312 FILLMORE STREET, STATEN ISLAND, NY 10301 PHONE: 718-447-2204
Listings are in reverse chronological order. Scroll down to the date you want.
Sunday March 10, 2019 • 10:45 am
Reclaiming Our Time
With Reverend Emily DeTar Birt
Women of the Women’s March and the Time's Up Movement have spread a message started by Representative Maxine Waters - That We Are Reclaiming Our Time. But in a practical sense, what does it mean for women to turn away from the narrative of over-production and “doing it all”, and to claim back our time. Come explore why reclaiming time is both a justice stance for women, and a new way of breathing and being in a new age.
Sunday March 3, 2019 • 10:45 am
Worthy Now: Living with a Mental Illness or Disorder
with Sarah Dolinar, and Members of the UCSI Congregation
Our new compassion series, Worthy Now, addresses the ways in which individuals may practice compassion in their everyday lives, both toward self and others. Many of us who espouse the rightness of the first principle, nonetheless, may find it hard to think about certain segments of society as worthy of being treated with the same degree of dignity and respect that we would afford others. In this service we will learn more about the lived experience of those with living with various mental illnesses or disorders. May these stories reach our hearts, and remind us about what it means to take our first principle of inherent worth and dignity of all people, seriously.
Sunday February 24, 2019 • 10:45 am
Black Power and Unitarian Universalism
With Reverend Emily DeTar Birt
Unitarian Universalism has a long and rich history that includes black power. It is also a problematic history, where several members of color left our denomination, because we could not keep to our commitments towards the black lives within our tradition. What can our history with black power, teach us about supporting Black lives within our faith, and throughout our world?
Sunday February 17, 2019 • 10:45 am
Worthy Now: Human Trafficking is 21st Century Slavery
with Elle La Forge, Rob Landsman, Dr. Carolyn Clark and the UCSI choir
Contrary to a common assumption, human trafficking is not just a problem in other countries. An unknown number of U.S. citizens and legal residents are trafficked within the US for sexual servitude and forced labor. Cases of human trafficking have been reported in all 50 states, Washington D.C., and the U.S. territories. Victims of human trafficking can be children or adults, U.S. citizens or foreign nationals, male or female. Our service will address this issue in light of our UU affirmation of the inherent worth and dignity of all people.
OUR SUMMER SUNDAY SERIES 2018
Sunday, August 26, 2018 • 9:30 am at Governors Island Ferry Terminal
Bring a Picnic to Governors Island
Governors Island ferry terminal is next to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in Manhattan.
Catch a 10AM or later ferry.
There are a million things to do on Governors Island, from art installations to see, sculptures on the grounds, bikes to rent (or bring your own), hammocks to hang out in, paths to walk for sightseeing, a one-hour guided free tour of the island, free theater for children and families, and a special event celebrating the Jazz Age, which does cost money. Info: http://jazzagelawnparty.com
Jazz Age Event General Admission is $35 + $9.76 fee + sales tax
FERRY RIDE COST: ADULTS $3 / SENIORS $1 /AGE 13 AND UNDER FREE
Sunday, August 19, 2018 • Noon
Visit Red Hook and BWAC (Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coop)
Art Gallery Visit and Red Hook Exploration with Robin Locke Monda
Carpool to the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition (BWAC) site to meet Robin Locke Monda at its entrance (499 Van Brunt Street, opposite the Fairway Market) at noon. Park in the Fairway parking lot. Enjoy the BWAC exhibits; then stroll Red Hook's waterfront, with its vista of New York Harbor spanning the Statue of Liberty to the Verrazano Bridge—one of the best views in the city! Enjoy a lunch at Brooklyn Crab (across from the Fairway parking lot) or grab a salad or sandwich at Fairway Market and eat it at one of their outdoor tables, overlooking the waterfront.
Sunday, August 12, 2018 • meet at 10:15AM
Activist New York Exhibit: Social Activism in New York City at the Museum of the City of New York
With Sarah Dolinar and Ruth Benson
Due to difficulties in arranging a group tour of Weeksville, one of America's first free black communities in the pre-Civil War 19th century, a new event is being offered, not on Saturday but instead on Sunday, August 12th.
Explore the drama of social activism in New York City from the 17th century to the present. In a town renowned for its in-your-face persona, citizens have banded together on issues as diverse as civil rights, wages, sexual orientation, and religious freedom. Using artifacts, photographs, audio and visual presentations, as well as interactive components that seek to tell the story of activism in the five boroughs past and present, Activist New York presents the passions and conflicts that underlie the city's history of agitation.
