New Members 11/12/2023
Val Adams grew up in Pennsylvania outside of Philadelphia. Perhaps like some of you, she went to Catholic school. Val became a UU after college, about 40 years ago.
If you live in Stonecrest, so does Val. In fact, she started the Democratic Thinkers Club there.
At Tri UU, Val hopes to find a spiritual home with like-minded people with social justice concerns. Her background is in social work, and she is a registered nurse.
Val has a 34-year-old son who lives in Burbank, California. Her son coaches ADHD youth for success. He is an actor and a regular at Flappers Comedy Club.
Cynthia Alicea, known as “Cyn” by her friends, is a native Floridian, born in Tampa. Before moving to our area, she lived in Madeira Beach. Now she lives in Ocala.
Cyn is a previous UU, formerly attending UU Church of St. Petersburg. Here at Tri-UU she hopes to build lasting relationships and believes her interests and skills will be useful to our Community.
Cyn is very interested in Arts and Crafts and Dance. She has experience leading a seated dance class for those living with Parkinson's Disease, as well as providing Guided Meditations for that same population.
Robert Alicea is from New York City, the Bronx, to be specific. Robert, like his wife Cynthia, also lives in Ocala and previously attended the UU Church of St. Petersburg. He is very interested in literature, history, and labor movements.
Robert hopes to make friends at TriUU and work toward social justice. He also plans to protect and defend our congregational autonomy.
When I was reading Robert’s form for new members and what the congregation should know about him, I became confused and had to phone him. Let me say that one of his mother’s relatives used to be a “lector” (reader) in the cigar factories of Ybor City. The reader used to read the news to the male workers for part of the day and the other part of the day read romance novels to the women workers. It was a fascinating story, so please ask him to tell you about the lectores when you have a chance to meet him!'
Growing up in a military family, Sally Bethart learned the values of flexibility, punctuality, honor, teamwork, and believing in something bigger than herself. However, because of the Air Force, they moved frequently, which meant she had to make new friends quickly, which she was never good at. Later in her teenage/ young adult years, her introverted personality got worse when she realized that she was different from other girls. She was never comfortable with her sexuality and kept quiet about it to her brother and parents.
Prior to meeting Liz 8 years ago, Sally had never heard of UU. Her knowledge of religion, especially Christianity, really forced her to stay in the closet and not be proud of being a gay woman. Because of this discordance between being a lesbian and organized religion, she has not truly taken the time to thoroughly explore her spirituality. She is looking forward to doing just that in this safe and accepting congregation.
Sally wants us to know that she still values flexibility, punctuality, honor, teamwork, and believing in something bigger than herself. As a public health nurse and nursing professor, these deep-rooted principles have served her well. She honors her wife and cherishes her daily. We are always on time; you can count on that! She still believes in something greater than herself, and she knows that being a Member of this congregation will allow her to explore her truth and have a sense of belonging. Sally thanks us for welcoming Liz and her with open arms and she looks forward to getting to know everyone better. Sally and Liz live in the Village of Piedmont with their amazing dog, Cori.
It's unusual for the Villages, but Liz Perdue is a 5th generation Floridian! Her dad was in the Air Force, but he eventually retired in Panama City, FL. Liz moved to Gainesville to attend UF in 1976 and lived there until she and Sally moved to The Villages in 2015.
Liz and her ex-husband joined the Gainesville UU in the late 80s to give their children a broad religious education.
Liz is very interested in Nature. She’s also conscious of physical, mental/ emotional, and social health and Wellness. Liz enjoys traveling, especially in nature or to places with historical or cultural significance. Social justice and environmental issues are important to Liz. So is being a good person. She reminds herself and others that she’s a work in progress. Liz describes herself as an extroverted introvert! She taught high school for almost 37 years but also loves being alone sometimes.
At Tri-UU, Liz hopes to find a spiritual home with friends with shared values! She wants us to know that she’s currently spending a lot of time helping her Mom, who has Alzheimer’s and was recently diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Her focus is on Mom right now, but someday she WILL become more involved in TriUU activities. Liz also thanks us for welcoming Sally and her into our community!
Ray Ellis was born (at a very young age)* in Rapid City, South Dakoda. But grew up on Long Island (which is properly pronounced “Lawn Guyland”).
He is a long-time UUer and has attended UU churches in Johnson City, Tennessee; Atlanta, Georgia; Dallas, Texas; Salisbury, North Carolina; Joliet, Illinois and two in Fort Myers, Florida. He has even served on the Board of Directors at one of them and has vowed never to do THAT again! He has also presented two sermons in UU Churches and will do it once again at Tri-UU on the last Sunday of the year.
Ray is now living in The Villages and is semi-retired, just semi-retired because he sells nutritional supplements (that help people prevent and reverse heart disease) through his website and on Amazon.
Ray is a part-time writer and has had three of his science fiction short stories published in nationwide magazines. He is also a long-term student of a Course in Miracles.
*Groucho Marx starts his autobiography with these words, "I was born at a very young age." Ray thought, if it was good enough for him, it is good enough for me!
Lori Hodsoll grew up in western Massachusetts and went to college in Boston. She started working as an Administrative Assistant in the Sales Office at the Cambridge Marriott after graduation. Lori left Marriott 26 years later when they outsourced a lot of their IT Department. By that time, she had moved to the DC suburbs where their headquarters is located. Now Lori supports the finance system at a pharmaceutical company in Maryland, which she can do from her home in Florida. This is giving her the opportunity to become part of the community where she wants to retire, instead of waiting until she retires to move here. Of course, that includes TRIUU, and she is very happy to be here.
