The Drummer – Weekly Beats – March 23, 2018

The Drummer
Weekly Beats
March 23, 2018


·        March for Our Lives

Saturday 24 March is the date of March for Our Lives, a march demanding sensible gun regulations and protesting gun violence in our country called for by survivors of the Parkland, FL massacre at Marjory Stonenam Douglas High School. 

The main march is in Washington DC.  There are sibling marches and rallies all over the world!  At last count there are 828 events. 

In CT there are marches and rallies all over the state, some earlier in the day, at midday (Shelton at Veteran’s Memorial Park 12:30) and one candlelight vigil in the evening (at 6:30 pm, 20 Wilton Road, Westport). 

The main CT march in Hartford is stepping off at 12:30.  People from several UU congregations are attending and are trying to meet up and march/rally together. 

Wear your Standing on the Side of Love/Side With Love regalia. 

To find out more about UUs meeting up, call Molly in the office 203-378-1020. 

To find out where and when marches are happening go to


If you take pictures at any March for Our Lives events, please take pictures and send to



·        Calling for SOFT toys for the Sanctuary

To make sure we have a ready supply of toys and quiet fidget items during worship, we are collecting soft toys:  foam building blocks, stuffed animals, coloring books, word game, hidden picture and puzzle books.  No hard plastic or noisemakers will be allowed in the sanctuary.  We will create a sanctuary basket with quiet toys available for use during worship.



·        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 31 March at 10 AM. 


·        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?



·        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, children and RE teachers will join in making PB&J sandwiches and a discussion about prayer. 


Thank you to all the people who donated pasta for class and ultimately the local food bank!


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?

On 3 March, 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  After viewing the video there are reflection questions to engage individually or as part of a small group. 


·         UUA Common Read – Daring Democracy

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 UUA suggested two books.  Interest has been expressed about reading Daring Democracy.  Al Post and Molly Nolan will be finding a couple times for discussion this Sunday after worship.  If you want to weigh in on good dates for yourself please join Al and Molly at coffee hour.


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. 



·        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

Monday 26 March, Dinner Discussion at Wood-n-Tap, 2100 Dixwell Ave, Hamden at 7 pm.  The topic is “Feeling Foolish”. 

Monday 2 April, Social Dinner at Turkish Kebab House, West Haven at 7 pm

Saturday 14 April, Book Discussion , Blithedale Romance by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Monday 16 April, Monthly meeting, main program TBD.  Monthly meetings are held at 7 pm on the 3rd Monday of the month at the Unitarian Society of New Haven.  


For more information about the group and activities at: or



·        Let’s Get Our Tickets for Priscilla Queen of the Dessert

It’s too early to pack our bags and depart for the Australian outback to see the hit musical. “Priscilla Queen of the Desert”, at the Downtown Cabaret Thursday evening, May 3rd, but we should at least be buying our tickets.  Several UUCGB members and friends have told us that they don’t want to miss the bus, so here is what they….OR  you…need to do.  If you want to join the UUCGB table(s)  get a check to Virginia Smith or Debby Parsons, our church delegates to the Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport, payable to CCGB, for $75 per ticket. They will assemble the checks and reserve tables for our group near to one another. 


Otherwise, if you are making reservations for your own party of family or friends, you may visit: and click “events” to reserve seats,  Attendees can bring munchies or a small, picnic supper or purchase in advance gourmet picnic baskets for 2 prepared by students enrolled in CCGB’s Chef and Culinary vocational training program. Proceeds of ticket sales and the sale of gourmet picnic baskets will benefit CCGB’s Youth in Crisis and FEED programs.  As a CCGB member, UUCGB is able to make only a modest membership donation to CCGB, so attending their annual Spring Fling event is how we as a faith community can be more supportive of their vital program initiatives in Bridgeport.



·        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

3/23/1881 – The influential Universalists minister Clarence Russell Skinner was born. He became a secretary of the Universalist Service Commission, professor of applied Christianity and dean of Crane Theological School, and author of numerous religious books.  Skinner who was a pacifist, wrote the Universalist Statement of Social Principles.  He died on August 26, 1949. 

3/25/1965 – Viola Fauver Gregg Liuzzo was murdered in Selma, Alabama, at the age of 39.  She was in Alabama to participate in the freedpm march between Selma and Montgomery, led by Martin Luther King, to secure voting rights for African-Americans. 

3/30/1906 – Dorothy Tilden Spoerl was born in Brooklyn, New York.  She was ordained a Universalist minister in 1929 and later received a D.D. degree from Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago.  Most famous as a religious educator, she represented the Universalists n the Curriculum Committee of the American Unitarian Association in the 1930s and was co-author with Sophia Lyon Fahs of the popular Beginnings of Earth and Sky in 1938.  In 1966, Spoerl became the adult programs editor for the Unitarian Universalist Association.  She died on December 2, 1999. 



UUCGB Building Schedule for this week:   

Sunday 3/25, 10:00 am worship “Prayer” with Worship Leaders Anita Sanders and Ellen Hardy

Sunday 3/25 11:30 pm PB & J Sunday

Tuesday 3/27, 7:00 pm Taize Service

Wednesday 3/28, 7:00 pm Choir Practice

Saturday 3/31, 10:00 am Book Group

Sunday 4/1, 10:00 am worship with Worship Leader Matt Meyer



Upcoming Services:

4/1 Sunday Service with Worship Leader Matt Myer

4/8 Sunday Service with Rev. Erica Richmond



Office Hours Change

New schedule (that should be the permanent schedule) will be Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 am – 1 pm.  Please send items for the Order of Service and the Drummer by 9 AMWednesday to  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