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, October 28th - 10:45 am
As If It’s Your Last
Memorial Garden Anniversary Service
Let us celebrate the lives of loved ones lost and with us, and talk about what it means to live each day as if it is your last.
Come celebrate and honor the lives of those remembered in the Memorial Garden During this service, you are invited to bring up photos and mementos of your loves one to share with all in attendance.
Join us after the service for hospitality and coffee.
Sunday, October 21st - 10:45 am
Safe at Snug Harbor
With Bob Wright. Sea shanties and work songs celebrate the lives of the mariners who found safe haven at Sailors’ Snug Harbor.
The close association between the UCSI and Snug Harbor, our neighbor to the west, is informed by our First Principle affirming the worth and dignity of all people and by the Sailors’ Snug Harbor mission to provide a haven for “aged, decrepit, and worn-out sailors,” in the words of its benefactor Robert Richard Randall. By the turn of the 20th century, Sailors’ Snug Harbor was a self-sustaining community with farms, a dairy, a bakery, workshops, a power plant, a chapel, a sanatorium, a hospital, a concert hall, dormitories, recreation areas, gardens, and a cemetery.
Bob Wright, multi-instrumentalist, and singer of sea shanties, will perform selections that match the rhythm of the work and that fill the afterhours for those who spend their lives at sea. The sea shanties and work songs in this service were collected in the 1930's by William Main Doerflinger, a member of the UCSI. Doerflinger was an archivist, a writer and a collector of sea and work songs. In 1951, he published Shantymen and Shantyboys (later re-released as Songs of the Sailor and Lumberman.) Many of the songs were collected from retired seamen living in New York City at Sailors’ Snug Harbor on Staten Island.
Sunday, October 14th - 10:45 am
What We Will Not Tolerate
With Rev. Emily DeTar Birt on Domestic Violence Sunday
As Unitarian Universalists we often talk about the importance of tolerance. In recent years, however, ideas of tolerance have been warped in political language to mean tolerating harmful behaviors and hateful words.
In honor of domestic violence month, we will be diving into what behaviors cannot be tolerated, in order for everyone to truly achieve tolerance.
Sunday, October 7, 2018 • 10:45 am
Meet the Resisters
With Carmen Trotta, one of seven Catholic Plowshares activists who disarmed weapons at the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base at St. Mary's, Georgia.
On April 4th, 2018, seven Catholic plowshares activists entered Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in St. Mary’s, Georgia, the largest nuclear submarine base in the world. The seven went there to make real the prophet Isaiah’s command to “beat swords into plowshares”.
They chose the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who devoted his life to addressing what he called the “triple evils of militarism, racism and materialism.” Carrying hammers and baby bottles of their own blood, the seven attempted to disarm weapons of mass destruction. They used crime scene tape and hung banners. They also brought an indictment charging the U.S. government for crimes against peace.
The activists face three state charges; two felonies for possession of tools for commission of a crime (bolt cutters and spray paint) and interference with government property, and one misdemeanor for trespass. They are facing a maximum 11 years in prison.
Carmen Trotta, a pacifist and one of the Kings Bay Plowshares activists, has been released to take care of family members until his trial. He is an associate editor of the Catholic Worker. Consistent with his service in the Catholic Worker Movement, he has been an opponent of the war in Iraq. He helped organize the April 20, 2002 march on Washington to oppose the War on Terror.
Sunday, September 30, 2018 • 10:45 am
Then God told Jonah to go to Washington DC
With Reverend Karen Jackson, Director of Recovery and Community Initiatives at Project Hospitality
Is there the possibility of redemptive transformation for those who seem as if they will never turn to the path of justice and love? Is it possible to love your enemy? Join Rev. Karen Jackson for a discussion about how, with the grace of God, her Protestant tradition has influenced her experience and shaped her views on the beliefs and actions of individuals.
As the Director of Recovery and Community Initiatives at Project Hospitality, a Staten Island based social service agency, Rev. Karen Jackson runs two help centers, which provide community members with a variety of support services and programs to assist with obtaining public benefits, health insurance, and legal counsel. Rev. Jackson also administers the Staten Island Inter-Religious Leadership coalition to mobilize Staten Island faith communities to respond to the social justice issues of our times. Following Superstorm Sandy, Rev. Jackson helped found the Staten Island Long Term Recovery Organization, which continues to coordinate disaster recovery and preparedness activities across Staten Island.
Sunday September 23, 2018 • 10:45 am
All Creatures of the Earth and Sky
Blessing of the Animals with Rev. Emily DeTar Birt
All creatures deserve our love and respect, especially our animal companions. For this special service, you are invited to bring your pets, as we gather in the church garden for a special blessing of the animals service.
Sunday, September 16, 2018 • 11:00 am
From Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur
with Rabbi Samtosha of Congregation Om ShalOM
The period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur is a time for reflection. But are we reflecting on sin? And what is sin and who decides? What can a spiritual person reflect on at this time?
Rabbi Samtosha (Samtosha is Sanskrit for Contentment) aka Rabbi Sam Steinberg, is a graduate of the Rabbinical Seminary International. He has a Masters in Special Education and a Doctor of Divinity degree. He works as a special education teacher in New York, primarily with learning disabled, emotionally disturbed, and autistic pre-school children. He is currently enrolled in a doctoral program as a Naturopathic Psychologist, and is a registered Yoga teacher.
Sunday, September 9, 2018 • 10:45 am
Come Back to the Water
Water Communion and Ingathering Service with Rev. Emily DeTar Birt
Please join us, as we welcome back our members and friends to the start of our Sunday services. We will be talking about the ways water can remind us of home. Let us welcome each other back, by pouring in our hopes and blessings for a new year.
This will be an intergenerational water communion service. All are welcome. Water will be provided in cups for you at the door.
OUR SUMMER SUNDAY SERIES & services 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.
Sun., November 11, 2018 • 1pm
Stamped from the Beginning:
The Definitive History of Racist
Ideas in America
The third 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 the section on Thomas Jefferson. 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.
Wed, October 3, 2018
6:30 - 8:30 pm
Bystander Intervention Training
Co-Sponsored by Move Forward Staten Island and the Unitarian Church of Staten Island Social Justice Committee.
Since the 2016 presidential election, you’ve come forward to tell us how the rise in harassment and violence in the U.S. is impacting you. And we've also heard from you a desire to rise up, speak out, and intervene when you see harassment happening. That's why Move Forward Staten Island is bringing Hollaback! to Staten Island for this important workshop!
Research shows that as little as a knowing glance can reduce trauma in the face of harassment, but the wrong response can actually increase trauma. With so many eager to step up, we need everyone to be equipped with the right information on how to be an effective bystander in the midst of violence enacted within our communities.
Presented by Hollaback!, this Bystander Intervention workshop will arm you with the tools you need to respond to harassment and protect the rights of everyone.