The Drummer – Weekly Beats – February 2, 2018

The Drummer
Weekly Beats
February 2, 2018


·         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.  Find out more at:

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

Week Two: Good soil, good seeds Generative Creation [22 -28 January]


·         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 around Ron’s Big Mission–Nine-year-old Ron loves going to the Lake City Public Library to look through all the books on airplanes and flight. Today, Ron is ready to take out books by himself. But in the segregated world of South Carolina in the 1950s, Ron’s obtaining his own library card is not just a small rite of passage, it is a young man’s first courageous mission. Here is an inspiring story, based on Ron McNair’s life, of how a little boy, future scientist, and Challenger astronaut desegregated his library through peaceful resistance. from Penguin Random House


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.



·         Are you on Facebook?

            If you would please make a point of visiting The Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Bridgeport Facebook page on Wednesday and Thursday to “Like” and “Share” our Religious Education and Worship posts.   



·         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.



·         Two weeks left!  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 book for February will be Born a Crime by Trevor Noah.  The next meeting is Saturday 24 February at 10 AM.  We also plan to read Lab Girlas 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 Theatre 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.


·         This Week in UU History

2/2/1547 – Bernardino Ochino, of Siena, Italy, arrived in London.  He was a Franciscan monk but left the order, joined the Capuchins, and twice was elected their vicar-general.  He had a fine mind and was a popular preacher.  The French Emperor Charles V said, “That man would make the stones weep!”  Ochino turned Protestant and went to Switzerland, where he was appalled at the burning of Servetus.  Late in life he became a Unitarian.  He published a catechism (1561) and two books of dialogues (1563).  From 1547 to 553, Ochino lived in exile in England under Edward VI, and a translation of his book A dialogue on the unjustly usurped primacy of the Bishop of Rome (1549) is known to have influenced King Edward VI in his struggle to organize English Protestantism.  The death of Edward forced Ochino to leave England for Geneva.   

2/3/1994 – Horace Greeley was born in Amherst, New Hampshire.  At the age of 20, he went to New York City, where he started a small printing office and produced a magazine called New Yorker, which was published 1834 to 1841.  In 1841 Greeley founded the New York Tribune, known for its attention to accurate information and high moral tone amidst a competitive magazine market.  The New York Tribune championed a number of educational and social reforms.  Prominent Transcendentalist George Ripley worked for Greeley on the Tribune and contributors included Margaret Fuller and Karl Marx.  Greeley served in Congress briefly and ran for other offices unsuccessfully.  He was an ardent opponent of slavery, though he sought a peaceful solution.  After the Civil War, Greeley’s ardent support of Reconstruction eroded his popularity.  He was a stalwart Universalist.     

2/6/1804 – Joseph Priestly, a Unitarian theologian and scientist, died at age 70, in Northumberland, Pennsylvania.



UUCGB Building Schedule for this week:   

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

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

Tuesday 2/6 7:00 pm Taize Service

Wednesday 2/7, 7:00 pm Choir Practice

Sunday 2/11, 10:00 am worship “Love Languages” with Worship Leader Connie Cole-Ingber and Worship Weaver Mike Ingber  


Upcoming Services:

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

2/18 Sunday Service with Rev. Tom Chulak



February Office Hours

4-11 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.  The week of 12 February I will be working remotely as my mother will be receiving follow up treatment.  Please send items to and cc me at  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