Let’s Talk About What We’ve Learned

An invitation to Dialogue from the Rev. and the DRE

UUS:E’s meeting house remains closed to in-person activity, but we are slowly beginning to imagine how to reopen later this year. While the Unitarian Universalist Association continues to advise congregations to carry on with virtual activities until the coronavirus is fully under control, they are also sharing various models for how to reopen. Our UUS:E Emergency Preparedness Team is reviewing these models and will be making recommendations to the Policy Board in the coming weeks.

As part of the reopening process, we–Gina and Rev. Josh–feel it is critical that we as a congregation learn as many lessons as possible from our pandemic experience. Who are we becoming given what we’ve been through? To explore this question,  we have scheduled four meetings over the course of April and early May. Each of these meetings will take place on line, though two of them will also happen simultaneously outdoors at UUS:E if the weather is nice.  Join us for as many of these meetings as you would like:

Tuesday, April 13 at 1:00 PM. Outdoors at UUS:E. Watch the eblasts for login information.

Wednesday, April 21st at 10:00 AM. Online only. Watch the eblasts for login information.

Friday, April 30th, 9:00 AM. Outdoors at UUS:E. Bring your own coffee. Watch the eblasts for login information.

Monday, May 3rd, 7:00 PM. Online only. Watch the eblasts for login information.

We will be inviting people to respond to the questions listed below from the nationally-known congregational consultant, Susan Beaumont. Note: these may not be the only questions we discuss. You may have other questions. If so, we are happy to include your questions in the conversation. The important thing is that UUS:E members and friends have an opportunity to discern together what we’ve learned from more than a year of pandemic. Here are Beaumont’s questions:

  • What were we on the verge of discovering or accomplishing before the onset of the pandemic?
  • What was possible before that may not be possible for some time—if ever?
  • What seemed important before that feels superfluous now?
  • What was undervalued before that may hold greater value now?
  • What mattered about geography before that no longer matters?
  • What new abundance are we experiencing now?
  • Where are we experiencing scarcity now that was not evident before?
  • What is our greatest asset now?
  • What relationships will we need to build on or strengthen in the months ahead?
  • What unique role might our congregation play in local, national, and even global recovery?
  • What long term changes in the bigger picture would we like to be part of bringing to fruition?


With love,

Gina and Josh

Ostara Ritual

Join the UUS:E Pagan Study Group
Sunday, March 21st, 6:00 p.m. via Zoom
All are Welcome!

Please join the UUS:E Pagan Study Group as we celebrate Ostara. We will welcome the spring equinox, as we celebrate the reawakening of the earth, via Zoom.

Peggy Gagne will host by casting a circle at her own altar and include in her circle all who wish to join the celebration as the Wheel of the Year turns. We will have a little history & lore, along with an opportunity to leave something behind and start something new.

Please plan on having a small snack and drink of some kind on hand so we can all share in cakes and ale.

Also, plan on having on hand –per person – a small piece of paper, 1 piece of white or pastel-colored ribbon about 12” long, and a pen or marker to participate in the ritual.

And – if children are attending, please let Peggy know at [email protected] so she can send you Ostara activity pages for the kids!

Please contact the UUS:E office for the Zoom link at 860-646-5151.

Pet Paw-ty and “Paws” & Reflect – Two Pet Perfect Events

Pet Paw-ty

Two Pet Perfect Events

We are celebrating our un-fur-gettable friends with two online gatherings We will introduce our pets and share what we love about them.

All area Unitartian Universalist’s are welcome to Come, Sit, and Stay!

Pet Paw-ty – for Kids and Pets, Friday, March 26 at 7 PM

“Paws” and Reflect – Fellowship for Adults & Pets, Saturday, March 27 at 9:30 AM

Register by March 20th to receive the Zoom link. Contact [email protected].

Health Care Public Option Teach-In with State Comptroller Kevin Lembo

Register for this event here!

Register for this event here!


Romanza: A Thrilling Virtual Concert of Latin American Music!


Concert and Fundraiser for the Manchester Area Conference of Churches Community Kitchen and Senior Meals Program

On March 20th at 7pm,

To donate and receive your ticket with Zoom link, go to Eventbrite.

On Saturday evening, March 20th, UUS:E will host husband and wife duo, Handler & Levesque, as they present music from Spain & Latin America for guitar, mandolin and cuatro. Hear everything from a lilting Latin American Vals and Flamenco from Mexico to a sizzling tango from Argentina and much more!

“Flowing fluently yet tightly together, the interactive Handler/Levesque collaboration swings and shimmers with gusto and romance. The duo’s musical passion over the years just keeps getting warmer and brighter, while its artistic commitment and scope get even wider and deeper.” –Owen McNally, music critic, Hartford Courant

Judy Handler and Mark Levesque have performed over 2,000 concerts together throughout the United States & Europe. Judy is Co-Founder of the Connecticut Guitar Society.  Judy and Mark are founding members of the New American Mandolin Ensemble which formed in 2013, has performed internationally and released a CD in 2017.

Suggested Donation: $10.00. Proceeds will be donated to the Manchester Area Conference of Churches’ Community Kitchen and Senior Meals Program, which are facing funding challenges due to increased food insecurity caused by the pandemic.

