Special Events

August Laughter

Saturday, August 10 from 2 – 4 p.m. on the Martin House porch

         The UUCH Porch Players return this summer with Laughter is the Best Medicine, a light-hearted look at humor through the years.

         Volunteers are invited to participate in small group readings. Materials will be provided. You can also choose your favorite humorous prose or poetry or create your own to share with the audience.

         Minimal rehearsals required; the primary qualification is the ability to have an appreciation for fun.

         The stage will be the Martin House porch with audience seating in the grassy area near the steps.  Bring your own lawn chair for comfort.  Light refreshments provided.  For more information, talk to Elise Weber.

On-Going Activities

Book Discussion Group    

Meets online via Zoom on the second Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. All enthusiastic readers are welcome.

If you’d like to join the group, please email bookgroup@uuhagerstownmd.org to be added to the log in list.

July 11: Tom Lake by Ann Patchett. In the spring of 2020, Lara’s three daughters return to the family’s orchard in Northern Michigan. While picking cherries, they beg their mother to tell them the story of Peter Duke, a famous actor with whom she shared both a stage and a romance years before at a theater company called Tom Lake. As Lara recalls the past, her daughters examine their own lives and relationship with their mother, and are forced to reconsider the world and everything they thought they knew. Tom Lake is a meditation on youthful love, married love, and the lives parents have led before their children were born.

August 8: Crook Manifesto by Colson Whitehead. A darkly funny tale of a city under siege, but also a sneakily searching portrait of the meaning of family. Colson Whitehead’s kaleidoscopic portrait of Harlem is sure to stand as one of the all-time great evocations of a place and a time.

September 12: Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride.  A novel about small-town secrets and the people who keep them In 1972, when workers in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, were digging the foundations for a new development, the last thing they expected to find was a skeleton at the bottom of a well. As the characters’ stories overlap and deepen, it becomes clear how much the people who live on the margins of white, Christian America struggle and what they must do to survive. When the truth is finally revealed about what happened on Chicken Hill and the part the towns white establishment played in it, McBride shows us that even in dark times, it is love and community–heaven and earth–that sustain us.

October 10:  The Sicilian Inheritance by Jo Piazza. Sara Marsala barely knows who she is anymore after the failure of her business and marriage. She embarks on a twist-filled adventure that takes her all over the picturesque Italian countryside as she races to solve a mystery and learn the story of Serafina—a feisty and headstrong young woman in the early 1900s thrust into motherhood in her teens, who fought for a better life not just for herself but for all the women of her small village.

November 14: History of Love by Nicole Krauss. Fourteen-year-old Alma Singer is trying to find a cure for her mother’s loneliness. Believing she might discover it in an old book her mother is lovingly translating, she sets out in search of its author. Across New York an old man called Leo Gursky is trying to survive a little bit longer. He spends his days dreaming of the lost love who, sixty years ago in Poland, inspired him to write a book.

December 12:  Sharing a Favorite Children’s Book. Each person chooses a children’s chapter book or teen title to read and tell the group about.

January 9: The Power of Fun by Catherine Price. In our always-on, productivity-addicted lifestyles, we tend to think of the pursuit of fun as being indulgent, even immature, and childish. The truth: far from being frivolous or a distraction, fun is the secret to achieving our goals. If you reorient your life around what you personally find fun – true fun – you will be happier and healthier. You will have more energy, for yourself and for other people. You will feel alive again.

February 13:  The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers. A story of black and white in the American South with Berenice Sadie Brown, a black cook who mothers the motherless Frankie Addams, a lonely over-imaginative Georgia girl.

