E-mail UU-Valdosta at uuvaldosta@yahoo.com  

Phone:  912-242-3714 


Page down or click the links to go to specific sections:

President's Column Thank You! Thank You! Religious Education
Social Opportunities! Social Action UU Activities and Announcements
Board Notes! UU response to Sept. 11 - Resources

Jack Ford's ordination, Dec. 8 - Special News Note

Congratulations, Jack!

 What’s going on.... January 2002 - Happy New Year!     


Jan. 1

All Day

Happy New Year!!!


Jan. 6

10:45 AM

Service – "Is Your Guess As Good As Mine?"  

Charles Judah


 Jan. 13

9:30 AM

10:45 AM

12:15 PM

Youth and Adult  R.E. 

Service“A Witness To the Truth,”  Martin Luther King speech from March 15, 1965, presented by Charles Green

Second Sunday Potluck  and Board meeting


Jan. 14

11:00 AM

Break Bread delivery


 Jan. 20

10:45 AM

Service – Jack Ford


 Jan. 21

All Day

Martin Luther King Day


 Jan. 27

9:30 AM

10:45 AM

Youth and Adult R.E

Service – "Terrorism and Religion: Killing in the Name of God,” Michael Stoltzfus

 January …….  “Many of the festivals of this time of year focus on the human experience of waiting.  We wait for so many things: For the light to come back to the world.  For our own courage to take hold of our hearts, for anger, envy, and hatred to be banished from our homes, for the time of miracles to be our time….From the day after Christmas, for a week, families (who celebrate Kwanzaa) gather to light one more candle each night and think about central values: unity, cooperation, faith, collective responsibility, creativity, self-determination, and purpose….From ancient times to our times, from far away places to our own homes, from the realm of miracles to the realm of the everyday, the spirit of light shines forth in this season to remind us that there is more that connects us to one another than that separates us.” From The Light of Life, by Rev. Dr. Randolph WB Baker.


Join us in this new year of 2002 as you are willing and able.  We are important in each other’s lives and in the life of this south Georgia community.  Share your love and acceptance of others. 

Best wishes for a Happy New Year!


The Ordination of Jack Ford 

to the Unitarian Universalist Ministry 

On December 8, 2001, the Buckman Bridge Unitarian Universalist Society of Jacksonville, Florida and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Valdosta hosted the ordination of Jack Ford into the Unitarian Universalist Ministry.  The ordination was held at the Valdosta Unitarian Universalist Church.  Jack served as part-time minister at Valdosta Unitarian Universalist church during the decade of the 90’s.  More recently he has served as a guest minister several times a year. Jack is a member of the Buckman Bridge Church and has also served as their minister.  Jack is a master carpenter and constructed parts of the Valdosta church building that was designed by one of our members,  Jim Ingram.

Prior to the ordination Jack led a trip to Grand Bay with several of his friends, family, and service participants.  The service began at 4 PM.  Music was provided by Gary, Katie and Marilyn Smart.  It was also a privilege to have Doug Fraser and Molly Scholz visit and perform that weekend.  Joyful music rang throughout the church and this was certainly a memorable event in our church history. 

It was an honor to have several guest participants and ministers at the service (click for photos and for the order of service).  Jack’s daughter Lauren Bacino lit the chalice.  Guest ministers from the Florida District Rev. Mary Louise DeWolf, Rev. Suzanne Nazian, Rev John Young, and Rev Harold Hawkins made special presentations during the service and welcomed and celebrated Jack in his ordination.  Greetings were brought to Jack and the congregation by Carol Willis of the Florida District Unitarian Universalist Association, Carlos Fraticelli of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville, and Diane Holliman, President of the Valdosta Unitarian Universalist Church..  Linda Mowers presented the offertory of the Living Tradition, an offering for the UU ministry.  Bud Murphy of the Buckman Bridge Unitarian Universalist Society conducted the Act of Ordination and Jack’s wife Kathy Ford presented him with his stole, which was a gift from the two sponsoring congregations.  The sermon “When Ministry Chooses You” was given by Rev. Amy McKenzie of Tallahassee.  Rev Jack Ford closed the service with the benediction.

            After the ordination there was a reception for Jack and his family, and later that evening Jack and many others participated in UU games night and a campout at the church.  The next day Jack conducted the service and music was again provided by Molly and Doug.   And, last but not least after the service, there was a potluck dinner held at the home of Betty Derrick.  This potluck was in honor of Molly and Doug, our visiting musicians now living in Portland, Oregon!  Jim and Ann Bennett Dowman from New Zealand were also there, as were out of town guests from the ordination service and Jack and his family.  We also wished bon voyage to several of our members and friends who will be leaving us in the coming weeks, the Godwin family and Holly and Chad Smith.

