News and Events




May 24 - 10:30 AM

“Something’s Coming’: Anticipating Hope.”  

Rev Janet Onnie

At some point during our time in sackcloth and ashes we begin to realize that whatever it is is isn’t forever.  Even though we can’t see it yet, we intuit that something's coming.   


Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery Forum

June 10th, 4:00 pm

Come join us to learn about the Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery, “… a natural burial choice that conserves land and reunites people with the earth.” At the Tri-County Unitarian Universalists (TRI-UU) forum on June 10th, you’ll hear about the natural and wild space in Alachua County designed to manage, protect and restore the land for all living things in perpetuity. Learn more about the cemetery here.


The guest speaker, Freddie Johnson, Executive Director and one of the Founder of Conservational Burial, Inc., has over 40 years combined experience in sports, health & fitness and healthcare industries. Organized by the Social Justice Climate Action Team, this forum will be held on Wednesday, June 10th from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Tri-UU zoom room. Access the zoom link from the Tri-UU Chat Room Schedule on Tri-UU’s homepage (  All are welcome!

Rev. Janet Onnie

Minister, Tri-County Unitarian Universalists

President, Florida Chapter UU Ministers Assn.


Living to Delight the Holy


Sunday, May 24:

10:30- “Something’s Comin’: Anticipating Hope”

Monday, May 25:

10:00- Brunch with the Minister

Tuesday, May 26: Congregant Appointments

Wednesday, May 27: Congregant Appointments

Thursday, May 28:

Writing Day

Friday, May 29:

Day Off

Saturday, May 30:

1:00- Chalice Circle Facilitators









Sharing of Abundance


What is Sharing of Abundance?

Sharing of Abundance is a way for us members to share a personal  experience of how belonging to the Tri-UU community has shown us what we have gained rather than what we lack.

Often our lack can be related to personal qualities that we feel are insufficient; such as compassion,trust, bananas, acceptance or, feelings of fear, hopelessness or anxiety.

As members of Tri-UU we are surrounded by people who inspire us through their word and deed. The worth and dignity of each person is felt and demonstrated


Why do we do this?

 By sharing what it means for you to belong to this community you help other members to see that this is a place worthy of support.

The difference that Tri-UU makes to each of us is demonstrated through Stewardship, defined as : the careful and responsible management of what has been entrusted to our care. Our time, talent and treasure  that we bring creates abundance.

How do I share abundance?

Share how/ who/ what has inspired you  at Tri-UU and in what way(s) has it changed how you feel, think or act.

What have you become involved in that contributes to the life of Tri-UU or locally,nationally, etc.. In  what ways, small and large ,visible and invisible have you felt drawn to live out our principles?

There are many ways to share abundance: Your personal story, poetry, song, art, to name a few.

The most important thing is that the giving of your time, talent  and treasure enriches you, the giver.

 Giving frequently implies a loss of something but, in fact, it can be liberating and helps us to see what we have gained – our abundance.   


Unitarian Minister Leads during Period of Rapid Change  

by John Seitz

When a church building is no longer available as a gathering place, how does being “In community” continue?

Driving on March 12th  2020, across Florida from Sanford toward Ocala, Reverend Janet Onnie had to confront the imminent loss that her congregation was about to experience. While traveling, she was in deep conversation with a few church members who helped each other realize that, because of the insidious threat of Covid-19, Tri-County Unitarian Universalist Church would have to abruptly close. She laments, ”The whole purpose of the church building is to make a sacred space for our congregation to witness spirituality and touch physically and emotionally while they discover new friends, and I just love that process. I had to decide to recommend that we immediately stop all that and begin to lead a conversation about what’s next.” Her main concern was that, “Personal pastoral care is central to ministry, and I felt completely unprepared to attempt to do that only at a distance.”

As a church that is located within one of the most highly concentrated regions of the country for retired folks, the church community knew that many members traveled between northern home towns and winter Florida homes. Because of that, for about three years church members had been considering the exciting possibilities of the virtual world. They suddenly found out that there’s nothing like a crisis to turn the ideas that were lying around into action. Within days, an online service was designed using the Zoom platform, and within two weeks that virtual service was attracting many more attendees than a usual April in-house service could. The church community has also begun daily chat rooms through Zoom and all church meetings continue online. Talks have begun on how the organization might significantly grow well beyond a physical building by utilizing virtual opportunities, and the result is a new excitement that begins to balance the pain of these trying months.

