Birth of the Báb — Baha’i Celebration at UUS:E

birth-of-the-babAs part of the Connecticut Council for Interreligious Understanding’s series, “The Basics of Our Faith: What We Believe and What We Do,” UUS:E will host the Manchester area Baha’i community’s “Birth of the Báb” Holy Day celebration on Tuesday, November 1st  from 6 – 8 p.m. All are welcome and enthusiastically encouraged to attend. For more information, click on this link: cciu-houses-of-worship-visits-bahai-fall-2016

Read more about the Báb here

Learn more about the Baha’i faith here.

Learn more about the CT Council for Interreligious Understanding here.

Guinea Pigs Benefit Concert

Guinea Pigs Benefit ConcertFriday, October 21. It is because of the generosity of people like Sandy Johnson and her band, the Guinea Pigs, and all of the months of work by our cadre of dedicated volunteers that the Manchester Community Refugee Resettlement Group will soon be helping a family make their home in our community. Thank you All.

Community Conversation on Black Lives Matter — October 30th, 2:00 PM

dsc_2065The congregation of Unitarian Universalist Society: East (UUS:E) in Manchester will hold a community conversation on Black Lives Matter on Sunday afternoon, October 30th at 2:00 PM at 153 West Vernon St. in Manchester. All are welcome.

The UUS:E congregation voted earlier this year to support the Black Lives Matter movement.  Unitarian Universalists have a strong tradition of social justice engagement and a commitment to civil rights for oppressed peoples.  The national Unitarian Universalist Association has also committed numerous times to supporting the Black Lives Matter movement. 

#BlackLivesMatter is a liberation movement responding to Black peoples’ collective experience of oppression in the United States today. Co-Founder Alicia Garza says, “when we say Black Lives Matter, we are talking about [all] the ways in which Black people are deprived of our basic human rights and dignity. It is an acknowledgement Black poverty and genocide is state violence. It is an acknowledgment that 1 million Black people … locked in cages in this country—one half of all people in prisons or jails—is an act of state violence.  It is an acknowledgment that Black women continue to bear the burden of a relentless assault on our children and our families and that assault is an act of state violence.”

“As majority White Unitarian Universalists, we can at the very least understand that far too many Black people and other People of Color feel unheard, disrespected, forgotten, marginalized, penalized, wounded and, far too often, killed by our systems,” said Rev. Joshua Pawelek in a sermon earlier this year.

At the October 30th community conversation, Rev. Pawelek and others will discuss what the congregation’s commitment to the Black Lives Matter movement means, and then entertain questions and dialogue.


Black Lives Matter Sign Dedication

All welcome! We’ll place a Black Lives Matter road sign on our property along West Vernon St. at 12:30 p.m., Sunday, October 9.

Watch “Defying the Nazis: The Sharp’s War” online now!

sharp-warThe new documentary “Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War” premiered on September 20th on PBS.  3.2 million people tuned in, and we hope you were one of them. If not, it is now possible to watch it online. Unitarians Waitstill and Martha Sharp courageously answered a call to go to Europe in the months leading up to WWII. They were instrumental in saving hundreds of lives. This is their story. This is our story!

Watch “Defying the Nazis: The Sharp’s War”.

Rev. Drew Moeller settles into the Unitarian Universalist Society of Bangor, ME

Unitarian Universalist Society of Bangor Shawl Ministry with Rev. Drew Moeller

The Rev. Drew Moeller poses with the Shawl Ministry knitters at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Bangor, ME. He will preach his first sermon on September 11. They are a great congregation and would love to have you visit.

Attending General Assembly as an Armchair Traveler

UUA General Assembly

Attending General Assembly as an Armchair Traveler

General Assembly 2016 AttendeesAre you interested in doing some armchair traveling? The four members of UUS:E who attended the General Assembly of Unitarian Universalist Congregations (GA) in Columbus OH in June would like to take you on a journey right in the comfort of your home. You can see videos and read articles about everything described in this article—and much more—at

This year’s delegates were Stan and Sue McMillen, and Ted and Nancy Pappas. Among us we have a couple of centuries of UU experience, but we still find that a five-day gathering of thousands of UUs can be challenging, moving, inspiring and exciting.

The heart-opening experience started with the Banner Procession, where our elegant satin chalice moved among nearly 300 other congregational standards. “The opening remarks from Rev. William Barber were overwhelmingly inspirational and struck at the heart of our nation’s oppressive racism, sexism and anti-LGBT attitudes,” says Stan.

GA participants were lucky enough to hear from Rev. Barber again, along with Jewish and UCC leaders, at a rally and public witness entitled State of Emergence: Faith Filled People Rally for Racial Justice. Many who attended said it had the music and pacing of a revival. “The speakers were articulate and emotional; very moving. There was a very large crowd in attendance and it felt like we were cohesive in our focus on the topic and directions to take,” says Sue

Challenge Yourself

During that welcoming celebration, UUA President Rev. Peter Morales, asked participants to challenge themselves during GA – to get out of their comfort zone and try something entirely new. For Ted, that new experience was a workshop on The Spirituality of Hip Hop. “I made a conscious choice to go into something entirely new, and learned that hip hop is a contemporary, valid language that speaks to members of many cultures,” Ted says. “It’s important to understand that conversation if we want to have real communication.”

