Mobile Newsletter April 2023

Sunday Services Schedule

April Ministry Theme: Resistance

In April we continue with two Sunday morning services at 9:00 and 11:00 AM. We simultaneously broadcast the 11:00 AM service in Zoom. As always, our Zoom login and call-in information will be shared through the congregational eblasts on Wednesdays and Saturdays. To subscribe to the congregational eblast, please send a message to [email protected] or contact Annie Gentile in the UUS:E office to arrange another method of receiving relevant information.

We currently have no attendance limit or mask mandate, though we continue to recommend wearing masks to indoor events at UUS:E.

April 2: “How Do You Resist?”

There are so many ways to stand up against racism, bigotry, and oppression. From writing poetry, blogs, or letters to the editor, to protesting, to volunteering, to the arts, and beyond. The ways in which we can make our voices heard are seemingly endless. Hear Rhona Cohen, Molly Rourke, and Sandra Gustafson share their reflections on how they rise up and speak out for justice.

Coordinator(s): Alan Ayers and Sandy Karosi

April 9: “Easter.”

All-congregational service. All are welcome. Please note we are not holding our customary Easter Music service this year. However, we are celebrating Easter and the arrival of spring in all its glory. Join us!

Coordinator(s): Gina Campellone and Rev. Josh Pawelek

April 16: “On Resistance.”

Our ministry theme for April is resistance. Rev. Josh reflects on the uses of resistance in community life. When is resistance necessary? When does resistance cause more harm than good?

Coordinator(s): Rev. Josh Pawelek

April 23: “Seventh Generation & Sustainability.”

Earth Day service. Sustainable Living Committee members Sharon Gresk, Steve Simon, Anne Vaughan, and Mary Lawrence share their insights into our relationship with Earth.

Coordinator(s): Gianna DiMaiolo


April 30: “All Life is Sacred.”

We say some version of these words with great frequency. If these words are really true, if all life is indeed sacred, how ought we to live? This service and sermon were purchased by Julia Caruk at last year’s Goods and Services Auction.

Coordinator(s): Rev. Josh Pawelek



Community Outreach Ministry

Charitable Giving for April 2022

As always, thank you for your generosity.

“We do not gather our gifts only for ourselves, but to share with the larger community. “

Continuing our practice of sharing our gifts with the community beyond our walls, fifty percent of our Sunday plate collections for the month of April will go to CT Alliance to End Sexual Violence.


Please contact Louisa Graver at [email protected], David Lacoss, or Nancy Madar at [email protected].

Checks made out to UUS:E will be treated as follows. If the memo line:

  • is blank or “pledge “ is written, all will go toward your pledge.
  • has “COM “ or the name of the charity is on the memo line, all will go to the charity.
  • has “1/2 pledge, 1/2 COM, “ it will be divided equally.

May: Split among immigrants-rights groups:

Hartford Deportation Defense

Unidad Latinas en Acción

June: Trans Voices 365

July/August: Split among area food pantries (MACC, Hockamum Valley, East of the River Mutual Aid)




The President’s Column

The Power of Vulnerability

It can be hard to imagine that vulnerability and power are companions. Certainly, vulnerability and weakness are strongly aligned: the sick and disabled are vulnerable and weak, the poor are vulnerable and weak and entire groups of abused people are vulnerable and weak. Recently, we have heard some excellent Sunday services about the various aspects of vulnerability.

I would like to call attention to a sometimes-overlooked aspect of vulnerability. If you have a moment, please input into your browser “Sometimes the Spirit Touches Us Through Our Weakness by James Christensen.” You will see an intriguing painting of a whimsically portrayed man with a hunchback, a condition much maligned throughout history. Touching this man’s “hump” is an angel, transmitting power to him through her finger. The man is seated on a box inscribed with the Latin phrase that literally translates to “after clouds, sun”. Christensen named his painting “Sometimes the Spirit Touches us Through Our Weakness”.

The gift of strength through weakness may occur through a spiritual or metaphysical awakening (as in the painting) or perhaps through a person’s will or determination. A study conducted at Northwestern University in 2019 determined that early career failure actually promotes future career success. Abraham Lincoln was born into poverty and had almost no education. His mother died when he was a young child. He suffered from depression (“melancholia”), and he was defeated time and time again in seeking different positions. As we know, he is remembered in history for his remarkable successes. He was driven to succeed, capitalizing on his strengths and despite his weaknesses.

Do you have an attribute (of any type) that you feel makes you weaker or less desirable or capable than others? Can you think of a way to transform it into a strength? Imagine that your vulnerability can become your beginning for new, successful challenges in life. At first the path may not be clear but keep trying. Remember the words of Mahatma Gandhi “Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.”