At age 74, Reverend Janet has been considering what would be next for her and her husband, Nelson, and how Tri-UU would eventually transition to a new minister.

While those thoughts continue, she has found new energy from within and from her congregation about how the world-wide pandemic can be the catalyst for needed discussion and action. She says, “This virus may have come at the right time to address the lack of an adequate and equitable national health system, the growing climate crisis and critical social justice issues.” She sees that there is much opportunity for the country and for the world to begin to “Color outside of the lines of convention, and that there is a growing eagerness to do so.” Her congregation and friends know that Reverend Janet Onnie has got her colors ready and will continue to explore that world outside the lines.


Editor’s Note: While we normally do not accept articles longer than 350 words, we are making an exception with this piece about Rev. Onnie.​

 photo assistance, Josh Sgambellone, Tori Peachey

Time on my hands for memories!  

By Lorraine Conners

At 11 years of age, my father shipped out from Norway as a cabin boy and later spent years in the Merchant Marines. During World War II, he was part owner of a Bar and Grill a few blocks from the Brooklyn Navy Yard. My father ran a tight ship! In those days; bars had to serve food, so he would make a few roasts each day. At Christmas, he handed out the “Christmas Green” to the local police. It was a natural for him to work the night shift when the bar would be awash with lads from the incoming ships and the “ladies of the evening” found a lucrative harbor. At the end of the bar his 25-pound cat, appropriately named “Whiskey” had his own bar stool where he sat or slept until closing time.

The oceans of life were calm until the night a stranger walked in and, seeing no empty stool, unceremoniously dumped Whiskey off his stool! He was taking it to a spot of his choice when - - and this is local legend - - my father “leaped” over the bar and “clocked” him. My personal opinion is that he roared through the swinging entrance at bar end but - - anyway, he then called his buddies in blue who threatened to arrest the offender for disturbing the peace if he did not quietly sail into the sunset. My father got a standing ovation and went back to serving generous drinks and food, Whiskey sat scowling on his stool, and the negotiations continued between the lads and the ladies. As I said at the beginning, my father ran a tight ship!

Submit your own story for next week’s Timetable. It can be a poem, a couple of paragraphs, or a piece up to 350 words. Email your submission to Doug Worthington at

Articles should be submitted by noon on Monday of the week you want your piece submitted in the Timetable.


The BOT, on Monday, May 18, agreed that we, Social Justice, could proceed with this.


May 31st will be a special collection for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Marion County as the 5th Sunday recipient by the Social Justice Committee.  April Savarese, the local CEO, wrote that they will open on June 1st and follow CDC Guidelines, with fewer students attending.  They will need to hire additional staff and purchase hygiene supplies beyond student materials to comply with regulations.


Please be as generous as you can to help April and her staff provide services for the children at the three centers.  For most of these children and their families, the Boys and Girls Clubs are the primary source for care and activities.

Checks should be written to TRI UU , with Fifth Sunday Charity on the Memo Line.
Thank you for making a difference in the lives of the children.


Joyce Mills, Chairperson

Social Justice








As my encounter with an anticipated new shoulder looms I wanted to check in with you to let you know what Tri-UU has been up to in the last four weeks.

Under the tutelage of Joe Donatone the virtual tech team is expanding their tool box by leaps and bounds.  Ivett Garza and Bon Thomen and Maria Kelly are at the Tri-UU AV desk  in the sanctuary every Sunday.  It makes social distancing somewhat problematic, but everyone is wearing masks and wiping down equipment.  Behind them is a team at home (Helene Kirschbaum, Don and Rosalie Coyner, Tim McCusker and Margaret Wineman) hosting chat rooms, managing participants’ comments, and other mysteries of connecting people online.  We have been offering online worship since March 15, one of the first in the area to respond to the disruption of in-person gatherings.  The ‘Crew’, as they call themselves, are helping us get more and more comfortable in offering and attending virtual church.