Previous selections
2024 Books
Jan. Lady Tan’s Circle of Women by Lisa See; February: And There Was Light: Abraham
Lincoln and the American Struggle by Jon Meacham; March: Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony
Doerr; April: Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano; May: Old Babes in the Woods by Margaret
Atwood; June: Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver.
2023 Books
Jan: Liar’s Dictionary, by Eley Williams; Feb 9: My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma & the Path to Mending Our Hearts & Bodies, by Resma Menakem; March: West with Giraffes, by Lynda Rutledge; April: Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest, by Suzanne Simard; May: Hamnet: a Novel of the Plague, by Maggie O’Farrell; June: The Bowl with Golden Seams, by Ellen Prentiss Campbell; July: Invisible Life of
Addie La Rue, by V. E. Schwab. August; first hour: Zoom Conversation with Ellen Prentiss Campbell, author of The Bowl with Golden Seams. Second hour: selecting books. Sept. My Antonia by Willa Cather; Oct. The Seed Keeper by Diane Wilson; Nov. Starless Sea by Eric Morganstern; Dec. Sharing favorite Children’s Books.
January: The Last Days of Night: a Novel by Graham Moore. February: Oh William by Elizabeth Strout. March: The Great Bridge: the Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge by David McCullough. April: Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead. May: This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger. June: Quiet: the Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. July: Dear Life: Stories by Alice Munro; August: Our Town by Thorton Wilder; Sept.: Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro; Oct.: The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek: A Novel by Kim Michele Richardson; Nov. The Sentence by Louise Erdrich; Dec. Sharing Classic Children’s books.


January All Adults Here by Emily Straub. February: Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger. March: My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg. April:  The Dutch House: A Novel by Ann Patchett.  May: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah. June: Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier. July: A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell. August: The Mystery of Mrs. Christie: A Novel by Marie Benedict. September: Pachinko by Mi Jin Lee October: The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann. November: Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler. December: staged reading of Two Christmas Plays


January: Cancelled because of weather. February: The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West by David G. McCullough. March: Clock Dance by Anne Tyler.  April: At Home: A Short History of Private Life by Bill Bryson. May: Book Bingo. June:  Book Title game  July:   “The Garden Party” by Katherine Mansfield  and “Rain” by Somerset Maugham. August:   “The Necklace”,  “Misery”, and “A Work of Art” by Anton Chehov:  September:  Zoom meeting  Five Short Stories.  October:  Edgar Allen Poe Mystery Stories. November:  The Island of the Sea Women by Lisa See. December:  Holiday Potpourri: short stories, legends, and traditions

2019: January: The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women by Kate Moore. February  cancelled because of snow. March: The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman. April: The Wright Brothers by David McCullough. May: The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood. June: Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of The FBI by David Gann. July 10: There, There by Tommy Orange. August: The Library Book by Susan Orlean. September: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. October: Varina by Charles Frazier. November: Manhattan Beach: A Novel by Jennifer Egan. December: Winter Holiday Books for Children.

2018: January: Little Fires Everywhereby Celeste Ng; February: Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson;  March: The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro; April: A Man Called Ove by Erik Backman; May: The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout; June: Living with a Wild God: A Nonbeliever’s Search for the Truth About Everything by Barbara Ehrenreich. July: George Washington’s Secret Six: The Spy Ring that Saved the American Revolution by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger; August : Purple Hibiscusby Chimamanda Ngozi; September: Commonwealth by Ann Patchet; October: The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks. November: The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan. December: Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn.

2017: January: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.February: All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. March: The Things They Carried: a Work of Fictionby Tim O’Brien. April: The Phantom Tollboothby Norton Juster; illustrated by Jules Feiffer. May: Upstream: Selected Essays by Mary Oliver. June: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. July: American Nation: A history of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America by Colin Woodard. August: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. September: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. October: Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen; November: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan; December: Winter Holiday Picture Books

2016: January: Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf.    Feb. : Poetry That Touches Us.  Cancelled because of weather.   March:  Cane River by Lalita Tademy.   April : A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson.   May: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.  June: Mansfield Park by Jane Austin.   July: Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789 by Joseph Ellis.     August: Poems That Touch Us  (rescheduled from February)   September:  Miller’s Valley by Anna Quindlen.     October: Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson.   November: At the Edge of the Orchard by Tracy Chevalier.     December: Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris.


Labyrinth Walks.     on hiatus. Watch for reopening date.

in the sanctuary & outside.

Our two labyrinths allow walkers to experience very different patterns.

