Events and Updates from South Church.

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

Sunday Services - We have two services at 9am and 11am each Sunday. 
Don't forget that on May 26, we will be moving to one service at 10am. 

During the month of May, Mental Health Awareness Month, we will be sharing our collection with NAMI NH. Find out more information at 
Mother's Day Flower Sale
Looking for the perfect gift for someone special on Mother's Day? The Senior Youth will be selling flowers and cards on Sunday, May 12 to raise money for their upcoming trip to Birmingham, Alabama where they will be learning about civil rights. Come down at social hour  and choose from fuchsia, impatiens, petunias or geraniums. 

PBHT Tour and Fundraiser; Save the Date!
The Social Justice Associates would like to invite our church community for a special PBHT tour and fundraiser, "Thriving in the Face of Adversity". The PBHT promotes awareness and appreciation of African American history and life through education and community partnerships. Our tour will be led by Angela Matthews - PBHT 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. 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!

Spiritual Book Group May Discussion
On May 8, The South Church Spiritual Book Group will discuss "The Invisible Bridge" by Julie Orringer. 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

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

Seacoast Digital Fast - This Coming Weekend!
During this coming weekend of May 3 through 5, members of the Seacoast community are embarking on a 48 hour Digital Fast. That means no phones, no tablets, no computers or internet, no video games and no tv for an entire weekend! The Seacoast Digital Fast begins Friday, May 3 at 5:30pm. Are you up for the challenge? Read all about the screen-free events, activities and discounts at 


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 2018-2019 Church Year :

Nursery - For children up to age 4, open from 8:45am-12:15pm
During 9am Worship:
Spirit Play - A Montessori-based program for Pre-K and kinder children 
Theme Based Workshops - Offered for elementary aged students
Older youth attending the 9am worship service are welcome to stay in the sanctuary, or can sign up to volunteer in one of our RE classrooms or in the kitchen. 
During 11am Worship:
Theme Based Workshops - Offered for 4 year olds through 5th grade
Service Year - For 6th and 7th graders 
Coming of Age - A yearlong rite of passage for 8th graders at the Meetinghouse
Senior Youth Group - For high school students, meets most Sundays from 4-5:30pm.
There are always other options if your child's interest or schedule makes their age-leveled program not fit their needs. Please reach out if you would like to talk about alternative program options!




From Your Accompanist

On Sunday, April 4, we enjoyed an inspiring and insightful sermon from guest minister, Rev Mary Katherine Morn, President and CEO of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee. During the Story For All Ages, she caught me off-guard by asking whether I would be willing to step out from the piano and answer a question: “What is the role of an accompanist?”

I have heard that word pronounced many different ways: accompanyist, accompanimist (people are always curious about the right way to say it…). The more widely accepted name for what I do is “collaborative pianist”, which is a better job description and much easier to say. A collaborative pianist collaborates with other musicians, each musician on equal ground, each an essential part of the whole. Sometimes leading in an obvious way, sometimes leading in the background without anyone realizing it, and sometimes not leading at all.

A collaborative pianist learns all the parts of a piece of music, not just the piano part. Collaborative programs require language study (French, German, Italian etc) to cover the operatic and art song repertoire. I am a word and language nerd so that’s always been a big draw. If it’s a musical piece and not a song, then I sing and hum my way through all the other parts until I am as familiar with those as the piano part.

In answer to Rev Morn’s surprising question, I said my primary role is to inspire musical confidence in the singing congregation. If people feel supported by the piano, it is easier for them to sing out, especially those who are nervous or uncomfortable singing. It helps to feel there is some solid ground under them. In addition, I am currently involved in picking out hymns for the services and trying to choose those most appropriate to the sermon. Sometimes the familiar tunes are best and other times it’s good to push out of the musical comfort zone.

I am curious these days about what I can do at South Church to create some stability and grounding in a time when so much is changing and shifting in our congregation. What more can I bring to the table? The theme of the month always helps point me in the right direction. I don’t necessarily look for pieces with titles containing the monthly theme –“curiosity, wholeness” etc. but rather try to tune in on the mood of the sermon, the flavor and message of the hymns, and create a place where people can enter in and feel welcome. Maybe a calming prelude to help people settle in, a contemplative offertory, and an uplifting and energizing postlude to send people off into the day. I hope that my particular skills as a collaborative pianist help to support and sustain the South Church congregation as we all move forward together.




South Church Unitarian Universalist
73 Court Street
Portsmouth, NH 03801

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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 

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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



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