We understand that the novelty of this new way of connecting is getting old.  I know that some of you are willing, but the hardware/software is weak.  And frustrating.  There is a core of Tri-UU people who would love to help you manage the interface between you, your electronic device, and Zoom.  It’s been heartening to see how many of you have helped others overcome some of these obstacles.  I especially wanted to note Bill Coburn’s willingness, patience, and good humor to help people get and stay connected to Tri-UU.

Now that we have 10 weeks of virtual church under our belts we’re beginning to put procedures in place, understanding that these are fluid and will be updated as things change.  Carole Jackson returns to be the point person for constructing the electronic order of service.  Donna Kagan and Frank Kelly are working with the choir to get them singing in a new way.  You’re in for a treat this coming Sunday!  The teams, program council and Board are holding their meetings online.  And we are holding the 4:00 pm Wednesday chat as a room for future forums.  Watch the Weekly Timetable to see what’s coming up. 

If you’re anxious to get out of the house stop by Tri-UU and have a look at the almost-finished newly renovated memorial garden.  Suzanne Seitz, aided by John Seitz, Nelson Hay, and Anne McCusker, have turned this sacred space into a waystation for hummingbirds, butterflies and other marvelous creatures as well as a beautiful home for memories.

I am looking forward to getting a new shoulder on June 1st, my 52nd wedding anniversary.  I figure it’s a nice present for Nelson. With a new knee and now new shoulder in place I calculate 6 more years before he has an entirely rebuilt model.  Dr. Altbuch, a very buff 14-year-old surgeon in Gainesville, will do the deed.  After an overnight at North Florida Regional, I’ll be home full of meds and anxious to watch endless episodes of NOVA , Nat Geo and Blue Planet.  The recovery is slated to be 6 weeks.  During that time – and ‘til the end of July – Joe Donatone will be as ‘in charge’ as any Unitarian Universalist minister ever is.  As they say in some religious circles, I feel blessed.

Rev. Janet

May 20, 2020

Our Virtual Future

Yes, you read that correctly. “Virtual Future.” It’s what your Board has been researching and discussing for the past several weeks. We’ve been reviewing documents outlining different reopening plans from several churches and institutions. It’s been an education to discover that across this country, all denominations and sizes of church have created plans for reopening.

Your Board has decided to use as a template the Badger Bounce Plan put forward from the Wisconsin Council of Churches, April 23, 2020. This plan describes three phases for reopening. Each phase includes a protocol, building from this gating Criteria: “ . . . look for two weeks of declining case counts, widespread availability of testing, contact tracing and no PPE (personal protective equipment) shortages.”

Each phase stipulates that the “high risk population”are people over 60 and recommends that this demographic must continue to shelter in place. As we continue through this challenge, the Board will continue to monitor the most reliable information and data and the ways in which it conforms to our demographic to determine when Tri-UU will reopen.

In the meantime, though, the possibilities for interaction, guidance and spiritual connection through technology seem boundless. For instance, we can probably count on larger attendance at an “online church” (this kind of virtual service has been going on for a long time among younger and more technologically savvy millenials, according to Joe Donatone) as we won’t factor in driving times. Reverend Janet’s “Munch With the Minister” and Tuesday meditation groups, the Chalice Circles, Forums, book club discussions, team meetings, and,

last, but not least, coffee and cocktail Zoom chats--all can occur online! Pretty cool, right?

Need I add that online church is very environmentally friendly? So, be of stout heart, dear Members, and look to the Blue Skies of this challenging time. These skies hold worlds of possibilities and we’re not too old to go exploring!