Our indoor labyrinth is a Petite Chartres pattern, a smaller version of the 12th century labyrinth on the floor of the Chartres Cathedral in France. The outdoor labyrinth is the older, Cretan pattern.   The indoor labyrinth is only set up for the public labyrinth walks and other special events.

       The outdoor Cretan labyrinth is always open and UUCH members and friends are encouraged to walk it whenever they’re at church.


What is a labyrinth?  Unlike mazes which are puzzles with many possible choices, a labyrinth is a single path which winds into the center and out again.

Walking this path can help with relaxation, stress relief and even problem solving. People also walk labyrinths for spiritual reasons, as a moving meditation or prayer.

Labyrinth walking has been a Christian spiritual practice since the early Middle Ages; some area churches set up labyrinths during specific seasons like Lent. However, labyrinths are also part of many other cultures, including Native American, with some patterns dating back to prehistoric times.

For more information, read the labyrinth pamphlet in the rack in the sanctuary foyer or visit labyrinthsociety.org   or  veriditas.org.


 Men’s Discussion Group 

Fourth Tuesday, 6:30  p.m.

in the Martin House meeting room and via Zoom.

If you’d like to join the group, please email mensgroup@uuhagerstownmd.org to be added to the email list.

Discussion topics:

July 23: Are We Celebrating the Wrong Leaders? by Martin Gutmann.            

August 27: How to Speak So People Want to Listen by Julian Treasure

 All UUCH men are welcome. If the topic is a TED talk, the group watches it  during our meeting so no need to preview it to join in the discussion.

The purpose of the men’s group is to give UUCH men an opportunity to meet and share ideas within the context of our Unitarian Universalist scope of interest.


previous topics:  


Jan. How to get your brain to focus By Chris Bailey; Feb. How to stay calm when you know you’ll be stressed by Daniel Levitin; March: Inside the mind of a master procrastinator by Tim Urban; April: We need to talk about an injustice by Bryan Stevenson; May: Why I choose humanism over faith by Leo Igwe;  June: The gospel of doubt by Casey Gerald; July: Are We Celebrating the Wrong Leaders by Martin Gutmann; August: How to Speak So People Want to Listen by Julian Treasure

Jan.: More on The Screwtape Letters, book by C.S. Lewis; Feb.: Why We Laugh, Ted Talk by Sophie Scott; March: The Secret to a Happy Life—Lessons from Decades of Research by Robert Waldinger; April: You Don’t Actually Know What Your Future Self Wants by Shankar Vadantam; May: The Surprising Psychology Behind Your Urge to Break the Rules by Paul Brown; June: How to Recognize Privilege – And Uplift Those Without It by Mariam Veiszadeh;
July: Why your life needs novelty, no matter your age by Kenneth Chabert; August: Why having fun is the secret to a healthier life by Catherine Price; Sept.: Why Change Is So Scary and How to Unlock its Potential by Maya Shankar.; Oct.: Ten Ways to Have a Better Conversation by Celeste Headlee;
Nov. Cancelled; Dec. How to escape the cynicism trap by Jamil Zaki


2022 topics:

January: Want to Be Happy? TED Talk; February: The Most Important Thing You Can Do  to Fight Climate Change TED  Talk; March: Reality Reconciles Science and Religion TED Talk; April: A Different Understanding of American Patriotism  TED  Talk; May: Four Kinds of Regret by Daniel H. Pink; June How Reliable Is Your Memory? by Elizabeth Loftus; July: How Trees Talk to Each Other by Suzanne Simard;  August 10: How to Speak Up for Yourself? by Adam Galinsky; Sept: Questions No One Knows the Answers To; Oct.:The James Webb Telescope; Nov.: Privilege Loss, TED talk by Thomas Owen; Dec.: The Screwtape Letters, book by C.S. Lewis.


