We have worked together to try and help our congregation grow in faith, grow in love, and grow in justice.

This last year, Lifespan Religious Education has been particularly dedicated to Racial Justice awareness and work. It is work I am extremely proud of, for though we have often fallen short of enrollment goals, I believe the impact on the individual congregants has been significant. Of all the things I appreciate about my time as your DRE, I am most thankful for our commitment to racial justice work. It is my most fervent hope and wish, that while I am no longer leading the charge, our congregation will continue this work, and march forward on the path to dismantle white supremacy.

Thank you for our time together. Thank you for the faith and the love, the children’s smiles and the hugs, the challenges and the hopes. Thank you for letting me serve as your Director of Religious Education these past years-- it has truly been a privilege.
Faith Hope, and Love
It is with regret that I tender my resignation from the position of Director of Religious Education at Buckman Bridge Unitarian Universalist Church effective Monday July 31st. I am grateful for having had the opportunity to serve our congregation for the past few years, and I offer my best wishes for its continued success. Please know that my time as an employee of the church has meant more to me than I can put into words, and I will do anything and everything I can to ensure a smooth transition.

The Y has offered me a promotion and the opportunity to impact our community in a powerful and meaningful way, so I have accepted the position. Because this position will require a larger portion of my time, I will no longer be able to serve our congregation as the Director of Religious Education. 

Our church has been the single most positive institution in my life, and while I leave this position as a staff, it is my intention to stay an active member. 
Erin Dani Slader
Director of Religious Education
BBUUC Finance Committee

Activities & Events

CUUPS Pagan Popcorn: 
Special screening of the Irish myth "Song of the Sea"
July 5 @ 7:00 PM

It's time once again for Pagan Popcorn! Join CUUPS for a movie night featuring a movie with Pagan themes.

This time we will be viewing the breathtakingly artistic animated film Song of the Sea. We will enjoy the movie and discuss the mythologic and potentially Pagan themes the movie incorporates.

Popcorn and sweet tea will be provided, and candy concessions sold for a donation to help fund CUUPS operation.

We will also discuss recommendations for the next movie to view. Won't you join us in a night of fun and discussion?

As with all CUUPS events you do not have to be a member of BBUUC or a Pagan to attend. All are welcome!

Click here for additional info
Nerd Religions Discussion
Tuesday, July 18th @ 7pm
Nerd Religions: Finding Spiritual Meaning and Moral Guidance from Fantasy and Scifi

Many individuals find deep spiritual connection through story telling. 

Join Jax CUUPS in a discussion on how we can derive spiritual meaning and moral guidance from works of fantasy and scifi. Come prepared to share how your favorite work of fantasy or scifi has given meaning to you on your spiritual path. Sharing excerpts or passages is a bonus. Come share with others the lessons you have learned from the path of the Jedi; learn from others as they share with you wisdom from Middle Earth. Extra points for cosplaying your favorite character! ;-)

As with all CUUPS events you do not have to be a member of CUUPS, BBUUC, or even Pagan to attend. All seekers, geeks, nerds, fan boys, and fan girls are welcome.

Child care will be provided for those who may need it.
Afternoon Tea

Wednesday, July 19 from 2:00PM - 4:00PM

Join us this month at Judy & Don Culpepper's Home for tea, snacks, and conversation! 
Dress: Casual (or feel free to dress up if you’d like!)
Goodies: If you would like to bring something, great! If not, great also! Some of us love to bake, some of us don't have the time or desire. But we all like getting to know each other better. If you’d like to bring something not homemade, we welcome it. 

Directions: Contact to RSVP or for address or directions.

Future Tea Events:
Saturday, August 19 - Eileen Morrison's home
Wednesday in September (TBD) - Ellen Miceli's home
Saturday, December 16 - Janice & John Knapik's home

Contact to volunteer for an October or November Afternoon Tea
Friday Night Movies and Dinner with Diversity
July 21  •  August 18
Every third Friday of the month at 6:30 pm, we will be having Friday Night Movies and Dinner with Diversity. Movie titles will be announced at a later date.
Suwanee Canoe Trip
July 22-23
Come canoe the Suwanee with us! 
We will be taking canoes down the Suwanee
and camping on July 22 - 23

A packing list will be provided as we near the date
For details, email LRE@BBUUC
Tubing the Ichetucknee with LRE: August 12 
We will be tubing on the Ichetucknee on Saturday, August 12.  We will be meeting at the park early and have a pavilion reserved. More details to come! 

Member News

New Member Spotlights
Welcome New Members
Richard Funk & Terry Versailles!

