Peas & Love Community Garden

Calling All Green Thumbs! 

We will be holding the first organizational meeting for the Unitarian Universalist Society: East  “Peas & Love Community Garden” on Sunday, March 25, 1:00-2:30 in the Spirit Play Room. Produce grown will be donated to a local food pantry, and we need volunteers to help out. Interested in learning more? Bring your skills, energy, and positive spirit! Don’t have the time to volunteer? We will happily accept any tools you no longer need (eg., shovel, spade, fork, flower pots, etc.). Contact Mary Lawrence, wellonwheels@hotmail.com860-985-1645 for more information.

Sunday, March 25, 1:00-2:30 in the Spirit Play Room.

Emergency Preparedness #5

Emergency Preparedness #5


Our newly created Emergency Operations Plan defines actions to be taken when a critical situation occurs on the property. But the plan is useless unless people know what to do!


When an emergency strikes, no one will know where the plan is located! How do we use the plan if we can’t find it? Training, yes, but did you know there is a better way to learn than by listening to a boring lecture? Exercises!


Do you remember when you first learned to drive a car? No one would think of taking a driver’s test after just reading an instruction manual. You first take driving lessons. And practice driving.

We will n0w shift our training of the Emergency Response Plan by using exercises. The goal is to have more than 80% of the members receive this training in the months ahead. There will be multiple opportunities offered.

  • Tabletop Exercises—where a group talks through responses to scenarios. Time is allowed for discussion and the written plan is used to explore alternatives.
  • Functional Exercises—groups act out responses without looking at the plan. No one can make a mistake, however, because guidance will be provided along the way.

Exercises can be fun! They also will save lives and reduce the risks of property damage. Come join!

Spiritually Assisting at the Moment of Death

Clear Light Society

Sunday, March 25, 1-2 PM

On Sunday, March 25, 1-2 PM, Clear Light Society will present “Spiritually Assisting at the Moment of Death.” In this free, one-hour demonstration, Clear Light director of training Melissa Lewis, RN BSN, will:

  • Offer simple, effective techniques that foster a deep and meaningful connection with loved ones;
  • Introduce the Clear Light Meditation for the Dying (recognized as a terma, or mind treasure, by the Venerable Trungpa Rinpoche); and
  • Speak to the preparation of conscious awareness for the “dawning of the Great Light” at the moment of death.

Perfectly suited for the UU community, these practices are personalized to an individual’s own beliefs and traditions. With interest from the community, Melissa will offer a four-part training at Unitarian Universalist Society: East for those who want to gain further understanding and facility in the practices.

On Becoming a Sanctuary Congregation

With Rev. Paul Fleck

Sunday, March 18, 2:30 PM

Shall the Unitarian Universalist Society: East designate itself as a “Sanctuary Congregation?” This is a question our congregation is going to be asking very carefully over the next few months. Members of the UUS:E Social Justice / Anti-Oppression Committee, as well as other members of the congregation, have allied themselves with groups from Manchester, Hartford, and around the state to advocate for immigration justice in Connecticut and the United States. We have been present for deportation hearings, rallies and vigils. We held an informational forum in January at UUS:E. But there is more we can do as a congregation. Frankly, we have power we are not using in support of immigration justice. We can take the step of declaring ourselves a Sanctuary Congregation. This may mean providing sanctuary to a person or a family who wishes to avoid deportation. But it can mean many other things as well. In order to learn more about what it could mean for us, we have invited the Rev. Paul Fleck of New Sanctuary CT to address UUS:E members and friends. Please bring your questions and concerns on Sunday afternoon, March 18 from 2:30 to 4:00 at UUS:E. We hope you can attend. If you need childcare, please contact Annie Gentile in the UUS:E office at 860-646-5151.

Bearing Witness on the West Bank

Two Perspectives on the
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Part II: 4/8 at 2 PM and Part III: 4/22 at 1 PM

In Part I of this series, held in March, Bishop John and Pamela Selders shared their recent trip to the West Bank, Israel, and Jordan and facilitated a discussion about how the Palestinian-Israeli conflict takes a toll on our humanity.


In Part II, we welcome Rabbi Richard Plavin (Rabbi Emeritus of Temple Beth Sholom B’nai Israel in Manchester), who will share his experience of life in Israel and his perspective on Israeli security and democracy.