Finance Update

Three new documents have been uploaded to the Finance folder in the All-Access project Policies and Procedures in Basecamp (Policies and Procedures > Docs & Files > Finance):

  • Profit & Loss
  • Balance Sheet
  • Draft Budget



General Assembly 2023

Please join us in June 2023 for the UU General Assembly in Pittsburgh, PA! Cheap, direct flights to Pittsburgh do exist (ask Carrie) or you can drive in a day or two! Carrie has been researching Pittsburgh and the surrounding area and is happy to share the information she has gleaned so far about the many things to see and do there! So this a great year to go and experience the energy and appreciate the opportunities offered at General Assembly, the denomination’s annual conference filled with worship, workshops, fellowship and all kinds of information about UU.

Dates are June 21 – 25, 2023. Full In-person Adult Registration for all 4 days is currently $400 and Early Bird registration ended March 1, but some other discounts are available (see link). Youth Registration rates and Children’s Programs are offered. You can also join us by registering to attend GA Virtually. Part-time Registration is available for a reduced rate for both in-person and virtual participation. And members who are interested in being a delegate should contact either Carrie Kocher [email protected] or Rev. Josh Pawelek [email protected].

Ladies at Lunch

Ladies at Lunch will be Friday, April 14, at Anthony’s Pizza Restaurant, 216 Hartford Turnpike in Vernon. We will meet at noon. Everyone is welcome; join us if you can! Let Sharon Huber know by the afternoon of Thursday the 13th if you will attend. [email protected] or text/call 860-543-9444.



Saturday, April 22, 6:30 – 8:30 PM

UUS:E Meeting House

The Manchester Art Association will present an evening of original Impressionist Art (all pieces for sale at one very low price), accompanied by Live Jazz, Food and Drink, a fundraiser for art scholarships. Tickets will be available for $20 between services in April. Bring your friends and enjoy a soirée at a French nightclub.


UUS:E Loss and Change Group

If you intend to visit our UUS:E Loss And Change Discussion/Support Group, contact Pam Maccabee at [email protected] and get on the mailing list so that you can receive any important meeting venue, date, and time changes. If you have questions, call 860-682-3544.

Repair Café

Saturday, April 8, 10 AM – 2 PM
First Congregational Church
199 Valley St., Willimantic

Free repairs for books, bicycles, small appliances, lamps, and clothing.

UUS:E Mayfair

Saturday, April 29

10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

on the UUS:E Grounds

Join us for a Beltane ritual, plus fun, games, community and many other activities!

Our 2023 UUS:E Mayfair is conceived as a spiritually grounded, community-building event. The centerpiece is a Celtic-inspired, seasonal Beltane ritual in the memorial garden, organized by the UUS:E Pagans.

Other activities include:

  • Bottle and Can Drive, organized by the UUS:E youth group. Bring your returnable bottles and cans. Proceeds will be split between the youth group and the congregation.
  • Seed and Plant swap, organized by the UUS:E Sustainable Living Committee
  • Herb craft and education with Emmy Galbraith. Explore the healing properties of herbs and craft a personalized blend. Sponsored by the UUS:E Children and Youth Ministry.
  • Fair Trade Coffee, Tea and Chocolate Sales
  • UUS:E swag table and Book Cart
  • Games
  • Musical performances
  • Hang out with old friends and make some new friends!

Schedule of Events so far….

10:00 – Vegan donuts for sale and coffee

11:00 – Beltane Ritual (Memorial Garden)

12:00 – Tables will be set up for lunch. Please bring a bag lunch or picnic and join other UUS:E members and friends.

For the Beltane Ritual Please Bring:

Two “clooties” (prayer ribbons) to tie on the May Trees in the Memorial Garden. What are clooties? Cut two strips of cloth from a piece of old, beloved clothing (which carries your energy in it). One clootie will be used for a personal intention, the other as a prayer for peace and justice in the world.

The 2023 UUS:E Annual Goods & Services Auction

Online Silent Auction Monday, April 24, 8 AM through Friday, May 5, 10 PM at

Live Event Saturday, May 6, from 2 – 4 PM

Join the Fun at our Live Event!

Join us on Saturday, May 6 from 2 – 4 PM on the meetinghouse grounds for our Live Event! Rain Date: May 13.

Exclusive Live Event Items

Places at dinners offered by members and the fabulous live auction items like Rev. Josh’s sermon will only be available at the live event.

For the Kids

There will be a Kids Bid Table with items capped at $10 for kids ONLY to bid on. There will also be fun crafts and activities!

