August 12, 2022
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I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain.
— James Baldwin 

UU Meriden Weekly Newsletter

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

TOMORROW: Rally on the Waterbury Green Saturday 8/13 at 1PM 'End Hate Across the State, New Haven County'  Don't miss Nancy Burton speak on behalf of UU Meriden!
You're invited to worship with us in-person or online this Sunday, Aug 14th at 10:00 a.m. Gather in our air conditioned Sanctuary at UU Meriden with masks on, as you are able; or participate safely from home by joining our Zoom meeting, link below.
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Join Worship via Zoom
Get Directions to UUCM
"In the Middle"  
As we wind through August – moving from mid-summer into late summer with autumn on the horizon, we are reminded that we are, in many important ways, always “in the middle” between what was, and what will be. This Sunday, join lay-leader Jeff May as we celebrate the wonder of being “in the middle” – the place where we always live. 

News, Events, & More

  End Hate Across the State Rally  
  Sat. 1pm Waterbury Green  

  UU Meriden Co-President Nancy Burton will be speaking TOMORROW at 1PM on the Waterbury Green alongside Islamic & Christian faith leaders and community organizers from Waterbury, New Haven, Middlebury, Southbury, and Cheshire. Please join us for New Haven County’s END HATE ACROSS THE STATE Rally to support Nancy and show up for our values. Sponsors include "NOT JUST US" a state-wide group, Power Up CT, and RACCE.

  We are the fourth county in CT to host an End Hate Rally with the goal to bring organizations and communities together with resources and action they can take together. Speakers will have a wide-range of experiences from organizations fighting overdoses, to those helping the formerly incarcerated, to climate-focused groups, various politicians, and more anti-racist groups working for change in CT and around the country. Rally with us against hate crimes, institutional racism and systemic discrimination, the criminalization of people and youth who lack resources, and the continued presence of inequity at every level in our state! Full details here:
The Family Ministry Team: Three Goals
  The Family Ministry Team has three tasks this summer. The first two were requests by Rev. Tony and the third is common sense preparedness. 1) We hope to increase membership on the Family Ministry Team to sponsor some Family Nights this fall. 2) Supply the Time for All Ages on Sundays when Tony is not preaching. With or without joining the Family Ministry Team we are looking to create a roster of storytellers, story readers and folks interested in short interactive stories or games for Time for All Ages. 3) Clean and organize the Pete Seeger room (lavender) for the day we do have children attending on Sunday mornings. If you are interested in any or all of these activities please contact Molly Nolan or Richard Gault.
Window into Worship — Whenever, Wherever  
   from worship leader Peg Kirkpatrick  
 "There is something quite special in allowing a few carefully selected words to enter my being and simmer there." This was Peg’s invitation on Sunday morning, July 17th, as we gathered for informal worship and meditation. The community was invited to take a written quote from a basket (pictured above), to allow the words to percolate, to see if they ‘speak’ to you in any way. We then shared our thoughts about the words and our insights. Joni Mitchel’s performance at Newport Folk Festival the weekend before brought us back to older times as we listened to her sing “Both Sides Now”. We extinguished our chalice with the words of Tara Brach and an invitation to offer this homecoming to each other in the coming days: “Gratitude arises when we bring an open and full presence to our life, and its sweetness is a feeling of homecoming” 

Whether you missed service, "Embracing the Wisdom Around Us," or are now reminiscing on your own experience, take a quiet moment to connect with your spiritual self wherever, whenever this week... Consider the following words: 

“Wholeness does not mean perfection.
It means embracing brokenness as an integral part of life.”
Parker Palmer

“The things that frighten us ,
just want to be held.”
Mark Nepo

“Hope is like a road in the country, there was never a road,
 but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence.”
Lin Yutang

“If grief can be doorway to love, then let us all weep for the world we are
breaking apart so we can love it back to wholeness again. “
Robin Wall Kimmerer

Activity Inspiration: Keeping the words of sages physically present can be helpful in keeping one’s focus on where energy is needed in a given day or week. Peg keeps certain quotes on 3x5 cards in a special box, and rotates the one on the outside based on the needs of the day or week, as a gentle reminder to be present.