In Part III, we will have a conversation within the UUS:E community to process what we’ve learned, to deepen our collective understanding, and to consider further avenues of study and engagement.
Co-Sponsored with the Social Justice / Anti-Oppression Committee
Reverend Josh Pawelek,, Deena Steinberg,

Sundays, Part 2: 4/8, 2:00 – 4:00 PM, Part 3: 4/22, 1:00 – 3:00 PM

Questions? Contact Rev. Josh Pawelek at or (860) 652-8961.

Unitarian Universalist Society: East

If you need childcare, please contact Annie Gentile in the UUS:E office at (860) 646-5151.

Waterbirds in Love

 On view during February at Unitarian Universalist Society: East. Reception on Friday, February 16 from 6:30 to 8:30PM

To glide through the water and rise in the air, what can be more enchanting? Carol Lowbeer’s new exhibit, “Waterbirds in Love,” opened at Unitarian Universalist Society: East on February 1 and captures this enchantment with many pictures of dazzling, colorful ducks, swans, and geese in action. The water birds perform “spirited “courtship” dances to impress each other while they pair up for their annual rituals.


A reception on Friday, February 6, which is open to all ages, will also feature a continuing running slideshow with 50 species of waterfowl from Connecticut, the U.S. and 25 different countries in varying stages of courtship behavior. Mandarin ducks, King Eiders, Cinnamon Teals, Chiloe Wigeons & other pairs dance and prance on land & water.  Many endangered species are included.

Additional photos, books, and cards will be on sale during the reception. 40% of all proceeds will be donated to Unitarian Universalist Society: East.

During the reception will be a continually running colorful widescreen musical slideshow featuring more water birds behavior–from the first shy interest, to wild water displays & head pumping. Ultimately ducklings, cygnets and goslings arrive which make up the “new families.”

There is an educational component to the exhibit as well. Each bird, along with its behavior, origin and habits accompanies the exhibit pictures.  Often included is an entertaining commentary on Carol’s experiences with the birds. There are also colorful fact sheets on Ducks, Swans and Geese available to read.

This is a family event and children are welcome.

Carol Lowbeer, a UUS:E member since 2002 has a special interest in photographing animals “doing what comes naturally!”  She is a graduate of DEEP’s Master Wildlife Certification program and exhibits widely in libraries & nature centers. Carol photographed the birds featured in the exhibit over a period of five years in 3 conservation sanctuaries, ponds, 2 zoos and in the wild.  Her photo collection of 75 waterfowl species can be viewed at her web gallery:

Click here for the poster.

Emergency Preparedness #4

Emergency Preparedness #4

Medical Emergencies

Our newly authorized Emergency Operations Plan defines actions to be taken when a critical situation occurs on the property. This “all-hazards plan” identifies twelve situations that could risk personal safety or property damage. Each emergency situation is designated as an annex with specific instructions. Let’s look at Annex C: Medical Emergencies.

Did You Know?

In a case of cardiac arrest, an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) can save a life! There is one AED unit in the facility. Did you know it is located in the lobby, low on the left wall as you come in through the entrance? Did you know that there is no lock on the glass door and anyone can easily open it? Did you know that when opened, a tone sounds to simply indicate the door is open? This tone is not connected to any emergency response service or 911 call.

Do You Know When There is a Medical Emergency…

…the following procedures are to be followed?

  1. Remain calm. Assess the ability of the ill or injured person to speak or react to painful stimulus.
  2. If unresponsive, manage the airway and determine if the person is breathing and has a pulse.
  3. If breathing and/or a pulse is not present, immediately have someone call 911 and begin CPR.
  4. Have someone bring the automated external defibrillator (AED) to the patient. Initiate its use following the audible instructions that the device will provide.
  5. If breathing and a pulse are present, assess the patient for any open wounds. If bleeding is present, put direct pressure over the wound to control external blood flow.
  6. If there are any fractures including possible fractures in the head and neck, call 911.
  7. Keep the patient comfortable. Anyone with first aid or EMS training can begin appropriate positioning and fracture care.
  8. If the person has no signs of trauma, is alert and refuses treatment, call 911 for advice before allowing the person to deny an ambulance response and go on their own.