This isn’t Helen Kelly’s first exposure to UU. In Alexandria, VA she attended, albeit minimally because she didn’t find what she was looking for. She also says they probably weren’t as friendly and open as TriUU, and that it’s also very possible neither was she.
Helen moved to the Villages and she and her life partner, Sarah Reagan, have lived in the Village of Winifred since 2012. Coincidentally or not, Trish and I live in the same Village!
Through the years, you might have seen Helen around TriUU as a guest, and later as a Friend of our Congregation. She is interested in a wide variety of subjects, including politics, environmental issues, gardening, Netflix, and Enrichment classes.
Helen has been looking for a warm and friendly congregation whose combined energy, laughter, and commitments help her “want to be a better person!”
Lenore Mickelson is from the Midwest, from the countryside in Southern Wisconsin. As the oldest of TEN children, she became mama’s helper. She was raised Catholic.
Lenore now lives with one of her sisters in the community of Stonecrest.
In the past, Lenore found a spiritual home at Quaker/Friends Meetings. Here at Tri-UU she hopes to continue to be a seeker in her own spiritual path and to join in the community, especially participating in Social Justice activities. She believes that she is more and at her best when in community/communion with other people.
Lenore wants to be sure we know that she has reached the age where her daughter and son-in-law call her to check on her, concerned and caring. She’s getting used to the change!
This is Brenda Nelson. She originally came from North Carolina but moved here from the Tampa area over 20 years ago.
Brenda is new to UU. As soon as she heard quotes from John Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, and Kahil Gibran, she knew this is where she belongs.
Brenda’s husband, Bill, and she (along with two unruly dogs and various cats) live in “old Summerfield”. Her interests are reading both fiction & non-fiction, butterfly and hummingbird flower gardening, and cooking.
At Tri-UU Brenda hopes to become part of a community that shares the same morals and values that she has.
An example of a value she shares with UU: she gave her adult children new recycling bags for their Christmas stockings. Her family accuses her of being OCD about recycling.
Nancy Smith is an Atlanta native who, up until four months ago, had always lived within 30 miles of her birthplace, with the short exception of her time in her beloved Athens, Georgia (Go Dawgs). She attended the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Gwinnett for a short time, but that ended when the minister was relieved of her duties. (Nancy is extremely loyal to those who connect with her.)
She now lives in the historic section of the Villages, specifically in Lady Lake.
Nancy is very interested in people and their stories, which probably came from two sources - the gregarious nature of her dad and her profession as a high school English teacher for more than three decades. Then she transitioned into a special needs teacher who loved learning how to communicate with non-verbal teenagers.
At Tri-UU, Nancy hopes to become more involved to grow spiritually, yet also to contribute to the community within these walls and at large.
Presently, Nancy is on a very, as she called it “selfish” journey of finding her authentic self. She has finally become aware after decades of being a giver, that to become a better individual, she has to focus inwardly. Her biggest joy is her daughter, a labor and delivery nurse, who will marry in May to a young man stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky.
New Members May 2023
Mike Connifey spent his first 30 years in northern Virginia, the next 30 years in Beaver County PA, and the last 10 years in The Villages. He is interested in computers, audio/visual services, editing, and videos. At Tri UU he hopes to make wonderful relationships and work for good causes. You may have seen him already engaged with Tech Team.
Pat Felton came to us recently from the First Unitarian Universalists of Wichita, Kansas. She lives with her husband Mike On Top of the World in Ocala. She is interested in Eastern thought/practices, spiritual growth, domestic and international travel and a healthy lifestyle. At Tri UU she hopes to find community, develop spiritually, and contribute to the growth of others.
Mike Felton also comes from Wichita most recently and likes to travel and experience different cultures around the world. At Tri UU Mike hopes to enjoy a spiritual path with open and like-minded people.
Coreen Gooden was born on the beautiful island of Jamaica. She worked in the security field for more than 27 years. After moving to Florida in 2021 she started working in healthcare, a very different field. She and her life partner Sonya will make their 20-year relationship legal in August 2023. Coreen is already a member of our choir.
Lori Hodsoll grew up in western Massachusetts, went to college in Boston, and worked for Marriott for 26 years. She currently works from home for a pharmaceutical company and is happy to join our community.
Kim Hummel is from coastal Virginia and was a member of the UU Fellowship of the Peninsula of Newport News. She lives in Wildwood and is one of our loyal virtual attendees. She is interested in environmental protection and preservation based on her work as an environmental planner. She also has a background as a journalist. At Tri UU she hopes to offer service in social justice and has experience in hospitality. Her interests include exercise, sewing, and cooking.
Peg Tackett is originally from Connecticut and also spent time in Norfolk VA. She currently lives in The Villages. She is an avid quilter and a Master Gardner. At Tri UU she hopes to participate in local community service programs, social action projects about domestic violence prevention/intervention, and feeding and housing programs.
Sonya Thompson was born in Jamaica and came to Florida with her partner Coreen Gooden. Sonya has many years of experience caring for the elderly and children with physical challenges. She also worked in health care administration in Jamaica. Sonya is already a regular choir member here. She and Coreen will be married in August of 2023.