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August 11 to 18, 2012

The Feast of Reason and the Flow of Soul

Exploring the rich, living heritage of American UUism 
Current as of 8/7/12

Michael Hardiman, Bridget Hardiman and Marion HalbergThis years co-Chairs are Marion  Halberg and Michael Hardiman. Photo shows Michael Hardiman, Bridget Hardiman (Pelican), and Marion Halberg as they wait for the Uncle Oscar to Star last summer. (Camera shy: Katie Hardiman)


The Theme Speaker for LOAS I, 2012 will be Megan Marshall. Megan, scholar and award-winning author of The Peabody Sisters: Three Women who Ignited American Romanticism, will draw connections between Unitarianism’s founding era of reform-minded spirituality and our own. She will speak as well about her new biography, The Passion of Margaret Fuller, forthcoming in 2013.







Megan MarshallMegan Marshall is the author of The Peabody Sisters: Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism, a biography praised by William Grimes in the New York Times as "the intellectual equivalent of a triple axel." The culmination of twenty years of research and writing, during which Marshall sought out manuscript letters and diaries in archives across the country, the book was awarded the Francis Parkman Prize for the best-written book of American history, the Mark Lynton History Prize, the Massachusetts Book Award in Nonfiction, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in biography in 2006.

In The Peabody Sisters, Marshall "manages to create vivid portraits of three distinct, and distinctly engaging, personalities," writes Grimes, "placing them at the center of the seismic disturbances associated with writers like Hawthorne, Emerson and Thoreau. After reading Ms. Marshall, it is impossible to imagine this gallery of American greats without seeing the Peabody sisters in their midst." Writing in The New Republic, historian Christine Stansell called the book "a fascinating, sprawling story [of] the emotional complexities that thrived among people living at the edge of cultural possibility."

At Star Island, Marshall, who grew up attending the UU Fellowship at Neighborhood Church in Pasadena, California, and has spoken at numerous UU Fellowships and at General Assembly, will draw connections between Unitarianism’s founding era of reform-minded spirituality and our own. The three Peabody sisters and their brilliant circle cherished opportunities for collective inspiration–"a feast of reason and a flow of soul," they called it, quoting Samuel Johnson–out of which was born a liberal religious tradition of self-exploration and social activism. She will speak as well about her new biography The Passion of Margaret Fuller, forthcoming in 2013.

Marshall’s essays and reviews have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Slate, The New York Times Book Review, The London Review of Books, and elsewhere. Her talk on Margaret Fuller at GA 2010 was reprinted in the Journal of UU History. Her work has been supported by grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. She teaches narrative nonfiction writing and the art of archival research in the MFA program at Emerson College.


Minister of the Week:
Rev. Dr. Michael TinoRev. Dr. Michael Tino has been the minister of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Westchester in Mount Kisco, NY, since 2007.  Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Michael came to the Unitarian Universalist ministry through the intentional community found at another UU summer conference, SUUSI, held each year in Virginia, which he still attends every summer.  Michael’s first career was in science, and he holds a Ph.D. in Cell Biology from Duke University in addition to a Master’s in Divinity from Meadville/Lombard Theological School.  Michael currently also serves as President of UU Allies for Racial Equity and as a member of the UUA Board of Trustees.  He is the co-author of Our Whole Lives: Sexuality Education for Young Adults, and spent six years on the UUA Staff as Director of Young Adult and Campus Ministry.  He lives in Peekskill, New York, with his partner (now fiancé) Eric.

Youth Leaders:

YOUTH COORDINATOR: Rebecca Keller-Scholl
Malaga  Betsy Kates & Kathy Kemp/Josh Stillerman Baby Barn
Lunging  Julie Romero & Becca Iselin Louise’s Barn
Cedar Fred & Roseannah Mills Lawrance
Duck Martha & Dick Pereli Parker
Smuttynose Toby Dills & Christine Monty Brookfield
Appledore Stephanie & Will Ronco Marshman

Thanks in part to a generous grant from the Isles of Shoals Association, LOAS I is very pleased to welcome Mary Neumann to work with our youth program on a variety of singing activities. Mary will be working with the youth coordinator and leaders to develop a schedule with each of the youth groups.

Mary Cunningham Neumann is Director of Music at the Melrose UU Church and a UUA Credentialed Music Leader. She is the Artistic Director of the Halalisa Singers and is well known in the Boston area as choral conductor, song leader, vocalist and flute soloist. A leader of song for children, youth, and intergenerational choirs, she is a member of the Revels Repertory Company, Conference leader at the Northeast Choral Festival at Ferry Beach and is on the faculty of the Powers Music School in Belmont, MA. 