2021 topics:

January: How to Tame your Wandering Mind TED Talk; February & March: Caste, The Origins of Our Discontents, a book by Isabel Wilkerson; April: The Surprising Decline in Violence, a TED Talk; May: How Can We Face the Future without Fear, Together?  TED  Talk; June-August: Think Again, a book by Adam Grant; September: Dare to Refuse the Origin Myths That Claim Who You are TED  Talk; October: The Paradox of Choice TED  Talk; November: The Moral Roots of Liberals and Conservatives TED  Talk; December: The Psychological Traits That Shape Your Political Beliefs TED Talk 

2020 topics: (all TED  Talks)

Jan.: Cancelled because of weather; Feb: How We Can Protect Truth in the Age of Misinformation; March: Twelve Truths I Learned from Life and Writing; April: The New Political Story That Could Change Everything; July: Can Prejudice Ever Be a Good Thing?; August: How to Get Better at the Things You Care About; Sept.: The Beauty and Complexity of Finding Common Ground; Oct.: The Dream We Haven’t Dared to Dream; Nov.: The Pursuit of Ignorance; Dec.: Racism Thrives on Silence; Speak Up!


Jan.: Ted Talk:3 Kinds of Bias that Shape Your Worldview; Feb. Cancelled because of snow. March 11:  Book: Justice on Earth (UUA Common Read; April: Ted Talk: May: Ted Talk:  Embrace your raw, strange magic; June: Ted Talk:  How to disagree productively and find common ground; July:  On Our Loss of Wisdom  August: . Is religion good or bad? (This is a trick question); Sept.: Three Ways to Practice Civility; Oct.: Anjali Kumar. My Failed Mission to Find God…and What I Found Instead. Nov.: A climate change solution that’s right under our feet.; Dec: The risky politics of progress.


Jan. (cancelled because of snow) Feb. 12: How do we deal with loss?  How has the experience changed us? March 12: How do we control our Wildman? When do we let him  out and when do we restrain him?  (rescheduled from January). April 9: Procrastination. May 14:  What should be news?  June, July & August:  Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want by Frances Moore Lappe and Adam Eichen. (Unitarian Universalist Association 2017-18 common read) September 19: Ted Talk: Dissecting Cultures of Hate. October 8:  Ted Talk: A Look into American Politics. Nov. 12: Ted Talk: There’s more to life than being happy.   Dec. 10:  Ted Talk: A life of purpose.


Jan. Scotty McLennan’s book  Christ for UUs: a New Dialogue with Traditional Christianity. Feb.- March: Stephen Greenblatt’s book The Swerve: How the World Became Modern  April through June: Paul Rasor’s book Faith Without Certainty. July – What does our choice of hobbies tell us about ourselves?  August: the Zenith in our lives. September: What were you doing on 9/11 and how did 9/11 affect your life?  October: What did you learn from your father?  November: What does it mean to be a man?  December: Pathways to Spirituality


Jan.  Thomas Paine’s Common Sense.  Feb. – May:  Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy.  June – July: Colin Woodard’s American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America. August – Sept. Michael Sandel’s Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do. Oct. – Nov: George Lakoff’s The Political Mind: A Cognitive Scientist’s Guide to Your Brain and Its PoliticsDec. – Jan. 2017: Scotty McLennan’s  Christ for UUs: a New Dialogue with Traditional Christianity. 


Women’s Spirituality Group

meets on the first Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.

May through August in person in the Martin House meeting room. NO ZOOM option

Sept. – April, only on Zoom.

For more information, email womensgroup@uuhagerstownmd.org

The mission of the Women’s Spirituality Group is to deepen friendships among UUCH women, encourage each other’s spiritual and intellectual growth, and provide comfort and support for life’s challenges and choices.

Upcoming Meetings: 

    August 7: Labyrinth, A Place of Wisdom, Healing and Spirituality. An interactive session exploring labyrinths and  then walking one or both of the UUCH patterns.

        In person in the Martin House. No zoom option.


Previous Topics:

           May, 2024: May Day Play Day.  June cancelled. July: Choosing next topic.  August: Labyrinths.
June 2023- April  2024: Discussion of The World’s Religions by Huston Smith with the UUA study guide by Rev. Gary Kowalski.
July 2022 –June 2023 topic:  What Moves Us: UU Theology, which explores the experiences that changed people’s hearts and minds and expanded UU religious thought. (course available on UUA   www.uua.org/re/tapestry/adults/moves


2021 – May 2022:   Soul to Soul: Fourteen Gatherings for Reflection and Sharing.by Christine Robinson and Alicia Hawkins
2020: A Year of Spiritual Companionship by Anne Kertz Kernion.
2019   Erik Walker Wilstrom’s Faithful Practices: Everyday Ways to Feed Your Soul.