It was a wonderful weekend!

            Please note that Jack Ford will return to our pulpit to lead the Sunday service on January  20.  Plan to be there.

Photos of Jack's ordination service are available at http://www.oocities.com/uuvaldosta/jackfordphotos.html

The Order of Service of the Ordination is available as a .pdf file at http://www.oocities.com/uuvaldosta/jackord.pdf

President’s Column

Diane Holliman

During the weekend that Rev. Jack Ford was ordained I had an opportunity to talk with him about our church.  Jack talked about his time serving our

church and about our mission statement.  He said that our mission statement was very unique and was written during a collaborative congregational workshop while he was a minister here.  Jack even said that he used our mission statement as a sample church mission statement while he was going through his ministerial interviews.   Please read the mission statement and think about what it means to you as an individual and to us as a community.  This may be something that we would like to revisit in the future as we set goals and move forward.  The church mission statement, along with the UUA Statement of Principles, is printed on the back page of the newsletter. Have a wonderful New Year.  

Religious Education

Youth R.E.: Youth meet on second and fourth Sundays, 9:30-10:30 a.m., which is the same schedule as Adult R.E. Lead teacher: Virginia Branan.

Adult R.E.: Adults meet on the second and fourth Sundays of each month.   Joan Cline is coordinating the Adult R.E. 


Thank You! Thank You!

For regular upkeep of our grounds: Jim Ingram, William Atkinson

For delivering meals in December and contributing to gift baskets: Virginia Branan, Diane Holliman, Dee Tait, Clay Daub, Sharon McKenzie, Joan Cline, René Kerr, Jason Halter,  everyone who brought gifts

For replacing lights and reflectors at the church entrance: Betty Derrick, René Kerr

For organizing and coordinating Jack Ford’s ordination: Virginia Branan, Joan Cline

For helping with the ordination program and reception:  Virginia Branan, Joan Cline, Bobbie Dixon, Doug Fraser, Molly Scholz, Diane Holliman, Charles Green, Jerry Jones, René Kerr, Sharon McKenzie, Dee Tait

For a major kitchen and bathroom clean up: Dee Tait

From Betty Derrick for helping clean up at the after church party at her house: Dee Tait, Diane Holliman, and others

For work on the newsletter: Betty Derrick, Virginia Branan, Sharon McKenzie, Charles Green

For planning and participating in the Christmas parade: Charles Judah, Dee Tait, Virginia Branan, René Kerr

For setting up the microphone system: Charles Green

For decorating the church for the holidays and participating in the Holiday Shower for Children: Frank and Rosie Asbury, Joan Cline, Jason Halter, René Kerr, Virginia Branan, Betty Derrick, Charles Green, Sharon McKenzie, Viki Soady, Alex Wishart,  Jim and Judy Godwin, Lars, Kevin and Sean Leader, Halim Faisal, Charles Judah

For the December 16 holiday pageant: Virginia Branan, Judy, Bill, Alex, and Derek Godwin, Lars, Sean, and Kevin Leader

 Social Action Activities

Break Bread Together

Our date for meal deliveries with the Break Bread Together program is the 2nd Monday of each month.  If you can deliver meals on this day beginning about 11:00 AM, please contact Virginia Branan.

Treasurer’s Report


Outstanding Debts

Mortgage:          $38008.85

UUA:                    $748.00


Savings:               $3054.01



Pledge:                          $615.00

Plate:                             $133.52

Fundraising:        $42.22

Rent:                             $150.00



Mortgage:                      $700.00

Utilities:                         $242.50

Speaker:                        $236.25

Parade:                            $40.00

FL District:                    $510.00

Postage:                          $30.60

UUA:                            $299.20


Your Treasurer, René Kerr


The bench runs us $200.00. This fundraiser has brought in $114.34  YEA! CONTEST HAS ENDED!

#1  The original:  1062 votes

Unitarian Universalist Church        

A liberal Alternative

1951 E Park Ave.


#2   0 votes

Unitarians have faith that they can accept the unknown


#3 119 votes

Unitarians - a group with more questions than answers               


#4 5303 votes               

Unitarian Universalist Church       

A community of Acceptance and Love

1951 E Park Ave.


#5 4950 votes               

Unitarian Universalist Church        

"affirms and promotes the inherent worth and dignity of every person"

Thank you for participating in this fundraiser.  We appreciate everyone that gave us a slogan and everyone that voted.  As you see the bench almost took care of itself.  Congratulations to Charles Judah, who gave us slogan #4.  And a big thank you for its competition from Charles Green - slogan # 5.