Cookie Competition

Yummy. Sample as many as you want and vote for your favorite!

Raffle Basket Drawing

The winners of the raffle baskets will be drawn at the Live Event, too. Winners do not need to be present to win.

Lend a Hand!

The Auction Committee would greatly appreciate an hour of your time to help this event run smoothly! We need help with set up, clean up and during the event. Contact [email protected] if you can take a shift.


How You Can Help


What can you contribute to auction off at this extraordinary event? Could you teach, repair, entertain, bake? Share your talent in other ways? We’ll have the ever-popular dinners, group activities, lessons, services and select items that need a new home. Contact your favorite merchants to ask for donations. If you love a place, others will, too. Stop by our table after services of email [email protected].

Email your donation details to [email protected] by April 15, sooner is better. Click on the link on for all of the details you need to know.

Raffle Baskets

We are asking committees and small groups to compile and donate a themed basket for the Basket Raffle at the auction, but individuals are welcome to donate a basket, too. Commit to donating a basket and claim your theme by April 1. There’s a 10-basket limit and we want them all to be different. Email [email protected].

Enter the Cookie Competition!

Who makes the best cookie? Enter your tried-and-true family recipe or a new experiment you’ve been wanting to try. There will be prizes for general and special (vegan and gluten-free) categories. Bragging rights and a beautiful UUS:E Master Cookie Baker Apron are up for grabs! Entry is limited to 12 bakers, so contact [email protected] ASAP to reserve your spot.

Bid High and Often!

The Silent Auction online bidding opens Monday, April 24 at 8 AM and runs through Friday, May 5 at 10 PM at

Find your treasure! Bid on a wide assortment of local business & restaurant gift cards, private lessons or services from talented experts, and exciting outings! Plus, lots of unique items you can only find at UUS:E.

The auction is one of our biggest fundraisers. It’s important to our congregation. We look forward to seeing you there!

The Auction Committee—

Robin Byrne, Susan Gabriele, Jennifer Klee, Chris Larson, Stan McMillen & Nancy Papas

Questions? Email [email protected]!



Bottle and Can Drive

The Youth Group is running a UUS:E Bottle and Can Drive to be held Saturday morning, April 29 in conjunction with the May Fair. All proceeds to benefit UUS:E. So save up your empties and help raise money for our community!


The next Coffeehouse will be held on Saturday, April 1. Performer sign-ups start at 6:00 PM with 12 available slots of 10 minutes each. Family friendly performances start at 7:00. Bring a friend. Bring your dinner. Bring your favorite beverage. We’ll provide the coffee. $5 suggested donation.



Peter Mayer, the renowned folk singer and songwriter of Blue Boat Home is coming to UUS:E Friday evening, April 28, at 7:30. Tickets can be purchased on-line in advance at

Other upcoming concerts at UUS:E:

  • Saturday May 15 at 7:00 PM, Amuse Blues Trio
  • Sunday June 4 at 2:00 PM, Nu Haven Kapelye
  • Saturday June 24 at 7:00 PM, Meetinghouse

$20 Suggested donation at the door for all events.


UUS:E Media

Planning a Sunday service and want to look back on one from last year? Need some information from an old newsletter?

We have created an All-access project in Basecamp, called UUS:E Media, to house media that might interest anyone in the congregation and is not about the governance of the church.

So far, we have a newsletter archive and a catalog of Sunday service recordings, with links to YouTube.

Is there something else you would like to see there? Contact Paul at [email protected].


Annual Appeal 2023

Our theme for this year’s Annual Appeal is “Investing in Our Future.” By now, each member and friend should have received a letter with information on our accomplishments from this past year and our aspirations for our next fiscal year (July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024). Our approach again this year is to ask each member and friend to fill out a pledge form and an electronic funds transfer (EFT) form if desired and post to the church office. Some folks attended pledging potlucks, which we hope generated good conversation and strengthened our connection to each other.

We are incredibly grateful that this year Paul Cocuzzo has increased his pledge by 10% and will contribute an additional $500 for the first 20 households that increase their own pledge by 10% or more (for a total of $10,000!). We are blessed with another challenge that will contribute an additional $10,000 once increased pledges amounting to $5,000 are received over and above Paul’s challenge.

If you did not return your pledge form by March 20 or attend a potluck, a steward has likely contacted you. Please respond to your steward’s call. You may meet with them in person or in any way comfortable with you. The Annual Appeal ends on Sunday, April 9, so please complete your pledge form by then so our Finance Committee can balance our budget! We will vote on our fiscal 2023-2024 BALANCED budget at our Annual Meeting, May 21.

