August 16 to 23, 2014
"Civilized To Death"
LOAS II 2014 Chairs will be Ben Goodwin 

How would a time-traveler from our prehistoric past assess the lives we lead and the future prospects for the path we’re on? Dr. Christopher Ryan will lead us in conversation about how we live today in the context of how our species evolved. What have we lost and what have we gained? Do we work too much? Do we play enough? We’ll turn modern civilization on its head and explore how we can all live better lives by deepening our understanding of our prehistoric roots.


The Theme Speaker for LOAS II, 2014 will be Dr. Christopher Ryan, New York Times best selling author of Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What it Means for Modern Relationships.

Buy Sex at Dawn from Amazon and read it BEFORE you get on-island!

You may also check out Chris' TED talk Are We Designed to be Sexual Omnivores? 

FURTHER LINKS and READINGS   updated: 8/24/14

Chris' Website:

Chris' Podacst site: Tangentially Speaking

Chris' Blog:


"Ishmael" by Dan Quinn

"At Play in the Fields of the Lord" by Peter Mathiessen

"Limited Wants, Unlimited Means", edited by John Gowdy 

"A Primate’s Memoir" by Robert M Sapolsky

"Bonobo: The Forgotten Ape" by Frans DeWaal

"Mothers and Others" by Sarah Blaffer Hrdy

"Cannibals and Kings" by Marvin Harris

"Don’t Sleep, There are Snakes" by Daniel L Everett.      

"The Interpreter" by John Colapinto (The New Yorker article).   

"Beyond War" by Douglas P Fry.


Minister of the Week:
Rev. Alison Miller from the Morristown (NJ) Unitarian Fellowship.
Rev. Alison Miller is delighted to be returning to Life on a Star II as minister of the week.  Alison received her A.B. from Bryn Mawr College in 1996 and her Masters of Divinity from Harvard in 2003.  She has served as the minister of the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship since 2005.   Two spiritual themes that recur in her ministry are the power of stories to shape both individuals and the community, and the meaning of healing from a liberal religious perspective.

Alison is a lifelong Unitarian Universalist with a passion to spread the good news of our faith.  She currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the UU Church of the Larger Fellowship, a global online spiritual community.  Previously, Alison was heavily involved in youth, campus and young adult ministries and helped to found several new ministries targeting these ages ranges.  She was also a spokesperson and organizer for a UUA capital campaign to fund youth and young adult programming.

Alison is very engaged in interfaith and justice efforts in her local community.  She is the current chair of the UU Legislative Ministry of NJ’s Public Policy Network and a member of the first Board of Trustees for the newly merged United Way of Northern NJ, a community impact organization focused on Income, Education, and Healthcare.  Alison is a former chair of the Morris Area Clergy Council and has been a leader in interfaith coalitions to advocate for immigrant rights, marriage equality, and anti-gun violence legislation. 

Registrar: Mary Heafy

Youth Coordinator: Commodore Patti Emmons
Floater: First Mate Cindy Wollman

Patti when the Scallywag Youth are 
happy, healthy, safe and having fun!

Hover the mouse to see what she's like when the Scallywag Youth are
NOT happy, healthy, safe and having fun!

This year, there will be a PIRATE Theme for the youth. 
"Pirates, Pirates and More Pirates"
For the pirates who plan on sailing their own ship to LOAS 2, 
the coordinates are 42° 58' 5.88" N and  70° 37' 32.88" W

Group Youth Leaders

Parrots Captains Jen Brandlon & Lynne Weintraub Louise's Barn Up to 3 y.o.
Fancy Captains Jen LaBaire & Dana Shoults Former Baby Barn Age 4 to Grade 1
Whydah Captains Bill LaBaire & Andrea Fruend Lawrence Grades 2-4
Adventure Galley Captains Toby Dills & Jessica Robidoux Parker Grades 4-6
Royal Fortune Captain Victor FInizio & Michael Leger Brookfield Grades 7-9
Queen Anne's Revenge Captains Anna Henschel and Mike Millspaugh Marshann Grades 9-12


Workshops and Starbursts:

Week long classes offered daily

Finding yourself in the Rhythm
with Matt Meyer

Inline image 2We'll learn about be introduced to rhythms and percussion instruments from around the world. 

