August 17 to 24, 2013
Leading with Pleasure: How to change the world.

LOAS II 2013 co-Chairs will be Pam and Ross Cole

This 50th LOAS II Conference will focus on the transformative importance of pleasure in our lives – in what we eat, in our bodies, and intellectual pursuits. Leading with Pleasure.  What does that mean?  Explore our role as world citizens being in right relationship within ourselves, with one another and with our world.  We have the power, knowledge and know-how to affect change in the world by the way we choose to live.  Why would someone want to?  Perhaps because it feels good.  Let's explore the possibilities.


The Theme Speaker for LOAS II, 2013 will be Dr. John Coveney of Australia
We went ½ way around the world to find Dr. John Coveney, professor at the School of Medicine at Click to enlarge Flinders University in Australia.  Dr. Coveney has focused on pleasure in his research and its implications in society.  He will present ideas and observations about our complex relationship with food, eating, sensual pleasures and happiness.   Using our current fascination with health and nutrition, his work explores how our food zeitgeist stems from social, political and religious problems in Western history, how our current obsession with body size has evolved over time from the ancient Greeks' preoccupation with eating to early Christianity and the conflict between the pleasures of the flesh and spirituality.  Dr. Coveney will explore how scientific development in eighteenth and nineteenth century Europe has affected our current knowledge of food and the social organization of food in the modern home.

Co-Ministers of the Week: Revs. John and Sarah Millspaugh  

Click to enlargeRevs. John Gibb Millspaugh and Sarah Gibb Millspaugh will co-minister the week. Now in his eleventh year of ministry, John is passionate about justice and food, and is editor of the forthcoming anthology The Joy of Just Eating as well as A People So Bold, exploring UU theology and justice. Sarah is one of the original developers and trainers for the Our Whole Lives sexuality education series, and is co-author of the OWL program for Young Adults. Sarah is the author of Coming of Age Handbook for Congregations and served the Unitarian Universalist Association and United Church of Christ as outreach coordinator for the OWL program. She is a life-long fifth-generation UU and has served as Star Island minister of the week before. Together Sarah and John have been the co-ministers of the UU congregation in Winchester, MA for five years, and co-parents of their energetic toddler son Maxfield for a year and a half. Both take great pleasure in the ocean and outdoors, and look forward to connecting with you in chapels, porch chats, and workshops.


Leon in Action - Click for larger imageFrom the "No good deed goes unpunished" department: The minister for LOAS I, Leon Dunkley, was good enough to fill in for the LOAS II ministers, John and Sarah Millspaugh, who were caring for their sick child. He was on his way towards a High School reunion in NJ when he got the call and turned right around to hop back on to the island.
On Thursday of LOAS II, he was playing in the annual Pel/Conferee softball game and in a slide into home plate, he ended up breaking his leg. His surgery went well, inserting a rod in his leg and he feel like he's part Cylon.
Please send your thoughts, prayers and good vibes to him!


Registrars: Joyce and Jim Pickel

Youth Leaders:

Youth Coordinator - Patti Emmons
Youth Minister - James Dyer
GROUP LEADERS GRADES (Subject to Change)
Malaga  Alex Screven & Jen LaBaire Newborn to 1.5 Years
Lunging Cindy Wollman & Lynne Weintraub 1.5 Years to K
Cedar Bill LaBaire & Andrea Fruend Grades 1, 2 & 3
Duck Toby Dills & Jessica Robidoux Grades 4, 5 & 6
Smuttynose Victor Finizio & Jennifer Brandlon Grades 7, 8 & 9
Appledore Peter Phipps & Odile Mattiauda Grades 10, 11 & 12
20something James Dyer Post-High School to mid 20s

     James Dyer is a lifelong Unitarian Universalist and has just finished his second year getting a Master of Divinity / Master of Social Work degree at Union Theological Seminary in New York City.  A recent graduate of SUNY Purchase with a  degree in Philosophy, he plans to head into Unitarian ministry as a chaplain.
     A lesson in not getting what you expect, this bookish man sports an earring and a penchant for the Grateful Dead.  The rest of the summer will be spent alternately reading theology and following bands on tour based out of NYC.