Richard and Terry met in Philadelphia in 1997 and have been together ever since. They had a home in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia for seven years, then lived in New Jersey for five years.  They were married in Cambridge MA in 2007.
While living in Washington DC for a while, Terry treasured spending time as an art information volunteer at the National Gallery of Art and at the Smithsonian Institute, volunteering in their gardens department – arts and gardens being long time passions of his.
Three years ago, his Amtrak transfer brought Richard to Jacksonville as his base to keep Amtrak Stations throughout the Southeast working smoothly, but he rarely gets to ride the trains! At home they enjoy gardening and cooking.
They have two teenage grandchildren, a girl and a boy, who live in Pennsylvania. Hanna will be attending West Chester State University (Terry’s Alma Mater) this fall.
They came to BBUUC last fall. Terry says “Richard dragged me there kicking and screaming and I’ve been coming ever since. A very accepting and diverse congregation. If a gay atheist, like me, can feel welcomed and accepted then that’s the place for me.”  They even sing in the choir!
Travel is their passion and they do it as often as they can. They quote St. Augustine; “The world is a book and those who don’t travel only read one page.”  Welcome to new members Richard and Terry!
Welcome to the Dunkle Family and thanks for sending us this biography!

Gary, Kasmira, and Thalia Dunkle hail from Jacksonville, Florida. They enjoy traveling and visiting state and national parks.  They have a love of Disney that is borderline unhealthy.
Gary is the father figure in this band of misfits.  He currently works for an online catalogue for restaurant equipment.  His interests include reading, listening to music, animation, and creating art.  His former life as a chef has spawned a passion for food, especially tacos.
Kasmira, or Kaz as she likes to be called, is the only one of this little trio to choose membership into the family.  We’re not really sure why, but we are all glad that she opted to add some stability and sanity to the bloodline.  She currently spends her work days as a member of the Duval County Public School System and as a travel agent.  She is also an active Girl Scout leader.  Kaz enjoys running, reading, music, movies, and the outdoors.
Thalia, the youngest member of this particular branch of the Dunkle clan, recently celebrated her 10th birthday.  She is an avid reader, a lover of animals, and an active Girl Scout.  She enjoys princesses and pirates, stuffed animals and Legos, and make-up and dirt, all in fairly equal measure.
The Dunkles came to BBUUC after Kaz’s interest in CUUPS led her to the church. After a couple of months of attending with Thalia and relating tales of intriguing speeches and engaging conversations, the girls were eventually able to convince Gary to accompany them. The variety of interesting sermon topics and the open, friendly, and accepting community are some of the many things that kept them coming back and eventually deciding to become members.
Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday!
7/5   Kristin Hamon
7/6   Claire Goodrich
7/7   Don DeStephano
7/9   Pam Edwards-Roine
7/11   Janie Dew
7/13   Vanessa Birchell
7/14   Ron Ferster
7/14   Richard Funk
7/15   Alice Fletcher
7/15   Rusty Turner
7/20   Cindy Gaunder
7/20   Sarah Nieschalk
7/27   Cheryl Frost
7/27   Caitlyn Regan
7/30   Jimmy Lester
Happy Birthday

Wedding Anniversaries
7/3 Vanessa and Shannon Birchell 
7/8 Jennifer and Drew Glassman
7/14 Patty and Don DeStephano
7/15 Lisa and Chris Lynch
7/15 Ellen and Pat Miceli
7/22 Tara and Michael Crisp
7/25 Christine and Ron Rothberg
7/30 Erin and Jesse Rogers
7/30 Bonnie and Steve McCullar
Membership Anniversaries

BBUUC Membership Anniversaries
7/6/14  Suzanna and David Siebert
7/6/14  Rusty Turner
7/11/99 Jonnie Long
7/12/15 Stacy Asimos
7/12/15 James Bunce
7/12/15 Adam & Michelle Danisovszky
7/12/15 Viqui Hilliard
7/12/15 Rachel Hunt
7/12/15 Marilyn Jones
7/12/15 Jenny Kobin
7/12/15 Anunnaki Ray
7/12/15  Don Repass
7/12/15 Carol-Anne Salladin
7/12/15 Corinne Warren
7/14/91 Judy and Don Culpepper
7/14/13 Shanna Gardner
7/14/13 Pam Richards
7/19/15 Portia and Kent Halsey
Help us keep our records up-to-date! If you see birthday, anniversary, or membership anniversary that needs to be corrected or added to our list, please send it to


ICARE Justice Ministry

Team Leaders are changing. We want to thank Job Meiller for his service during the past year. Carole Hawkins and Viqui Hilliard are new to the team. Corrine Warren, Ken and Karen Christiansen are continuing. You will most likely hear from one of these people in late August or early September inviting you to an ICARE House Meeting. That is the best place to learn the basics about our Justice Ministry in collaboration with 37 other religious congregations (Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Bhai, and UU) in Jacksonville.

We have a historic victory to celebrate this month. A Memorandum of Understanding expanding the use of Civil Citations and Restorative Justice to all first time nonviolent youth has been signed by representatives of all three counties in our judicial circuit.

What you should know about the new Memorandum of Understanding:

1. This document will ensure that at least 90% of eligible youth receive civil citations in Jacksonville. This saves the city millions in arrest fees and saves the lives of our youth. 

2. Two other counties, Clay and Nassau, signed on to make civil citations the default. The work of ICARE is making waves outside of the county. 

3. Restorative Justice is now seen as the best alternative to jail in our city for nonviolent youth. We have worked on this campaign since 2011 and it only happened because we are persistent and continue to build power. 

