UUS:E Members Support HUSKY for Immigrants

Rev. Josh Pawelek, Monica Van Beusekom, Jim Adams and Al Benford outside the HUSKY for Immigrants press conference

UUS:E members and staff were in attendance at the January 11th launch for this year’s HUSKY for Immigrants Campaign. Read more here.

Art Show: “Bear With Us”

February 10th, 2023 6:30-8:30 pm


All are Welcome!

Please join Laurel Hennebury for the opening of her photography exhibit at UUS:E, Friday, February 10th, 6:30 to 8:30.  Laurel’s polar bear and grizzly bear photographs from her recent trips to Svalbard Norway and Katmai Alaska will be on display in the UUS:E sanctuary through February.

Refreshments will be served. Feel free to bring friends to view and/or purchase pictures. Proceeds to benefit UUS:E. Feel free to bring children!

Unitarian Universalist Society: East
153 Vernon Street West, Manchester, CT

For more information, contact the UUS:E office at (860) 646-5151

The Chocolate Auction Returns!!

UUS:E Pre-Valentine’s Day Chocolate Auction!!!!
Sunday, February 12th, 12:30 PM
Featuring special guest, Chef Ken Bergeron

Chef Ken Bergeron (former owner of It’s Only Natural Restaurant in Middletown, CT) will discuss baking desserts with vegan chocolate. He will be sharing a recipe from his cookbook Professional Vegetarian Cooking and giving out samples to taste. This event is co-sponsored by the brand new CT Vegan Center

The chocolate auction will follow Chef Ken’s presentation:

When: Sunday afternoon, February 12th, 12:30 PM

Why: Because chocolate is awesome, and a chocolate auction is a great way to raise $$$$ for UUS:E!

How:  Well, it’s pretty simple, actually. We need BAKERS and BIDDERS (and a few volunteers to help out)

All members and friends of UUS:E are invited to create chocolate confections (cookies, brownies, cakes, cupcakes, and any other kind of chocolate dessert you can imagine). Bring your creations to the meeting house on the 12th (include your name and a list of ingredients). Please let Rev. Josh know you are bringing something for the auction at [email protected].

Then, come to the auction at 12:30 on the Feb. 12th and bid on whatever looks best to you! Bring your check book or cash and pay when you collect your confection.

It’s that simple!!!

We need 3-4 volunteers to help out on the 12th. If you’d like to volunteer, please contact Rev. Josh at [email protected] or 860-646-5151!

Care Packages

Each fall the High School Youth Group prepares and mails care packages to our congregation’s young adults, as a reminder that they are loved and supported by their church community. We invite you to help with this endeavor by donating items for the packages or making a financial contribution to help offset the cost of postage. (Mailing the packages is actually the biggest expense!) Popular care package items include snacks, candy, cocoa & tea, laundry detergent packs, chap stick, hand sanitizer, and Dunkin gift cards. Fidget toys were a big hit last year!

Options to help:

  • Place purchased items in the labeled bins in the main level or garden level lobbies.
  • Create a brief note or letter as a reminder that UUS:E is thinking of them. All notes will be included in the care packages.
  • Choose an item from our Amazon wish list. Simply follow the link at the bottom, select an item, and when you check out make sure it is sent to the gift registry address.
  • Make a monetary donation to help defray shipping costs. You can place cash or checks in the drop off bin, send a check to the UUS:E office with “Care Packages” in the memo line, or use the donate button on the Sunday services webpage — choose “Other” option and type “Care Packages.”


Please donate by 11/20.

Wishlist link


Questions? Contact Youth Group Advisor Kaitlyn Blesso at [email protected]


A Message About CT’s Early Voting Referendum

From the UUS:E Social Justice / Anti-Oppression Committee

The UUS:E SJ/AO Committee is part of a coalition of other UU congregations and community organizations trying to get the word out about Connecticut’s early voting referendum on the November ballot.

Currently, Connecticut is one of only 4 U.S. states that does not allow early in-person voting.  In order to increase access to the ballot in Connecticut through early voting, the state Constitution must be amended. Thus, the referendum question asks: “Shall the Constitution of the State be amended to permit the General Assembly to provide for early voting?” A ‘Yes’ vote supports amending the constitution. A ‘no’ vote rejects amending the constitution.