Congratulations, Julie!

Our own Julie Halter carried the Olympic Torch in Jacksonville, FL a couple of weeks ago on its trip from Atlanta to the Winter Games in Salt Lake City.  Unbeknownst to Julie she was nominated last summer in the contest run by Coca-Cola, Chevrolet, and the Olympic Committee.  A nominator had to write an essay on somebody who had inspired them, illustrating the theme of the Olympics, “Light the Fire Within.”  Each participant ran 0.2 miles before passing the flame to the next torchbearer. Thank you Julie for being you!  Congratulations on the much-deserved recognition.

Goodbye—We Miss You

Our small congregation really notices when you leave.  Good luck and goodbye to the Godwin family, Bill, Judy, Alex and Derek and to Holly Smith.  The Godwins are moving to Richmond, VA.  Holly is moving with her husband Chad to his new posting in Charleston, SC.   We’ll miss the boys playing the piano and guess what, Chad is a great piano player and violinist!  Norman Horowitz has recently moved to Connecticut to live near his son.  Lesley Freeman, who visited with us this fall during her faculty exchange visit at Valdosta State University, has returned to her home in Newcastle, England.  We appreciate the many contributions that you made while you were here.  We will miss all of you greatly!  

Congratulations to Dorelan!  Dore graduated in December from the University of Georgia with a Bachelors degree in Religion and a Certificate in African Studies.  She has been studying world religions with a focus on languages, specifically Arabic and Swahili.  She was one of three religion majors graduating and only 1 of 5 this year at UGa obtaining the certificate.  She will continue taking courses at the university this spring as she looks for a job.  She hopes to find a position with a humanitarian group or possibly teaching English overseas.  Good luck Dorelan in whatever you do and congratulations on your accomplishments. 

ª©¨§Bridge Group The beginner’s bridge lessons with Charles Green, originally announced to begin in January, have been postponed until there is more interest. Contact Charles if you are interested in learning to play this fascinating and intellectually challenging game. 


If you know the whereabouts of the child’s folding picnic table and two benches removed from the church nursery, please contact Dee Tait.

 UU Activities and Announcements

 Further information is posted on the bulletin board at the church.


Did you know?  John Murray’s church in Glouster, MA, formed in 1779 as the Independent Christian Church, was the first organized UU church in America.  It declared itself a Universalist Church.  Kings Chapel in Boston adopted Unitarian principles when it revised its prayer book in 1785.  It had previously been a Church of England congregation.  The first church to openly carry the name Unitarian was the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia established in 1796 by Joseph Priestly.  The Unitarians and Universalists held their biennial meetings together from 1953.  The union of the two denominations was finally formalized in Boston on May 11, 1961



Peace and Goodwill

At the Church-in-the-Woods

Tai ChiMonday and Thursday Evenings.  Contact Vicki English.

Metropolitan Community Church - Sunday evenings: Choir practice at 5:00 PM. Service at 6:00 PM

Women’s Group Those who self-identify as female are invited to join this group for good food and great company, the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m.  . Bring a snack or potluck dish and ideas for discussion, or just yourself!  Contact René Kerr.

 Ü   Ü   Ü   Ü


“I’d like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others.  I’d like somebody to say that day, that Martin Luther King tried to love somebody. I want you to say that day, that I tried to be right on the war question.  I want you to be able to say that day, that I did try to feed the hungry… I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.

“Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice; say that I was a drum major for peace; I was a drum major for righteousness… I just want to leave a committed life behind.”  


Martin Luther King, Jr.


Ü   Ü   Ü   Ü


Small Group Ministry/Covenant Groups

There is an exciting grass-roots movement spreading throughout UU congregations across the continent.  It is responding to the needs of our members for intimacy, a deeper sense of community, and spiritual growth.  It adds a dimension to our congregational life that has been missing.  It provides an opportunity for ongoing sharing, caring, spiritual reflection, and action that is transformational.  To find out more you can download several papers from members.mint.net/uuccaug. 