Meet Sarah Dolinar and Ruth Benson at in the Staten Island Ferry Terminal at 10:15AM to catch the 10:30AM ferry. We will take the #4/5 subway to the Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Ave at 103rd Street.
Sunday, August 5, 2018 • 11:00AM
John Hersey's Hiroshima with Beth Gorie and Staten Island OutLOUD
Join us in the peaceful UCSI Memorial Garden for our annual commemoration of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and August 9, 1945. We will read aloud excerpts from John Hersey's "Hiroshima", the story of six survivors of the blast.
The New Yorker has published online the full text of John Hersey’s “Hiroshima,” to which the magazine devoted the entire editorial space of its August 31, 1946 issue. “It does so in the conviction that few of us have yet comprehended the all but incredible destructive power of this weapon,” wrote the magazine’s editors, “and that everyone might well take time to consider the terrible implications of its use.”
Sunday, July 29, 2018 • 10:00AM
A Walk in the Woods with John Kilcullen
Join us for a guided walk in Jones Woods. We will meet Naturalist John Kilcullen at 10 AM at Franklin Ave and Arnold St, for an easy 90-minute walk in a new City Park. The 17-acre wooded property is one of the latest additions to the NYC Parks Department nature walks. The six acres of land, along with two additional adjacent lots, were taken by eminent domain by the City of New York. At that time, Jones Woods Park was established. While it has been threatened numerous times by residential developments, Jones Woods Park has retained the almost-seventeen acres that make up its site.
Be sure to prepare appropriately: Shoes or boots and socks, hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent.
Bonus Saturday! July 28 • 10:15 AM at SI Ferry Terminal
Black Power! An Exhibit at the Shomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Join Virginia Allen for a tour of the Shomburg Center. We will meet in the Staten Island Ferry Terminal at 10:15AM to catch the 10:30am ferry. We will take the 2/3 subway to 515 Malcolm X Boulevard at 135th Street.
The Center consists of three connected buildings: The Schomburg Building, the Langston Hughes Building, and the Landmark Building. It is recognized as one of the leading institutions focusing exclusively on African-American, African Diaspora, and African experiences. Begun with the collections of Arturo Alfonso Schomburg 92 years ago, the Schomburg has collected, preserved, and provided access to materials documenting black life in America and worldwide. It has also promoted the study and interpretation of the history and culture of people of African descent. In 2015, it won the National Medal for Museum and Library Service.
Sunday, July 22, 2018 • 11AM
Experience QiGong with Certified Zhineng QiGong teacher, Ellen Looft
Join certified Zhineng QiGong teacher, Ellen Looft, to learn how you can enjoy your life by improving your mind and body. The effectiveness of Zhineng Qigong comes from Dr. Pang’s Hunyuan Entirety Theory, which states that everything in the universe is united into a oneness. We are able to draw from the vast energy field, called hunyuan qi. Every being, indeed every thing, is composed of its qi. Ellen Looft is a certified Zhineng Qigong teacher based on Staten Island. She teaches at both Island YMCAs and at Snug Harbor Cultural Center.
Sunday, July 15, 2018 • 11AM
Building Community with the Stapleton Union African Methodist Episcopal Church
Meet at: 49 Tompkins Ave., Staten island
To build community, we have arranged for UCSI members to attend a Sunday service at the UAME Church in Stapleton at 49 Tompkins Ave. We will be accompanied by Staten Island historian, Debbie-Ann Paige, who has written extensively about the Draft Riots on Staten Island.
It is a little known fact that the Stapleton UAME church has some Civil War era history in common with the UCSI. The UAME was targeted in the Draft Riots of 1863, because white men, who were angry because they couldn’t afford to pay the fee to avoid conscription, set fire to homes owned by black people in Staten Island and elsewhere in NYC, and committed other acts of violence against blacks throughout the City. Officially 200 blacks were killed but most historians think the deaths numbered in the thousands citywide. Members of our congregation were also targeted because of their abolitionist views and because the church had a black sexton, but they avoided the violence directed at the black population on Staten Island. The UAME church was spared, and survived, in part, through the efforts of a local Presbyterian Church minister and his congregation.