Marjorie Rhem,

President, Tri-UU Board of Trustees


1            KAREN KNIGHT

1            JOYCE MacMULLEN

3            ANDY LUCAS

5            PAMELA LEAVY

6            BILL WELNER

7            ROGER COOPER

7            MYRA SYMONS

16          MARCIA SLOSSER

20          JOHN SEITZ


22          PAUL COLLINS

23          NANCY GARRISON

25          DIANE BISHOP

26          JIM LEAVY

30          ANNE SUPIK

Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery Forum

Wednesday, June 10th, 4:00 p.m

Come join us to learn about the Prairie Creek Conservation Cemetery, “… a natural burial choice that conserves land and reunites people with the earth.” At the Tri-County Unitarian Universalists (TRI-UU) forum on June 10th, you’ll hear about the natural and wild space in Alachua County designed to manage, protect and restore the land for all living things in perpetuity. Learn more about the cemetery here.

 The guest speaker, Freddie Johnson, Executive Director and one of the Founder of Conservational Burial, Inc., has over 40 years combined experience in sports, health & fitness and healthcare industries. Organized by the Social Justice Climate Action Team, this forum will be held on Wednesday, June 10th from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the Tri-UU zoom room. Access the zoom link from the Tri-UU Chat Room Schedule on Tri-UU’s homepage (  All are welcome!

Margaret W

Tri-UU Book Club

For dates and time and the latest news on the books we're reading and discussing, click here.


On June 12, TriUU will be holding a book club discussion on “This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs. The Climate” by Naomi Klein.

There is a film by the same name based on this book.   The film was made in 2015 it is 90 minutes long and it can be rented on several platforms including iTunes Store and YouTube.

This film makes a great supplement to the book, it helps clarify some of the problems we are facing with climate change and offers ideas on how to deal with the problems. 

Watching it before the book club meeting will help enrich the conversation.

Ellen Thompson



Donations for food for our local community needs.

Food can be brought to TRI UU if you are in the area and have with a key. Put your contribution in the wagon just inside the Chalice Room door, on the right.  

Other agencies in desperate need include the following.


Checks can be sent to:


Community of Gratitude, Inc.

PO Box 2021

Ocklawaha, FL 32183


Interfaith Emergency Services, Inc.

435 NW 2nd Street

Ocala, FL 34471


Domestic Violence Shelter

PO Box 2193

Ocala, FL 34478


Thank you for sharing your donations.


Joyce Mills, Chairperson, Social Justice Committee

Clearing Closets? 

I had several conversations with those who have used this time in quarantine to clear their closets and garages and wondered if we were still taking them.  I checked with the agencies since businesses are opening.


The Salvation Army is not accepting clothes at this time.  

Goodwill Industries will take clothes or other items.  You can drop them off at a center near you.

The Interfaith Thrift Shop, in Ocala, would like to have any donations.If you are unable to deliver items, I will arrange to meet you in front of TriUU to make the exchange.  Call Joyce Mills on her cell at 352- 895-0526.

The  CAT* Box

*Climate Action Team


This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate


by Naomi Klein 

You’re invited to a book discussion on June 12, 2:00 to 3:30pm



Do you have some great tips you can share about living a ”greener life”?

Often, when people are damaging the environment, it is because they don’t have the facts, or haven’t considered a particular course of action. Share this list with your friends – if each of them takes on board just one point, the effect could be immense. And if they share it on too, think of the mass chain reaction. Let’s work together to make the world a better place.

Here are a couple of tips:

We’ve all done it – gone somewhere and took a napkin or two more than we needed, only to throw them away unused. If everyone in the USA used one less napkin a day, current figures show that it could save a billion pounds of space in landfills.


If you can’t live without your dishwasher, then at least cut the pre-rinse. With a decent detergent, your dishes will be just as clean and you can save an average of twenty gallons of water per load.

Have your own tips? Share them!




The Timetable or the Website

   Trish Schwartzberg -

Updates for the Calendar

   Connie Havercamp -

Facebook updates

   Linda Starkweather -

To schedule Zoom meetings:

   Bonnie Thomen -

Request a calendar change or addition

The calendar is for the listing of Tri-UU meetings and events and ONLY Tri-UU activities.  If in doubt, contact John Seitz

Be inspired

(352) 245-7944

7280 SE 135th St.

Summerfield, FL 34491

Mailing Address:


 Box 829

 Summerfield, FL 34492

lgbtq badge uu.png
  • Facebook
  • Yelp - Grey Circle
  • Twitter - Grey Circle