Come Celebrate LITHA (Summer Solstice)

SunsetJoin the UUS:E Pagan Study Group for a multigenerational observation of Litha

Friday, June 21, 2019, at 7:00 P.M. at the Unitarian Universalist Society: East Sanctuary

All are Welcome!

Litha celebrates the longest day of the year. Come learn about the union of god and goddess at Litha, and the god’s diminishing influence after the solstice. If you are planning to attend, PLEASE RSVP to Peggy Gagne at (860) 646-6828 or We need to know how many to plan for the activity portion of the night. Please bring a light snack to share. The planned activity will be a bit messy, so bring a shirt for cover if you don’t want to get dirty. If you arrive after 7 pm, please wait just inside the doors to the sanctuary so we can welcome you into the circle.

Rob Laurens – Live in Concert

Saturday, June 22 at 7:00 PMRob Laurens

“Rob Laurens culls his naturalistic ballads from the fertile soil of American folk tradition, but his intimate, incisive lyrics embody the best instincts of the contemporary songwriter movement.”—Scott Alarik, Boston Globe

“Rob Laurens has the rare ability to write songs that seem like they’ve always been there. When he steps on stage, you’re drawn into the atmosphere that he creates from the first chord. Witty, engaging, thoughtful, and whimsical — it’s all there, held together by taste, discernment, and an intriguing, original guitar style.”—Dave Palmater, host, Folk Radio WUMB 91.9 FM

Rob has won the New Folk Award for Songwriting at both the Kerrville Folk Festival (TX) and its sister festival, The Columbia River Festival (WA). He has returned to play the main stage at these and many other festivals, including the Strawberry, High Sierra, and Napa Valley Festivals in California. He tours both east and west coasts, playing such clubs as The Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, California, and Club Passim in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Tickets: $15 for adults, $8 for children, youth and students

Call UUS:E at 860-646-5151 to reserve seats, or go online at:

Community Conversation with the Program Council

The Unitarian Universalist Society: East Program Council invites members and friends to join us for one of two discussions:

2:00 PM or 7:00 PM on Thursday, June 27 in the UUS:E Chapel.

The purpose of the event is to invite discussion of current UUS:E committee activities and solicit input on future programs and events to expand the offerings at UUS:E. The Program Council would love to hear your thoughts.

— Kevin Holian-Borgnis and the Program Council

20 Lawmakers

& what their handwriting tells us about them

Are you interested in the drama of current events? Want to learn more about its cast of characters? On June 2, after the second Sunday Service, Carol Lowbeer, professional graphologist, will discuss the handwriting of 20 prominent lawmakers and candidates and tell you what those swirls, loops slants in their writing tell you about their real talents and strengths. Which candidate has the staying power to win the race? Which is over-sensitive? Which lawmaker is the most flexible? The confident appearing legislator may be week-willed and the “organized” candidate may be less dependable than you realized.

Graphology is often used in Europe for candidate selection and reveals traits which may be hard to evaluate, like perseverance, attention to detail and dependability. Carol has analyzed the scripts of thousands of individuals, lectured and taught classes since 1993.

Audience questions are welcome. An entertaining hour is guaranteed in this unique informal workshop. The workshop is from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM in the Chapel Room in the Garden Level. There will be no charge for the workshop to UUS:E members and friends.

Honest Conversations with Muslim Neighbors

Sunday, June 23 at 1:00 PM at Unitarian Universalist Society: East

Who are our Muslim neighbors? What do they believe? How do extremist actions worldwide affect them? Hear Connecticut Muslims share their stories, and respond to questions such as:

Why don’t we hear moderate Muslims speak out against extremism?

Why do some girls & women wear Muslim dress, and others do not?

What does the Qur’an really say about people of other religions?

American Muslims don’t have all the answers, but our guests will respond out of their own experiences, raising issues that concern them as well as us. Together, in conversation, we can promote a more peaceful world for everyone.

ALL are welcome: come for an afternoon of interfaith bridge-building. Bring a friend!

“Honest Conversations” is a collaborative project of: CT Council for Interreligious Understanding (CCIU) the Muslim Coalition of CT and Hartford Seminary

RSVPs / more info: (CCIU)

Memorial Garden Rededication

We Dedicate This Garden

(Rev. Josh Pawelek)

One: As a place to hold the ashes of our deceased loved-ones, our liberal religious siblings, our spiritual ancestors—a place for their spirits to rest…

All: We dedicate this garden.

One: As a place to remind us of our highest values, our Unitarian Universalist principles,

our deepest commitments and our most enduring loves…

All: We dedicate this garden.

One: As a place for silence, for quiet contemplation, for meditation, and for prayer…

All: We dedicate this garden.

One: As a place for communion with Nature, communion with the birds, the deer, the turkeys, the coyotes, the turtles, the trees, the shrubs, the grasses…

All: We dedicate this garden…

One: As a place to experience oneness, to apprehend “the peace of wild things,” the

peace that resides at the heart of creation…

All: We dedicate this garden.

