Perhaps you are visiting our congregation for the very first time. Or maybe you are a new member or a long-time member or friend. Whatever the length and depth of your commitment to UUFG, we invite you to participate in the many social and community activities at the Fellowship. We offer family-centered activities, age-specific social groups, a variety of special interest clubs, and regular community dinners.
There are also many volunteer opportunities at the Fellowship. These include tending to our beautiful grounds, working on fundraising events, teaching our children, arranging flowers for Sunday mornings, and providing assistance to members of the congregation in need, among many others. Through volunteering, we build relationships with each other and a sense of community, while doing the work that is needed to support our congregation.
So take a look at our many activities. Find one or several that speak to you, and join in. Or, we welcome you to start your own and invite others. We welcome your involvement and look forward to meeting you.
Getting Involved in Community Life
There are many ways to get involved at UUFG, including social activities, special interest groups, and helping out around our Fellowship. Such activities provide a way for members and friends to get to know each other, thus encouraging a feeling of community within the Fellowship and building a concerned, helping congregation.
- For social events and groups, see the list of activities below at Fellowship, Fun, and Food.
- Join a small group through our Circles of Life program.
- You may be interested in Family Activities or Youth Group.
- Help organize or carry out Pastoral Care activities for fellow members.
- Or help out at UUFG, working on necessary tasks like Sparkle Saturday or Fundraising.
Love to get your hands dirty? So do we! Whether you like to weed, plant or do some heavy lifting, we'd love to have you. Grounds is a great place to get to know others at the Fellowship. We conduct regular grounds mini-work-days on the second Saturday of each month, 9-11 a.m. Come by during that time and pitch in! No need to RSVP, just bring your gloves and mosquito-repellent/sun protection. Newcomers are always welcome, and it is a great way to get to know other people. Contact: Becky Moulton
UUFG hosts a variety of events that raise funds to help support our Fellowship. Regular yearly fundraisers include a live auction and our garage sale. These events are organized and run by members and friends of the Fellowship. Key tasks include planning and scheduling, recruiting participants, decorating, publicity, cooking and donating food, cashiering, technical and computer assistance, and event set up and clean up. Participating in these events is a great way to get to know others at the Fellowship, and the events are a lot of fun as well. For information on upcoming fundraising events, contact the UUFG office.
The UUFG BookStore is open after service each Sunday, and has a variety of offerings for sale. New books ordered from the UUA bookstore, old books donated for resale, and notecards from current artisan members are a few of the offerings. Be sure to come by and browse the store. If you don't see what you are wanting, let them know, and they can probably find it! Contact: Paul Hargrave
Fair Trade Coffee, Tea, and Chocolate
After service on the first Sunday of each month, Fair Trade coffee and tea are available for purchase; chocolate is available in cooler months. Money raised through these sales go into a special fund to improve our playground.
Contact: Bess Buckley
Fellowship, Fun, and Food
UUFG offers a wide variety of opportunities for fellowship and socializing. We invite you to participate!
Sunday Coffee Hour
Visitors, newcomers, friends, members and children are invited to get together for coffee, conversation, and fellowship in UUFG's Phillips Hall every Sunday following the Sunday worship service. Volunteers are need to help make coffee, set up and clean up.
Contact: Wendy Price
International Potluck & Intergenerational Game Night
On the 4th Saturday of each month, we come together as an all ages community to break bread and commune with each other over games. We typically begin by gathering at 6 PM in the Phillips Hall to set up our themed potluck together before eating and then playing board games, card games, or just sitting together and talking. All are welcome; bring a dish to share. If you have a board game or card game to share, bring it too!
Contact: Kristin Stevens, Heather McAuslane, or Lynne Capehart
The UUFG Special Events committee organizes a variety of dinners and other social events for members and friends throughout the year. Typical events include Neighborhood potlucks, picnics, and Thanksgiving dinners.
