The Drummer – Weekly Beats – March 3, 2018
March 3, 2018
· Please bring a 1 pound or smaller box of small shape enhanced protein or whole wheat pasta to church this Sunday. We will be using in RE and donating to a local food bank. (See RE for Children below).
· The Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport is calling all faith leaders and congregations to come to the Bridgeport City Council meeting, Monday 5 March at 6:00 PM. PSEG, the new Jersey based company building the $550 million gas plant in the south end of Bridgeport signed a binding agreement with the city of Bridgeport and community and environmental advocacy groups called the Community Environmental Benefits Agreement. The Council of Churches and others allege that PSEG has broken their contract in several ways. In every turn, minorities, women and veterans have not received the promised opportunities. Please stand with the Council of Churches and support the local pastors and advocates who are bringing the issues with PSEG before the City Council, demanding action.
· Worship Weavers
Seeking speakers for March 11th service on the power of music
We are seeking speakers who would like to reflect on how music has positively affected their lives, and has connected to our UU faith. Speakers could discuss a particular song that has been meaningful, a musical experience like a concert, the act of making of performing music, etc.
Reflections should be 3-5 minutes in length, and should be submitted to the worship weavers at least a week in advance of the service. We are always available to help you with your reflection!
If you would like to participate in this service, please contact Sarah Miller.
· Religious Education for Children
After the service, and a short refreshment break that will include Hmantaschen, children and RE teachers will head to the Children’s Chapel for a lesson on Queen Esther and Purim. One of the things we do when we tell the meghillah of Esther is to make noise when the name of Haman comes up in the story. Instead of traditional noisemakers, we use smaller boxes of small shape pasta as our graggers. Whether or not you will going downstairs with the kids, please bring a 1LB or smaller box of small shape enhanced protein or whole wheat pasta to church this Sunday. We will use as noisemakers in class and donate to the ~ food bank as part of our mishloah manot (food gifts to friends and strangers).
What RE for Children looks like on Sunday morning–We are continuing RE in the “second hour” through February. The whole congregation worships together beginning at 10 AM. After a brief refreshment break following 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
· Religious Exploration for Adults
Celebrate the anniversary of Religious Tolerance with Torda 450
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. The archived video can be found at https://www.uua.org/international/torda450/theological-reflection. After viewing the video there are reflection questions to engage individually or as part of a small group. One person has indicated and interest. If you are interested in being part of a small group discussion 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 (https://www.uuworld.org/articles/450-edict-torda-landmark).
The discussion prompts for the 14 February webinar (last one aired) will be available 1 March.
· 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 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.
· UUA Common Read
Each year the UUA chooses a book, this year they chose two, for Unitarian Universalists to read and discuss. The UUA provides discussion guides for use in 1-3 sessions, whatever works for each congregation. The two books for this year are:
Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry, edited by Mitra Rahnema (Skinner House, 2017), centers the stories, analyses, and insights of a number of Unitarian Universalist religious professionals of color as they explore how racial identity is made both visible and invisible in Unitarian Universalist communities.
Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want, by Frances Moore Lappé and Adam Eichen, (Beacon Press, 2017) lifts up the importance of democracy itself. It examines the anti-democracy movement that has led to the Trump presidency, then offers a vision and call to action to save our democracy and to take our civic life to a place it has never been.
On the heels of the worship on 11 February and given the state of affairs in the US and our 5th principle, maybe engaging Daring Democracy would be a good idea. If you are interested, please email or call Molly in the church office.
· Are you on Facebook?
If you are on Facebook, please make a point of visiting The Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Bridgeport Facebook page on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 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. A follow up discussion will be scheduled soon.
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 email@example.com
“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.”
· From the Humanist Association of Connecticut
Monthly meetings are held at 7 pm on the 3rd Monday of the month at the Unitarian Society of New Haven. The 19 March meeting will take up “The Pro-Truth Pledge”
· 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 World highlights UU Meriden as a Sanctuary Congregation –
Your help still needed
Check out the current edition of the UU World for the story of UUCM’s sanctuary guests and how UUCM became a Sanctuary Congregation. 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. Big THANK YOU to the several members of UUCGB who have pitched in and slept over. This is an ongoing need. Please email President@uucgb.org if you are interested in helping.
· 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
3/6/1582 – The debate between Simon Budney and the Catholics begam a the Synod of Iwie in Poland. A native of Lithuania and a Calvinist priest, Budney had met disciples of Fautus Socinus, George Blandrata and other Unitarians and joined their ranks. He founded the sect called Budneansin Poland. His view was that Jesus was morn naturally and was not an appropriate object of worship; he also rejected infant baptism. A biblical scholar, Budney translated the entire Bible from Hebrew, Greek and Latin into Polish (1572). He gained a large following in Lithuania and Poland, where he was denounced at the Synod of Luclavice, Poland, and excommunicated. He was told the excommunication would be lifted if he would renounce his “obnoxious opinions”, but he refused.
3/7/1965 – 600 civil rights marchers who set out from Selma, Alabama, on their way to Montgomery to urge passage of the Voting Rights Act, were attacked by local law enforcement officials at the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Known as “Bloody Sunday”, this event led Martin Luther King to call on clergy of all faiths to join him in Selma. More than 125 Unitarian Universalists answered the call. On 21 March 1965 more than 3,000 marchers left Selma for Montgomery. On 25 March, 25,000 marchers entered Montgomery. On 6 August 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act. Three people were killed during the Selma marches—James Reeb, a Unitarian Universalist minister; Jimmy Lee Jackson, an African-American laborer and church deacon; and Viola Liuzzo, a Unitarian Universalist layperson from Detroit.
3/8/1874 – U.S. president and Unitarian Millard Fillmore died at the age of 74.
3/8/1930 – U.S. president and Unitarian William Howard Taft died at the age of 72.
UUCGB Building Schedule for this week:
Sunday 3/4, 10:00 am worship “Somebody” with Worship Leader Anita Sanders
Sunday 3/4, 11:30 Board of Trustees
Tuesday 3/6, 7:00 pm Taize Service
Wednesday 3/7, 7:00 pm Choir Practice
Sunday 3/11, 10:00 am worship “Power of Music” with Worship Leader Sarah Miller
3/11 Sunday Service with Worship Leader Sarah Miller, “The Power of Music”
3/18 Sunday Service with Mike Ingber, “Paschal’s Wager”
March Office Hours
In the coming week, I will be here, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 6, 7 & 9 March. Please send items for the Order of Service and the Drummer by 9 AM Wednesday firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.
Molly Nolan, Office Administrator
Please send any items you would like listed in next week’s Weekly Drummer Beats to email@example.com 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