Click the PHOTOS button to access all of Bob Levine's amazing photographs from 2011!

August 13 to 20, 2011
Bowling Alone and Praying Together
Our Evolving Social Ties
This year's co-chairs will be Julie Mabey, Karen Gray and Tom Kane.

Karen & Julie in 1970!
Karen & Julie in 1970
Julie & Karen Last Year
Julie & Karen in 2010

   The Flyover pictures from LOAS I 2011 are finally done. Click HERE!


The Theme Speaker for LOAS I 2011 will be the acclaimed academic, Bob Putnam whose latest work is titled "American Grace".

Read Bob's recent Wall Street Journal article about Gadhafi, HERE.

Were you raised Unitarian Universalist? Catholic? Jewish? Protestant? Muslim? Methodist? Mormon? Did you marry someone of the same faith? Are you now a member of the religion in which you were raised? Chances are, your family is not religiously homogenous. Your parents, your siblings and even your spouse may practice a different religion than you do. In the past fifty years, America has given rise to every possible permutation of religious affiliation (and non-affiliation) within families and social circles. While Americans consider themselves deeply religious, this widespread diversity has also contributed to making America remarkably tolerant.

Please join us this summer for LOAS I where we will explore the changing role of American social institutions and America's evolving religious landscape. Robert Putnam, Harvard Professor and former Dean of the Kennedy School, will lead us in this theme discussion. Professor Putnam is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the British Academy, and past president of the American Political Science Association. In 2006, Putnam received the Skytte Prize, one of the highest accolades for a political scientist. He is the author of a dozen books, among them the highly acclaimed national bestseller Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community and his most recent book American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us. More information on American Grace is available at:

Julie, Karen and Tom are busy working away on planning a fantastic conference for August. Stay tuned updates on the Minister of the Week, workshops and youth programming. Please feel free to call or email us at anytime with ideas and inspiration for LOAS I 2011! We can be reached at:

Julie Mabey

Karen Gray and Tom Kane


Minister of the Week:
Rev. Ian White Maher

Ian was born and raised in Portsmouth, NH. He is a lifelong Unitarian Universalist. Ian has lived in Europe, in several Latin American countries and Canada. He attended Harvard Divinity School and served the UU movement for two years in the Faith In Action department of the UUA, which developed programming for our BGLT and anti-racism efforts. He is a Jubilee One (Introduction to Anti-racism) trainer for the UUA and formerly published an anti-racist quarterly magazine called Birthrights: Confronting the Entitlements of White Skin. Ian Moved to New York City in 2004 to serve as the intern minister at the Community Church of New York. Ian joined the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Queens as its Minister in 2006.Ian is an artist with a studio in Long Island City. He practices yoga, Zen meditation and is the proud father of two terrible cats



Youth Leaders:

Malaga  Patti Emmons & Julie Romero Pre-School
Cedar Sandy Kindt and Duffy Peet Lower Elementary
Duck Dicki Pereli and Martha Gray/Pereli Upper Elementary
Smuttynose Toby Dills and Christine Monty Middle School
Appledore Will and Stephanie Ronco High School




Workshops and Starbursts:

Week long classes offered daily

Choose To Change Your Life
Kristin Tlili
100_2056.JPG     Are you struggling with some aspect of your life? Finding the right career path, making your life more meaningful, a relationship with a: partner, spouse, relative, parent, child or friend? Do you want to change something in your relationship(s) and aren’t sure where to begin?
     In this workshop we will explore our five basic needs: survival, love and belonging, power, freedom, and fun. Workshop participants will discover how external control not only does not work but is the reason so many relationships suffer and are often destroyed. How does faith fit into all of this? This workshop will explore that too. 
     Kristin Tlili holds a Masters degree in Education and currently works as campus counselor at Eastern Maine Community College. Kristin is also certified in Reality Therapy/Choice Theory from the Reality Therapy Institute in California. She uses Choice Theory to help students at EMCC manage their lives more effectively. 

Magical Music Tour
Assorted DeeJays
Bring a blanket, a book, your knitting, or just your ears to the lawn in front of the parsonage for a late afternoon music listening appreciation extravaganza. Each day you will be greeted by a deejay who will fill the air with some of his or her favorite sounds.  From opera arias to hard rock - just like mystery eggs for breakfast... you won't know until you get there!  Your hosts for this music tour will be Tim Riley, Diane Diachishin, Sue Sheffler, Sally Hamburger, Chloe Kostman, and Gail Ordun.