UUs for Drug Policy Reform: The UUA's Commission on Social Witness has asked all congregations to submit feedback on its drug policy Statement of Conscience draft by March 1.   UUs for Drug Policy Reform invites you to get involved.  We have the resources to help you with the UUA's drug war Study/Action Issue. We are a national Independent Affiliate of the UUA.  See http://www.uudpr.org for an abundance of useful information.  To receive periodic e-mail updates, please e-mail your  contact info to CharlesThomas@uudpr.org   or fill out and send in the donation form on our web page. BOOKS AND OTHER PRODUCTS ARE ALSO AVAILABLE.  Please e-mail or call 301-938-1577 for more details.

“Responding to the Tragedy” resources are available on the website of the UUA Washington Office (www.uua.org/uuawo)  including:

·        Concrete ways for individuals and congregations to reach out to Arab, Muslim, Sikh and other at-risk communities.

·        Spiritual resources, including “Tending Your spirit,” 13 tips from the Rev. Meg Riley on tending our deeper selves in this time of crisis.

·        Facts on military service and conscientious objection, for those of you concerned with the possibility of a draft.

·        UUs and UUA responses

·        Links to disaster relief organizations

Coming soon…


[Web ed. note:  The announcement and letter below are reprinted from November and December 2001 newsletters]

UUSC board responds to September 11 Members of the UUSC Board of Directors discussed the devastating attacks of September 11 and their aftermath at length during their October 2001 meeting. The board developed a declaration of principles that will guide UUSC as it recommends a number of actions by its membership and by policy-makers in the coming months in response to the September 11th attacks. For more about the UUSC's Board of Directors' response to September 11, visit:



October Message from UU Florida District Executive

Reverend Mary Higgins

(“Our Congregational Response to September 11”)

“I am reminded of the little book that Sam Keen wrote years ago entitled, Faces of the Enemy.  In that book he said that in order to murder, we must construct the face of the enemy with such a threatening demeanor that we can kill that person with impunity.  It is obvious to me that those who ran themselves into our buildings killing themselves and thousands of others found such a threatening demeanor in the faces they created of us.

            “I, like so many of you, WANT to be able to identify such a clear enemy today as the terrorists had that fateful morning.  I know, though that the enemy is a many faced hydra.  The hydra bears the faces of frustration, hate and misguided leadership.  That same face is one of ignorance and anger, fear and despair, injustice and marginalization.  I believe strongly that if I shut myself down and give a single name to the enemy, it will be at my peril.  My sense of peace may be restored if someone is killed and they have marked on their graves the names of ‘terrorist.’  The death of a few right now will not kill the beast of hate that lurks beneath the surface, though.  The peace that might be restored  will be a false peace for only the physical force of hydra will be gone and in its place another will be created that has the power to be much more dangerous.

            “My intense desire to create this enemy is a direct reaction to my anxiety and wish to be restored to the easy nonchalance of my pre-September 11 life.  This anxious time calls Unitarian Universalists to be in disturbed relationship to the complexity of our response.  We proclaim that we affirm a free and responsible search for truth and meaning  and couple that with the right of conscience.  I believe we must hold those responsible for the mis-use of their anger and hate accountable for their egregious behaviors.  Accountability is the price of the freedom we each have to use or mis-use our freedom for good or evil.

            “I also believe that each of us bears a profound responsibility to search that which we do and that which is done in our name for the sources of anger in the hearts of some that grew into the tragedy that anger birthed on September 11.  We are not to blame for the deaths in that event, make no mistake that I say that, for that responsibility is for those who mis-used their anger to destroy others.  What I say is that in conjunction with bringing those actually responsible to justice for their acts, that we enter into a time of deep discernment between ourselves as UUs and as citizens of the world.

            “One of the most powerful traditions that we have in our faith is to the right of conscience.  During this time we will not agree on where that right leads us.  I ask that this be a time of covenants of safety between us to express that which is troubling our hearts and minds.  I ask us also to find a commitment to the maintenance of our relationships, especially when we disagree.  We love our diversity.  Let our actions show that face to each other and to the world.  During this time our understandings of tolerance will be tested.  Let this be a time for us to expand out understanding of the myriad ways we construct meaning.  Let this be a time to reinforce our deepest held trust that we can be ourselves in our congregations as we wrestle with the terribly complex path that is laid before us.  Our history has had us both proud and divided during times of great social stress.  Let us reason together about what conditions we need to have in place in our congregations to make this a time of our greatest pride in our response rather than a time we will recall with shame. It is not only our congregations that will be the better for this but all humanity.  I believe we have a faith understanding that can save lives.  This is a time to demonstrate and share that tradition with the communities we live in.”

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