January: Discussion of last section of Simple Abundance
February &  March (cancelled because of snow)
April. Planning for 2018.
May – December: Erik Walker Wilstrom’s Faithful Practices: Everyday Ways to Feed Your Soul.
January: UU Women: Elizabeth Perkins Gilman & Maria Cook
February: UU Women: Fanny Farmer and Lydia Pinkham
March – December: Discussion of Simple Abundance: a Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
2016: Women’s Wisdom, discussion, based on topics developed by the group, exploring the many aspects of our individual life journeys and sharing the insights gained from those experiences.
April: Spiritual Foremothers
May: Courage and Fear
June: Confidence
July: Confidence (rescheduled from June)
August: Feminine Spirituality and Nature
Sept.: Advice for Our Younger Selves
October: Feminism
November. : UU Women: Frances Moore Lappé, Beatrix Potter, Margaret Sanger
December: UU Women: Susan B. Anthony, Dorthea Dix, Elizabeth Cady Stanton

UUCH Drum Circle

Second Sunday of each month,  6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. in the sanctuary or outside.

The UUCH Drum Circle welcomes all ages and skill levels. Bring your drums, flutes, tambourines, bells and other percussion instruments. A  few extra drums are available for new drummers to use. For more information about the drum circle, contact Bill Pfoutz.

UUCH Book Table

Open on the third Sunday in the sanctuary after the service.

Discover the many excellent books published by the UU publishing houses, Beacon Press and Skinner House.

A variety of popular titles for all ages on both UU and general interest topics are available. Book table manager Meagan Faraone also orders books related to Sunday services and you can request additional titles.

You pay list price but no shipping. Credit cards, cash, PayPal or checks accepted.


After Worship Potluck 

on the third Sunday of each month after the service  in the sanctuary

Bring food to share and stay after the service to discuss the sermon, explore the topic of the day, or just socialize. To help those with allergies and special diets, please label your food, especially if it contains animal products, gluten, shellfish, nuts, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, or eggplant.

Stories in the Round 

Professional storytellers share their tales.

Usually on  the Fourth Monday (April – December), 7 p.m. in the sanctuary.  Doors open at 6:30 a.m.

Admission charged. $15 at the door ($12 in advance)


July 15 (3rd Monday): Andy Offutt Irwin, beloved singer- songwriter, symphonic whistler and master of sound effects and voices, brings his wry, witty, and musical commentary on life in America.

August 26: Octogenarian Elouise Schoettler, visual and spoken word artist and political activist describes the arc of her life interview-style with Susan Gordon, about responding to hardship and challenges, re-inventing herself and reminding all the rest of us what we, especially women, are capable of.


These are not children’s programs, but children 12 years and older are welcome when accompanied by a parent or adult group leader.

For more information or advance registration, contact Fanny Crawford (301-730-1638 or  fanitsk@hotmail.com).

Previous programs:
2024:   April: Susan Gordon; May: Dovie Thompson; June: Liar’s and Tall Tales competition; July: Andy Offutt Irwing; August: Elouise Schoettler
2023: May: Griots Patricia G. Smart, D. Lynn Distance and Grandmother Edna Lawrence Williams;  June: Andy Offutt Irwin; July Jane Dorfman;
August Fanny Crawford;  Sept. Liars and Tall Tales competition;  Nov. Adam Booth
2020-early 2023 cancelled due to pandemic
2019:  March: Anokwale Anansesemfo; April: Janice Curtis Greene; May: Elaine Murray; June: Noah Baum; July: Donald Davis; August: Andy Offutt Irwin; September: Jim May: Oct. Dovie Thompson; Nov. Mitch Capel; Dec. Fanny Crawford.