Stephanie Gannon
Stephanie has been a UU for the last eight years and is one of the lay leaders in the Brooklyn congregation, where she is the coordinator of the Small Group Ministry program. For the past year she has done programming and development work for the Akasha Project, a start-up nonprofit organization that seeks to bring Anusara yoga to under-served populations throughout the five boroughs of New York City. 

A Hatha yoga RYT certified teacher, Stephanie has been practicing yoga for over 10 years and received her teaching certification in the Anusara style from Todd Norian and Ann Greene in the Berkshires. Anusara translates as “to be in the flow” or “flowing with Grace” and is an Iyengar-based hatha yoga system rooted in a life-affirming Tantric philosophy of intrinsic goodness. Like Unitarian Universalism, Anusara yoga is based on the premise that each of us is essentially good and divine regardless of our background, fitness level, or apparent degree of physical perfection. 

A member of First Unitarian in Brooklyn, Stephanie has offered a community class in the church chapel for the last year and a half. She is also teaches at Anusara studios in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Besides her Anusara yoga background, Stephanie completed a restorative yoga teacher training with Jillian Pransky at Yogaworks in New York City. She has also taken several laughter yoga workshops and volunteers to do laughter yoga with seniors on a regular basis. Stephanie’s classes tend to be very heart-oriented and playful and yet challenging at the same time. 

Stephanie is thrilled to lead the yoga workshop on beautiful Star Island. Themes she will explore include being present, community (kula), deep listening, mindfulness, practice (sadhana), service (seva), play (lila), and having the courage of your own heart. 
What’s the Story?
Fred Mills
untitledBedtime stories, sales presentations, the music you listen to, or the movies you watch; we are surrounded by stories. What are yours? As the communication river widens we are at risk of losing our understanding of the riverbank. Who we are is largely defined by the stories we tell. Our stories are the outward face we offer the world and, very often, they are the face we show to the people we love. This week we will dive deep into our stories: our personal stories, the stories of our families, our communities, and our faith.
Using the skills of detailed story telling, this workshop will open the door to the art of personal expression through the generous offering of stories. Sometime someone will ask you, “What’s your story?” Someone one will say, “How did this happen?” or, at the very least, a small face will look up at you and ask “tell me a story?” When you hear those questions, or really any question, what you say next becomes who you are. In this digital age as we are rapidly losing ground to the allure of technology, let's step back , reexamine ourselves and discover how through story telling we can re-connect in a meaningful way with our children, grand children and larger community. 
Popular story teller and long time Shoaler, Fred Mills will lead this workshop on story telling and story exploration. He brings a unique combination of skills having worked as a Director of Sales, a Director of Religious Education, and a parent. Calling on the writings of Maria Tatar’s work Enchanted Hunters and Doug Lipman’s Improving Your Storytelling, Fred will merge real life experience with everyday reality… and it will be ‘wicked fun’!
Star Studio
Christine Cole
     New shoaler Christine Cole will greet you every morning at the Art Barn with a treasure trove of materials to inspire you to create your own Star sculpture using branches and sticks as your foundation. From there, you can add natural materials such as feathers, mica, birch bark, and shells to embellish your sculpture. Chris also encourages you to come to the island with your own collection of natural and recyclable materials to incorporate into your creation. Perhaps you would like to bring beads from a favorite necklace, or strips of fabric, or pieces of ceramic that have sentimental meaning in your life. In addition to visual arts, Chris can guide you to making rattles and other percussion instruments using wood and leather. Whatever you create, you will come away with something you cherish. 
     When Chris, a former psychotherapist, isn’t working as an Energy Auditor in Maine, she’s creating sculpture and furniture from the found wood, leather and other beautiful gifts of nature in her environment of rural Maine. She is also the author of the book The Make It Yourself Shoe Book. Chris has taught people of all ages, from coast to coast and loves arriving with boxes of materials to use to create. 
Let There Be Light: A Conversation About Energy, Risk and the Environment
David Whitford
     In this five-day workshop (Sunday through Thursday only), David Whitford, Editor at Large for Fortune magazine, will talk about the choices we all make, whether we're aware of them or not, in order to keep the lights on and our vehicles in motion. He will devote a day each to the two big events he has written about recently in Fortune: The BP oil spill; and the nuclear crisis in Japan.
     David will also talk about coal, natural gas, wind and solar—mindful that all of our choices have consequences. And, David hopes to have time to also touch on some of the latest developments in efficiency, conservation and geo-engineering.
Having A Wonderful Time, Wish You Were Here
Betsy Kates
Star Island is a reflective place. A postcard can be a written snapshot of a moment in time… so in this workshop, we’ll use postcards as a way to keep this unique and beautiful week for posterity. Whether we choose to write to our back-at-home selves or to a loved one, to put our cards in the mail or to create a set to keep or give away – we’ll use each day as part of a time continuum to reflect, write, and share, limited only by the confines of the group’s imagination (and by the U.S Postal service’s regulations!) Bring your creative ideas, snapshots, drawings, postcard stamps, bookmaking skills and supplies of your choice – we’ll have some too.



