The Drummer – Weekly Beats – November 10, 2017

The Drummer
Weekly Beats
November 10, 2017


 ·         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



·         Small Group Ministry Begins Again

Small Group Ministry, as it is described and practiced in UU faith communities, is the intentional gathering of eight to 10 individuals led by trained facilitators in structured, two-hour discussions twice a month over a period of six to eight months. Its purpose includes fostering closer connections of friendship and caring between members and/or friends not always made possible by regular attendance at Sunday services, deepening a sense of individual spirituality, and strengthening the fabric of the faith community. Last year UUCGB offered the SGM experience here for the first time in many years and it was well received by participants who conducted a Sunday service in the spring to sing its praises. 

The Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that SGM will be offered again in this church year, beginning in November and continuing through May.  The model will be the same as it was last year:  there will be a brief “check-in” from participants, selected readings on the assigned topic, and questions for meaningful dialogue.

This year’s session are planned for either the first and third Thursday evening, 7 to 9, or the second and fourth Thursday of the month, same time, with adjustments for holidays or inclement weather.  If there is sufficient numbers for each group, two groups may be accommodated.  A Saturday morning group, 9:30 to 11:30, may be possible if there is enough interest.  
Participation in SGM requires a serious and dedicated commitment.  Once a group is formed, it is expected that each participant will participate in every session unless he or she is ill or out of town.  It is also expected that each participant will respect the group’s behavioral covenant and process guidelines.  
If you have questions or are interested in registering for one of the times listed above, please contact one of the trained facilitators: Al Post, Anita Sanders, Virginia Smith, or Jennifer Winschel.  For impressions of the SGM programs, you may also wish to speak to one of last year’s SGM participants: Marty Rising, Myra Healy, Debby Parsons, Carolyn Monachelli, Jim Torriani, Susan Lautier, or Charles Lautier. 



·         Thanksgiving Potluck on 19 November
Our annual Thanksgiving potluck will be held after service on Sunday, November 18.  Please join us for good friends, good food, and good conversation.  Bring your favorite holiday dish to share.  Please let Marisa Tyger know what you plan to bring so we can be sure to have all the basics covered.  A sign-up sheet is located on the coffee hour table.  Please indicate any food requirements you have (gluten free, vegan, etc.)



·         A Musical Dessert to Our Thanksgiving Potluck
The UUCGB Choir will be at their usual best when they joint choirs from other faith communities in the Greater Bridgeport area at the annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration on Sunday, November 19th at 4 p.m. at the United Congregational Church, now occupying space in the Bessemer Center, 2200 North Avenue, Bridgeport.  This service is sponsored by the Tent of Abraham initiative of the Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport of which we are a member. (You may recall hearing that UCC sold their former church at State and Park where many of us attended this event in previous years to the Bridgeport Islamic Community for a mosque last Spring.)  Our good friend, the Rev. Sara Smith, will be officiating.  The theme of this year’s interfaith service is “Peace” and our choir will be offering the beautiful “soon love, soon” by ViennaTeng  as inspiration.  Consider staying around for fellowship after our pot luck and carpooling over to Bridgeport from the parking lot at about 3 to get a good seat.  



·         Religious Education for Children
This week we will be doing our own take on Hide and Seek with God.  It is the topic for the worship on Sunday.  The children will be exploring this sometimes elusive, sometimes right in front of you, search for the divine, All That Is, the Great Oneness, God, Mother of All…We will be using Hide and Seek With God by Mary Ann Moore (longtime UU Religious Educator) as our jumping off point.  Hide and Seek with God is a storybook with twenty-nine enchanting tales that portray God in many different forms – as transcendent mystery, the mother and father of life, as peace and silence, light and darkness, and more. We will sample several of these delightful stories to offer children the beginnings of a religious language for talking about God. 

