The Drummer – Weekly Beats – April 13, 2018

The Drummer
Weekly Beats
April 13, 2018

“Why In God’s Name Are You Here?”


Come this Stewardship Sunday and be inspired by our friend and fellow traveler in spirit, the Reverend Sara Smith, Senior Minister of the United Congregational Church of Bridgeport whom we always look forward to.

Reverend Smith will suggest some answers to this serious question that you may not have considered. Don’t miss this very special service!



·        Seeking Harvest Festival Pictures

If you have any pictures from Harvest Festival for the last couple of years can you please send to Virginia Smith and/or  Thanks.



·        Calling for SOFT toys for the Sanctuary

So far so good with quieter toys in the Sanctuary, but we need more options to maintain our recent successes.  We still need to expand our collection of 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 games, 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.  We need a toy basket to house our Sanctuary Toy collection.  If you would like to contribute to this effort, but not actually shop for the needed toys, please contact Molly in the church office to make a contribution towards purchase of soft toys for the sanctuary.  Thanks for your generosity!



·         General Assembly

General Assembly (GA) is the annual meeting of our Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). Attendees worship, witness, learn, connect, and make policy for the Association through democratic process. Anyone may attend; congregations must certify annually to send voting delegates.  UUCGB has delegate openings.  UUCGB has funds available to assist with registration expense.  You can attend in person or online.  You can be a delegate on site or off site.  Registration rates change on 1 May. for all pages related to General Assembly.  Be sure to check out the GA Prep Resources if you are considering going to GA.  If you would be a first time attendee or even if not, check out


If you are interested in attending General Assembly or have questions, please contact Anita Sanders for more information.



·        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 Requests

Fir those following this thread, we are working on a ride arrangement for Mr. Penyak’s friend.  Will let you know what develops. 


A second request has come in from a gentleman who lives in Harbour Towers, 376 East Washington Ave, Bridgeport.  He has no transportation but would like to join UUCGB. 


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 head to the Children’s Chapel for class.  This week we will consider generosity.


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?  Ple ase contact Karen or Molly at



·        Religious Exploration for Adults

·Would a daytime discussion or class appeal?

We could do the Common Read or other Adult Religious Exploration option.  Maybe a more social get together?  If you would like to attend such a gathering or help organize, please contact Molly in the church office. 


·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 after worship.  If you want to weigh in with good dates for yourself to join in the discussion(s), please talk to Al or Molly at coffee hour. 


Would you like to plan or be part of a worship service but maybe not ready to be a Worship Weaver?  A worship service on this general topic is slated for early July.  You can get your toes wet helping us shape the service.  


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. 



·        UU Church in Meriden’s Youth Group Talent Show

UUCM’s Youth Group is looking for talented persons of any age to participate in their talent show on Saturday June 3, 2018.  They are still working out some details but wanted to put out  some “feelers” to see if people are interested in participating and/or coming to the show. Talent may be any age and UUCM is asking the performances be under 15 minutes each. UUCM Youth Group is also asking that people either come in person, or send a video of their performance for review. These are not “try outs” rather the intention of the pre-performance review is for e talent show teams to get a general idea of what to expect so they may organize the show as best as possible. If your congregation is interested please let us know so that we can send a formal invitation and fliers to your church. For more information or if you have any questions please call Deidre directly at: 860-278-6088.



·        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

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: st or



·        Let’s Get Our Tickets for Priscilla Queen of the Dessert on May 3rd

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.



·         8th annual Afternoon Tea and Luncheon

Our 8th annual Afternoon Tea and Luncheon will take place on Saturday, June 9th from 12pm-2pm. For those who have not yet attended, our tea is a lovely afternoon of fancy hats, finger sandwiches and desserts, teas from around the world, and most importantly, the company of family and friends!

Each year, volunteers serve as table host/esses. Those volunteers are responsible for decorating their tables with linens and dishes, and inviting guests to sit at their tables. Table host/esses are not responsible for providing all the food for their guests.

This event is not just for ladies, and we would love to have a table host….though no gentlemen have ever volunteered. Perhaps this is the year!

The cost for this event is $12 per adult, and $5 per child 12 and under. If you would like to volunteer as a table host/ess or host, please email me at  Lo ok for a link to RSVP to this event in the coming weeks.



·         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

4/14/1840 – Unitarian minister Frederick Gray was chosen agent (later called secretary) of the (Unitarian) Sunday School Society, the first of a long line of paid religious educators in the top leadership position of the Society.  

4/15/1858 – The Canton Theological School in Canton, New York opened.  Universalists founded the school as part of St. Lawrence University.  In its first year, Canton enrolled a total of four students.   

4/19/1839 –Eliza Jane Reed Sunderland was born in Huntsville, Illinois.  She was the wife of Jabez Thomas Sunderland, a Unitarian minister.  Both of them were Baptist at the time of their marriage but became Unitarian in 1872.  Sunderland was prominent as a religious educator, reformer and lecturer.  She led the way for women to become professors at public universities and was a scholar of world religion.  She also taught and was principal at a high school in Aurora, Illinois.  In 1892, the University of Michigan awarded Sunderland a Ph.D. in philosophy and psychology.  A leader in local church work and in the denomination, Sunderland often preached in Unitarian and Universalist churches.  She served as president of the Women’s Western Unitarian Conference from 1882 to 1887 and represented Unitarian women of America at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago, Illinois, in 1893.  Eliza Jane Sunderland died on March 3, 1910.



UUCGB Building Schedule for this week:   

Sunday 4/15, 10:00 am worship “Why In God’s Name Are You Here?” with Worship Leader Rev. Sara Smith

Sunday 4/15, 11:30 am Worship Weavers 

Tuesday 4/17, 7:00 pm Taize Service

Wednesday 4/18, 7:00 pm Choir Practice

Sunday 4/22, 10:00 am worship “ I Find Peace…” a collage service with Worship Leader Al Post


Upcoming Services:

4/22 Sunday Service with Worship Leader Al Post

4/29 Sunday Service with Worship Leader Peter Morse 


Office Hours Change

Slight change in office hours this week.  Friday 13 April the office will be open 1-5 pm instead of in the morning.  Otherwise the regular hours are:  Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday,  10 am – 1 pm.  Please send items for the Order of Service and the Drummer by 9 AM Wednesday to




Molly Nolan, Office Administrator


Please send any items you would like listed in next week’s Weekly Drummer Beats to byW ednesday at 9 am!  The weekly email is sent every Thursday evening!



Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Bridgeport
275 Huntington Road
Stratford, CT 06614