Workshops and Starbursts:

Week long classes offered daily

Art Barn

 Photography, Places, and Pendants
with Rebecca Emerson, Geoff Attardo and Meg Gurley

Geoff Attardo & Rebecca EmersonJoin Rebecca and Geoff to discuss the basics of photography and take field trips to explore the island and different photography techniques. There will be time for viewing pictures, giving/receiving feedback and general discussion. Everyone is welcome! Please bring a smart phone, point and shoot or SLR camera along with the manual for your equipment. Also feel free to bring your laptop and memory stick if you have them. We will have a color printer available to print and display people’s favorite photos. We are planning on having sessions that cover: technical aspects of photography (camera settings and their effects), composition and art, low light photography (sunrise and sunset), night photography, high speed photography and image processing.

Meg GurleyMeg will be in the Art Barn to teach the basics of jewelry making and wire work. There will be samples and ideas for garden art as well as jewelry. She will have beads, wire and various other items available to make jewelry, garden art or whatever else might strike your fancy.  Feel free to bring your own beads, tools and wire.

Funded in part by a grant from the Isles of Shoals Association


with Donna Renfro

People Gotta Move!

Donna Renfro     Do you watch children play, and sometimes wish you could have that freedom and joy, and experience your mind, body and spirit all at the same time? You Can!  InterPlay is an active, creative way to unlock the wisdom of the body; a set of practical tools and ideas to help individuals and communities thrive. Any body can do it. If you would like to become a "recovering serious person," and are intrigued by this crazy idea that we can save the world with play, then InterPlay is for you. Learn how to change your life and change your world with the mostly fun and sometimes "sneaky deep" practices of InterPlay. Learn more at This ‘playshop’ will be active and worshipful – come prepared to move and be moved, and experience both improvisational and choreographed movement.
     Donna Renfro first discovered that UU’s weren’t always serious and knew how to have fun on Star Island. She came to Star Island RE Week when she first became a Director of Religious Education for a NJ congregation in 2002, after being a lay leader and chair of the worship committee. Collaborating on intergen services as a DRE, and helping create an interfaith dance ministry, she began to see another way to do ministry.  She answered the call in 2007, beginning her MDiv studies at New York and Union Theological Seminaries, and her Interplay leader training in 2008. She is currently the DRE at Mt. Kisco NY, and just finished a hospital chaplain residency. She plans to begin a parish internship, see the Ministerial Fellowship Committee and graduate from seminary this year.

Community Singing

 Randall Grometstein
with Randall Grometstein

Come lend your voice to us – we’ll sing a wide variety of a cappella songs.  You say you don’t read music?  Then just read the words and sing along with us.  All voices welcome!

Magazine storytelling and
the World We Live In

 with David Whitford

David WhitfordThis workshop will use noteworthy examples of long-form narrative journalism to spark informed conversations about our times. Each day we’ll gather having all read the same one or two pieces and talk about what we’ve read. Think of it as a book club on island time! Possible topics include the 2012 election, the Occupy movement, political unrest in Russia and the Middle East, the crisis in the euro zone—or whatever else presents itself between now and when we gather on Star in August. Led by David Whitford, editor at large, Fortune magazine

with Carrie Tyler

 This yoga workshop is designed for everyone from the newcomer to the established practitioner. Carrie Tyler will tailor her instruction to the needs of the group. She has been teaching movement and seeing private clients for structural issues for the last 20 years. As the creator of Rasamaya® Method she is known for her playful style of teaching, her strong knowledge of anatomy and alignment and her deep understanding of yogic philosophy and subtle energetics. In addition to her own methodology, she is also the Northeast Regional Trainer for Pfilates (pelvic floor Pilates).

 Carrie owns several Rasamaya studios and regularly presents movement, anatomy and women's empowerment workshops, teacher trainings and retreats. She also organizes the annual Star Island Yoga retreat each September. She is honored to have been a two-time Boston Yoga Journal presenter,  to have her company featured in the July/August 2011 Pilates Style Magazine, and most recently to have Rasamaya reviewed on a television episode of New Hampshire Chronicle.

 In her spare time, Carrie is a visual and performing artist and is the co-founder of Iron Heart Circus – a cabaret circus troupe that challenges conceptions of human sexuality and gender and donates part of its proceeds from each event they host to Breast Cancer Research through the Save-the-Tatas Foundation. 

 Carrie considers all forms of movement & complimentary healing therapies to be preventative medicine, and that self-care and regular practice can reconcile many imbalances and dis"eases" of the body. To learn more about her and her studios please visit

Serving Star: Community Service

with Cathy Modica and Henry Kaempf

Come and spend time participating in group service to our beloved island.  LOAS I conferees have asked for more opportunities to give back to Star in a tangible way while we are on-island, and this year we will offer a number of service projects as a workshop.  We'll gather together at the beginning of each session for a brief time of shared reflection and inspiration, and then will set out to paint, garden, repair, and organize. Sessions will be held after workshop time in the afternoons. Details on island! Many willing hands will make light work, and many willing spirits will have fun doing it!  Shoalers of all (adult) ages are warmly encouraged to bring enthusiasm, energy, and clothes to get good and dirty in, and to come together to beautify our spirit's home.  Led by Cathy Modica and Henry Kaempf, mother and son who can't quite believe they're entering their second decade of being Shoalers. 