Music for Youth
with John Fruend
Dad won't let you perform brain surgery on him JUST because you're only ten? Sorry. Dad's right.
But... anyone can play MUSIC without a license, degree, talent, OR bona fide musical instrument. Come to my hands-on workshop and bring anything you can get your hands on that makes noise. Just don't forget to bring yourself and leave your inhibition behind. Music is for everyone to enjoy making - it ain't brain surgery.

Yoga For Kids
with Maggie Schneider
The Yoga Instructor will visit each Children's Group during their Group Time.
Can you roar like a lion?  Twist yourself into a pretzel?  Are you good at lying absolutely still?  Are you a  wiggler?  Then yoga is for you.  Yoga class is fun, challenging, and transformative.  Rise to the challenge, laugh, focus.  Yoga for kids is playful and feels great in your  body, your head, your heart! Try it!

Half Moon Yoga and Massage


Workshops and Starbursts:
This year we've organized the workshops into 3 suggested tracks:

Track 1.  The Sensuality of Eating
Track 2.  Pleasures of the Flesh 
Track 3.  Intellectual Stimulation


Track 1:  The Sensuality of Eating:  Sensual pleasures of eating; tantalizing all 5 senses.

Week long classes offered daily

The Joy of Just Eating: Food for Personal and Planetary Well-Being
Lead by the co-minister of the week, John Millspaugh
Today, working for food justice is not about arriving at a static, virtuous conclusion and glumly narrowing our dinner menus as a result. It’s about joyously nourishing our own mental, physical, and spiritual well being, the well being of others, and the whole planet. So it’s time to wave goodbye to food rules, old or new, and their accompanying sense of shame, failure and judgment. Instead, we are called to venture into unfamiliar territory plate by plate, and fall in love with food all over again. Let’s play with our food! Let’s forget the narrow creeds and stale routines that for too long have limited our choices, for our own well being, and the interests of everyone else in the ecosphere. What will happen if we uproot our preconceptions, walk away from someone else’s imposed ideals, rub out the line between saints and sinners, and create a welcome table where all perspectives on food and justice are cherished? Maybe this: we will discover the power of our plates to impact some of the social issues closest to our hearts, including some of the most daunting moral issues of our era. As our options for action expand, so will our meal choices. The more we learn, the more we realize we have to discover... and to eat.

Rev. John Gibb Millspaugh is editor of a forthcoming book featuring a hopeful, anti-oppressive, spiritual lens on food justice, featuring authors like climate change guru Bill McKibben, restaurant worker organizer Saru Jayaraman, and luminary Francis Moore Lappé. 
The journey towards ethical eating.
Cooking lessons in the kitchen in Newton Rear with Suzi Novak

Following the UU statement of conscience on ethical eating is a lofty goal with many roads to get there.  In this series of workshops we will find out more about why our food choices can be such a powerful way to make steps towards social justice and sustainable living.  Join us for discussion of fascinating articles, plus gardening and cooking demonstrations.  Participants will determine their own next steps in moving towards thoughtful, ethical eating.

Suzi Novak is a GreenFaith fellow and a board member of InterGenerate, a grass-roots organization that creates community gardens and educates people about the importance of sustainable agriculture.

Slow the pace; savor the journey.
Theme based Social Hour with food pairings, hosted by Jane Elkin


Track 1  S T AR B U R S T S
Single, 45 Minute Mini-Workshops to fill in your days

Recipe Swap.  
Bring one; Give one.

Local, Ethical, Tasty.
Tour of the Star Island vegetable garden



Track 2:  Pleasures of the flesh:  Whole Self, Whole Body.

