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Sunday Services

Sunday services begin at 10:45 a.m.

We are located at 1951 E. Park Ave., next to J.L. Newbern Middle School.   Children begin the service in the sanctuary and then will move to the Religious Education class after the “Story for All Ages.”

Sunday, July 1 – Carol Stiles, “All Are Called” – General Assembly 2018

            Carol Stiles will provide some reflections on General Assembly 2018, held in Kansas City, June 20-24. 

Sunday, July 8 – Richell Hart and Percy Chastang, “Poetic Magic”

            Poetic Magic is a Spoken Word Poetry collective here in Valdosta, which hosts occasional open mic nights.   Richell Hart and Percy Chastang will share some of their poetry as well as their efforts to bring poetry to the community and to youth in local schools.   From Facebook:  “The mission of Poetic Magic is to reveal poetry as a living art; ultimately contributing to cultural exchange and social tolerance through the power of the voice.”

Sunday, July 15 – Dr. Tom Hochschild, “Creating Criminals: How Biased Laws, the Criminal Justice System, and the News Media Target the Poor and Racial/Ethnic Minorities”

We’ve all seen the statue of “Lady Justice” with the blindfold over her eyes, and scales held evenly in her hand. Although this statue is meant to symbolize fairness in the criminal justice system, the system is far from fair. VSU Sociology Professor Tom Hochschild will explore biases in how laws are written, discriminatory police practices, unjust court systems, ineffectual corrections systems, and the prejudicial production of crime news stories. All attendees will receive a copy Tom’s latest research about biased media coverage of crime in the South.

Tom Hochschild is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Valdosta State University, where he teaches classes on a variety of contemporary social issues the biases in the criminal justice system, such as poverty, racism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, ageism, corporate deviance, political corruption, media influence, health disparities, and environmental degradation. Tom was the recipient of VSU’s 2016 President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Share the Plate Sunday Offering: Donations to the plate this Sunday, not otherwise designated as pledges, will support the Kids are People, Too, Back to School Fair, coordinated by the South Georgia Partnership to End Homelessness.  To be held on July 28th, in Lanier County, families will have an opportunity to obtain school supplies and get information on other services, in preparation for the beginning of the school year.  

Sunday, July 22 – Dr. Patricia Marks, “A Communion of Sunshine: Visual Images and the Transformation of Time”

Visual images, such as photographs, are both immanent and transcendent, as Rachel Lindsey points out in her book A Communion of Shadows, a study of the way the 19th-century photographic revolution not only made images easily available but transformed them into icons of religious practice. Works of art are similarly transformative; the chalice hanging on the UU Church wall for instance, both reminds us of the past and opens hope for the future. In so doing, it becomes a “communion of sunshine.”

The chalice currently hanging on the wall behind the speaker was created by Karen Silinksy, and was a gift from the UU Church of Jacksonville, after much of our art was destroyed in an act of vandalism in 2003.  On the reverse, is this description:   “the symbol of the chalice signifies the enduring flame of our faith.”

Sunday, July 29 – Rev. Dr. Anna Hall, “Living our Values: how congregational transitions can clarify our callings and engage us in the work of faith.” 

            Following the service and a light lunch, Rev. Anna Hall will lead us in a workshop that will help us focus our efforts “on the work we are called to do as individuals and as a community together.”   Although we are always a lay-led congregation in the summer time, this session will help us move through the transition from having a part-time minister to being a lay-led congregation during the full year.

Rev. Dr. Anna Hall is a researcher and consultant specializing in congregational transitions. She holds a M.Div. from Candler School of Theology, Emory University, a Master of Public Administration from Valdosta State University, and has completed a Ph.D. at the University of Georgia.