Events and Updates from South Church.

NUUSflash - June 1, 2019
News you can use, from the Unitarian Universalist Church of Portsmouth

Sunday Services - We have one service on Sunday mornings at 10am

Shared Plate - In recognition of Juneteenth, South Church will be sharing its June collection with Black Lives UU. The Black Lives of UU (BLUU) Organizing Collective formed in the wake of several conversations among Black UUs at the July 2015 Movement for Black Lives Convening in Cleveland, OH. The BLUU Organizing Collective is committed to: expanding the power and capacity of Black UUs within our faith, provide support, education and resources for Black UUs  and justice-making and liberation through or faith. Learn more at

Now that we have reached June, lets remember that so much good has happened here at South Church since those January days when we were so concerned about how the congregation would handle the news of Chris and Laurens departure.  Hats off to each of you, for the part you have played in keeping our bright light of liberal religion shining here on the seacoast. 
Our new Interim Minister, Rev. Len, spent a few days with us this past week to meet the leadership and staff.   We are so excited to have him on board starting August 1st.  He has also agreed to be our minister during the church retreat on Star Island in late July.   So much good happening right now here at South Church! 
The next thing the board can finally begin work on is the settled ministry search committee.  So many of you have been waiting patiently for us to work thru the interim process and are excited to know the details for this next stage of ministry.  Once the board does its work we will schedule a congregational meeting to vote on the committee and send them on their way to finding us a settled minister.  The committee will have two years to complete the process, which will include cottage meetings that are being organized by Kimberly Cloutier Green and Tracey Clarkson. 
We are in need of some volunteers to come on board for a couple church committees that have vacancies.  For example, our Endowment Committee is basically a committee of one!  Ira Hoffman has been doing a terrific job in the roll.  Both our Property and PIC committees need an influx of new blood also…please think about these opportunities if you are looking for a way to help out the community. 
We, your Board of Trustees wish for you a terrific summer of family, friends and community!

In Faith,
CJ Cogswell, Chair
Board of Trustees


BHTNH Tour and Fundraiser; Save the Date!
The Social Justice Associates would like to invite our church community for a special BHTNH tour and fundraiser, "Thriving in the Face of Adversity". The BHTNH promotes awareness and appreciation of African American history and life through education and community partnerships. Our tour will be led by Angela Matthews - BHTNH guide and Board Member, and South Church member - at a special discounted price of $15 per person. Limited to 30 registrants. The tour will be held rain or shine on Saturday, June 8 from 10-11:30am and will begin at 222 Court Street in Portsmouth. To register, click this link: Questions? Contact Valerie Fagin at

2019 Star Island Retreat
Make time for connecting on beautiful Star Island during the 2019 Star Island Retreat - 4 days of rest, fun and reflection starting Saturday, July 27th. Stay for 1, 2, 3 or 4 nights. There will be children's programming each morning, daily chapels, and activities for for all ages. More information at coffee hour on most Sundays, or contact Janis Wolak at We hope to see you on the island!

South Church Singles Welcome You!
For 2019, The South Church Singles are offering two potlucks (one in early spring and one in the fall). For these potlucks, we are inviting other UU churches in the area. Additionally, some of our folks are interested in informal gatherings (not to be organized by the group's coordinator). If you want to invite others to an activity, simply email the group's members at google groups' address. To join, email

Pocket Garden Tour Tickets are Here! 
2019 Pocket Gardens of Portsmouth Tour presented by South Church will be held June 21st & 22nd 2019. Tickets are now on sale between services at coffee hour. $20 in advance $ 25 day of the tour.
Purchase tickets online at :  as well as these local businesses:
Wentworth Greenhouses - Rollinsford, NH
Rolling Green Nursery - Greenland, NH
Portsmouth Vacuum - Portsmouth, NH
Nicole's Hallmark - Dover, NH

Want to garden sit? Stop by the table downstairs between services to sign up or visit:
Like to bake?  We need COOKIES, Lots of them!   Sign up downstairs between services or visit:
Questions?  Send an email to or catch up with Elizabeth Fischer 2019 Pocket Garden Convener  603-817-1843

June Book Discussion: Letters From Skye
On June 12, the South Church Spiritual Book Group will discuss "Letters from Skye" by Jessica Brockmole. Book discussions are on the second Wednesday of the month at 7pm in the Emerson Sitting Room. All are welcome. For more information, contact Nancy Lambert at 


Portsmouth Pride Tabling - It’s Portsmouth Pride time again! This year, Pride will be on Saturday, June 22. The PRIDE Marketplace returns – and will feature booths from local non-profit organizations and family-friendly vendors including South Church. The PRIDE Marketplace will be open at Strawberry Banke from 1pm until 5pm. If you are interested in tabling this year, we would appreciate your support. The goal of tabling is to answer questions about South Church and UU’ism in general. This is an opportunity to show the Portsmouth community that South Church is a welcoming congregation and a beacon for social justice and community, We will also be selling the ever popular inspirational black and white lawn signs. If you are interested, please stop by the Social Justice table during coffee hour.

Seacoast Family Promise Summer Hosting - June is almost here and Seacoast Family Promise at South Church is gearing up for our June 30-July 7 hosting week. We are looking for volunteers to make dinners, serve dinners and stay overnight with our guests. It's a joyous way to help our community. We will have a table on the Portico after services to answer questions and take sign ups!