Pop Up Book chat:
THIS TUES 08/16 at 7 PM via Zoom 
You’re invited to a virtual book chat: We'll be discussing two more chapters of Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall KimmererChapters 6 & 7 — "Learning the Grammar of Animacy” and “Maple Sugar Moon.” No commitment or pressure, just a great book and great company! All are welcome. To join us virtually Tuesday, August 16 at 7PM, email Liz at for the Zoom link.
Memorial Service for Judy Mitchell Plummer
August 20th at 10 a.m. in Woodbury

  A memorial service will be held in Woodbury for Judith (Judy) Mitchell Plummer, longtime UUCM member Amanda Plummer’s grandmother, on Saturday, August 20, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. at the First Congregational Church in Woodbury, Judy's hometown. Rev. Tony Lorenzen will lead the memorial service. A reception will follow immediately after in the Church Hall. The First Congregational Church in Woodbury is located at 214 Main St. N, Woodbury, CT 06798. 

  Parking is available at the nearby “LaBonne’s Market” parking lot. That address is 238 Main St S, Woodbury, CT 06798. Park on the right side of the lot where there is a short path you can walk to the Church. The shortcut is a wide sloped gravel path which goes to the rear of the church building. Email Rev. Tony at with any questions. 

UU the Vote Letter Writing Packets Available!

  Thus far UUCM has either written or committed to writing to more than 300 named voters to support midterm voter turnout in the 2022. Many thanks to those who are supporting this effort! Great work everyone!!

  We now have packets of blank letters you can take with you to complete at home available in the church foyer (in a box marked UU The VOTE LETTER PACKETS). These packets are for members who have been oriented to the process (if you want to help and have not been oriented, please reach out to Peg at for more information). Each packet will have 10 letters, 10 envelopes, 10 stamps. Please SIGN OUT your packet with your name and the number noted on the packet on the sign-out sheet. When you have completed your letters, put them back in the large packet envelope and return to the UU the VOTE LETTERS box and update your sign out with date returned. All letters must be returned to Peg, as we need to document when they are completed and then mail them all out together at the end of October (as part of The Big Send project by Vote Forward). Please contact Peg if you wish to donate $$ or supplies. 

 Thank you so much to everyone who joined or got in touch for your enthusiastic response!! And a BIG thank you as well to Peg Kirkpatrick from all of us for bringing UU the Vote to UU Meriden!! We appreciate you!
  Member of the Month, appreciating each other 

  Continuing our tradition of recognizing a person in our church community who has contributed by naming a month after them, August is Richard Gault Month! Richard is a long time member of our congregation. If something is going on Richard is generally there to help. He is a long standing member of the Social Justice Council. He was on the Chalice Sanctuary Team when we had someone living in sanctuary in our church. Richard was a youth group coordinator in the past and also was involved with RE (religious education.) We could fill a newsletter with all that Richard has done over the years. Thank you Richard for all your contributions to our church community! 
Meriden Unity Rally Sept. 17, 2022  

 The Social Justice Council of our church is working with members of the Meriden NAACP and the Racial Justice Initiative in Meriden to put together a Unity Rally on the Meriden Green. It will take place Saturday, September 17 from 2 PM to 4 PM. More details will follow as plans are made but mark your calendars and plan to come if possible. A good turnout is important to show what Meriden is made of. Email SJC at to get involved. 
Summer Spiritual Challenge ~
     Mapping Your Religious Road

  A personal thought journey. Feel free to embark however fits best in your life: you can use the steps below to make a bulleted outline, jot thoughts on scrap paper when you have a free moment, have a conversation with a partner or friend to trace your maps together, find a meditative spot to go over your journey and memories in your mind, or even draw a "map" with a little stick figure 'you' following the winding path. It's your journey!

The First Step - Who was most responsible for your first understanding of religion? What was unique about the first religious community that shaped you? How do you feel about that community today? 

Down the Road of Doubt - When did a crack in your faith first appear? Was it a moment of intellectual questioning or emotional disappointment? Or, if you have a different relationship with your faith, not a crack per se, when did that moment occur? How would you describe it instead?

Partners on Your New Path - What mentors or fellow travelers helped light and shape your new path? Did you know then that they were guiding your journey, or is that wisdom in hindsight?

