View this email in your browser
March 04-05, 2023
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity.” 

—  Brené Brown

UU Meriden Weekly Newsletter

What's happening at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Meriden?

New Month, New Theme, New Minister's Monthly Message—check it out!
You're invited to worship with us in-person or online this Sunday, March 5th at 10:30 a.m. Gather in our Sanctuary at UU Meriden; or participate by joining our Zoom meeting, link below.

●     ●     ●
Join Worship via Zoom
Get Directions to UUCM
Tomorrow morning, with "Vulnerability as a Path to Strength and Growth" lay-leader Peg Kirkpatrick guides us in reflective contemplation on times of difficulty and challenge in our lives through the lens of how personal growth may have come from those experiences of vulnerability. Accompaniment by Kevin Wyman.
The Minister's Monthly Message   
“Vulnerability is Scary Stuff
Dear Beloveds,

  This month’s theme is possibly the most powerful one we have yet encountered. Vulnerability is scary. It’s a monster with many heads, all bearing razor-sharp teeth and breathing fire. Each head the incarnation of something in our personal history and our culture that has caused us to be guarded, afraid, suspicious, untrusting, anxious and unsure that someone, others, the world, God, will hurt us, harm us, betray us or otherwise damage us. And yet, without vulnerability all we can ever do is interact with each other’s armor.  

  As courage isn’t courage if you’re not scared, neither is vulnerability. Many of us often think we’re being vulnerable, but we’re really not. We sometimes share a part of ourselves or our true thoughts and feelings, and we don’t really care what others think or how others will react. That seems like vulnerability, but it’s not. It’s either something that really isn’t a risk for us or it’s yet another mask of bravado shielding us from others’ reactions.  

  Being vulnerable usually means something could go wrong. Someone may not actually honor your sharing, your honesty, and your openness. Someone may take advantage of it. This is true, and that’s the risk. But the reward is great. Our vulnerability often allows others to be vulnerable, too.

  Vulnerability isn’t only for individuals, it’s for groups, such as congregations, too. To be truly welcoming is to be a place where people can be vulnerable, where they can bring their true self, even if they don’t or aren’t ready to do it. A congregation becomes such a place by everyone working on being more vulnerable with each other.

  Things that kill vulnerability can grow like weeds. Gossip – spreading news or information that isn’t ours to share inhibits vulnerability. Triangulation – not speaking directly to someone, but instead telling a third person and trying to rope them in to do your communicating for you murders vulnerability. Dealing in anonymous comments and feedback is the polar opposite of vulnerability, sowing seeds of mistrust instead of welcome.  

May we all practice vulnerability this month in ways that not only strengthen our individual selves, but the congregation, too. 

In faith,
Rev. Tony

 March's worship theme is Vulnerability. Look for March's Spiritual Challenge next week, or check out Rev. Tony's Spiritual Challenge now as a video on Facebook or on our website.

News, Events, & More

from the Stewardship Chair 
 The Pledge Drive will be starting soon! 
  This is the time of year when we each commit with our PLEDGE what we are willing and able to give both financially and with our presence and time. This is how we can plan for the year going forth. I will be speaking with each of you or you can simply fill out "Pledge Form" and get it back to me. Pledge Forms will be available soon and information on how to get one and how to get it back to me.

Liz Hall
Stewardship Chairperson


Just ONE WEEK away: We're Hosting And You're Invited!

On Sat., March 11, 2022 from 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Congregational leaders from around the state will gather to make connections, inspire each other, learn and teach leadership skills, and discuss Unitarian Universalism and congregational life. We’ll use the UNCONFERENCE Model, an open-space approach where those in attendance determine the teaching and learning opportunities. More info online at our Facebook Event: CT UU UNCONFERENCE at The event is FREE, but we’d appreciate people registering for the day via Eventbrite here: 

We also request that all those attending bring something to share for the potluck lunch (how UU does this get)! If weather or Covid cancels the in-person event, it will move online and all those registered through Eventbrite will be sent the Zoom link via their registration email.