Week long classes offered daily

Keeping Body and Soul Together.  Beyond Adult OWL.
Lead by the co-minister of the week, Sarah Millspaugh
How do we stay in soulful relationship with our bodies throughout our lives?  How do we confront dehumanizing cultural forces that would separate sexuality from spirituality? How do we celebrate sensuality and sexuality throughout the lifespan? We'll explore ways to joyfully live in our bodies no matter what our age or ability, orientation or relationship status.
Tai Chi Light
with the ever flexible Al Chu

Flow Yoga
with Maggie Schneider

"Yoga on an island in the Atlantic Ocean?”  

     Does anything sound more sublime?  Join us!  Allow the spirit and tranquility of Star Island to hypnotize you as you enter into the spirit of yoga.
     Work.  Sweat.  Stretch.  Relax!  Rejuvenate!  Maggie Schneider, English teacher, yoga teacher, chicken lover, and mom has taught yoga since 2001 to various populations, including young children, elderly folks, teenagers, college students, prison inmates, and private groups.   Maggie believes yoga is both serious and playful, an excellent way to explore your mind, body, and heart.  Experience and challenge your inner strength with joyful movement, guided meditation, and profound relaxation. 
Half Moon Yoga and Massage


Track 2  S T AR B U R S T S
Single, 45 Minute Mini-Workshops to fill in your days

Massage Matters
with Oscar Schmidt
Learn how to ease aching, tight muscles for a friend or partner.  Oskar Schmidt ( has been practicing massage for 30 years and will offer some skills and tips to help ease body stresses that accumulate in the back, shoulder, and head. You are welcome to attend with a partner or by yourself.  Wear loose clothing and enjoy learning to provide relaxing massage.

Basic Spinning
with Suzette Jacobs

From Fleece to Yarn. Join alpaca owner and spinner Suzette Jacobs for a short course on preparing natural fibers to create   handmade yarns for knitting and crocheting.

Sexual Taboos, Are there still any on 21st century American culture?  Yes, No, Maybe so…
with Odile Mattiauda

On keeping with our conference theme “Pleasures of the Flesh,” join us to explore sexual taboos.  We’ll start trying to define what we mean by “American,” and “culture.” Then we’ll dive into these so-called “taboos!”  Bring your list and your stories for an entertaining and educational evening

Moderator: Odile Mattiauda, an OWL instructor @ First Unitarian, Providence for the past 13 years and a teacher-researcher in education with a special interest in gender, sexuality and discourse



Track 3:  Intellectual Stimulation: Pleasures of the mind.

Week long classes offered daily

Writing Circle
with Ellen Schmidt

Invitation to the pleasure of writing from the heart in a warm, supportive, and stimulating environment!   Each day I will offer a spark to kindle a memory, inspire a story, or ignite a poem...   Whether fiction or non-fiction, there’s a deeper truth to what you write.  Experimenting with new and familiar forms often yields surprises.  Best of all, there is no wrong way to do this!  Feedback is kind, encouraging, honest, and specific.  Welcome to a workshop of mirrors for insights and self discovery, and windows for understanding and connecting with one another.  

Ellen Schmidt teaches writing in Ithaca, NY in private practice as well as at Cornell University.  She has 25 years of teaching experience, including numerous Star Island workshops at LOAS II and in 2008 and 2013 at the Star Arts Conference.  She has been invited to the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship in NJ for the last 5 years to give a weekend workshop.  More at:

with Alison Green
In this workshop you can learn the basics of crochet, and then move on to make a simple star ornament (a simpler version than the one pictured - see the project HERE)  

Stitchers of all sorts (knitters, needlepointers, etc.) are welcome to join us after the first day if you'd like to just sit and stitch. Alison is also an expert knitter, so if you'd like help with any knitting projects, you can bring those as well and she can offer advice after she gets the crocheters going on their projects.

Materials: a limited number of crochet hooks and some yarn will be available for purchase, or you are encouraged to bring your own worsted or Aran weight yarn and appropriate sized hook (check the ball band or email Alison at for advice). For the star ornaments, you may wish to use more than one color.