Dinners provide opportunities to meet with other UUs in a small group for socializing and enjoyable dining. Meeting from October through May, a coordinator pairs groups of 6 to 10 members and friends to break bread together. Rotating groups share potlucks the third Sunday evening at members’ homes. Dinners take place in each host’s home. Each host coordinates the time and menu with all participants, and provides the settings and appetizers. The co-host provides the main dish. Others either bring salad, bread and vegetables, or desserts. All guests bring their own drink. Hosts may arrange an alternative time and date by contacting all their guests.
Contact: Carol Rivers
These are adult social gatherings meeting at 5:30 p.m. on second Fridays from September through May, and rotate locations. The hosting member’s home location is published in the Sunday Gazette and the weekly enews. All adults are invited to share appetizers, drinks, conversation and friendship in our host member's home. Newcomers are always welcome, so we look forward to having you join us one month!
Spiritual Practices Groups
Dancing Crane Zen Center
This Zen Buddhist study/practice group meets 7:00-9:00 p.m. every Friday in the Common Room for sitting meditation, reading, and practice support. All are welcome.
Contact: Rev. Meredith Garmon
The UUFG Humanist Circle meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at local restaurants for good food and conversation. This is an open circle so you are invited to join us.
Contact: Al Tweedy
Circle of InnerBeing
The Circle of InnerBeing meets on the third Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Library (Room 6). Our practice includes sharing readings from different spiritual traditions and discussing their personal meaning for each of us. Sometimes we have chanting, or guided medtiation, or watch a video, or listen to an audio. We focus on our own spiritual journeys and our interconnectedness. We have brief silent meditation periods at the beginning and end of the meeting. We enjoy welcoming newcomers.
Contact: Janese Nix or Olivia Stryker
Tuesday Morning Meditation
This Zen Buddhist study/practice group meets 8:30-9:30 p.m. every Tuesday in the Common Room for sitting meditation, reading, and practice support. All are welcome.
Contact: Rev. Meredith Garmon
Around the UU World
Around the UU World meets each Wednesday noon for a shared brown bag lunch and conversation in the Common Room.
Contact: Rev. Meredith Garmon
Interweave supports UUFG's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered community; their parents, family members, friends and allies. Affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association's Interweave Continental, we work to end discrimination against people based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. We meet socially every month and hold larger events to promote learning, growth and fellowship for the congregation and outreach to the local area throughout the year, including Pride Month.
Contact: Janese Nix
At our Fellowship we strive to deepen our connections to one another and the earth as we offer compassionate service to each other, our community, and the earth. There are many ways we can grow our connections outward so that we become stronger as individuals and as a caring community. To facilitate weaving our web of relationships ever stronger and broader, our congregation offers Circles of Life:
- Circles invigorate affinity, care, and small groups and build our care program.
- Allow us to keep track of life experiences and needs of one another.
- Offer the gift of being in relationship with one another.
- Offer the gift of presence and deep listening to the other.
- Facilitate communication throughout the congregation as one Circle of Life can let others know what is going on for their people and what care they may need.
- We can also see who we are as a group — what are our concerns as a community?
- Provide a context for learning the arts of caring — listening, nonviolent communication, being a healing presence in times of grief and loss.
Joining or Creating the Circles of Life
Our Circles of Life are intended to strengthen our congregation by giving members (old and new) an opportunity to get acquainted with other members in small group situations outside of the Sunday services. We do this by offering circles that appeal to a variety of interests: Affinity Circles that pull together members with a common interest; Pastoral Circles that can help members deal with specific problems such as dealing with Alzheimer’s or handling addiction problems; and Current Issues Circles that can discuss what is going on in our country, our city, or our congregation.
We encourage all of our members to consider joining at least one circle. If you don’t see a circle that interests you, perhaps you could start your own circle and see if others would like to join. Several circle possibilities that have been suggested are:
- a Book Club Circle to read and discuss the Ministers’ recommended Book of the Month;
- a Book Club Circle to choose books to read and discuss;
- a Fine Arts and Music Circle II to accommodate the overflow from the current FAMC;
- a Theater Circle where members would go together to performances at the Gainesville Community Playhouse, the Hippodrome, or the Constans Theater and then discuss what they saw.
If you would like to start a circle but aren’t sure how to do it, or if you would like to join one, but aren’t sure which one, contact the UUFG Office.