NUUS from Religious Education 

Upcoming R.E. Schedule & Events: For more information on these and other RE happenings, click HERE for Kirsten Hunter's Religious Education Current Events.

RE Program for the 2018-2019 year!
The Religious Education program at South Church is a community supported program grounded in the seven Unitarian Universalist principles, which promote a sense of social justice and responsibility as well as tolerance, identity and spiritual growth. Our purpose is to involve children in a religious community in which they develop a spiritual sense of themselves, their connection to others and to the world as a whole. We provide values-based religious education classes on Sundays for ages 3-18 years. 
RE Program for Summer of 2019!

Nursery - For children up to age 4, open from 9:45am-11:15am
Religious Education continues through the summer for children of all ages! Our nursery is open, as usual, from 9:45-11:15 each morning. For children aged 4 and up we will have an all-ages program that is based on our school-year workshop model. This summer we will revisit the themes from this past year with hands-on exploration, incorporating outdoor time as much as possible




From Your Interim Minister

My first visit to Portsmouth, New Hampshire was when I was an officer in the Air Force. Stationed in Britain near Oxford after two years out of the country, I was directed to take an airplane for a major periodic depot level maintenance in Sacramento, California. The flight required refueling over the Atlantic and recovery at Pease Air Force Base. We started our approache from high altitude over a group of islands, one of which looked like a star. When we came to Portsmouth, I was home for the first time in two years. The houses were not partially timbered or brick construction, but white clapboard structures. This was home, with trees lining the streets that were older than the houses. We went to dinner and instead of steak and kidney pie, or bangers and mash, we had American style seafood (Newick’s). This was home. Some years later I got stuck in Pease with a broken airplane for a week waiting for a part to be found to fix my aircraft. I finally got back to Oxford on Christmas Eve and remember distinctly that you can never get as cold as in a December wind blowing off Atlantic. Portsmouth for me carries long and vivid memories.
Since the millennium started, the nature of American churches and synagogues have changed significantly. We have lost significant numbers of our greatest generation. These loyal church and synagogue members have given the lion’s share to the financial and volunteer support of their religious homes. Additionally, the early baby boomers didn’t fare well in their retirement accounts during the recession, and while many of those accounts recovered and the boomers are living longer, they are left with fear for their retirement. So these boomers financial contribution to religious organizations has not matched the generosity of their parents. On the other side, many Gen Xers and Millennials are not attending any houses of worship to the extent that their parents did. These dynamics have left the religious sector with less money and less people. This is the challenge that South Church faced these last few years. You met the challenge with courage and determination. This resulted in the wonderful improvements of facilities at South Church, the ongoing building of the endowment and fair compensation for all your employees. Your membership recovered especially in families with children and younger members. Chris and Lauren’s ministry and a solid RE program made this possible. Ministry is a balance of how you spend your money (the program and the facility) and how you use your human capital (the minsters and staff). I hope to work with your leadership to find that balance. Toward that goal, I understand the library is going in again. I’ve also asked Kirsten to develop a plan of how to expand the role of Religious Exploration into life span education and look forward to implementing it in the fall.
After Memorial Day, I drove up to Portsmouth to meet the staff, your lay leaders and find a house. I was warned that the rental market was swift and expensive, and it is. I found a Condo but they wouldn’t hold it until August 1, so I had to take it on July 1. Othello and I will therefore be moving up in July.
My first task with you is to get to know you and for you to know me. I will be hosting pot-luck dinners for about 10 on Fridays starting 13 September at my house, 66 Madison, Portsmouth (I will supply the main dish). I asked Jen to set-up a Website to sign-up and tell me if you have any food allergies. I’d also like to hear your experience of South Church starting in mid-August on apersonal level. The questions I’d like you to consider are 1) What brought you to South Church? 2) What keeps you at South Church? 3) What do we do well? 4) What can we improve? Schedule with Jennifer to see me in my office or I can come to your home or coffee downtown starting the week of 19 August. My first sermon to introduce myself to you will be on September 15th. I will be holding a meeting in the fellowship hall after church on September 29th to look at your history. Please put this on your calendar and try to attend. They tell me we will be going back to single services this fall. Your thoughts?
I’d like to thank you for trust you are putting in me for inviting me to be your interim minister these next two years and help you through the transition. The last six months I know have been trying for your lay leadership and staff, picking up much of the responsibility of ministry. But it has also been significantly emotionally trying for the entire membership to be in another period of uncertainty. My two-year interim journey with you will be a time of change which should allow you to make serious decisions concerning your settled ministry. I’m just glad to be on-board.
Yours in faith and love,



South Church Unitarian Universalist
73 Court Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801

Add us to your address book

Rev. Dr. Len DeRoche
Interim Minister

Kirsten Hunter
Director of Religious Education

Joanne Connolly
Director of Music

Jennifer Leyden
Office Administrator

Sarah Terrenzio
Finance Administrator

Denise Croteau
Finance Assitant

Cat Lyons
RE Assistant

Jen Del Deo
RE Assistant 

Communications Requests for NUUSflash, Bulletin, Web site, Facebook/Twitter can be submitted online through the Members page of our web site

Sunday Services and Young Church are held on Sundays at 9:00 and 11:00am, September through May. And at 10:00am June through August. We are handicap accessible and have assisted listening devices.

Tuesday - Friday, 9 - 2



Copyright © 2019 South Church Unitarian Universalist, All rights reserved.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp