Congratulations to the Rev. Drew Moeller

On Sunday, May 1, the Rev. Drew Moeller, a long-time member of UUS:E, was called by unanimous vote to be the settled minister of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Bangor, ME. Congratulations Drew!!!! We are so proud!!!

Rev. Drew at the Bangor UU!

Rev. Drew at the Bangor UU!

 

Unitarian Universalist Society: East to Hire Ministerial Intern

Join Rev. Josh for a discussion of Unitarian Universalist Society: East’s plan to hire a student minister. Sunday, May 1st , 10:15 in Josh’s office and 12:30 in the chapel.  Questions? Contact Rev. Josh at revpawelek@sbcglobal.net.

Policy Board to Host Black Lives Matter Conversation 4-17-16 at 1:00 PM

DSC_2065The UUS:E Policy Board will host a congregation-wide conversation on Black Lives Matter on Sunday, April 17th at 1:00 PM in the chapel. 

All are welcome and encouraged to attend!

Background: At its February and March meetings, the Policy Board considered a request from the UUS:E Social Justice/ Anti-Oppression Committee (SJ/AO) to place a Black Lives Matter road-sign on our property along West Vernon St.  SJ/AO had previously held congregational conversations on this question and also invited feedback from members and friends following Sunday services in January. While SJ/AO found clear support for placing a road sign on our property, there was not unanimous support. Concerns raised about placing a sign included 1) the risk of vandalism and 2) the notion that UUS:E members and friends support many causes and we don’t want to privilege one cause over the others. 

The Policy Board determined that placing a road sign on our property constitutes a “congregational statement” and thus, based on our policies, requires the congregation to pass a resolution at a called meeting. While the agenda for the May 21st UUS:E Annual Meeting has not yet been set, it is highly likely that the Policy Board will ask the congregation to vote on whether or not UUS:E officially supports the Black Lives Matter movement. Given this, the Policy Board would like to hear comments from members and friends. This is the purpose of the April 17th Black Lives Matter Conversation. 

Many Unitarian Universalist congregations have entered into such conversations about Black Lives Matter. Many have placed signs on their property. This is due in part to the fact that African American Unitarian Universalists participating in protests in Ferguson, MO, along with the Back Lives of Unitarian Universalism Organizing Collective have asked Unitarian Universalist congregations to place banners and signs in order to show solidarity with America’s new racial justice movement. 

For further reading, see:

Alicia Garza’s “A Herstory of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement.”

Read the 2015 Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly’s statement on Black Lives Matter.

Read about a Black Lives Matter installation at the Unitarian Universalist Association headquarters.

Read about Black Lives Matter signs being vandalized.

See Rev. Josh’s 2015 sermon #BlackLivesMatter.

See Rev. Josh’s 2016 sermon, “Perhaps Struggle is All We Have.”

Click here for resources on Black Lives Matter from the Unitarian Universalist Association.

 

 

“Eat-For-Life” Potluck

Come one, come all! Join us for our first

“Eat-For-Life” Potluck

Friday, April 1st, 6:00 PM
Families, singles, everybody welcome.
This will be a vegan* potluck

veganIf you’re not sure how to make a vegan dish, it’s fairly easy to find recipes online. Just think about your favorite potluck dish and enter a search for it, prefaced with the word “vegan”…….there is a vegan version of nearly everything. Or, contact Kat at katdargan@gmail.com for assistance.

?To keep it balanced, we suggest you bring a dish based on the first letter of your last name. (Don’t get too stressed over this part. You can always change your name for the day 🙂 and thus get a different category; or bring cider, juice, or bread if no time to cook.)

First letter of last name … ?Bring

  • A through H ……. Appetizer or salad
  • I through P ……. Main Dish
  • Q through Z …….? Dessert

?This will be an evening of fun and information. You will learn how easy it is to be vegan, how tasty it can be to eat cruelty-free and earth-friendly, how it does not cost more, and many other myth-busting facts.

You will also learn about our newly-formed “Vegan Challenge Group,” (open to all) which was formed after the viewing of Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret here on Jan. 22. If you saw this film then you may already feel moved to make some changes in your life. (If you were not able to make it to our showing you may be able to watch in on Netflix streaming.)

?*To be vegan, a dish cannot contain meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products or honey. As with all potlucks, make a dish to serve eight hungry people. Please jot down a list of ingredients to place next to your dish.

UUS:E Offers Good Friday Service

3-25 tenebrae

Violinist Sharon Gunderson joins UUS:E for its Good Friday service

Violinist Sharon Gunderson joins UUS:E for its Good Friday service

UUS:E will offer a 7:00 worship service on Good Friday (March 25th). This service will feature New York City-based violinst, Sharon Gunderson performing Arvo Pärt’s Fratres. Ms. Gunderson’s performance will be accompanied by reflections on the execution of Jesus and the persistence of state-sponsored violence in our own time. This service will borrow elements from a traditional Tenebrae service. Tenebrae is the Latin word for ‘darkness’ or ‘shadows.’ It is also an ancient Christian religious service celebrated  in the days leading up to Easter–most typically on Good Friday. Tenebrae is distinctive for its gradual extinguishing of candles while a series of readings and psalms is chanted or recited. UUS:E’s adaptation of Tenebrae will be contemplative, meditative, and truthful about violence in our time. Other musicians include pianist, Mary Bopp; harpist Wilda Wyse; and singer/guitarist, Jenn Richard. For more information about UUS:E’s Good Friday service and its Easter Sunday services, click here.

Manchester DTC hosts Black Lives Matter Forum — Thursday, Feb. 18th

Black Lives Matter activists with Moral Monday CT interrupt rush hour in Hartford, June, 2015.

Black Lives Matter activists with Moral Monday CT interrupt rush hour in Hartford, June, 2015.

Manchester’s Democratic Town Committee is sponsoring a forum on Black Lives Matter in observance of Black History Month. The forum takes place on Thursday, February 18, 2016 from 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM at Lincoln Center, 494 Main Street, Manchester, Connecticut.

Panelists include:

Kyle Anderson: Former City of Hartford Councilman

Rev. Bruce Carter: Pastor of Temple of Restoration

Rev. Ashley Johnson: Minster and Community Activist

Rev. Josh Pawelek: Minister of Unitarian Universalist Society: East

Arvia Walker: Planned Parenthood

Andrew Woods: Executive Director of Hartford Communities that Care, Chair of My Brother’s Keeper/ Violence Free Zone Coalition

The moderator is Darryl E. Thames, Manchester Board of Education, Manchester Democratic Town

Event is Free and Open to the Public. For further information or accommodations, contact DTC Chair Mike Pohl at 860.983.4804 or mikepohl1000@gmail.com

Valentine’s Day Chocolate Auction-A Fun Success!

What could be more fun than the third annual Valentine’s Day Chocolate Auction, complete with home-made chocolate goodies created with love.  Cookies, chocolate dipped strawberries, cakes, truffles, and even chocolate covered bacon were auctioned off to lucky members and friends. Thank you everyone for a successful event!

Chocolate Auction 2016
Chocolate Auction 2016
Chocolate Auction 2016
Chocolate Auction 2016
Chocolate Auction 2016

Water for Flint — UUS:E Fifth Sunday Collection

1-31 Flint Water CrisisBy now, many of us are familiar with the water crisis in Flint, MI. At last Monday’s Martin Luther King, Jr. commemoration at Faith Congregational Church in Hartford, Rev. Steve Camp launched a campaign to collect water and water filters for the people of Flint. Many UUS:E members in attendance felt strongly that our congregation ought to participate. Since then, the campaign has been adopted by United Church of Christ congregations throughout southern New England. UUS:E members and friends are invited to participate in this effort in two ways:

First, Faith Congregational Church, now in partnership with a consortium Hartford north-end churches, is arranging for actual water to be delivered from Hartford to Flint. Anyone who would like to donate water, preferably in large containers, is welcome to bring it to the UUS:E meeting house between now and Tuesday, January 26th. Members of the UUS:E Social Justice / Anti-Oppression Committee will deliver the water to Faith Church.

Second, our ‘fifth Sunday; community outreach offering on January 31st will be donated to the United Church of Christ’s Disaster Ministries collection for water filters and replacement cartridges. 

If you have any questions about this effort or wish to be more involved, please contact Rev. Josh at revpawelek@sbcglobal.net or (860) 652-8961. 
If you are unable to bring water to the meeting house, or plan not to be present on the 31st but wish to donate, you can also donate to the United Way of Genesee County’s effort to raise money for filters and cartridges here.
Rev. Camp says: Friends, I know that this remains a very fluid situation at best. I only ask that you do what you deem appropriate and right by the people of Flint. I intend to keep my eye on the ball, not on who will get credit for doing a good thing. I know that your decision making will make a difference for the people we seek to help and know that I stand ready to be helpful to you in ways I can. Be blessed. Steve.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your generosity!
–Rev. Josh

Amazing Coffeehouse/Open Mic on Jan 2nd

Unitarian Universalist Society: East opened the first Coffeehouse/Open Mic of 2016 with a full roster of talent. Acts included a pianist, solos on guitar and vocals, groups, spoken word, poetry and prose. Several debut acts wowed the audience with a guitar solo and a vocal perfomance.

The audience included friends, members, family, acquaintances, and visitors, filling the meeting room with laughter, cheers, applause, and even a few tears.

Coffeehouse Open Mic  1-2-16

Our next Coffeehouse/Open Mic is February 6th at the Meetinghouse

We hope you will come down and entertain us with song, music, acts or readings. Or, simply enjoy the entertainment and cheer on the entertainers. We have amazing talent right here in our own community and are always treated to friends who show up to entertain for the show as well.

  • Doors open at 6:00 for Happy Hour
  • Bring your own food and beverages
  • Sign -up is from 6:00 – 6:45
  • Entertainment begins promptly at 7:00

Please invite anyone you know who may be interested in performing or enjoying the show.
Contact our office at 860-646-5151 or send an email to uuse153@sbcglobal.net

Join us the first Saturday of every month!

Excellent Tax News

Excellent Tax News That Can Benefit You and Unitarian Universalist Society: East in Tax Year 2015 (Time is of the essence)

In year-end legislation passed just last weekend, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 finally made permanent charitable distributions (QCDs), also known as Charitable IRA Rollovers, from individual retirement accounts from individuals who are at least 70 1/2 years of age. There is still time to take advantage of this change for 2015 tax purposes, but the transfer must be made properly by Thursday, December 31.

Because QCDs are finally permanent, now’s a good time to review the rules.

Requirements

  • Only individuals who’ve attained age 70½ may make QCDs.
  • The charitable donee must be an organization, such as UUSE, that qualifies for a charitable income tax deduction of an individual other than a private (grant-making) foundation, a donor-advised fund or a supporting organization under Internal Revenue Section Section 509(a)(3).
  • The charity that receives the donation must provide the same contribution acknowledgment needed to claim a charitable income tax deduction. Failure to obtain the acknowledgment will quash the QCD, but UUSE will definitely give you the proper acknowledgment in a timely manner for all your tax filings.
  • QCDs may be made from any IRA, but not from a 401k, 403b, simplified employee pension, a simple retirement account or an inherited IRA. Total such contributions cannot total more than $100,000 in any one tax year.

Some Benefits

  • This will allow you to essentially deduct your QCD charitable contributions on your Connecticut income tax, which is not currently allowed otherwise.
  • If you don’t itemize your tax deductions, QCDs can allow you to make charitable contributions that in effect have the tax benefits of deductions.
  • There are other advantages, too!

Making The Contribution

To make a contribution, contact UUSE or your intended charity to determine the exact payee name for the check (in UUSE’s case it’s Unitarian Universalist Society: East). Then, using that name, instruct your IRA trustee, administrator or custodian to make a transfer from the IRA directly to the charity. Many trustees and custodians already have forms and procedures in place to make this transfer. It won’t qualify if the trustee or custodian makes the mistake of putting IRA money in a non-IRA account of yours as an intermediate step. It won’t qualify if the check is made out to you. The law doesn’t provide a way to correct mistakes. The Internal Revenue Service hasn’t said whether the check may be made payable to the charity but mailed to you so that you may deliver it to the charity yourself. For the transfer to qualify for 2015, it must be out of your IRA account and on its way to the organization on or before Thursday, December 31, 2015.

For more information, please contact the church office or Hal Reed, of the Finance and Stewardship Committees, at 860-648-0898 or 860-967-9408 (cell).

Thank you for considering this excellent, now permanent, giving possibility – and Happy Holidays!