The Stewardship Committee: Jason Corsa, Louisa Graver, Larry Lunden, Stan McMillen, Jean Knapp, Patricia Wildes and Phil Sawyer

Green Sanctuary News

Earth Day A year ago at this time, we asked you all to consider actions you were planning to take for the planet and write them on a sticky note for our “Tree of Hope.” While the climate crisis may seem overwhelming, your individual actions have the potential to influence others and shift the collective consciousness toward caring for our planet. This is something we can do in honor of Earth Day, and every day. Have you made good on your Hope for the Earth pledge? Send us an email to let us know! (Email Anne Vaughan, [email protected])

Fair Trade Products On the second Sunday of each month, the Sustainable Living Committee sells Fair Trade coffee, tea, and chocolate after both services. Stop by our table to purchase products and learn more about sustainable living and what you can do to protect the environment. You can also pick up free literature with tips on how to Fight Climate Change with Diet Change. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have!

Peas & Love Did you know we have a community garden? That’s right! Tucked in the corner on the lower level by the parking lot, there’s a little oasis of vegetables, herbs, and native plants. Spring planting of peas, carrots, and greens will be happening soon along with a topping of compost from our bins. If you’d like to learn more, stop by for a chat or pick up some gifts for your own garden at our seed & plant swap during the Mayfair on April 29.

Green Amendment Local environmental activists have joined together to propose an amendment to the Connecticut Constitution that will protect the right to healthy air, water, and soil. If passed, the Connecticut Environmental Rights Amendment (H.J. 37) would ensure that environmental rights are protected in every level of government decision-making. While still in the early stages, momentum is building for legislative action that would enshrine environmental protection in the CT Constitution for future generations. Learn more:

Take Action! Contact the Environment Committee and ask them to bring HJ 37, the resolution proposing the CT Environmental Rights Amendment to a vote and also to vote Yes to move it forward to the House floor. Here are some members of the Environment Committee who represent Eastern CT that you can contact:

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]


Intro to UU

Would you like to know more about Unitarian Universalism and Unitarian Universalist Society: East?

Please attend our Intro to UU

(UUS:E Sanctuary or Zoom)

Sunday, April 23, 2023, 1:00 to 4:00 PM

Rev. Josh Pawelek and the Membership Committee invite you to an informative seminar which will include:

  • A brief history and background of our theology
  • UUS:E mission
  • Meet others interested in Unitarian Universalism
  • Share of stories about what brings us together

To register, please contact Annie Gentile at 860-646-5151 or [email protected].

Please RSVP by noon Thursday, April 20, 2023.


Please contact Sylvia Ounpuu or Sheila Foran at [email protected].

or Rev. Josh Pawelek at 860-646-5151 or [email protected].

We hope you will join us!

Thank You!

Thank you to all who generously purchased and contributed to the Youth Group Soup Fundraiser! We earned $900 to be split between the youth group and UUS:E. We hope you enjoyed the soup.


The Minister’s Column: Hallelujah!

Dear Ones:

Our ministry theme for April is resistance. I’m mindful that we often associate resistance with social justice organizing. We resist injustice by rallying, marching, witnessing, testifying, advocating. We resist injustice by speaking truth to power, etc. We organize to resist oppression. We organize to resist violence. We organize to resist hatred. We organize to resist practices and policies that cause harm to the environment. At least we aspire to resist in these ways. For me, such resistance has its roots and inspirations in our first, second and seventh Unitarian Universalist principles:

  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person
  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations
  • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

And yet I find myself not wanting to limit our reflections on resistance to social and environmental justice organizing. I’m wondering about all the various ways we encounter resistance in our lives and in the natural world. For example, prior to going out for a run, I stretch. When I begin stretching, my muscles resist. They are tight. They are sore. I know they will loosen up in a few minutes, but in the moment they’re telling me something important: start easy, be gentle, go slowly.

Or I think about the way a tree resists a strong wind. It doesn’t stay rigid and upright. It leans. It bends. It waves back and forth. I suspect there’s a life lesson here as well: We’re more likely to stay rooted and whole when we move with the prevailing winds to the best of our ability. We’re more likely to ride out the storm if we have some capacity for bending, some inner flexibility. Resisting is not the same as refusing to bend.

And what about those moments when we’ve said or done something that has caused someone harm? Even if we didn’t intend to cause harm, once we know we have, what do we do? Do we fight the allegation that we’ve caused harm? Do we deny it? Do we double down on what we’ve said or done? That’s certainly one kind of resistance. But such resistance often makes the situation worse. We also have the option to take the allegation seriously, to move or “bend” with it, trying to understand it and, as a way to begin repairing the relationship, saying “I’m sorry.” “What can I do to make things right?” That’s another species of resistance.