To donate and receive your ticket with Zoom link, go to Eventbrite.

For any questions about the concert or Eventbrite, email [email protected]



Black History Month Movie Nights with Power Up Connecticut

Power Up Connecticut is hosting virtual dinner/movie nights for Black History month on Feb.12, 19 and 26 at 7:00 pm. All are welcome. Purchase tickets through Eventbrite.

UUS:E Needs Your “I LOVE” Photos and Videos

Dear UUS:E Members and Friends:
Our ministry theme for the month of February is beloved community, which will be the focus of our next All Congregation (multigenerational) worship service on February 14th. Conveniently, that also happens to be Valentine’s Day. Rev Josh and Gina would like to know who (or what) you love! We invite and encourage folks of all ages to cut a simple heart out of paper, write the words “I LOVE…” and finish the statement. Keep it brief and write neatly, using a black or bold colored marker. Then, have someone take a picture of you holding the heart. Make sure the message on the heart is visible in the photo. If you would prefer not to actually be in the photo — or if you live alone and don’t have someone to take your picture — you can instead just take a picture of the heart itself. (If you choose that option, you might want to sign your name under the message so people will know who wrote it.)
If you would rather record yourself reading your “I LOVE . . . ” statement, that would be cool, too. Videos are welcome!
We will use the photos and videos to create a slideshow to be shown during the worship service on Feb 14th. And we really do mean it when we say folks of all ages. We are a multigenerational congregation, so we hope to hear from all the generations — kids, elders, and everyone in between!
Please submit photos to Gina or Rev. Josh by Feb. 8th.
Gina and Josh
P.S. Need some suggestions? Your heart might say I love my mom, or I love my pet rats, or I love singing in the choir, or  I love poetry. It’s as easy as that! Just tell us what you love!

Gina Campellone (she/her/hers)

Director of Religious Education
Unitarian Universalist Society: East
153 Vernon Street West
Manchester, CT 06042

Vaccine Troubles?

As of the end of January, people aged 75 and older in Connecticut have joined healthcare workers and long-term care residents as being eligible to make appointments for vaccinations.  The listed ways to make appointments are
  • The Connecticut Vaccine Line on the phone is: (877) 918-2224.
  • Or click on the state of Connecticut’s official vaccine website.

Many people are running into challenges booking appointments.  There have been several recent news articles citing confusion and lengthy delays in calling for appointments.  The federal government had not set up a program for vaccinations before January 20.  No relevant records were  kept.  Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, the newly appointed CDC director stated recently – 4 days after she was appointed – “I can’t tell you how much vaccine we have.”  The resulting lack of planning and guidance from the federal government meant that states needed toorganize their procedures separately from each other.  There is no consistency in planning from state to state.  Connecticut has set up its state plan without realistically anticipating the huge volume of people that need to be vaccinated.  There is a vast mismatch between the number of people eligible to receive the vaccine and the availability of doses.  At this moment, no plans exist to make the doses available closer to where they are needed. Eligible people, even when calling the single state access phone line or website listed above, have to pick from many vaccination sites to make their appointment.  People report long wait-times on the phone. And inconsistencies abound. One site may book an appointment weeks away, while another can book an n appointment just days away!  It will take time for things to become organized.

How many of us at UUS:E who are eligible to receive the vaccine are finding it challenging to do so?  If you have been stymied in your effort to receive the vaccine, there are UUS:E members who may be able to help. Contact our minister, the Rev. Josh Pawelek (860) 652-8961 (home office), (617) 645-1131 (cell) or [email protected].


Peoples’ Inauguration Rally — January 20th, 4: PM

UUS:E members and friends are cordially invited and strongly encouraged to witness the Connecticut-based “Peoples’ Inauguration Rally.”

When: Wednesday, January 20th from 4:00 to 6:00 PM

Where: You can watch the rally online at www.ulanewhaven.org or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/HamdenActionNow/.

Who: Our own Rev. Josh Pawelek has been invited to say a few words. Participating organizations include:

Central Connecticut Democratic Socialists of America
Citizens Opposed to Police States
Citywide Parent Team
Connecticut Immigrant & Refugee Coalition (CIRC)
Connecticut Workers Crisis Response (CWCR)
CT Black Women
CT Muslims
Emmaus Migrant Advocacy Project
Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement
Hamden Action Now
Jewish Voice for Peace New Haven
Moral Monday CT
New Britain Racial Justice
PowerUp CT
Socialist Resurgence
Unidad Latina en Acción (ULA)
Women’s March CT

A Virtual Tour of the Bahá’í House of Worship

Bahai House of WorshipThe Connecticut Council for Interreligious Understanding is pleased to present…

A Virtual Tour of the Bahá’í House of Worship

Steve Sarowitz will guide us on a 40-minute exploration of the Bahá’í Temple and Faith.


JOIN US ON Monday, February 8, 2021 at 5:00-6:30 P.M. EST.

REGISTER AT: The Connecticut Council for Interreligious Understanding
WWW.CCFIU.ORG by February 5, 2020.