Research shows the key benefits of allowing early voting are:

  • Reduced stress on the voting system on Election Day
  • Shorter lines on Election Day
  • Improved poll worker performance
  • Early identification and correction of registration errors and voting system glitches
  • Greater access to voting and increased voter satisfaction.

When you go to the polls on November 8, look for the referendum question and be sure to vote on it. In some towns, it may appear on the back of the ballot.

For more information, visit the League of Women Voters CT Chapter. Or visit Ballotpedia.org.

Thanks for paying attention to this very important matter!

Maureen Flanagan and Jim Adams, SJ/AO Committee co-chairs.

Racial Justice Trainings for GHIAA Members

The Greater Hartford Interfaith Action Alliance (GHIAA) is offering racial justice trainings for members of all GHIAA institutions.
Here’s the formal invitation:
Join Racial Justice Facilitators and GHIAA leaders to explore a framework that will help unmask and dismantle racism wherever it appears. The ‘4 I’s of Oppression & Change’, helps us see that racism–like all the ‘-isms’–is upheld and maintained through our culture (Ideological), our institutions (Institutional), our personal interactions with each other (Interpersonal), and even individually as we internalize the constant conditioning of this system (Internalized).
The training is offered in 3 sessions over 3 weeks. Fall, winter and spring trainings are available. Please click on the link below to register. (Note: the fall session begins on October 27th.)
Block 9th

Join the UUS:E Kickball Team!

The kickball gauntlet has been thrown! UUS:E has been challenged to field a kickball team for the annual Power Up CT kickball tournament and fundraiser on Saturday, October 22.  We’re hoping to field a team of 12 to 20 players. All ages and skill-levels welcome.

The tournament takes place at Squire Village, 31 Channing Dr., Manchester CT. Team arrival at 11:30 AM.

There is a $15 entry fee (with a sliding scale for families and anyone else who requests it). All players receive a t-shirt, snacks and water, and a trophy. There will be live music, vendors and a coat drive.

All proceeds go to Power Up’s free after school program and summer camp, Empower U!

To join the team, contact Rev. Josh Pawelek at [email protected] or (860) 652-8961.


Rev. Josh to Partcipate in CT Voices for Children’s Community Budget Forum

Carry On: Baggage [Video and Artist Talk]

with Sandra Gustafson

Sunday, October 16th, 1:00 PM
UUS:E sanctuary and Zoom

On August 12th, about 20 UUS:E members and friends joined artist (and UUS:E member) Sandra Gustafson for her performance of Carry-On: Baggage. If you missed the performance, but want to get a taste of the experience, join us on Sunday afternoon, October 16th at 1:00 PM. Sandra will share a beautiful and compelling video about the project, followed by discussion. This event will be held in-person in the UUS:E sanctuary, and also streamed live over Zoom. (Watch our regular eblasts for login information.)

Questions? Contact Rev. Josh at [email protected] or (860) 652-8961


Carry On: Baggage is an exploration of how personal and intergenerational memory combine to form unique identities. Through the construction and deconstruction of a freestanding, transient mural, artist (and UUS:E member) Sandra Gustafson highlights the duality of trauma. “We are restricted by the very legacies that define us,” says Ms. Gustafson, and “sacred communities arise from suffering. Carry-On: Baggage asks audiences to consider which parts of our experiences are worth holding on to, and what happens when we challenge our value structures.”

Carry-On: Baggage was created with the generous financial support of the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation.

Women’s Circle Forming

Nora Mijares Alpers-Leon, facilitator

Third Tuesdays at 7:00
In person at UUS:E

Suggested Donation: $10 per session (or ask about sliding scale)

Nora describes this women’s circle as a “judgment-free comfort zone.” She invites participants to “sit, connect and share.” Bring a journal and a pen and a cushion or mat to sit on if you prefer that to a chair. 

The theme for the first session is “Falling Gracefully into Autumn.”

Nora Mijares Alpers-Leon is an indigenous (Colombian) mother, developmental psycholinguist and educator, who has a background in dance, yoga, and mindfulness. She completed 2 bachelor and 2 master degrees and a graduate certificate between UW-Madison and UConn. She did her Yoga Teacher Training in the Berkshires, and has led mindfulness workshops and talking circles in the United States and Colombia with both adults and children.

To sign up for this circle, or if you want more information, contact Nora at [email protected] or (608) 620-5969.