The Drummer – Weekly Beats – March 9, 2018

The Drummer
Weekly Beats
March 9, 2018



·        Spring Forward

Remember to set your clocks FORWARD one hour this Saturday night.  Daylight Savings Time starts this Sunday.



·        Dry Pasta Needed for RE

We postponed our Purim Celebration for one week.  Gragger (noisemakers) for the story are still needed.  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).



·        Silent Goods and Services Auction

Going once, going twice.  Yes, it is the return of the Silent Goods and Services Auction.  To be held in the Sanctuary starting in mid May and running through the first Sunday in June.  We need YOUR donations to make this popular event a success. 


Dinners, beach trips, birthday cakes, bottles of wine, trips to antique shows and quilts are all items that will make us some money.  So email Jennifer at  with your questions or donations. Forms will be available in the Sanctuary.  So start thinking….What can you donate?



·        UUCGB donates to UUSC via Guest At Your Table

For the first time in recent years UUCGB participated in the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee’s annual Guest At Your Table program.  Through GAYT Congregations invite families and individual to explore the work of the UU Service Committee over an extended period.  UUCGB has pooled all the contributions and has sent $252.10 to the UU Service Committee.  Thank you to all who contributed.



·        Ride Request

Hi. I am, Lee Penyak, a UU in Kalamazoo, MI. One of my best friends is a new resident in Stratford Assisted Living. He is about 63 and recently had a stroke but is improving quickly. He is smart and a good person. He would like to attend UU services but doesn’t have transportation. I would be pleased to pay for someone to give him a ride if you know of anyone. Please contact Molly in the church office if you or someone you know is able to help.



·        Religious Education for Children

After the service, and a short refreshment break that will include hamantaschen, 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 (noisemakers).  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 a local 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” on an ongoing basis.  We hope to have a congregation wide discussion of RE for children and youth in the next couple months.  Currently, 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


Maybe Montessori RE?

This past Saturday Molly Nolan attended a training on Spirit Play, a religious education delivery system based in the Montessori Method for UU religious education.  As we explore whether or not Spirit Play might work here, it would be helpful to know if we have teachers familiar with the Montessori Method.  If you are trained in Montessori and would be available to teach one or more Sundays per month or could assist the RE Team in setting up the Spirit Play room, please contact Molly in the church office.



·        Religious Exploration for Adults

Two UUA based opportunities

  • 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 videos can be found at international/torda450/ theological-reflection.  After viewing the video there are reflection questions to engage individually or as part of a small group. 


  • 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.



·        UUCGB Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The book for March is Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset.  Find the translation by Tiina Nunally (Ellen got it for her my Kindle from Amazon for $14.99) and recommends the Nunally translation because, “it is a very good and easily read translation.”  The next meeting is Saturday 24 March at 10 AM. 



·        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


“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”


For more information about the group and activities at: or



·        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 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

3/10/1660 – A conference between Roman Catholics and Unitarians took place at Roznow, Poland.  Andrew Wissowatius took the lead for the Unitarians.  July 10 of the same year had been fixed as the date by which all Unitarians who refused to conform to Catholic religion would have to leave the country.  John Szafraniec Wieolopolski, a senator of the kingdom, presided over the conference.  He said, “If all Hell had been let loose, the whole infernal host could not have defended the cause of the Socinians more valiantly than Wissowatius had done standing alone.”  The Unitarians lost the debate and they were forced to leave the kingdom in what became known as the Great Exile.   

3/12/1572 – Valentine Smalcius was born in Gotha, Thuringia (now Germany).  A Unitarian leader, he was active in the Socinian church through his friendship with Faustus Socinus and became pastor of the Socinian Church in Rakow, Poland.  Smalcius fought for tolerance of other Protestant groups such as Lutherans and Mennonites in Poland.  He wrote many distinguished works, including On the Divinity of Jesus Christ, Treatise on the Church, and The Mission of the Ministers.  He died on December 8, 1622. 

3/13/1791 – Thomas Paine published The Rights of Man.  Paine was not a member of a Unitarian or Universalist church, but his plea for human rights and his subsequent book, The Age of Reason, had a strong influence on the movement.



UUCGB Building Schedule for this week:   

Sunday 3/11, 10:00 am worship “Musical Notes” with Worship Leader Sarah Miller

Monday 3/12, 6:00 pm Membership Team

Tuesday 3/13, 7:00 pm Taize Service

Wednesday 3/14, 7:00 pm Choir Practice

Sunday 3/18, 10:00 am worship “Pascal’s Wager” with Worship Leader Mike Ingber

Sunday 3/18 11:30 pm Worship Weavers


Upcoming Services:

3/18 Sunday Service with Worship Leader Mike Ingber, “Paschal’s Wager”



March Office Hours

In the coming week, I will be here, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 13, 14 & 16 March.    Please send items for the Order of Service and the Drummer by 9 AM Wednesday  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