Emergency Preparedness #3

Emergency Preparedness #3

Fire or Smoke

Our newly authorized Emergency Operations Plan defines actions to be taken when a critical situation occurs on the property.  This “all hazards plan” identifies twelve situations that could risk personal safety or property damage.  Each emergency situation is designated as an annex with specific instructions.  Let’s look at Annex B: Fire or Smoke


In addition to the pull fire alarm boxes at both front entrances, there are several others placed throughout the building.  Did you know where they are?


The following procedures are to be followed:

  1. If there is a risk to personal safety or property damage, call 911 AND pull the nearest fire alarm box.
  2. If you or anyone else has their clothes on fire, Drop to the ground, and Roll a short distance to extinguish the flames. Use blankets or other clothing to smother the fire if needed.  If available, running cold water over the skin is appropriate to treat small burns.
  3. Fire extinguishers should be used by a person who is trained in their use.
  4. When the room and area near the fire or smoke has been evacuated, close all doors and windows to slow its spread.
  5. Make an announcement throughout the building to evacuate.
  6. Follow the details defined earlier (See November’s Bulletin #1) and evacuate
  7. Once you have gone to your car, stay in the parking lot. Fire trucks will use our exit driveway to get to the facility, and it must be kept clear of cars.


Emergency Preparedness #2

Emergency Preparedness #2
Electrical Outage

Our newly authorized Emergency Operations Plan defines actions to be taken when a critical situation occurs on the property. This “all hazards plan” identifies twelve situations that could risk personal safety or property damage. Each emergency situation is designated as a separate annex with specific instructions. Let’s first look at Annex A: Electrical Outage


If the power goes out while people are in the building, it might be caused by our circuit breakers. Did you know where the two main circuit breakers are located so you can check? One is inside the storage room off the back of the sanctuary where the chairs and tables are stored. The other is in the Mechanical Room, opposite the downstairs kitchen. Before entering these areas, check first if there is smoke coming from behind the doors. An electrical fire could result from a short circuit. Check for smoke and feel the door to see if it is hot before entering


The following procedures are to be followed:

  1. If the building is occupied, check to see if the cause is internal and may pose a risk. Check the circuit breakers to see if there is a short circuit or an electrical fire. Reset the breakers if they have tripped.
  2. If there is an internal safety hazard, call 911.
  3. Do not run water (faucets or toilets) to maintain remaining water pressure. The water pump does not function without power. Check the plan, Annex K: Loss of Water Supply for more instructions.
  4. If an electrical fire is discovered, fire extinguishers can be used by a person trained in their use.
  5. If smoke or fire is found evacuate the building after pulling the fire alarm. See the previous Emergency Preparedness article #1 for details.
  6. Close all doors and windows.
  7. If the outage is throughout the neighborhood or community, notify the power company, and then the sexton.

Emergency Preparedness #1

Emergency Preparedness #1

Our newly created Emergency Operations Plan defines actions to be taken when a critical situation occurs on the property. This “all hazards plan” identifies twelve situations that could risk personal safety or property damage. Each emergency situation is designated as a separate annex with specific instructions.


In several annexes, an evacuation of the building may be required. When an evacuation is ordered, fire and police responders will be on the way. Did you know that many fire trucks cannot come to the building using the entrance driveway? The slope at the top so too great for many trucks. For this reason, fire apparatus will come to us using the exit driveway! The exit driveway must be kept clear! Once you reach your car in the parking lot, do not drive off the property until directed by responding fire and police officials.


The following procedures are to be followed:

  1. IF NOT during Sunday services:
  2. All occupants are to exit the building and go to their cars. Then see second paragraph (c), below
  3. IF DURING Sunday services:
  4. Children and staff on the lower level will leave the building at the nearest exit.

That group will assemble together a safe distance away from the exit.

ii,  Adult leaders will take separate small groups of children at intervals up to the front of the building.

iii. Adults upstairs will use the main exits to leave the building.

Parents of children who are in RE classes will assemble as a group a safe distance near the front exits until their children are brought to them.

  2. Parents with children, and all adults will go to their cars in the parking lot and remain there until all the fire apparatus arrive. Many of the larger trucks will enter the property down the exit driveway and must not find cars backed up blocking their way.