Social Action Committee News

We discussed the “REAL RULES,” the information from the UUA about what churches can and cannot legally do in the political realm. We decided to immediately share the one page summary (below) and to hold off on planning a class about the longer version of the same “REAL RULES” which is available at

Summary of the Real Rules: The Three Point System

The IRS regulations on the activities of congregations can be summarized as follows:

1. Issue Advocacy

Without limits on time, effort and expense, congregations and their representatives may engage in issue advocacy through activities such as educating and mobilizing congregants and the general public. Example: encouraging the public to show concern for global warming by reducing carbon emissions. Please note that issue advocacy is only acceptable if it does not involve political campaign intervention (see below).

2. Lobbying

Within narrow limits on time, effort and expense, congregations and their representatives may engage in lobbying—defined by the IRS as advocating for or against specific pieces of legislation—as an "unsubstantial" portion of an organization's activities. The IRS has not provided a strict rule for what constitutes “unsubstantial,” and evaluates on a case-by-case basis. However, courts and the IRS have ruled in the past that lobbying activity constituting 5% or less of total activities is acceptable. "Total activities" includes the total amount of money, staff, and volunteer time that goes into running the organization. While the 5% amount is not a strict rule, it can be used as a guidepost for an organization's lobbying activities. Example: encouraging a city council, state legislature, and/or Congress to pass a particular law to reduce carbon emissions.

3. Political Campaign Intervention

There is a total limit on partisan activity, which the IRS calls political campaign intervention. Congregations and their representatives can do nothing that advocates for or against candidates for public office or political parties. This includes fundraising on behalf of candidates and donating meeting space, among other things. Example: supporting a particular candidate or party because of their stance on carbon emissions. Election-related activities such as candidate questionnaires and forums may be acceptable if certain guidelines are followed; consult section C., “Political (Electoral) Activities” of this guide for details.

Please Note: The restrictions on lobbying and political campaign intervention described here apply only to a congregation as a legal entity, or to a person or group speaking in the name of the congregation. A minister or congregation member may freely engage in these activities as an individual. However, if the person(s) are identified by or likely to be associated with the congregation, it may be helpful to clearly state that they are speaking as individuals. Also, Congress has imposed special limitations, found in section 7611 of the Internal Revenue Code, on how and when the IRS may conduct civil tax inquiries and examinations of churches. The IRS may begin a church tax inquiry only if an appropriate high-level Treasury official reasonably believes, on the basis of facts and circumstances recorded in writing, that an organization claiming to be a church or convention or association of churches may not qualify for exemption.

BBUUC Memorial Garden 
Recent rains have helped maintain the new plantings in the Memorial Garden. Some dead trees and boughs left from Hurricane Matthew were removed and some new plants (rosemary, petunias, and bulbs) were planted in the past few weeks.
We want to thank everyone who has had a remembrance plaque made and for donations of plants and money toward the Memorial Garden. These donations help us continue to maintain the weeding, watering, and trimming necessary for a beautiful meditative setting.     
Our next goal would be to work with the Facilities Committee on purchasing and installing a fence and gate to complete the Garden perimeter.

~The Garden Task Force (Ken Weintraub & Eileen Morrison) 

Are You Shopping on Amazon?

Amazon Affiliates Fundraiser
DID YOU HEAR?!  Members shopping on Amazon using BBUUC's Associate's link earned $118.08 for the church in the month of May! 

Remember that purchases made through this link pay a referral fee to BBUUC:

You don't have to use a special login or enter a special code. All you need to do is enter Amazon using the above link (which is also posted on the "Fundraising" section of the church website). This is probably the easiest fundraiser BBUUC will do over the course of the year.
BBUUC gets a 6% referral fee on most items and more for some. (This fee is much larger than is available through other programs such as Amazon's Smile program. For this reason, please do NOT use the Amazon Smile program. Instead use the link from the website prior to making purchases.)
For more information about monthly activities, click the pictures below:

BBUUC Full Calendar:
Childcare is available for many church activities but must be requested in advance when you sign up for an activity. Please contact the activity sponsor listed in the announcement for more information.
Church Directory
Church Directory
If you would like online and quick/easy access to the BBUUC directory on your computer, tablet, or smart phone (always up to date and with photos), contact or see Pam Richards or Peg Christenson for login instructions.
If you would like the PDF directory and separate Picture directory emailed to you so you can access the file on your computer, tablet, or smart phone without an internet connection (or so you can print a hard copy), contact or see Stacy Asimos in the church office.

If you don’t use a computer and need a hard copy, see Stacy Asimos in the church office.
Introduce Yourself!
 If you are a recent member and we have not run an introduction article about you for the Journey yet, please feel free to contact  We're interested in how you found BBUUC, what you like here, and what you would like other members of the BBUUC community to know about you.
We can help you write the article or you can write a 400 word or less article about yourself. We would also like a photo so that people know who you are and can introduce themselves to you during Fellowship Time after the service.
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The Journey is the official newsletter of the Buckman Bridge Unitarian Universalist Church. It is distributed monthly by electronic means to members and friends of the BBUUC community. If you would like to subscribe, please send an email to
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If you have comments or suggestions about the format or content of the Journey, please contact the editorial team at
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