 Member of the Month, appreciating each other

  Continuing our tradition of recognizing people who contribute to the life of the UUCM community by naming a month after them, March is Kathy Lindberg month. Kathy works quietly in the background for us. She heads up our Caring and Concern efforts by sending out cards to our members and friends who may be going through an illness or other difficult times. Kathy also runs a small group ministry every month which helps people get to know each other and have community support on a more personal level. Kathy consistently participates in various fund raising and other UUCM events. Thank you Kathy for all you do for our church community! 
A Update from Nancy and SJC on Narcan and CPR/AED training

   People have expressed an interest in getting Narcan and CPR/AED training at the church.  I have been looking into this.  Narcan training can be done at the church for free, However there is a charge per person for CPR/AED training.  The charge is in the range of about $80-85 dollars/person.  With one of the local agencies there is a minimum number of attendees of 12 people.  If there are less than 12 people we would still be charged the rate for 12.  So I need to know the level of interest and if people want to commit to that cost.  We also have the option of setting up a scholarship fund to help with the cost for those who can't afford that level of expense.  If this is not doable there are places people can go individually for training and I can make that information available.
  Please let me know if you are interested in having this training, can afford the training fee, and if you have interest in donating to a scholarship fund to assist others in meeting the fee.  I am looking at  Saturday, June 17th as a possible date.  The Narcan training can be done that day.  I don't know yet about the CPR/AED training.  You can email Nancy at
📚 Read Out Loud Monthly UU Book Group 📚

March 14 at 7pm via Zoom

We meet on Zoom one Tuesday per month. We'll be reading three chapters on our own (if you choose.) When we meet we'll choose one chapter to read Out Loud. Only one person reads - so don't worry it won't be you - unless you request to read out loud!

📘 Our current book is "First Light" by Sue Monk Kidd

📗 We meet next on Tuesday, March 14 at 7 pm via Zoom

📕 Before we meet, we'll be reading to ourselves the following three chapters (this is OPTIONAL) —
  • Availability; Compassion; and Solitude.
The intention of the book is to get us discussing and learning about ourselves and the others in the group. It's okay if you haven't read the chapters, that part is optional.

Please let Liz Hall know you're coming to get the Zoom Link. If you want to join but don't do Zoom let Liz know. Contact Liz by text at: 860-978-9534

Church News

Upcoming Board Meetings — This Wednesday @ 10AM *in-person*
  *Wednesday's meeting will be in-person at UU Meriden* 
   Due to scheduling conflicts, the next two Board of Trustees meetings will take place at 10AM (instead of our usual 6:30 time). The dates are March 8 and March 22. The meetings are open to all members of the UUCM family. To attend, March 22 on Zoom please contact to request a Zoom invitation. 

Social Justice Council
Next Meeting: Wednesday, 3/15/23 9:30am at UU Meriden 
Middletown Pride: UUCM will be staffing a booth at the Middletown Pride day, June 3, 2023. Currently help is needed to make rainbow bracelets to hand out and to paint Pride themed rocks and other items to sell. Also we will need help at the booth on June 3rd. Please let us know if you can help in any of these ways by contacting

Next Congregational Conversation — March 19 
  Thank you for your attendance and input at February's conversation last week! 
  The next congregational conversation will take place on March 19. This conversation will be led by the Board of Trustees and Rev. Tony will not be present. The topic of this conversation will be Rev, Tony's relationship to our congregation and whether we want to look at ways to make his tenure with us more permanent. We can discuss our options and people's thoughts and feelings about how we want to proceed. Please make every effort to attend.

Changes coming to our Bylaws
  The Board of Trustees and Rev. Tony, along with valuable help from Anita Sanders, are working on a major revision of our Bylaws. We plan to have a suggested draft out to everyone by early April. April's Congregational Conversation will be about our Bylaws. After input is received and incorporated, the new Bylaws will be put to a vote at May's annual meeting.

New Year, New Leadership: Call for Board Members
  It is time to be thinking about our Board of Trustees for the 23-24 year. We have also been talking about how many members on the BOT makes the most sense. If you are interested in possibly being a BOT member in the near or distant future, please feel free to contact any of us for information, or email, and consider attending meetings to find out more about what we do. 

Our Winter Challenge Fund: Thank you for supporting this endeavor! 

We're up to $16.5k pledged — we're closing in on our goal!! 
With this last push we can get the rest of the way there —
another $3.5k — giving ourselves and Rev. Tony a clear path to move forward and a successful campaign to look back on, one that shows our commitment to supporting the UU Meriden we want to see and be a part of  💙 

 At a previous Congregational Conversation there was a strong commitment expressed to maintaining a half time minister — Rev. Tony's current arrangement with our congregation. People present wanted to proceed with another fundraising campaign to support this ministry (aka have enough money to continue to employ Rev. Tony next year). Our treasurer thought we might need to raise about $20,000 to balance the budget with that level of ministry. So far about $16,500 dollars has been pledged. Thank you to all who have pledged! We are now entering the time when ministers are searching for positions for the next fiscal year. We will need to let Tony know soon if we will have the funds for him to continue with us as our half time minister. If you want to contribute to this fund please let our treasurer know as soon as possible what you are pledging to this fund. You do not have to pay the pledge immediately but will need to by the end of this fiscal year, which ends June 30. You can email your pledge to Trish Schneider at It is important to realize that this is a contribution above your regular annual pledge, which is also important to keep our church running. Thank you for your commitment to UU Meriden.