I’m mindful that none of us comes into this life easily. The birth process is difficult and painful. Babies make their way into the world, but there is considerable resistance along the way.

Indeed, all new life encounters some degree of resistance. I’m thinking of the noises my chickens make as they lay their eggs. There doesn’t seem to be anything peaceful about it. And I’m thinking more broadly about the arrival of spring. Look closely, new growth finds its way from the nurturing soil up into the air, into the light of day. But it must make its way through the thawing ground. It must break through. It encounters resistance.

So yes, there is a time to resist the powers that be, a time to organize for justice, a time to raise our voices in the struggle for liberation for all people and the Earth. This is one form of resistance. But there are others. The natural world is full of examples. As April and spring make their way into our lives (and we into them), I’d like to invite you to pay attention to the ways you witness resistance in your life and in the world. What lessons does resistance teach? What Wisdom can you draw from it? In what ways are you called to bend and wave in wind?

With love and care,

Rev. Josh







Books, Classes, and Discussions

Adult Religious Education

Book Lovers

The Book Lovers continue to meet via Zoom every second Tuesday from 3:30 to 5:00. You are welcome even if you haven’t finished the book. The link is sent out each month with the meeting reminder, usually the weekend before that Tuesday by Carolyn Gimbrone. Here are the books, with number of pages, for the next several months.

Goodreads descriptions:

  • 11: Remarkable Creatures, a novel by Tracy Chevalier (320 pages)
  • May 9: Three Junes, a novel by Julia Glass (368 pages)


Yoga at the Meetinghouse!

All welcome to these gentle-to-moderate yoga classes in the UUS:E Meetinghouse, Wednesdays at 10:00 AM with Susan Barlow. $5 drop-in fee. Bring a yoga mat or towel and wear comfortable clothes. All welcome, including beginners! Bring a friend or neighbor; you do not have to be a UUS:E member to come to the classes. Yoga provides an opportunity to quiet the mind as well as strengthen and relax the body. Direct questions to: Susan at [email protected]. Yoga is one of the UUS:E adult education offerings.


Buddhist Group

The Buddhist Group meets via Zoom at 7 PM on the first Tuesday of each month, for meditation and discussion. All are welcome, no meditation experience necessary. Contact Nancy Thompson at [email protected] for the Zoom info.



“God Talk”

A discussion group for UU theists

This ongoing group explores how UUs can name and experience God in meaningful, useful ways. All are welcome. Contact Rev. Josh at [email protected] for the Zoom link.

We meet on 4th Tuesdays at 4:30 PM.


Humanist Group

This ongoing group explores Religious Humanism and its applications to life, both historically and today. All welcome. Contact Rev. Josh at [email protected] for the Zoom link.

We meet on 3rd Tuesdays at 4:30 PM.


Science and Religion Discussion Group

Fourth Thursdays at 4:30 PM in the Chapel and on Zoom

April Topic: Jessey Ina-Lee, Misogyny and Religion

Where do science and religion meet? Where are they in opposition? What about evolutionary biology, artificial intelligence, climate change, the brain, genetics? Members select favorite topics.

Contact Linda Duncan for questions and Zoom link.

Future topics:

  • May: Steve Simon, Quantum Mechanics/Spirituality
  • Jun: Chris Larson, Free Will
  • Jul: Sharon Huber, Chemistry of Awe
  • Aug: Randy Huber, Astro-Biology—Life on other planets.
  • Sep: Linda Duncan, AI
  • Oct: Jessey Ina-Lee, Animals and Spirituality
  • Nov/Dec: Greg Dupuis, Sustainable Architecture







UUS:E Office Schedule: Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Meetinghouse Office: 860-646-5151

Office Administrator: Annie Gentile email: [email protected]

Minister: Rev. Joshua Pawelek 860-652-8961, [email protected]

OFFICE HOURS: Tuesday 10 AM to 7 PM and Thursday 10 AM to 4 PM


President: Peggy Webbe, 860-871-8035, [email protected]

Director of Religious Education:

Gina Campellone, 860-268-4636, [email protected]

Newsletter Editor: Paul Cocuzzo, 978-270-2056, [email protected]

Website Coordinator: Carol Marion 860-643-8765, [email protected]

World Wide Web address: http//

Unitarian Universalist Society: East

153 West Vernon Street

Manchester, CT 06042

Newsletter Deadline:

The 20th of Each Month