Funded in part by a grant from the Isles of Shoals Association!

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

Transitioning From Your Body
with Patti Emmons

  Patti Emmons, long-time Shoaler, currently runs the Coroner's office in Chester County, PA. As the office’s Public Information Officer, she is the official spokesperson and she is working on her Certified Medical Investigator certification.
’s experiences dealing with the next of kin of recently deceased individuals, has led her to find that some people are not prepared when a loved one passes away. This is true whether the person who passed away is an infant or 101 years old. Patti will share her thoughts on how to prepare for the death of a loved one through this Starburst. It will cover:

  1. What you need to know about Do Not Resuscitate orders (DNR), living wills, power of attorneys and health care directives.
  2. Cremations versus burials.
  3. Discussing your wishes with your family.
  4. Why it is important to research funeral homes in your area and have a plan in place.
  5. Know the details of your insurance policy if you plan on your family using that money for your burial or cremation.
  6. What legal areas your family will need a certified copy of a death certificate for.
  7. Who is considered your next of kin.

Starburst: Health Reform 101
with Dr. Katherine Schneider

   The Affordable Care Act of 2010 (a.k.a. "Obamacare") has been described as possibly the most game-changing piece of legislation passed during most of our lifetimes, yet its complexity  has made it difficult for all but the most nerdy policy-wonks to digest and discuss intelligently. Come learn the facts about these changes and how they may affect you and your loved ones.  The second part of  this workshop will be focused on discussing healthcare policy within a UU principles framework - the societal challenge of balancing healthcare as a human right. Dr. Katherine Schneider is a family physician with expertise in population health management and involvement in transformation of healthcare.  She is a senior vice president at a regional health system and member of the First UU Ministry Leadership Team at First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia.

Starburst: Exploring the Spiritual Landscape:
 Engaging the Poetry of Mary Oliver
with Margaret Schwarzer

 Mary Oliver, Pulitzer Prize winning poet, and long time Cape Cod resident, writes stunning and deceptively simple poetry about the natural world. She lovingly describes rocks, pines, herons, and fish with an exacting eye for detail. But while she does it, she gets to the essence of the thing. We readers can almost sense the life of a lilypad better when we read her work than when we stand before one ourselves.  Best of all is to have her poem, and the lilypad, or rock, or sea, or beach at the same time.

During this hour of poems and reflection, we will read her work and consider how the natural world, the spiritual life, incarnation, creation, and the mystery of it all pulse within her wordsmithing. Her work invites us to move into the natural world and beyond the natural world at the same time.

Margret K. Schwarzer has been an ordained Episcopal Priest for eighteen years, and has had some sermons and essays published by Morehouse and Abington Presses.  An English Literature major in college, she has always been staggered by poetry’s ability to carry us into places where we can glimpse the divine. She stays open to the many ways we humans participate in spiritual life. If you have a hunger for the mysteries embedded in the world, please join her for an hour of shared reflection.

Starburst: 50 Years of LOAS I –
The Unexpurgated Story

with Sally Hamburger,

 Aaron Hamburger,

 and Joyce Homan

 LOAS I began in 1963. We will celebrate our 50th Conference by relating stories and events from LOAS I’s  history. Some of the possible stories are:

º Twissie’s sherry hour.
º Attempted murder in the graveyard.
º Betty Friedan & Wally Reid.
º The presence of Fred McGill (including the women’s shower incident).
º Star Island Board President denied registration.
º Greeley’s capture LOAS I.
º Diane & Star hugs.
º 2010 fly-by.

Mind Body Awareness
 Dawn Elane Reed

As a Single Parent/Performer/Director/Massage Therapist in New York City, Dawn has had many opportunities to experiment with finding balance in her life and is happy to bring a Mind Body Awareness practice to Star Island to share with LOAS I

In her position as a licensed massage therapist at Google, she has helped facilitate Mind Body Awareness sessions for the employees in their New York office. These sessions draw on movement, body awareness and meditation to allow the participants to get out of their heads and connect with their bodies and then integrate mind and body to assist in achieving a fresh perspective.

Our Starburst Mind Body Awareness Session will include elements of theater movement,  yoga based stretches (although this is NOT a yoga class) and a seated meditation. Please wear comfortable clothing that allows for movement.

 Dawn is a Nationally Certified, New York State Licensed Massage Therapist.
She has trained in Theater Movement, Stage Combat and Seido Karate as well as having been an ACE certified group fitness instructor. She has taught drama and movement classes and has her own personal meditation practice, and is currently training to run the NYC Marathon this fall to raise funds for the American Cancer Society.



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