REFUGEES AND IMMIGRATION: A NEW ERA

A SYMPOSIUM IN THE GLOUCESTER MEETINGHOUSE, SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 20TH, 2-5:00 PM, WITH VIDEO SIMULCAST ON YOUTUBE

This event, part of an annual series hosted by the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation on topics of civic concern, will concentrate on what is happening in our communities and around the country now. More information and video link at: http://www.gloucestermeetinghouse.org

Before our last Summer Series concert we heard an impassioned talk by Congressman Seth Moulton about our responsibility for the safety and resettlement of people from Afghanistan in New England. The Symposium will take a broader view, hearing from members of several organizations who have assisted new arrivals from many countries for a long time. Of equal importance, some presenters are individuals who have been through the immigration or refugee experience themselves. They will gather for a round table discussion in the last segment, addressing questions submitted from the audience, helping us to understand how best to offer our support. 

The historic (1806) Meetinghouse, home of the Gloucester Unitarian-Universalist Church, is located on the green at the intersection of Middle and Church Streets. A lift to the Sanctuary level is available just inside the 10 Church Street door. It is a free event – all are welcome. Your safety is important to us. Masks are required inside the building and seating is staggered to encourage social distancing. We request that the audience be vaccinated or have had a recent negative Covid test. Refreshments will be available at break times outside near the front entrance.

SYMPOSIUM PRESENTERS:

Elsabel Rincon, Founder and Executive Director of The Welcome Immigrant Network in Salem, and recipient of the Peter J. Gomes Service Award

Alexandra Weber, Chief Institutional Advancement Officer for the International Institute of New England in Boston

Andy Allen, Director of Adult Education at Wellspring House

Francis Mpfuranziza, who fled the Democratic Republic of Congo during the ethnic violence

Blanca Martinez, an immigrant representative from the Essex County Community Organization (ECCO) in Lynn

Rev. Rona Tyndall, Pastor, West Gloucester Trinitarian Congregational Church, UCC, and organizer for Allies of Our Afghan Allies

Rev. Alice Erickson, Gloucester resident who has been active for many years in the process of resettling refugees

Melissa Buchanan, ESOL Coordinator for the Wellspring Adult Learning Center

Panel Discussion with All Five 2021 Agatha Award Nominees for Best First Novel on 11/3 at 7pm

Virtual Presentation: This Wednesday, November 3,  7:00 PM – 8:15 PM 

Meet the country’s best new mystery writers in this all-star panel discussion featuring all five nominees for this year’s Agatha Award for Best First Novel — Esme Addison (A Spell For Trouble); Tina deBellegarde (Winter Witness); Mary Keliikoa (Derailed); Erica Ruth Neubauer (Murder At The Mena House); and Laura Jensen Walker (Murder Most Sweet).  Bestselling, award-winning author Catriona McPherson will serve as moderator.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Tewksbury Library. Presented by Sawyer Free Library in collaboration with a number of Massachusetts libraries.

REGISTER HERE

For more information go to SawyerFreeLibrary.org or call 978-325-5500

Virtual Event with 2021 Agatha Award Nominees

Sawyer Free Library to host presentation “Gloucester Urban Renewal” by historian Beth Welin

The Sawyer Free Library will be hosting the first two-part series: “Urban Renewal in Gloucester,” presented by Beth Welin, local historian and director of Manchester Historical Museum, on Saturday, October 23 at 2 pm.

See images of old Gloucester and learn about the city’s history and redevelopment. Attendees are encouraged to share personal memories throughout the presentation.

Part two of the series will be Saturday, November 6 at 2pm. Registration is not required but mask are for all that attend.

For more details, go sawyerfreelibrary.org

Reading Together! Book Clubs at Sawyer Free Library

For those of us to like to socialize, the act of reading can feel a bit solitary. Fortunately, the Sawyer Free Library offers a range of book clubs to help make reading more of a social activity where you can connect with like-minded book lovers!

To join the fun, all you need is a library card! Book clubs’ featured books are available at the Sawyer Free Library’s Main Desk or, for most, download the eBook from OverDrive, Libby, or Hoopla.

Current groups include:

GLOBAL FORUM BOOK GROUP, Thursday, October 21, 6:30 pm at the Library Mezzanine

Join a lively discussion on international relations & history each month, moderated by Librarian Beth Pocock. October’s book is “Facing the Mountain” by author Daniel James Brown which tells the unforgettable story of the Japanese-American men who volunteered for the US Army’s 442nd Regimental Combat Team and displayed incredible courage on the brutal battlefields of Europe. Yet back home, their parents were being put in camps and stripped of their livelihoods, and fighting an equally brave battle in the courtroom. Peter King, director of the University of Mass Boston’s Asian American Studies Program, will join the group to discuss the book and the history of Asian-American prejudice on the Eastern seaboard.

Visit the Library or call to check out the book. Registration required, space limited.

BOOKS N’ BREWS, Tuesday, October 19, 6:00-8:00 pm
Here is your chance to get together, have an adult beverage, enjoy a meal and have a rousing discussion about the month’s great read. Books n Brews meets the third Tuesday evening each month, moderated by Librarian Mari Martin.

