The Drummer – Weekly Beats – January 26, 2018

The Drummer
Weekly Beats
January 26, 2018


·         Congregational Certification Last Chance to voice your opinion

Ballot in your Order of Service.  If you did not vote last week, please vote and place your ballot in the offertory bowl on the hymnal table in the rear of the sanctuary after worship concludes. 

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.



·         Local Opportunity For Interfaith Dialogue And Understanding
Dr. Ahmed Ebrahim, president of the Bridgeport Islamic Community Center, has invited members of all faith communities to a special screening and discussion of The Sultan and the Saint on Saturday, February 3rd, 5 to 7 p.m. in the gymnasium of St. James School, 2070 Main Street, Stratford.  The event is a cooperative effort of BICC, St. James parish, and the Franciscan Action Network.  There is no admission charges and light snacks and refreshments will be served.  The film tells a great, but long-lost story, set in a past period of East-West conflict, that speaks with urgency to our present times. Two men, one an itinerant Christian preacher and the other, the ruler of a Muslim empire, bucked a century of war, distrust and insidious propaganda in their search for mutual respect and common good.

Dr.Ebrahim, a professor at Fairfield University and community leader, was a featured speaker at UUCGB’s three-part “Social Justice” series in 2016.  

Let’s consider car pooling from the church parking lot.


·         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 about 30 Days of Love (

Week One: Growing the Ecosystem [15-21 January]

Thirty Days of Love Week Two: Good soil, good seeds Generative Creation

Welcome to Week 2 of Thirty Days of Love 2018. For the following three weeks, we will continue to share a message alongside spiritual resources: an ancestor to ground us, art to inspire, and a podcast recommendation to keep us learning.  We hope you find these resources and reflections of use to the work you do from your congregation to your community and beyond.

This week our theme is Good Soil, Good Seeds: Generative Creation. How do we make sure that we start this work well? What are the ways you prepare the soil to ensure your seeds will grow?

We honor our ancestor Florence Luscomb, share We Need You by Katie Blanchard and recommend you check out our most recent episode of Fortification, featuring adrienne maree brown along with some reflection questions. Check out the Thirty Days of Love 2018 All-Ages Activities by Rev. Marisol Caballero. Next week we’ll be back with our third message on enduring the drought times. Stay tuned!

·        Week Three: Enduring the drought times

·        Week Four: A renewing harvest

·        Week Five: Lessons for the next season

 ·         Religious Education for Children

After the service, and a short refreshment break, children and RE teachers will head to the lower level for PB&J Sunday and then to Children’s Chapel for a class on Zentangle!  [an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns]

What RE for Children looks like on Sunday morning  We are continuing RE in the “second hour” through February.  The whole congregation worships together.  After a brief refreshment break after the service, children and teachers will gather for religious education, usually in the Children’s Chapel.  We are using a variety of curricular resources in our one room RE schoolhouse.  So far, the Faith Formation Team is Karen Pirhala, Laura Baker and Molly Nolan.  We need one more person to fill out the team.  For safe congregations purposes we must have two adults in class each Sunday.  Interested?  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  After viewing the video there are reflection questions to engage individually or as part of a small group.  If you are 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 (    

The next live webinar is Wednesday 14 Feb at 7:45 Eastern time.


·         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.

 ·         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.



·         From the Humanist Association of Connecticut
Sacred Cod:  The Fight for a New England Tradition Documentary film and discussion, 3 Feb 2:30 at the Unitarian Society of New Haven, 700 Hartford Turnpike, Hamden, CT.

Some snacks available, bring something to share.  Free event with freewill offering welcome to offset the cost of licensing the film for viewing

Darwin Day Dinner
6 pm Saturday 10 February Call John Levin at 646-221-9134 or visit



·         May 3rd:  Save the Date And Don’t Miss The Bus! 


Yes, Priscilla Queen of the Desert is coming this Spring to the Downtown Cabaret Theater in Bridgeport. This musical adventure of three drag queens on a road trip across the Australian desert, that began as a movie and became a big stage musical has played for many years all over the world and has kept its audiences laughing. One performance at Downtown Cabaret, on Thursday, May 3rd, is a benefit for the Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport of which UUCGB is a member.  UUCGB is a very low-budget support of the CofC, so your attendance at the May 3rd “Priscilla” performance will greatly aid the many wonderful programs and projects currently underway in Bridgeport sponsored by the Council. Talk among your friends, church and otherwise, and put together a table or two.  We can bring a shared supper and have a great evening. More information to follow, but mark your calendar now!  



·         Spanish Speaking Help Needed

Bridgeport Public Schools have had a large, temporary influx of non-English speaking children to the school system due to the devastating conditions in Puerto Rico.  As many may be aware, Bridgeport Schools have had significant budget cuts over the past few years and can barely accommodate their own students let alone additional ones with special needs.  ESL (English as a Second Language) resources have also been cut back so these non-English speaking children are basically left to fend for themselves.    In particular, there is one 3rd grade teacher at Cesar Batalla School who has twelve of these kids in her classroom with NO assistance.   She’s looking for Spanish speaking volunteers for an hour or two a week to help these students with very basic language skills to see them through the school year.   Can anyone help?   Please contact Karen Flowitt  (Art Oefinger’s wife) at 203-925-9439.



·         UU Meriden becomes a Sanctuary Congregation – help still needed

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, 203-334-6699 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
1/26/1559 – Martin Crovicius, a Polish knight and Socinian minister, wrote to John a Lasco, who headed a German-speaking church in London, defying the authorities who tried to silence unauthorized preaching.    

1/29/1994 – Emily Taft Douglas died in Westchester County, New York, at the age of 104.  She was president of the Unitarian Women’s Alliance, moderator of the American Unitarian Association and a trustee of Meadville/Lombard Theological School. 

1/30/1561 – Stanislaus Lutomirski, a Polish priest and the secretary King John Sigismund Augustus of Poland, professed his Unitarian beliefs and was appointed superintendent of the Churches of Little Poland by the 19th Synod at Pinczow.



UUCGB Building Schedule for this week:   

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

Tuesday 1/30 7:00 pm Taize Service

Wednesday 1/31, 7:00 pm Choir Practice

Sunday 2/4, 10:00 am worship “Taking a Knee” with the Worship Weavers  

Sunday 2/4, 11:30 am Board of Trustees



Upcoming Services:

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

2/11 Sunday Service  “Love Languages” with Connie Cole-Ingber and Worship Weaver Mike Ingber



January Office Hours

29 January – 4 February office hours will be 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