Sunday, July 8, 2018 • 11AM
Report from GA with UCSI Board of Trustees President Susan Flynn
UUA President Susan Frederick-Gray led the Sunday worship service, “No Time for a Casual Faith,” at the 2018 UUA General Assembly, held in Kansas City, MO. Following our annual tradition of hearing from delegates to the GA, UCSI President Susan Flynn will present her report on what she learned in Kansas City. Join her in the Sanctuary, to kick off our Summer Series of events. Watch videos and read transcripts of all major events and speakers here >
EARLIER SUNDAY SERVICES 2018
Sunday, June 17, 2018 • 10:45am
Remember the Future With Rev. Emily DeTar Birt
As we look back over the past church year, we remember the ways we lay the ground wok for the years and generations to come. Join us on visioning for he future, while remembering and celebrating our accomplishments. The annual congregational meeting follows the service.
Sunday, June 10, 2018 • 10:45am
The Music of Pete Seeger With Carolyn Clark, UCSI Music Director
How music moves us remains a mystery. How Pete Seeger moved his listeners is no mystery at all. He understood that listening is not enough. His “hootenannies” transformed passive listeners into full-throated actors, making them a part of the medium and the message. Please join us as we explore the life of Pete Seeger and unite through his songs.
Sunday, June 3, 2018 • 10:45am
And a Rose in the Wintertime: Flower Communion
With Minister Emily DeTar Birt
Each of us brings a unique presence into our community as a congregation. Come celebrate this Unitarian Universalist tradition, as we explore the beauty of our bouquet.
In honor of Black History Month, Staten Island Women Who March (SIWWM) and the Unitarian Church of Staten Island (UCSI) will present
A Very Local Black History Celebration, with Historian Debbie-Ann Paige
on Saturday, February 23, 2019
The Social Justice and Black Lives Matter Committees of the UCSI join with SIWWM to present a talk by public historian, Debbie-Ann Paige, on the history of the Staten Island's African American community.
It is the perfect marriage of presentation and venue: The little-known history of Staten Island’s African American Community and the Unitarian Church, founded in 1852 by transcendentalists and abolitionists. The Shaw and Curtis families were prominent among the church founders . Many know the history of Col. Robert G. Shaw, who led the men of the 54th Massachusetts, the first United States Colored Troops (USCT) regiment.
Most have never heard the name of Pvt. Thomas P. Robinson. He was an African American Sandy Grounder, who answered the call for duty in the early recruitment efforts for the USCT, and made his way to Massachusetts. There he volunteered for duty as a young man of 21 and enlisted in Co. A of the 54th. He served the Union loyally.
On July 18, 1863 while Staten Islanders on the North Shore were fighting terrorist attacks from draft rioters, Robinson was storming the Battery at Fort Wagner on Morris Island, South Carolina under the command of Col. Shaw. Robinson was wounded, but was one of the few to survive the battle. Shaw sadly lost his life.
This is just one example of the fascinating history that Debbie-Ann Paige will present concerning the intersection of the various factions -- racist, anti-racist and abolitionist -- in Colonial and Antebellum Staten Island.
We invite you to join us for an illuminating talk and lively discussion over coffee and light refreshments.
The next discussion will be held on April 14, 2019 • 1pm
Stamped from the Beginning:
The Definitive History of Racist
Ideas in America
The fifth in a series of discussions led by historian Debbie-Ann Paige
The current selection in the Black Lives Matter Committee’s Book Discussion Series, Stamped From The Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi, is a dense, deeply researched examination of the origins of racist thinking, deserving of significant attention. We will continue to discuss this book in subsequent sessions.
Historian Debbie-Ann Paige will lead our discussion. She has suggested that, in order to contribute to the conversation, people be prepared with specific ideas/concepts derived from their reading of Part IV: W.E.B. Dubois and Angela Davis. If you are not able to read the book please join us for the conversation, which is sure to be engaging. This interview gives a substantive overview of the main themes in the book.
Join us for Fellowship Fridays!
We are a community where everyone learns from each other at every age. Look at the events below to see how we can learn from each other.
Friday October 5th at 6:30 pm
Moral Tales Child Religious Exploration
RE classes will explore Moral Tales, a UU Curriculum that looks at tales across all faiths and explores the moral questions held within. Families join in the fun!
Starting Friday October 5th at 7:00pm
Building Your Own Beliefs
Want to further explore what you think about life? Wanting to share your life experiences in greater depth? In Building Your Own Beliefs, adapted from Building Your Own Theology, we will talk about our spiritual journeys and learn more about different ways of thinking and believing. This adult education class led by Rev. Emily DeTar, is open to everyone curious about different beliefs.