Single, 45 Minute Mini-Workshops to fill in your days

Henna Tattoos
Rebecca Emerson-Brown
Join Rebecca for a Henna Mehndi Tattoo Starburst! For centuries, Mehndi, the art of henna painting on the body has been practiced in India, Africa, and the Middle East. The henna plant stains the skin a beautiful, organic reddish brown color that lasts a week to ten days. It is used for wedding ceremonies, during important rites of passage, and in times of joyous celebration and is believed to bring love and good fortune, and to protect against evil.
Women in Shakespeare
Bernadette Clemens
Open to men and women, this Starburst is a one-hour exploration of Shakespeare's most memorable female characters and their critical speeches.  Through reading, listening and discussion, participants will take a textual and contextual approach to Shakespeare's women through three different lenses: women in power, women in grief, and women in love.  Starburst leader Bernadette Clemens is a professional actor/teacher/director with a M.A. in English Literature.  She has studied at the British American Drama Academy with legendary Royal Shakespeare Company members, Sir Derek Jacobi, Julian Glover, Juliet Stevenson, and Fiona Shaw -- after whom her Shoaler daughter Fiona is named!
Beading and Jewelry Making
Meg Gurley
Join Meg Gurley for an afternoon of beading and jewelry making magic.  Meg will provide plenty of materials and tools.  She will have samples of various things you can create like bracelets, necklaces, wine glass charms, etc.  Participants are encouraged to bring any materials they may want to use.  All ages are welcome.  Stop in and join the fun!


‘Programmed to Receive’
Will Emmons
    This Starburst is a book review of “The Filter Bubble” by Eli Pariser.
     Mr. Pariser discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the increasing use of ‘personalization’ by popular web sites, including Google and Facebook.  Personalization applies a filtering mechanism to internet searches which screens the wider world from users in an attempt to show only the items it “thinks” we want to see.  Pariser also discusses how personalization is further corrupted by its tie-in to focused advertising.
     A 2000 graduate of Simon’s Rock, Pariser is the Executive Director of
    Come join us for a lively discussion of the filter bubble effect and how it shapes discourse in today’s culture

A Photographic Guide to Bug Biology
Geoff Attardo 
Are you curious about insects and other related creepy crawlies? Then this Starburst is for you! Geoff Attardo will lead a photographic tour through the world of insects and related arthropods to gain basic knowledge of different types of bugs, their biology and the amazing adaptations which make them one of the dominant life forms on the planet.
Click to see larger image Geoff is an Associate Research Scientist at the Yale School of Public Health and Epidemiology who studies the reproductive biology of Tsetse flies. He received a Bachelors in Entomology from the University of Massachusetts. Following this he was a technician in a medical entomology laboratory at UMASS where he worked on mosquito reproductive physiology and nutrition. Geoff then moved on to do his Ph.D. in Genetics at Michigan State University on the role of nutritional signaling in regulating gene expression in mosquitoes. Geoff's work focuses upon insects that spread disease, but he is interested in all insects and is always fascinated by the jungle-like qualities a backyard can take on when viewed through a macro lens.

If you are interested in Geoff's work, please visit his lab website at to find information, pictures and videos on tsetse and trypanosomiasis and the various projects he is working on in the lab.


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