We'll explore all kinds of world music through lessons, freestyle playing, stories, games, and discussion. We'll also look at what music can teach us about identity, culture, and the role of power and influence between races and nations.  
Bring your own drums, if you have them; if you don't, we will provide them.

Inline image 1Matt Meyer is a lifelong Unitarian Universalist, a graduate of the Berklee College of Music and has studied abroad in Cuba, Ghana, and Central America. Matt has lead hundreds services for UU congregations across the country and lives in Boston where he plays with several  world music bands. 

Matt serves on the UUA’s Council for Cross-Cultural Engagement and is also a founding board member and resident of the Lucy Stone Cooperative, a newly-formed Unitarian Universalist housing cooperative creating an intentional community and a center for social justice in the Boston area.

Conversation on the Corporation: 
With Judy Samuelson

Business is the most influential institution of our age.  Can we capture its power and influence to solve what seem like insurmountable problems?

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth KolbertIn Al Gore's review of Elizabeth Kolbert's new book "The 6th Extinction" he challenges the "hegemonic ideology that exalts short term thinking and ignores the true long term cost and consequences of the choices we are making in industry, policy, and pollution."  The changes in business needed to survive extinction are not just about right and wrong, morality or ethics;  they need to engage the business model and business self-interest. 

Through daily readings, we will be talking about promising conversations taking place in both Board Rooms and Classrooms that connect financial goals and sustainability goals - including a radical rethink of the purpose of the corporation and how we measure success in business.
Check out
NPR Book on "The 6th Extinction


Yoga and the Subtle Body
with Julia Abramova

Our bodies are the vehicle in the physical world. But we are so much more than just a physical body. The energetic fields that run through us make up our subtle body that connects us to each other and the universe at large. What is the relationship between the physical and the subtle body? How do we awaken, balance and heal? Join me for a week long yoga practice and discover a world of chakras, nadis, koshas and vayus. Our practice will include asana (physical practice), pranayama (expansion of life force energy through breath), meditation and yoga nidra. Classes are designed as an open level. So whether you are an experienced yogi or will be taking a yoga class for the first time please come and share your energy with us. Namaste.

Julia Abramova, RYT, has completed her 200 hour training at Shiva Shanti Yoga School. Practicing for over five years and studying directly under the founder of Shiva Shanti, Felise Berman (Shivadasi), Julia has gained a deep passion for teaching yoga. Julia has completed 100 hour training in The Kaivalya Yoga Method (TKYM) with the founder Alanna Kaivalya. With compassion and non judgmental approach, her classes are filled with vinyasa flows suitable for all levels. Julia’s background in information technology and business management enable her to bring strong leadership skills into the classroom allowing her students to experience yoga in a safe and trusting environment. Julia is also and Reiki Master and a Prenatal Yoga teacher. Come join the class and learn how to leave the stress behind and bring yogic life style to your everyday living.


Tai Chi Light
Al Chu

Taichi and Qigong practices have become more and more popular in the United States; the medical field has found increasing evidence that they offer a wide range of healing effects.  But to learn the traditional Taichi such and Yang style and the Chen style remains too complicated for many people.  Taichi Light is a simplified form of Taichi and it also combines some Qigong effect, and is therefore more easily learned and practiced by many people, especially the elderly and the convalescent.  You may call it a “snack” exercise that you could do at home, in the office, in a hotel room, etc. without having to go to a gym of needing any equipment.

Taichi Light has been offered as a morning exercise at LOASII for about 7 years and has been very well received.  But while it is good to spend an hour practicing Taichi Light in the morning for a week out of a year, in order to truly understand the idea behind Taichi, and to  benefit from it in the long term, there are a few things to learn and one needs to practice it consistently.  This year we are offering this afternoon workshop to help you do it right and give you incentive to carry it on 

Taichi Light actually has three parts: the movements, the breathing and the mental imagery. The workshop will address the following aspects:
     1. The correct way to practice each of the 18 movement; 
     2. The abdominal breathing method and how to synchronize breathing with the movement;
     3. How to focus your mind on the exercise by mental imagery;
     4. The importance of consistent practice and how to get into it.

Bio: Al came to the U.S. from Hong Kong in 1963.  After receiving his M.S. degree in Journalism from Northwestern University, he worked for several technical magazines and information services in the computer and telecommunications fields before joining AT&T in 1977, where, after a series of staff positions, was assigned as deputy managing director of AT&T China in 1986.  He retired from AT&T in 1996 “to live his second life,”  that’s when he got interested in Taichi and insight meditation, among other things.  In 2002, Al began to redesign an existing  simplified Taichi exercise into a form that is convenient for English speakers and called it "Taichi Light."  He has been sharing this exercise at Star every year since 2004 (starting with the Arts Conference.)  Al and Minda have three grown children and six grandchildren.

with Candis Dixon

If you have been to LOAS II in the last decade, then you will know about fine powder all over the Lindquist Deck. You will know about the extra Band-aids needed to finish the project. You will have seen the hunched over artisans tenaciously scraping away with some sort of file.
Join Candice and bring your muscles to create one of a kind Soapstone Creations
Candis Dixon makes and teaches art in Rhode Island. Soapstone carving by Arthur Eves
“The mutability of stone teaches that things aren’t what they seem. Winkling between viewpoints, we see one aspect and another and another, each resolving seamlessly into the next. I think there are parallels with how we see people: as we go beyond a superficial view they morph into multi-faceted beings that constantly surprise us.” (Arthur Eves, LOAS 2)

Religion and Sexuality
with Rob Keithan

Perhaps no one has more concisely captured our society’s fractured relationship with religion and sexuality—and the fact that the two are related—better than progressive country singer Butch Hancock. He writes: “Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things: One is that God loves you and you're going to burn in Hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love.” We know that sexuality and faith can be incredibly positive and powerful, but we also know that they can be deeply broken by judgment, shame, and exploitation. This workshop will explore how to make sense of this mess, with particular emphasis on how our liberal faith can—and must—be a force for healing and justice. 

Specific topics that will covered include: a brief review of the interesting and twisted history of religion and sexuality; reflecting on our own individual stories; exploring (and doing!) some of the activities from the Our Whole Lives comprehensive sexuality education curriculum; looking at non-heteronormative relationship and family structures; an introduction to reproductive justice (and how it differs from reproductive choice), and crafting a positive, religiously-grounded vision of sexuality.

Rob Keithan Bio 
Rev. Rob Keithan is Director of Public Policy at the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, a national interfaith organization dedicated to reproductive justice.  Previously, Rob served as Director of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations Washington Office, a consultant to the United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries, and as a consulting minister at two Unitarian Universalist congregations.  Rob has helped to develop and lead countless programs on advocacy and organizing, and he has trained hundreds of facilitators to lead the junior high and high school portions of the Our Whole Lives comprehensive sexuality education curriculum.  He is an affiliated minister All Souls Church Unitarian and lives with his partner Mandy in Washington, DC.

The Magical History Tour
Exploring the past through glorious singing, with guitar and dulcimer.
with Diane Taraz

Day One:   Star Island Melodies
Music from our island's past as a fishing village, summer resort, and conference center. We'll hear stories and songs enjoyed by the residents of Gosport in the 1700s and 1800s, some taken from the records of town meetings in our museum's library. Enjoy songs and poems by Celia Thaxter and the artists she drew to the Shoals, and poetry by Shoalers written in the 1930s and 40s and set to music of the day, including selections by Fred McGill. 

Day Two:   Songs of the Sea
A wealth of chanteys, nautical ballads, and maritime lore,  including lots of singing along and chilling stories of ghost ships, shipwrecks, and pirates. There's no better place than Star Island to sing about the bounding main!

Day Three:  The American Revolution
We trace the path to 1776 through songs from both sides. The Shoals were evacuated during the Revolution, which greatly changed the nature of the town of Gosport as the country gained independence. 

Day Four:  A Civil War Sampler
Vivid songs from a dark but inspiring time. I look at the war through the power of "home" and focus on the experiences of average folks from all walks of life.

Day Five:  A Silver Dagger
Exploring women's history through the songs they used to speed their work, lift their spirits, or ease an aching heart. We have few records of ordinary women who lived hundreds of years ago, but the songs they passed down are time capsules that give us wonderful glimpses into their thoughts and lives.

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

Technology and Star: Fundamental Clash or Opportunity for Integration?
with John Keefe

Scheduled for Sunday and Monday

WNYC’s data and technology expert John Keefe will lead us in a discussion, workshop, and survey around how the Star Island community is dealing with constant changes in technology. Mixing with our week-long theme of Civilized To Death, we hope to explore both the benefits and the downfalls to our constant connection. 

