The Drummer – Weekly Beats – October 20, 2017

The Drummer
Weekly Beats
October 20, 2017


·         Religious Education for Children at a New Time

Karen Bellavance-Grace (UUA regional staff for Small Congregation Support and Congregational Collaboration for the New England Region) was the first person to introduce me to the term “experilearn”.  Religious Education for Children or Faith Formation will be “experilearning” from 22 October through the end of 2017 with a different schedule.  We will continue to worship all together at 10 AM each Sunday, after our refreshment break, children and teachers will gather for religious education in the “Second Hour”.  As much as possible we will extend the messages of our worship into faith formation.  Other groups that meet on Sunday after worship will also meet during the “Second Hour”.  Moving to this sort of format opens up the possibility of Adult RE classes and other sorts of meetings with the children of those participants actively engaged in faith formation.  We’ll see how this works and evaluate at the beginning of the year to decide if we continue with this schedule.  The Faith Formation Team is Karen Pirhala and Molly Nolan.  The team would benefit with one more core member and a roster of volunteers willing to assist with class.  Ideally, two adults are with the children at all times.  Could that person be you?  Please contact Karen or Molly at



 ·         Harvest Festival: Do We Want To Do It Again?

Results of our (fairly) recent Harvest Festival on Paradise Green may be viewed from two perspectives:  

Financially: The 2017 HF raised a total of $4,798 before expenses and has helped fulfill the “ways and means” projection in UUCGB’s annual operating budget for 2017-18. Contributing to this total were: Vendor fees of $3,130; Baked goods at $326; Attic treasures at $305; Books at $291; Bounce house at $248; Cheesecake at $220; Food at $202; and quilt raffle at $76. Expenses are estimated to total no more than $1,300 leaving a net profit of about $3,500. 

Building Community: Both within our membership and in the town, the absence of Harvest Festival next year and thereafter would probably be missed as much as the $3,500 in our budgeted income.  In addition, it is probably safe to say that every UUCGB member/friend who was able to contribute of their time, talent and treasure enjoyed the day despite their sore feet and back. 

Still, we must decide soon if we want to plan for the 41st annual Harvest Festival next September because applications to crafters should be going out before January 30th. There will be a meeting at 11:30 am after services on Sunday, November 12th, to which all interested members/friends are invited to contribute their thoughts to the discussion and decision regarding the fate of this 40-year UUCGB tradition in Stratford.  If you are unable to attend this meeting, please convey any thoughts or suggestions you may have to either myself or Sarah Miller. 

 Virginia Smith



 ·         UUA Disaster Relief Fund

Our UU friends and neighbors in Florida and the Caribbean—including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands—have experienced extraordinary devastation following Hurricanes Irma and Maria. UU friends in California have experienced devastating damage due to wildfires.  We invite you to contribute to the UUA Disaster Relief Fund (formerly the Hurricane Irma Recovery Fund) so the UUA can provide financial assistance to UU congregations impacted by these and other natural disasters. In addition to facilitating their own disaster recovery, congregations receiving disaster relief funds will have discretion to provide financial assistance to their members, as well as to support local partner organizations serving the community at large. For more information, including suggestions for how to contribute beyond the UU sphere, visit our website response.



·         Volunteer to Help with Hurricane Disaster Relief

The Unitarian Universalist College of Social Justice (UUCSJ) is keeping a close eye on updates regarding the communities affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, particularly those who are most vulnerable. In partnership with RAICES and other UUSC grassroots partners in Texas and Florida, UUCSJ is exploring where and how volunteers can be most useful once the worst flooding has receded. More detailed information will be shared as it becomes available in the coming weeks. If you are available to travel to Texas, Florida or the Caribbean to support relief efforts, please sign up to join the volunteer list.  The link can be found under the header on this page, areas-support/funds/disaster- response. UUCSJ will notify you when volunteer placements that fit your skills are available.



·         UUCGB Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

A new year of books and discussions is ahead!  The first book for the new year is “Strangers In Their Own Land.”  We are postponing the first meeting until October due to the preparation activities for the Harvest Festival.  If we stay with the 4th Saturday our first meeting will be Saturday October 28 at 10 AM in the church library. 



·         Seeking New Worship Weavers

If you are interested in becoming more involved in worship experiences at UUCGB, please join us, new team members are always welcome!


Our responsibilities include:

-planning and delivering Sunday services

-working with guest ministers and speakers

-assisting other lay led leaders in creating worship services.
If you think you might like to join our team, or if you have any questions, please email Sarah Miller at We look forward to another worshipful year at UUCGB!

The Worship Weavers



·         Tuesday Evening Taize Prayer Service

Are you looking for some time for quiet contemplation?   Are you looking for a worshipful experience in which there is no sermon and no one telling you what to believe before you are sure you believe it?  Then the Service of Taize Evening Prayer may be for you. This 30-minute service is inspired by the worship of the international ecumenical monastic community of Taize, France.  The service consists of simple, modern chants sung repetitively or in a round, a brief reading of Scripture, a long period of peaceful silence and some time for intercessory prayer.
There is no preaching, no monetary collection, no attempt at recruiting church members; it is simply a time to come together in song and prayer.  People who have attended often comment on the rich spiritual atmosphere of the service.  Its serenity and simplicity provide a wonderful midweek opportunity to feed one’s soul. 
Every Tuesday at 7:00



·         Worship with the Unitarian Universalist Church in Meriden

There will be no worship service at UUCGB on Sunday November 5.  We will be worshipping with the Unitarian Universalist Church in Meriden at 10:30 AM.



·         Save the Date

Thanksgiving Potluck Sunday November 19.  More details to follow.



 ·         This Week in UU History

10/20/1880 – Lydia Maria Child, an ardent Unitarian, feminist, and abolitionist, died at age 78. Born in Medford, Massachusetts, she joined the church served by her Unitarian minister brother, Convers Francis, in Watertown, Massachusetts. Child found success as a popular writer, producing a romantic historical novel and practical household manuals. She became vice president of the Women’s Anti-Slavery Convention of New York and edited the National Slavery Standard. Later she turned to religious issues and published The Progress of Religious Ideas through Successive Ages, which contended that all religions had sacred insights. She also espoused women’s suffrage and the cause of Native Americans. 10/23/1850 – Olympia Brown, the first woman ordained to the ministry by a full denominational authority.  A Universalist minister, leader for women’s suffrage and a former minister of this congregation, Olympia Brown died at age 91.  10/24/1890 – The Women’s National Alliance was organized as a major force in the American Unitarian movement.



UUCGB Building Schedule for this week:   

Sunday 10/22, 10:00 am, Sunday Service “Mission Impossible” with Worship Leader Ellen Hardy and Worship Weaver Sarah Miller

Tuesday 10/24, 7:00 pm Taize Service

Wednesday 10/25, 7:00 pm Choir Practice

Saturday 10/28, 10:00 am UUCGB Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Sunday 10/29, 10:00 am Sunday Service



Upcoming Services:

10/29 Sunday Service:  “Reformation Sunday” with Worship Leader Jim Torriani and Worship Weaver Virginia Smith

11/5 Sunday Service at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Meriden at 10:30 AM



Please send any items you would like listed in next week’s Weekly Drummer Beats to by Wednesday at 9 am!  The weekly email is sent every Thursday evening!


Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Bridgeport

275 Huntington Road, Stratford, CT 06614