Spiritual Photography workshop 
with Ron Cox

Spiritual Photography by Ron Cox:  Open to any photography skill level.  The workshop covers getting in touch with your spirit through photography on Star Island.  There are several exercises on this to help people pick and setup photo-shoots.  The workshop will not include the technology of the camera.  But, Ron will be happy to spend individual time on that as needed outside the workshop.  Participants will show and share reactions to each other’s photos in the workshops. At that time, Ron might make some suggestions about what different camera settings might create in presented photos. Each session would also include a 15 minute Q&A session.

Ron has participated in photography workshops for 10 years at Arts Conference and taught one year.  He is an accomplished user of Photoshop and Lightroom. His photography has also been shown twice in galleries.  Each year, he has offered some photos for the LOAS II auction.

Island Meditation
with Rev. David Scheuneman

Start the day off peacefully with meditation in Marshman, 7:00 - 8:00 am.  (Please arrive promptly.)  It's a simple Zen-style gathering -- sharing herb tea, then sitting silently, followed by some inspiring words.  Led by Rev. David Scheuneman, UU spiritual director and Star Island Meditation Retreats leader.

The Role of Business in Society
with Judy Samuelson
"What's for Lunch? The Curse (and Promise) of Business through the Lens of Food"

We will explore the impact of business and markets on our values and tastes.  With companies like PepsiCo, Fat Tire Brewery and a peach farmer as case examples, we will look at ownership structures, consumer expectations and ways to influence the business of food.  Please bring a copy of "Epitaph for a Peach: Four Seasons on my Family Farm" by David Matsumoto.

Stargazing at LOAS II
with Bill Ossmann

Star Island is a wonderful place to see the stars away from the city lights. Join us in the Stone Village after evening Chapel for nightly stargazing sessions with the Island's large telescope. If you can't stay up that late, be sure to stop by the west end of the porch after sunset to see Venus and Saturn. During the day look for me on the lawn offering views of sunspots through a special filter. During the week we should also have several opportunities to watch the International Space Station fly over.

The Magical History Tour
Diane Taraz

Diane explores the past through glorious singing, with guitar and dulcimer. Day One, "Star Island Melodies," presents music from our island's past as a fishing village and conference center. Day Two, "Songs of the Sea" dips into a wealth of chanteys and nautical ballads. Day Three, "The American Revolution," traces the path to 1776 through songs from both sides. Day Four, "A Civil War Sampler," features vivid songs from a dark but inspiring time.

Sketch the live model
with Meg Newman in the Art Barn


Track 3  S T AR B U R S T S
Single, 45 Minute Mini-Workshops to fill in your days

Vintage Button Brooches
with June House

Using vintage buttons, re-purposed neckties, and other fun ribbon and fabrics, we will use the "yo-yo" quilting technique to produce gorgeous pins, chokers, and barrettes.  (See photo.)  (you can thread a ribbon through the back of the pin to convert it to a choker.)  Teens and adults are the target group for this, but an experienced sewer is certainly welcome to bring a younger child along as long as they are prepared to be their mentor.

Skills required:  thread a needle and very basic hand-sewing technique.

I will bring an assortment of pre-cut pieces of cloth, needles & thread, scissors (to be shared), buttons, and findings (for barrettes and pins). 
Watch the Blackboard for location and time!

50 Years Of LOAS II - The Unexpurgated Story
with the Hamburgers

CLICK to see larger version

Current Events discussions

Favorite movie discussions.




20 Something Group
Journeying through community and music, we will come to look at the joys of learning individually and communally, going on to look at romance.  Is it really true that as John Donne said that "No man is an island"?  From there we hit the great window into the soul of music, be it hip-hop, indie, classic rock or any other, and what this brings to our lives.  What indescribable joy this can bring us, and has for all recorded history.  Finally, we will integrate these with a view of reflection, capping off the week in doing so with some meditation.

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