Woolwork Star Ornament
with June House
Scheduled for Monday

I'll bring pre-cut stars in all kinds of wool, needlework yarns in all colors, needles, and perhaps some fusable batting.       Mix and match patterns and colors to make unique star ornaments.  I'll also bring jewelry findings so that you can transform your star into a brooch.  Get started in the starburst, and take the project with you to finish later.   Materials not used during the starburst session will be left out so you can make more during the rest of the week, if you are inspired!   

Note:  Please bring your own scissors, and I'll see what may be available in the art barn. They'll only be needed for cutting the yarn.

Longwood Gardens Starburst
with Patti Emmons
Scheduled for Thursday

Join Patti Emmons (current volunteer at Longwood Gardens) for a pictorial look at Longwood Gardens, one of the world’s premier horticultural display gardens. We will just touch on some of the hi-lights, including a brief history of  how Pierre du Pont’s summer home became Longwood.  Learn about the five seasons of Longwood and some of the 20 outdoors gardens and 20 indoor gardens. Hear about their amazing water lily collection, the new 86 acre Garden Meadow which opened this past June, the Conservatory, the Pipe Organ with 10,010 pipes divided into 146 ranks, the Idea Garden, the Open Air Theater, the Chimes Tower with a 62-note bell carillon, the Orchid Display, the Main Water Fountain, and the Italian Water Gardens with 600 water jets. Then, learn about little known facts such as Indian Hannah, the last Indian from the local Lenni-Lenape Tribe who was born on the Webb farm – which is part of Longwood Gardens. 

"Help Me with my Camera”
with Ron Cox
Scheduled for Tuesday

   Ron will conduct a question and answer session to help people with questions they have about their cameras, features, uses, limitations and any other topic/issue that arises at the session on photography. Do you have a camera that has features you do not understand or know the value or when to use?  Do you want to take a particular type of photo but do not know how with your camera?  Do you have trouble getting certain kinds of photos?
   Come and ask and learn. Or, come and just experience the discussions.
   Ron is an avid photographer in retirement. He uses 4 different cameras for particular situations unique to each camera’s abilities. He is skilled with Photoshop and Lightroom. Last year he led the Spiritual Photography workshop at LOAS II.

Open Sewing Studio
with Jeanie Lindquist
Scheduled for Sunday

   Could there be a better place than Star Island to tackle one of your UFO’s?  Poor lighting, minimal electricity, cramped quarters, BUT!  We also provide supportive and sympathetic company, incredibly beautiful and inspirational surroundings, and our collective accumulated knowledge.
   Bring your own sewing project to work on and experience a mini retreat.  We’ll be in the same space, working on our own projects in a beautiful setting with congenial company. 
   Jeanie Lindquist sews and quilts as much as she can, and has fairly extensive knowledge of sewing, piecing, and hand and machine quilting techniques.  While not a pro, she is happy to provide opinions and suggestions if you get stuck.  Knitters are always welcome, although Jeanie can’t be much help turning a heel or fixing a messed up pattern.
   There may be room for a couple of sewing machines – contact Jeanie directly if you want to discuss the possibility of bringing your sewing machine.
   The open studio will start as a Starburst (one-time gathering) but we expect it to grow like a fabric stash throughout the week.


Partner Acrobatics
with Mandy and Rob Keithan

Scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday

Ever wanted to run away and join the circus? Eager to unlock your inner acrobat? Join Mandy and Rob Keithan for a workshop of balancing basics, learning to collaborate with one or more folks to perform amazing feats and defy gravity! Please wear fitted, comfortable clothing, and bring a sense of adventure! Mandy and Rob Keithan are both instructors at Trapeze School New York in Washington, DC, and look forward to sharing their love of circus arts with the Star Island community.

Make Beautiful Sea Glass Jewelry
Lynne Weintraub
Scheduled for Tuesday

Lynn will provide materials and demonstrate how to make simple but elegant (faux) sea glass pendants. (Materials cost $3 per pendant). If you wish, you can convert a pair of pendants into earrings.

Why Knot Massage 
Oskar Schmidt

Scheduled for Thursday

Knead Help: Aye, there's the rub! 

Hands-on tips tailored for your specific problems. Work on those aching parts and allow them to relax.  Come alone or bring a partner. 

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