Worship this Month 

  Note: Sunday worship services at UU Meriden begin at 10:30 A.M.  We are located at 328 Paddock Ave. Unless otherwise indicated, our Sundays worship will also be offered via Zoom aka "Hybrid." You can check if a service is in-person, online, or hybrid on the schedule below: 
  • March 05 at 10:30 a.m. . . . in-person & via Zoom  "Vulnerability as a Path to Strength and Growth"  Peg Kirkpatrick helps us reflect on times of difficulty and challenge in our lives through the lens of how personal growth may have come from those experiences of vulnerability. Accompaniment by Kevin Wyman. In-person at UUCM & online via Zoom. Join us virtually by clicking here
  • March 12 at 10:30 a.m. . . . in-person & via Zoom  "Creating Space for Vulnerability"  Rev. Tony Lorenzen leads us in welcoming NEW MEMBERS! We'll explore joy and concerns, small group ministry, team reflection, and check-ins as ways we can make more space for vulnerability. Accompaniment by Kevin Wyman. In-person at UUCM & online via Zoom. Join us virtually by clicking here
  • March 19 at 10:30 a.m. . . . in-person & via Zoom  "Responding to a Polarized Society"  Elaine Donovan considers how we can practice loving community while advancing justice in the face of an increasingly polarized society. Musical accompaniment from the UU performing group MeetinghousePlease join us for March's Congregational Conversation following worship. In-person at UUCM & online via Zoom. Join us virtually by clicking here
  • Attending via Zoom: Our hybrid services are simultaneously live online via Zoom and in-person at UUCMThe UU Meriden Zoom meeting access link is always Unless otherwise indicated, worship services will continue to be hybrid.
  • Please see our current COVID Policy on our website HERE, effective 10/2022

   Our March Worship Theme is Vulnerability —  For recommendations, inspirations, and free resources relating to our Monthly Worship Themes visit our website. You can read the Minister's Monthly Message at the top of the newsletter.
Support UU Meriden with a Secure Online Donation
 It only takes a few clicks to support UU Meriden and the causes that matter most to you — online!  The drop down menu on our PayPal allows you to select whether you are contributing to your pledge, adding to our weekly offering, donating to Social Justice Council, or supporting our Pastoral Care Ministries. Thank you to everyone who contributed to our fundraisers last year and to everyone who pledged! To check it out, click the PayPal icon below or follow this link:

Thank you for your Generosity!
THANK YOU for all your generous donations and contributions during this difficult time. Please continue to support the congregation financially. Click the PayPal icon to donate online now! 
Minister's Schedule

   Rev. Tony is generally available 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, & Wednesday and at any time in an emergency. The quickest way to reach Rev. Tony is to call or text him at (508) 344-3668. You can also reach him via email at If you contact Rev. Tony via email, and do not receive a response for more than 1 business day, please call or text him at the number above for a faster response.

Credits, Thanks, & Attributions
  1. Chalice Logo: UUA
  2. Frosty Buddha Photo by HazelEyeGazer on Flickr
  3. Thanks in Advance: Future Newsletter Volunteers -- If you wish this newsletter came out earlier, you can make that happen! Volunteer! Email 

Announcements for the Weekly Update, Social Media

Announcements are due no later than 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday for that week's publication. Send your news to the below email address, say what it's for in the subject line, and if there is an attachment please write 'see attachment' in the email. Tips: be brief; pictures and links encouraged where appropriate; include a contact person and specific dates; no formatting is necessary. Announcements are subject to editing and approval; submissions will run in the Weekly Update each Friday, or Saturday – other email blasts should be explicitly requested. Items are prioritized for timeliness. Send your news to:

How to Contact UU Meriden

Church Office:
Phone: (203) 237-9297  

Rev. Tony Lorenzen:
Phone: (508) 344-3668

Address (mailing & location):
328 Paddock Avenue, Meriden, CT 06450

Contact Form:

Stay Connected With Us!
Copyright © 2023 The Unitarian Universalist Church in Meriden, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp