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: https://carollowbeer.smugmug.com

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.



Hurricane Relief Collection — October 1st

On Sunday morning, October 1st, UUS:E is dedicating its entire offering to hurricane relief efforts.

One half of UUS:E’s October 1st collection will be dedicated to the Connecticut-based Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief Network, which was established in the wake of Hurricane Irma, and is even more critical in the wake of Hurricane Maria’s devastation. Many of Connecticut’s nearly 300,000 Puerto Rican residents remain closely tied to their families on the island and are looking for ways to assist their loved ones. In light of this need, numerous Connecticut non-profit agencies have come together to form The Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief Network with the help of the Hispanic Federation to serve as the fiduciary as the network develops. The “Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief Network” is comprised of the CT Puerto Rican Agenda, The Center for Latino Progress, CICD Hartford Puerto Rican Day Parade, and The San Juan Center, working in tandem with the Hispanic Federation and the CT General Assembly’s Puerto Rican Caucus.

One half of UUS:E’s Otober 1st collection will be dedicated to the two Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) funds. The UUA’s Hurricane Irma Recovery Fund assists congregations, including in the U.S. Virgin Islands, in repairing hurricane damage, and also in responding to their members’ and their community’s efforts to recover. The Hurricane Harvey Recovery Fund is a joint effort of the UUA and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC). Half of the money raised will go to at-risk populations served by UUSC partners in the region; the other half will support Unitarian Universalist congregations and members of those congregations most affected by the storm.

Checks can be made out to UUS:E with “Hurricane Relief” written in the memo line. 

For those who would also like to make donations of material goods to Puerto Rican recovery efforts, there are two opportunities to do so in Manchester in the coming days and weeks. 

First, for the next two weeks, downtown Manchester businessman, Carlos Ortiz, owner of Sol de Bourinquen, Jr. Bakery at 856 Main Street is helping to coordinate donations to the storm victims in his native Puerto Rico. A wide variety of items including but not limited to: water, flash lights and batteries, nonperishable food items, diapers and clean clothing in good condition are needed.  Donations may be dropped off at his bakery located at 856 Main St., Manchester, CT during normal business hours.  (Mon.– closed; Tues.- Fri. 6am -6pm; Sat. 7am-4pm; Sun. 7am-3pm. Questions? Call Carlos at 860 801-2099.

Finally, United for a Safe and Inclusive Community — Manchester is collecting donations at the Lutz Children’s Museum until Saturday, September 30th. Please bring your donations to the Lutz this Wednesday to Friday between 9am – 5 pm, or Saturday from 12 noon – 4:30 pm. They are asking for the following items:

Portable water purifiers 
Water filtration devices 
Batteries, all sizes 
Beans (canned)
Tomato sauce (canned) 
Sanitary products MaxiPads
Mosquito /bug repellent 
Rubbing alcohol 
Gloves (disposable) 
LED lanterns 
Hand wipes / sanitizer
Sleeping bags





for the

Circle of Race Unity Meets at UUS:E

On Tuesday evening, May 31st, at the Unitarian Universalist Society: East in Manchester, the ‘Circle of Race Unity’ (CRU) team facilitated a public dialogue on race and racism. Through meaningful conversations CRU believes people will learn to be respectful of others, accept their diversity as a benefit, and appreciate their contributions to humanity’s social well-being. The event attracted thirty participants from seven surrounding towns.

CRU is a diverse group dedicated to improving communication between people of different cultures, religions, races, nationalities and other distinctions. CRU’s members are based largely in the South Windsor area.

CRU members began the event with short video featuring the CEO of ATT–who is white–speaking to a group of his company’s managers about how he had been unaware of some of the bitter racial realities in the life of a close friend who is African-American.

After a short period which focused on the reasons that prompted those in the audience to attend the event, the group divided into four breakout sessions to discuss individual topics on race. Lively, informative and heart-felt discussion was followed by a social hour at which participants continued to deepen relationships.

CRU plans to hold follow-up sessions over the summer and in September to continue working on ways to improve relationship among diverse people. Watch this website for updates!

Black Lives Matter Sign(s)!

Black Lives MatterAt the 2016 Unitarian Universalist Society: East annual meeting, the congregation agreed to put up a Black Lives Matter sign on the roadside in front of our meeting house. Well, we’re now on sign number 5. You may have noticed that it’s no longer on the ground but up in a tree. The previous signs have all been removed by passersby who, we suspect, disagree with the message. Luckily, we bought a few backups and were prepared for this disagreement. We’ll see if they feel strongly enough to bring a ladder, climb up, take out nails and make off with this last sign. If that should happen, be assured we’ll order more signs and maybe find a more permanent way to display them. In cement?

We’re moving into a climate where intolerance is coming much more out into the open. As UUs, it’s important that we be just as open about our support for Black Lives Matter. It matters to those targeted by racism, but it’s also just as important for our own spiritual well-being for us to take a courageous stand.

White Supremacy at Unitarian Universalist Society: East?

A reflection from the Social Justice / Anti- Oppression Committee

With all we do to foster positive relations and support for people of the global majority, how can Rev. Josh (in his May 7 sermon) possibly say we are susceptible to white supremacy? We are not trying to squelch the right to vote or defending the police when another young black man is shot for a minor offense or sometimes for no reason at all.

What makes the unconscious sense of supremacy so difficult to perceive is its quietness. What we do actively as a congregation is very much trying to support people of color in achieving equality in education, in treatment by police, and in many other areas. But because the vast majority of us have grown up in an essentially racist society, we have become used to the many ways that people of color remain at the edges rather than at the center of life in the United States.

Much of this is unspoken and difficult to notice if one is not paying close attention. A young child of color might be punished more severely in school while a white child might just get a call to a parent or a reminder from the teacher for the exact same behavior. And it might even be more subtle than that, an omission rather than a commission. As Rev. Josh pointed out in his May 7th sermon, UUS:E has not set a formal goal of hiring a racially diverse staff. No one deliberately set out to exclude anyone—it just doesn’t occur to us in the normal course of events to encourage people of color to apply for jobs at UUS:E.

In the same way that women can recognize sexism in operation when men see themselves acting as they’ve always acted—what’s the problem?—people of the global majority can pick up on the minor, quiet, ways that white people and institutions reveal an unexamined sense of superiority. “This is how we do things.” And some of it is not even spoken—just a quiet assumption that whiteness is the standard by which everything else should be judged.

Here is a link to an online test that measures our automatic (as opposed to stated) preference for one race or another. Try it out—it’s pretty interesting. http://www.understandingprejudice.org/iat/racfram e.htm

We have much work to do in this area, personally and collectively. Watch for more on this topic.

UUS:E Partners with Artist Joe Young for “Imagine Main St.”

UUS:E is partnering with award-winning cartoonist, filmaker, producer, writer and educatior Joe Young at our Imagine Main St. booth, this coming Thursday evening, June 1, from 5:30 to 8:00. Mr. Young will teach kids (and adults) basic animation techniques using flip-books and pre-drawn comic strips. UUS:E members are also taking this opportunity to speak to Manchester residents about our support for the Black Lives Matter movement.  (Our booth will be located at 801 Main St., former site of the Great Harvest Bread Co.)

Info on Joe Young: 

Joe Young, is a Connecticut native, is a cartoonist, filmmaker, producer, writer, and educator. He is the creator of the socially engaged Scruples comic characters and the writer and executive producer of Hartford’s first major home grown book-to-film project, Diamond Ruff. In early 2015, Cinedigm Entertainment, the largest independent content provider in the United States, nationally distributed Diamond Ruff. Young is currently the President of Maurice Starr Entertainment/Joe Young! Studios headquartered in Hartford, CT, where he oversees many projects including the visual development of new boy band NK5. The company currently has multiple Billboard achievements. He currently sits as a board director of the non-profit organization The Foster Buddies Network. Young is founder and President of Joe Young Studios which, amongst other things, provides film and animation programming for youth in various Connecticut schools. He is also the Founder & Executive Director of the youth arts non-profit agency The Joe, Picture This Show/Hartford Animation and Film Institute. He is a former Guinness World Record Holder for creating the World’s Longest Comic Strip, which included the participation of thousands of Greater Hartford-based youth. In 1999 he received the prestigious Daily Point of Light Award from the White House for volunteering his time in bringing the arts to otherwise access-less youth. He has also received recognition from the Connecticut branch of N.A.A.C.P. as one of the 100 Most Influential Blacks in Connecticut, special community honor from Senator Christopher S. Murphy, the 100 Men of Color Award, and the Dr. Ivor Echols Community Service Award. He and his work have appeared in People, Ebony, GQ and Jet Magazine, the Boston Globe, New York Times, C-Span, CNN, the Black Family Channel and other national media outlets (www.joeyoung.org). 

Info on Imagine Main Street: