Workshops, Ministers, Activities And Speakers

The following is a list of people who have offered to be programmatic resources for conferences on Star. Feel free to reach out to them directly if you are interested in bringing them to your conference. If you have a name you would recommend adding to this list, please email Justina Maji,

Speakers and Presenters

  • Jim Curtis, PHD

    Jim Curtis, PHD

    Jim Curtis offers a number of presentations on various topics. He is most interested in offering a five-part series on Russian history. Other presentations he has prepared include early to modern European history, Chinese history, rock ‘n roll, and digital photography.

  • M.E. Kemp

    M.E. Kemp

    M.E. Kemp offers either a five day workshop or a one-day a.m.-p.m. workshop on mystery writing from creating a detective to villain to synopsis of plot. Participants are actively involved in this workshop. I have taught this workshop at the Racquet Lake Women’s Writers Retreat for the past two summers and done one day workshops for libraries and for the Romance Writers of America.

  • Jim Scott

    Jim Scott

    Over the past 27 years Jim Scott has visited more than 500 UU Churches across the US, Canada and UK, leading services, concerts, and workshops. Jim’s hymn “Gather the Spirit” has become one of the most loved hymns across the denomination.


  • Rev. Peggy Clarke

    Rev. Peggy Clarke

    Minister at First Unitarian Society of Westchester. Rev. Clarke is the co-founder of InterGenerate, a local non-profit dedicated to food justice and the encouragement of local resourcing. Peggy is currently a member of the Board of the Westchester Anti-Racism Alliance and is a GreenFaith Fellow. Having served on the Ethical Eating Core Team that wrote the Unitarian Universalist Statement of Conscience on Ethical Eating which passed with a strong majority during General Assembly, 2011, she currently chairs PACE (the President’s Advisory Committee for Ethical Eating), working to implement our stated values. In addition, Rev. Clarke is the Social Justice Consultant for the NY Metro and Saint Lawrence Districts.

  • Rev. Jason Donnelly

    Rev. Jason Donnelly

    Minister at Roslindale Community Church. Pastor Jason graduated from Andover Newton Theological School in 2002, earned his Ph.D. in Theology from Boston College in 2009 and was ordained here at Roslindale Congregational Church, UCC in 2013. Jason is an active theologian and teacher in the United Church of Christ, a part-time professor, and everyday dad who has discovered his love of pastoral ministry.

  • Rev. Susan J. Foster

    Rev. Susan J. Foster

    Pastor at East Woodstock Congregational Church, UCC. Her particular areas of interest include helping others explore their personal relationship with God, approaching God through many forms of prayer, worshiping God through music, and interfaith dialogue.

  • Rev. Darcey Laine

    Rev. Darcey Laine

    UU Church of Athens and Sheshequin

  • Rev. Canon Philip Tierney

    An Episcopal minister, he has served churches New England, Virginia, Pennsylvania, California, and North Carolina, as well as in Canada and England. He has authored the book, “Theocracy: Can Democracy Survive Fundamentalism?”. He lives in New England.

  • Scott Ward

    Scott Ward

    Minister of Music for 1st U in Wilmington, DE. Can lead Chapels, provide music for chapels, and facilitate group discussions.

Workshops and Activities

  • Ted Blank

    Ted Blank


    In keeping with this happy event and to honor the long tradition of astronomical observing on Star Island, local amateur astronomer Ted Blank is offering an educational presentation entitled “Welcome Home – An Introduction to Your Universe” which you may choose to incorporate into an evening portion of your conference program. This presentation has received very positive feedback from the many libraries and school groups around the Seacoast where it has been shown. The program is offered without charge except for the cost of ferry transportation and a room overnight. The presentation consists of a 60-90 minute slide presentation on topics including “The Scale of the Universe”, “The Tools of an Amateur Astronomer” and “How You Can Get Started Observing”. Attendees will be given an opportunity make their own planisphere (star map) to use outdoors. One or more telescopes and/or binoculars will be set up outside for viewing for the remainder of the evening after the presentation. Attendees who have binoculars or portable telescopes are encouraged to bring them along. Red cellophane will be provided to cover attendee’s flashlights to avoid impacting night-adapted vision.

  • allisonhuntprofile

    Hunt and Allison Smith

    Traditional American music and dance, music history, songs and stories
    (603) 431-0260

    Hunt and Allison Smith are multi-talented musicians. Fiddle, guitar, mandolin, accordion, concertina, songs, stories, dances, and unexpected participatory musical adventures are just part of our programming. Our combined experiences in teaching and performing, together with their love of bringing tradition to life, create joyful and satisfying presentations. We can develop programs that are especially suited to your conference theme.Dances range from simple circle and long dances to squares, contras, English country dance and historic American dances. All are taught, and are for all levels of experience.

    In addition, Allison is a song leader of many years’ experience, and Hunt is a noted maritime artist and teacher of watercolor painting.

  • Blue Ocean Society

    Blue Ocean Society

    Island Cleanups
    (603) 431-0260

    Blue Ocean Society has been conducting conferee cleanups on Star since 2013. They partner with NH Sea Grant and UNH Cooperative Extension on the Marine Debris to Energy Project – an effort to track and clean up marine debris on land and offshore. Litter can be harmful to wildlife and humans, and removing it from the island will make the island a prettier place and keep the litter from washing out to sea. The project is suitable for all ages. Would you like to do a cleanup as part of your conference? Blue Ocean Society will provide all supplies, and can also provide an engaging presentation/slide show about Gulf of Maine marine life and marine debris before, after, or even instead of a cleanup. All they would need is an hour or two of your time, although this could also be extended into a longer project if you wish.

  • Valerie Fagin

    Valerie Fagin

    Movement Workshops

    Valerie Fagin provides a number of movement based workshops including restorative yoga and creative movement. She is a certified teacher of Kirpalu Restorative Yoga and is active in her local UU church. Valerie also conducts couple’s retreats with her husband Dr. Gary Fagin.

  • Jacqueline and Dudley Laufman

    Jacqueline and Dudley Laufman

    Contradancing and Square Dancing

    Musicians and callers for virginia reels, circle dances, square and contre dances, and dances from the colonial period to the present. Everyone is able to join in the dances; no experience needed. Have played and called for many Star Island conferences over the years.

  • Noreen Owens, M. Ed.

    Noreen Owens, M. Ed.

    Somatics Workshops

    Experiential workshops in Somatics – an alternative self-treatment method that reduces chronic stress, anxiety, stiffness and pain. Participants learn how to relax tight back, neck, and shoulders muscles; improve breathing, balance and posture. Accessible and beneficial to all ages and fitness levels. Workshops can be geared towards specific needs (i.e. Low back pain, shallow breathing, imbalance, aging posture, stress, anxiety, carpal tunnel…)

  • Granite State

    Peter Reynolds

    Granite State Whale Watch

    Go on a whale watch aboard the M/V Granite State – can hold up to 90 passengers

  • Seacoast Sailing

    Dan Ramus

    Offers charter sailing on 40 passenger boat. HQ’d out of NYC, but makes Portsmouth area trips.

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