Those who attended the fantastic public worship on Sunday morning heard some of that communication, as Dr. Glen Thomas Rideout provided moving and spiritual commentary in counterpoint with the glorious GA Choir that he was leading. This was one of the highlights of the entire GA, and is well worth watching on line!

Defending Our Democratic Principles

Every other year, delegates choose a Congregational Study/Action Issue of broad national significance for a four-year period of study and action with opportunities for congregational and district comment. At the 2016 GA, delegates chose “The Corruption of our Democracy” ( Congregations study this topic and take actions that raise awareness and work toward a more representative governance. At the same time, we are entering Year 3 of the cycle for “Escalating Inequality,” which was a theme throughout many of the workshops and worship experiences.

The delegates also chose three Actions of Immediate Witness, statements that express the conscience of the GA at which they are passed. The final text will be posted by the UUA in August: (1) Expressing solidarity with Muslims; (2)-Advocating gun reform following the Pulse nightclub massacre, and (3) Affirming support for transgender people. Once these are published, UU leaders at the local, regional and national levels “may use them as a basis for public statements on the matter and are urged to act on them.”

New Leadership for the UUA

At the 2017 GA in New Orleans, UUs will vote for a new president to serve as the denomination’s chief executive officer for a six-year term. Similar to American political conventions, delegates are instructed by their home congregations to vote for a particular candidate. We attended a forum to hear from the candidates, who all have great ideas for our faith community: Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, Rev. Alison Miller and Rev. Jeanne Pupke. Take a look at the video on line at, read the coverage in the UU World and watch for opportunities to hear more directly from the candidates – they will be visiting each region and providing webinars where they answer our questions!

A Huge Kaleidoscope

Finally, there is no way to summarize the experiences the four of us had at GA. We went to a reception honoring Martin Luther King III, attended more than 20 workshops (collectively) and reconnected with former UUS:E members –including Bailey Saddlemire, a high school junior who will be one of two youth observers to the UUA national board!

One More Snapshot

angels GA 2016Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas sent a small number of protesters to the Columbus Convention Center to protest against UU support for LGBTQ people and abortion rights. Stan and Sue attended the counter-demonstration with hundreds of other UUS, including young people wearing angel wings sent by the Orlando UU congregation. Stan describes it: “As we marched to the site where Westboro had assembled, we sang and chanted “Love Wins” until the Westboro folks walked away. It was very moving.”

We hope to share some of this at the UU:E worship service on September 25. But please experience this for yourself, by looking at the workshops and worship services on line, and planning to attend the New Orleans General Assembly, June 21-25, 2017.

Leah Coloff joins UUS:E for Worship, July 31st

Leah Coloff

Leah Coloff

The extraordinary cellist, singer/songwriter and composer, Leah Coloff, will join UUS:E for Sunday morning worship on July 31st at 10:00 AM.

Ms. Coloff and Rev. Josh Pawelek will collaborate on an exploration of the spiritual personality of summer.

Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Ms. Coloff’s classical roots collide with 70’s rock and a pioneer spirit. Creating songs and arrangements that are honest, sensual, funny, brutal, pissed-off, beautiful and chilly sweet, her voice and virtuoso cello playing distinguish her own and other composer’s work. Leah began her studies with Ray Davis, principal cellist of The Seattle Symphony, continuing with Irene Sharp at The San Francisco Conservatory of Music, followed by Graduate studies with Bernard Greenhouse at The New England Conservatory of Music. She has worked with composers such as Philip Glass, Joel Thome, Sean Friar and Michael Gordon. She is the cellist for The Source (New Amsterdam), by Ted Hearne, selected one of the top 10 classical recordings of  2015 by The New York Times and The New Yorker.  And she appears on Ted Hearne’s Outlanders, (New Amsterdam) as cellist, spotlighted vocalist and composer of the interlude Dirty to Love.

Leah is an artist in residence at Here arts, commissioned to create a multi-media theatrical work from her most recent album, This Tree, about family, legacy, loss and love. She is a regular performer at the Obie Award winning Secret City, the cellist for the Scorchio String Quartet and has played with many wonderful musicians including, Trey Anastasio, David Bowie, Michael Cerveris, Mark Mulcahy, Rufus Wainwright, and Linda Thompson. For more information visit her website:

Special Performances of Twelfth Night

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! The Bard has come to UUS:E!

Join us for performances of Shakespeare’s shakespeareboisterously hilarious comedy TWELFTH NIGHT, on Saturday, July 16, in the Meeting Room at 8 PM, and on Sunday, July 17, outside on the lawn at 2 PM. There is no charge, but a goodwill offering will be accepted. Email Jessica at with any questions, and we hope to see you there!

Interfaith Vigil for Orlando

Join  Muslim, Jewish, Christian and Unitarian Universalist leaders for a

vigil in honor of the victims of Sunday’s mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando


Wednesday, June 15th at 7:00 PM

Unitarian Universalist Society: East

153 West Vernon St., Manchester, CT

All are welcome. 


For information call (860) 646-5151 or email