Building Bridges 2023

July 16 - July 23

Deepening Faith 

Building Bridges is an all-ages, light-hearted, and inclusive seven-day conference grounded in Unitarian Universalist values. We celebrate diversity, freedom of exploration, and a sense of wonder. Our mission is to forge and strengthen the connections between our families and conferees-new and old. All are welcome to join us as we spend a week enjoying the beauty of Star, connecting and/or reconnecting with our faith, ourselves, and each other in the beautiful natural setting of Star Island, located off the coast of New Hampshire. Building Bridges strives to have something for everyone, and we encourage folks to participate as much or as little as they would like. During morning programming, adults can choose between our two workshops, Eight Spheres of Spiritual Practices and UU History. Both are designed to give participants a deeper understanding of our shared UU faith and develop a clearer sense of personal beliefs and identify practices that resonate with them.

Youth Programming

We offer youth programming for all ages, infants through young adults, in the morning. We also offer childcare for kids 0-5 in the afternoons. Mornings in our youth program are spent enjoying nature on both land and sea. They take island field trips to the Pelican Garden, Marine Lab, Music Barn, and Art Barn. Youth also enjoy telling stories, singing, laughing, making and launching the “famous” bottle rockets on the front lawn, the always popular “duct tape” regatta, and so much more! Please visit our website’s Youth Program tab for more information. 

Theme Speakers

Lori McNally, Eight Spheres of Spiritual Practices. Lori has a Masters Degree in Education, teaches fourth grade, and has led previous adult faith formation workshops both on Star and at First Parish Church in Taunton, MA.

Beth Manchester-Howell, UU History. Beth teaches History and Comparative Religion and is a seminary student at Starr King School for the Ministry and a member of First Parish Church in Bridgewater, MA.

Minister of the Week

Rev. Shari Halliday-Quan, Lead Minister at First Unitarian Church of Rochester, NY.

Program Fees

$160 per adult

$90 per youth

Family Cap of $500 

Room & Board

The rates below are per person for the full length of the conference.

Adults (18+) 

Standard Shared: $1,169 | Standard Single: $1,590

Motel Shared: $1,439 | Motel Single: $2,112 


Under 6: Free | 6-11 years: $541 | 12-17 years: $774 

Financial Aid

If financial considerations are an obstacle to your attending Star Island in 2023, we encourage you to apply for a Star Island Financial Grant. Building Bridges’ Bring a Friend/Community Building Discount Program! For each new person (someone who has never attended the Building Bridges Conference) that you bring, you will receive $50 off your bill. 

Boat Schedule

July 16: Depart Portsmouth at 2:20 PM, arrive to Star Island at 3:30 PM

July 23: Depart Star Island at 8:50 AM, arrive in Portsmouth at 10:15 AM


Co-Chair April Rosario at