Going Forward – New Time 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”.  So far, the Faith Formation Team is Karen Pirhala and Molly Nolan.  A couple people have expressed interest in participating in RE for children.  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



·         UU Meriden becomes a Sanctuary Congregation
The Unitarian Universalist Church became aware of a need for a sanctuary location for a family in Meriden in late September.  We voted to support the Board of Trustees in offering sanctuary to the family and to pursue becoming a Sanctuary Congregation.  Happily, the family’s immediate need was eliminated and ultimately the courts have allowed quests for green cards for the immigrant parents of the family.  Meanwhile UUCM became aware of another dire situation on 9 October.  Acting quickly the, then just forming, Chalice Sanctuary Team made arrangements to provide sanctuary to Sujitno and Dahlia Sajuti.  Sujitno came to the US as a Fullbright Scholar and then returned to work on a PhD through UConn.  He overstayed his student visa and to date has not been able to attain documented status.

UUCGB has offered help to UUCM. We have been asked for two things. First, to get a group together who are able to individually stay overnight at UUCM a few times as needed. Please email if you are interested.
Second, we are going to have a special collection on November 19th to buy Stop & Shop gift cards to support the groceries needed. The gift cards are a fundraiser for UUCM and therefore are an extra help to them.



·         UUCGB Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Because the 4th Saturday is Thanksgiving Weekend we have postponed our next meeting until December 9th – not our usual day but the 4th Saturday of December is only 2 days before Christmas so…hope you can make it on the 9th.  Then we will start up again in 2018 with the 4th Saturday of the month.
Because many people were already reading A Gentleman in Moscow and those who weren’t expressed an interest in it that will be our next book.  A Gentleman in Moscow, written by Amor Towles, is the book for the 9 December 10 AM meeting of the UUCGB Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. 

If you have a book you think would be a good book for the group please reply and let us know – we try to do all genres – fiction, non-fiction, classics etc…

Thanks and Happy Reading!!



·         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



·         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, no monetary collection 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.

Every Tuesday at 7:00



·         This Week in UU History
11/11/1893 – Lewis Allen McGee was born in Scranton, PA.  The son of a slave, he held several pastorates in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.  He served as a chaplain in the infantry in both World War I and World War II.  Late in life, McGee announced that he had become a Unitarian and received encouragement and help from American Unitarian Association and Wallace Robbins, the president of Meadville Theological School, to found the interracial Free Religious Fellowship of Chicago.  He later worked with Edwin Wilson at the American Humanist Association headquarters in Yellow Springs Ohio.  McGee died on November 10, 1979.  11/11/1969 – Angus Hector MacLean, an influential Universalist religious educator, died at age 77.  11/13/1618 – The Diet of Dort (Socinian) opened in Holland.  It was convened to discuss issues relating to the Unitarian belief about the nature of Jesus, whether he was to be worshipped, and his relation to God.



UUCGB Building Schedule for this week:   

Sunday 11/12, 10:00 am “Hide and Seek with God” with Worship Leader Sarah Miller

Sunday 11/12, 11:30 am Harvest Festival Meeting

Monday 11/13, 6:00 pm Membership Team

Tuesday 11/14, 7:00 pm Taize Service

Wednesday 11/15, 7:00 pm Choir Practice

Sunday 11/19, 10:00 am “Living your Best Life” with worship Leader Rev. Erica Richmond and Worship Weaver. Anita Sanders



Upcoming Services:

11/19 Sunday Service:  “Living Your Best Life” with Worship Leader Rev. Erica Richmond and Worship Weaver Anita Sanders

11/26 Sunday Service:  “Stone Soup” with Worship Leaders Ellen Hardy and Molly Nolan



Office Hours for November

As most of you know, I am dealing with my mother’s health issues.  My family lives in south Jersey so this requires some substantial travel.  I have updated and given my best guess on when I will be in the office.  As soon as my mother’s condition is more clear, my schedule will be too.  Until then, thank you for giving me the flexibility I need and thank you for your forbearance as I alter my schedule to meet competing needs.  The week of Thanksgiving is going to be tricky.  Can you please send anything for the Drummer that should go out to members on 23 or 24 November to the office and to me.

Thursday, 2 Nov, 2:30-5:30

Friday, 3 Nov, 11-2


**Thursday, 9 Nov, 1-4 (updated)

**Friday, 10 Nov, 11-2 (updated)


Tuesday, 14 Nov, 1-3:30

Wednesday, 15 Nov, 10-1:30


**Monday 20 Nov, 10-2 (updated)

**Tuesday, 21 Nov, 10-noon (updated)



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