One: As a place to receive our ashes when it is our time to die, a place for our spirits to rest, to sing, to dance, in the midst of all the living things that grace this land with their presence…

All: We dedicate this garden.

One: Amen and blessed be.

Working Towards a Public Option for Health Care

UUS:E’s Rev. Josh Pawelek and Social Justice / Anti-Oppression Committee member Al Benford participated in a meeting on 5/13 at the Governor’s Office in a quiet attempt to build support for a health care public option in CT.  Read the article at CT News Junkie.


Wondering about the Red Dresses?

A few folks were wondering about the red dresses hanging in the UUS:E sanctuary on May 5th. Here’s the explanation from our May newsletter:

Native American women face the highest rates of domestic and sexual violence in the United States. In response, nearly 200 tribal, national, and state organizations are calling on Congress to pass a resolution designating May 5th as the “National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls.” The resolution was drafted in memory of Hanna Harris (Northern Cheyenne) who was murdered July, 2013. The resolution was first introduced in April 2016 on the same day that RoyLynn Rides Horse (Crow) passed away after having been beaten, burned, and left in a field to die. How can we show our support? Wear RED on May 5th and post a photo on social media with the hashtag #NationalDayofAwareness #MMNWG or #MMIW. Furthermore, UUS:E will be hanging a red dress in our sanctuary on May 5th to show solidarity with missing and murdered Native women and girls.

For more information visit the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center.

4/25/19 Action at Wethersfield Police Station

No photo description available.

Hartford Region Congregations Launch GHIAA

Imagine what life in our Greater Hartford region could be like if our religious institutions actually possessed the moral force to make it a more just and equitable place? The Christian Activities Council in North Hartford embarked upon this imaginative task in September 2016 when it convened the inaugural Greater Hartford Sponsoring Committee meeting. Less than three years later, nearly 300 diverse people of faith attended the Greater Hartford Sponsoring Committee’s Winter Organizing Assembly. At 7:00pm on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, Jews, Muslims, Unitarian Universalists, Friends, and a vastly ecumenical group of Christians all filed into Congregation Beth Israel on Farmington Avenue in West Hartford for the Winter Organizing Assembly. In attendance were clergy, lay leaders, trained core team leaders, and those who were simply curious. 

In her address to the multi-faith group seeking to work together to address issues that impact the quality of life in Greater Hartford, Rabbi Andi Fliegel, of the hosting congregation, passionately declared “the differences between us that too often keep us apart, spread thin and powerless will no longer divide us!” To identify issues that “keep us up at night,” core team members coordinated and held over 30 small-group “house meetings.” 

At the end of the evening, those gathered boisterously and enthusiastically voted to name the organization the Greater Hartford Interfaith Action Alliance (GHIAA).

Since the meeting, institutional-based core teams have begun launching house meeting campaigns in their congregations. This coming summer, the body will gather again to affirm a slate of concrete, winnable issues to present at GHIAA’s official launch on Monday, October 28, 2019.

UUS:E’s GHIAA House Meeting Campaign

As part of our UUS:E’s participation in the Greater Hartford Interfaith Action Alliance, we will will be running our own house meeting campaign during May and early June. All UUS:E members and friends are invited to participate in a house meeting organized by our GHIAA core team. Sign-ups will be after services in late April and early May. Please plan to participate in a house meeting. Meet other UUS:E members and friends. Share a meal (or tea and cookies). Tell your story: what concerns you the most about the future of our region? Our stories will be collected and shared with the GHIAA leadership team, who will use them to determine the issues that most unite us across lines of faith, race, class and geography. Then we will develop campaigns to address those issues.

UUS:E House Meetings

Monday May 20, 1:00 to 3:00 PM, at the home of Nancy and Ted Pappas, 338 Spring St., Manchester

Tuesday, May 21at 6:30 PM at the home of Al Benford, 25F Cliffside Dr., Manchester

Wednesday 5/22 at 6:30 PM in the chapel at UUS:E (led by Nicole Bornhorst)

Thursday, 5/23, 4:00 to 5:30, in the UUS:E chapel (led by Rev. Josh Pawelek)

Saturday, May 25th, 2:00 to 3:30, at the home of Marcia Leonard, 366 Ash St., unit 17, Willimantic

Thursday, May 30, 6:30-8:30 PM, at the home of Jim Adams and Sylvia Ounpuu, 48 Stonehedge Lane, Bolton

Sunday, June 2nd, 6:00 PM, at the home of Lisa Sementilli, 7 Greenhurst Rd., West Hartford

Friday, June 14th, 6:00 PM, at the home of Rhona Cohen, 25 South St., New Britain.

If you know you want to participate in one of the House Meetings, listed below, feel free to contact the host and let them know you are planning to attend.

Don’t see a date that works for you, but want to participate? You are more than welcome to host your own house meeting! UUS:E’s core team will provide a facilitator. Contact Rev. Josh for more information at (860) 652-8961 or