The UUS:E Social Justice/Anti-Oppression committee is again collecting needed items for recently released prisoners during the month of November. This program is a UUS:E partnership with Community Partners in Action, an agency which helps recently released prisoners begin their lives again with the best possible start in many areas of living. Visit our table in the UUS:E lobby following Sunday services in November. A list of needed items can be found here.
The Manchester Area Conference of Churches (MACC) Community Pantry needs food and nonfood items (listed below) that cannot be purchased with SNAP (foodstamps) on a weekly basis. The shelves are clear after every pantry session as more and more people are in need of extra help to feed their families.
UUS:E will hold a food drive for MACC from Sunday, October 12th to Sunday, October 19th. Please bring items on the list below to the meeting house and place them in the bins in the lobby.
Questions? Contact UUS:E at (860) 646-5151.
Peanut butter and jelly
Pasta – sauce and parmesan cheese
Canned pasta (like Chef Boyardee)
Canned protein (like tuna and chicken)
Condiments (mayo – mustard, ketchup – salad dressings etc.)
Canned veggies and fruits (corn – green beans – carrots are the favorites)
Canned soups (not tomato – chicken noodle is favorite – chunky soups are popular too)
Snacks & juice boxes
Salt –pepper – sugar
Juice (not grapefruit)
Shampoo & conditioner
Toothpaste & brushes
Household Cleaning supplies
Thank you so much.
Register for the 2014-15 Religious Education classes by filling out the online registration form below. We will see you in September!
The UUS:E Policy Board has created a search committee to locate an interim Director of Religious Education to follow retiring DRE Vicki Merriam. The search committee held a ‘start-up’ meeting on January 23rd with Karen Bellevance-Grace, Director of Faith Formation for the Clara Barton and Mass Bay Districts of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Members of UUS:E’s Interim DRE Search Committee are Clare DiMaiolo, Andrew Clokey, Jennie Bernstein, Walt Willett, Kristal Kallenberg, Monica Van Beusekom, Peter Marotto and Diana Sherman. UUS:E Vice President, Polly Painter, is serving as liaison to the Policy Board. Rev. Josh serves ex officio.
Thank you Interim DRE Search Committee members!
The Interim DRE Search Committee expects to post the job in mid-February, interview candidates in mid- to late-March, and make a final recommendation to the Policy Board in mid-April.
UUS:E’s minister, Rev. Josh Pawelek, appeared on National Public Radio’s “On Point” with host, Tom Ashbrook, on Thursday, December 12th, at 10:00 AM. The show focused on the one-year anniversary of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.
Listen to the show here.
The UUS:E Welcoming Congregation Steering Group (WCSG) would like to hang a rainbow flag on the main level of UUS:E. WSCG members feel strongly that hanging a rainbow flag is a powerful way to communicate to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer visitors that they are welcome at UUS:E—and not only welcome, but safe and free to bring their full selves into our community.
We’d like to get your feedback on hanging a flag. We’ll be holding a congregation-wide conversation on January 5th at 1:00. What do you think? Can you support this gesture? Why or why not? What are your questions? If you can’t make it to the conversation, Rev. Josh is collecting feedback. Please feel free to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 860-646-5151.
In the interest of educating UUS:E members and friends (and anyone visiting this website) about the origins of the rainbow flag as the symbol of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer community, identity and struggle, we offer this brief history:
It was Harvey Milk – activist, visionary, trailblazer, and the first openly gay person to win a high public office in a major American city – as City Supervisor from the Castro District on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors – who challenged fellow activist Gilbert Baker to create a positivesymbol of hope and pride for the gay community.
Empowered by Milk’s challenge, Baker, an artist and drag queen who sewed his own dresses, used eight colors to create the original Rainbow Flags raised at San Francisco Pride on June 25, 1978. According to Baker, the eight colors reflected the diversity of values in the LGBT community: pink represented sexuality; red, life; orange, healing; yellow, the sun; green, nature; blue, art; indigo, harmony; and violet, human spirit.
Baker and his band of volunteers hand-dyed and hand-stitched the materials for the first Rainbow Flags, but the commercial unavailability of hot pink led Baker to an act of artistic compromise which resulted in a seven-striped logo suitable for mass production.
The six-striped version of today’s Rainbow Flag evolved in the wake of Harvey Milk’s November, 1978 assassination, when San Francisco’s LGBT community decided to use Baker’s flag to demonstrate their solidarity and political strength at the 1979 Pride Parade. To enable the equal division of the flag’s colors along the parade route – three colors on one side of the street and three colors on the other, the 1979 Pride Parade Committee eliminated the indigo stripe, leaving the widely available remaining colors of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet.
While tradition dictates flying the Rainbow Flag horizontally, with the red stripe on top, as it would be in a natural rainbow, Gilbert Baker has said: “This flag has no rules. It has no protocol that governs its display. It is the community’s for the taking.”
However it is displayed, the Rainbow Flag, the most visible icon of LGBTQ pride, inspires hope. It is a symbol of hope for unity in inclusiveness, hope for strength in diversity, hope for an end to relentless threats of violence and hate, hope for love, liberation, and equality. “The flag is an action – it’s more than just the cloth and the stripes. When a person puts the Rainbow Flag on [his] car or [his] house, they’re not just flying a flag. They’re taking action.” Action which affirms the inherent worth and dignity of all people, through its enduring symbol of pride, in celebration of hope, love, support, personal safety and welcome to the LGBTQ community.
If “a true flag is not something you can really design . . . [but] is torn from the soul of the people,” then the soul of the people can be mended through love and hope. Choosing to prominently display the Rainbow Flag at UUS:E, we put our faith into action by standing on the side of love and healing with hope.