Your First Spiritual Experience - What was the nature of your first spiritual experience? How does it still shape you today? When did your spirituality move from ideas rooted in your head to faith rooted in an experience?

Your First UU Spiritual Experience - UUs place the interdependent web at the center of our faith. When was the first time you experienced a moment of transcendent connection that led you to feel as though who we are does not end at the barrier of our own skin?

The Moment of Institutional Commitment - What led you to make an institutional commitment? How did it feel to publicly declare your religious group identity? Or, if you haven't yet, how does the idea make you feel? What shaped your perception? Or, if don't plan to, when did you make that decision, was their a pivotal moment? Is unaffiliated a part of your identity? 

The Turn Toward Practice - At some point on the spiritual journey our faith shifts forms, from a set of beliefs to a spiritual practice that engages and grounds our whole self. What was this shift like for you? What regular practice now grounds your spiritual self?

Today’s Journey - What was your most impactful spiritual moment of 2022 so far? How has it affected your journey since then?


For more inspirations, media, & enrichment on our summer theme, Journey, click here to visit our Thematic Resources page. When Rev. Tony returns Aug 21, let him know your thoughts on the summer spiritual challenge, reflection questions, and Minister's Message!

Worship this Summer 

  Note: summer worship services begin at 10 AM on Sundays at UU Meriden; some will also be offered via Zoom. Start time changes to 10:30AM in September. We are located at 328 Paddock Ave. You can check if a service is in-person, online, or hybrid on the schedule below:    
  • August 14 at 10:00 a.m. . . . in-person & via Zoom  "In the Middle"  As we wind through August – moving from mid-summer into late summer with autumn on the horizon, we are reminded that we are, in many important ways, always “in the middle” between what was, and what will be. Join Jeff May as we celebrate the wonder of being “in the middle” – the place where we always live. In-person at UUCM & online via Zoom. Join us virtually by clicking here.
  • August 21 at 10:00 a.m. . . . in-person, Zoom option TBD  "Rev. Tony's Summer Reading"  Rev. Tony Lorenzen reflects on spiritual insights from novels, autobiographies, and non-fiction he read over the summer. Our first service with Rev. Tony after his summer break. In-person at UUCM, possible Zoom option. 
  • Summer Worship Services: all Sunday services in July and August will start at 10:00 AM. *BUT* In September worship services will switch to a 10:30 AM start time, and hopefully will be hybrid. 
  • Current COVID Policy: Masks & vaccinations are required for all who are able; those unable to wear a mask for medical reasons, including anxiety, or those unable to be vaccinated due to a medical condition are exempt from these requirements, and are asked to practice social distancing around others until confirming individuals are comfortable to have you approach. Let's all do our best to keep UU Meriden safe and welcoming for everyone. 
  • Note about online services: When we have hybrid services, simultaneously online and in-person, the live online option will be via Zoom (not Facebook or YouTube.) The UU Meriden Zoom meeting access link is always This week is a hybrid worship service.

   Our Summer Theme is Journey —  For recommendations, inspirations, and free resources relating to our Monthly Worship Themes visit our website. It's not too late to try out The Midsummer Spiritual Challenge, see above. And you can revisit July 17th's Embracing Wisdom service with an activity inspiration from Peg in our Window into Worship above. 
Direct your Online Donation!
 It only takes a few clicks to support UUMeriden 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 stepped up during the Matching Challenge Fundraiser this year and for 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 Lorenzen is on Summer Break. Rev. Tony returns to preach on 8/21 at 10AMWhen he is available, you can reach Rev. Tony at (508) 344-3668 and his email address: During the summer, direct church matters to the Leadership Team:

Credits, Thanks, & Attributions
  1. Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer cover: Milkweed Editions; First Paperback edition (August 11, 2015)
  2. UUA Chalice Logo

Announcements for the Weekly Update, Social Media

Announcements are due no later than 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday for that week's publication. Note: please be brief; pictures and links encouraged where appropriate; no formatting is necessary; announcements are subject to editing and approval. Announcements will run in the Weekly Update each Friday; other posts or email blasts should be explicitly requested as such.  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:

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