The Drummer – Weekly Beats – January 19, 2018

The Drummer
Weekly Beats
January 19, 2018


 ·         Draft Mission of UUCGB

On Sunday, 14 January, we had our second congregational conversation regarding our mission statement

Below is the one that we came up with by the end of the session.  This is a working statement and not yet our “final” decision.  Please send any comments or suggestions to

“Love is the spirit of this church.  We welcome everyone into our beloved community.   We are here to support each other in spiritual growth so we can go out and make the world a kinder place.”

 Another discussion of the mission of UUCGB will be scheduled in the future.



·         Congregational Certification

Each year, at the end of January, every congregation in our association updates their information.  How many members, how many attend worship, name/address/contact info correct…  One other thing that happens as part of certification is that congregations vote on CSAIs, Congregational Study/Action Issues, to be included to the agenda of the 2018 General Assembly (GA).  CSAIs are then voted on at GA.  If adopted, congregations are invited to study, reflect and take action, with resources from the UUA and those developed as part of our own study, over a four year period. 

This year there are two CSAIs to consider:

  • Undoing Intersectional White Supremacy

Racism is fundamental to U.S. social systems. White supremacy culture operates economically, institutionally, politically, and culturally, shaping everyone’s chances to live healthy, fulfilling lives. It is also the nation’s most toxic export, shaping policies and practices that do profound harm to the Earth and all living things.

  • Dismantling Intersectional Oppression

Systemic injustices intersect across environment, race, gender and all other forms of oppression. Identifying the underlying mechanisms which enable systemic and intersecting injustices enables us to mitigate their harm. Intersectional justice calls us to work together across oppressions and become a movement of movements.

Look for the more information on this part of the certification process in your order of service this Sunday.



·         Side With Love

The campaign formerly known as Standing on the Side of Love (visible in yellow T shirts in pictures of social justice demonstrations and actions) has a new name.  “Since its inception, Standing on the Side of Love (SSL) received feedback from disability rights activists within Unitarian Universalism about the exclusionary and ableist language of ‘standing’…Pushed forward by a Responsive Resolution at GA 2017, we committed to changing the name because of its history of injury and exclusion and to honor and respond to feedback by making the shift.”  To read the full announcement and watch a video about the name change go to:



 ·         30 Days of Love has begun!

Each year between Martin Luther King Day and Valentine’s Day UUs focus intentionally on the transforming power of love.  We seek to understand the many ways love can heal our world in ways large and small, global to personal.  From the Side With Love page on 30 Days of Love,

Each week we are sharing resources, tools and a reflection to support your work around building ecosystems, generative creation, endurance and commitment. We’ll update on the Tuesday of each week with more information Check them out below.

Week One: Growing the Ecosystem

We are thinking about the vision we hold for our world. What is the ecosystem, forest, garden, wild space that we are trying to grow? Who is the crew with you on this journey? We honor our ancestor Lewis McGee, share Tiny Shiny Hope by Katie Blanchard, offer an invitation to try a practice and recommend you check out the Healing Justice podcast. Read our message on Growing the Ecosystem here.

Week Two: Good soil, good seeds

Week Three: Enduring the drought times

Week Four: A renewing harvest

Week Five: Lessons for the next season

 For more information go to:  For an all ages activity calendar for 30 Days of Love click on the linkThirty Days of Love: 2018 All Ages Activity Calendar about ¾ way down the 30 Days page.



 ·         Religious Education for Children

After the service, and a short refreshment break, children and RE teachers will head to the Children’s Chapel for a discussion of the 450th anniversary of the Edict of Torda and why it is important to UUs today, and 30 Days of Love.   

Going Forward – New Time The original plan was for Religious Education for Children or Faith Formation to be “experilearning” from 22 Octoberthrough the end of 2017 with RE for children in the second hour.  There have been a few bumps in the road and we have not been able to give this model a true test run.  We are extending our experiment, with what we’ve learned so far, through the end of February.  We will continue to worship all together at 10 AM each Sunday, after a brief refreshment break, children and teachers will gather for religious education in the “Second Hour”.  So far, the Faith Formation Team is Karen Pirhala, Laura Baker 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



·         Religious Exploration for Adults

2018 is the 450th anniversary of the Edict of Torda, a radical departure from the enforced state religion of European countries in 1568.  Join a Year-Long Theological Dialogue!

Connect as part of a pilgrimage, by online video conference, with a small group, or individually.  Each month you’ll find a specific opportunity for engagement.  Begin the year of reflection with study and exploration of the history, context, and current relevance of the Anniversary of the Edict of Torda.  The live webinar was 17 January.  The archived video can be found at international/torda450/ theological-reflection.  After viewing the vido there are reflection questions to engage individually or as part of a small group.  If you re interested in forming a small group around Torda 450, contact Molly in the church office.  For more information about the 450th anniversary of the Edict of Torda, check out an article in the winter edition of the UU World by Eric Cherry (   



 ·         UUCGB will collect Guest at Your Table collection boxes and envelopes at the end of 30 Days of Love

It is not too late to join in!!  The Guest at Your Table program kickoff was part of worship on 26 November.  Even if you were unable to attend the service, you can pick up your collection box or envelope and your copy of the Stories of Hope on the table in the back of the Sanctuary.  Guest at Your Table is an invitation to engage in understanding and support of the work of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC).  More information about Guest at Your Table and the UUSC can be found at:



 ·         UUCGB Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson is the book for January.  The January meeting will be Saturday, January 27th at 10am.

The book for February will be Born a Crime by Trevor Noah.  We also plan to read Lab Girl as one of our books this year and are open to other suggestions so please feel free to share via email any books that you have read and want to discuss or books that you keep meaning to read. We also try to choose at least one classic every year so keep that in mind.

Thanks and see y’all in January.



·         UU Meriden becomes a Sanctuary Congregation Update

There has been some progress in the legal system on getting permanent status for Sujitno and Dahlia.  While this is the beginning of a long process, there is some movement towards resolution!

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Meriden and the congregation’s recently formed 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 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. 



 ·         Tuesday Evening Taize Prayer Service

Our contemplative Service of Evening Prayer is a service consisting of repetitive singing of chants, readings, prayer and periods of silence, in order to reach a contemplative state. The Taizé Community, an ecumenical monastic order in France, founded in 1940 to promote peace and justice through prayer and meditation. Our service mirrors Taizé-style attention to silence, holy words, prayer, and singing, but has also evolved to include other meditative traditions, as well.

Service begins at 7 pm, each Tuesday, and runs approximately 30 minutes.



·         Mercy Learning Center Seeking Volunteers!

The Center is seeking volunteers to teach English Language Learners as well as basic adult reading and math in its one-on-one or small group tutoring.  No Experience necessary.  Training and materials provided.  Next training date, Friday 26 January, 9 AM-3PM (lunch provided).  Please contact Lynn Gabriel or Erica Hoffman, 23-334-6699 or lynn.gabriel@ or erica.hoffman@



 ·         USNH Social Cinema

Saturday, 20 January at the Unitarian Society of New Haven, 700 Hartford Turnpike, Hamden.  Optional potluck dinner begins at 6:15 pm, documentary film “I Am Shakespeare:  The Henry Green”, the story of 19 year old Henry Green – living a dual life as a brilliant young actor and inner-city gang member in New Haven.  Q&A with Filmmaker Stephen Dest after the screening.  Contact Jesse Greist at 203-288-1807 or for more information.



·         This Week in UU History

1/19/1561 – At the 19th Synod of Pinczow, Poland, Peter Statorius formally accused Socinian George Blandrata of heresy.  Blandrata was forced to sign a confession of faith, disavowing his heresy.  He left Poland for Transylvania, where he served as court physician to Prince John Sigismund.  There he used his influence over the prince and the court to support Unitarianism.   

1/20/1856 – Harriot Stanton Blatch was born in Seneca Falls, NY.  Early in life, she developed an interest in politics and social reform.  She graduated from Vassar College in 1878 and lectured with her mother on the lyceum circuit.  Blatch became a Unitarian in New York City under the ministry of Octavius Brooks Frothingham.  She traveled in Europe but returned home to help her mother and Susan B. Anthony complete their three-volume work The History of Woman Suffrage (1881-1886).  On November 15, 1882 she married William Henry Blatch in Little Portland Street Chapel (Unitarian) in London, with William Henry Channing officiating.  Blatch lived in England for 20 years and worked there for women’s suffrage.  Vassar awarded her a master’s degree for her work with England’s rural poor.  In 1902 she returned to the United States and continued her work for women’s rights.  She was always active in civic projects and political action and wroteMobilizing Woman Power (1918) and A Woman’s Point of View:  Some Roads to Peace (1920).  Harriot Stanton Blatch died on November 20, 1940.  

1/22/1556 – Peter Giezek declared his Unitarianism at the Calvinist Synod in Secemin, Poland.  He went on to form the first Unitarian organization in Europe, the Minor Church, later called the Minor Reformed Church.     



UUCGB Building Schedule for this week:   

Sunday 1/21, 10:00 am worship “If We Only Have Love” with Worship Leader Peter Morse    

Sunday 1/21, 11:30 am Worship Weavers

Tuesday 1/23 7:00 pm Taize Service

Wednesday 1/24, 7:00 pm Choir Practice

Saturday 1/27, 10:00 am, Book Group

Sunday 1/28, 10:00 am worship “A Sense of Place” with Worship Leader Al Post  

Sunday 1/28, 11:30 am PB&J Sunday


Upcoming Services:

1/28 Sunday Service “A Sense of Place” with Worship Leader Al Post

2/4 Sunday Service “Taking a Knee” with Worship Weavers 


January Office Hours

Next week 22-26  January, I will be in the office Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 10 am – 1 pm.  Please get items for the Order of Service and the Drummer into the office as soon as possible, Wednesday 9 AM at the latest.  Thanks.


Molly Nolan, Office Administrator


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