October’s Book is “The Cold Millions” by Jess Walter. The group will be meeting in person, place TBA. If the weather is inclement, the meeting will be over Zoom. Registration is requested. Email questions to mmartin@sawyerfreelibrary.org.

COOK-A-BOOK, Tuesday, November 9, 1:00 pm
Do you love to cook? Do you love to talk about food? Do you love to share food? If your answer is YES, then the Sawyer Free Library’s Cook-a-Book Book Club is for you! The group meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 1 pm in person in the SFL Amphitheatre or via Zoom if inclement weather.

Check out a cookbook from the Library or use a recipe from home and then get cooking. Bring your creation to the meeting for everyone to enjoy. The group will discuss the different recipes, what worked or didn’t in the preparation, cooking, and delicious things. Register online. Please email questions to mmartin@sawyerfreelibrary.org

Sawyer Free Library also has BOOK CLUBS TO GO!
The Library provides the books and the discussion questions so you can start your own book group. All you need to provide is a group of friends! Each kit contains 10 print copies, a large print copy or audiobook if available, and a reader’s guide of discussion questions. One member of your group will reserve and pick up the kit through our online booking system and distribute the books to everyone in the group. When your meeting is over, just collect all the books and return the kit to the Library. When you check out a kit, be sure to find a 25% discount coupon to use at The Cave so you can bring wine, cheese, and chocolate to your meeting. Go to sawyerfreelibrary.org to see and reserve the full list of titles available.

Local Author and Activist Kate Ranta to Speak At Sawyer Free Library putting a spotlight on Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Local Author to share her story of turning abuse and tragedy into transformation and triumph 

The Sawyer Free Library will present “Killing Kate: A Story of Turning Abuse and Tragedy into Transformation and Triumph,” Thursday, October 14, from 6:00 – 7:30 pm.

Manchester-by-the-Sea author KATE RANTA emerged from a severely abusive relationship to become a national leader in raising awareness about domestic violence. She will read passages and autograph copies of her book, “Killing Kate,” and engage in questions and answers about her first-hand experience of domestic and gun violence and her journey to empowerment in the aftermath. 

This important event hosted by the Sawyer Free Library is free and open to the public. Registration is not required. Copies of the book “Killing Kate” will be available. Face masks are mandatory for those attending. The Sawyer Free Library is located at 2 Dale Avenue in Gloucester. 

For more information about the event or other Sawyer Free Library offerings, visit sawyerfreelibrary.org.  

If you or someone you know may be at risk, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or text “START” to 88788.

CHESS IN THE SAWYER FREE LIBRARY AMPHITHEATER THIS SATURDAY, 10/9

Make the right move and join the fun with CHESS IN THE AMPHITHEATER, this Saturday, October 9 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm outside in the Sawyer Free Library Amphitheater located at 2 Dale Avenue.

This fun and educational program will run through the month of October. It is open to players of all levels, ages and abilities. Weather permitting, those interested are welcome to gather in the Library’s Amphitheater anytime between 11 am and 1 pm to learn and play chess with the last games beginning at 12:45 pm. No reservations or advanced signup is needed.

The weekly Saturday sessions provide a unique opportunity for people to learn how to play chess in a welcoming environment that emphasizes learning something new and having fun, including the fundamentals and tips for playing a better game. For more experienced chess players looking to play a match, there will be several boards and pieces with time clocks. All chess players will be paired with a partner who will challenge and engage them at their skill level. 

For more information about Chess in the Amphitheater and other programs at the Sawyer Free Library,  visit: www.sawyerfreelibrary.org or like SFL on social media:  Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sawyerfreelibrary/and Instagram at instagram.com/sawyerfreelibrary/   

Dan Connell, Author Talk and Book Signing at the Sawyer Free Library on 9/23 at 6pm

The Sawyer Free Library is pleased to welcome local author, Dan Connell for an author talk and book signing on Thursday, September 23 from 6-7pm at the Library, located at 2 Dale Avenue in Gloucester.

The author will be discussing his book, Against All Odds, which has just been re-released with a new update and a reappraisal. First published in 1993, Against All Odds: A Chronicle of the Eritrean Revolution  is a firsthand account of Eritrea’s 30-year fight for independence from Ethiopia.  Copies of the new edition of his book will be available.

The East Gloucester resident, Dan Connell, a former journalist and aid professional, has reported on Eritrea for five decades for numerous print and broadcast media. He is a two-time MacArthur Foundation grantee, the author of five books on Eritrea, including Against All Odds: A Chronicle of the Eritrean Revolution (1997); Rethinking Revolution (2002); and a two-volume Collected Articles on the Eritrean Revolution (2003, 2004). His reports and commentary have been carried by the BBC, Voice of America, AP, Reuters, The Boston Globe, The Guardian, Le Monde, Foreign Affairs, The Nation and others, and he has consulted for numerous aid agencies and human rights organizations. He is currently a lecturer in journalism and African politics at Simmons College, Boston.

This program is co-hosted by the Global Book Forum and the Gloucester Lyceum.

Click here to Register

Author Dan Connell

Against All Odds is a firsthand account of Eritrea’s 30\-year struggle for independence from Ethiopia, which it won in 1991 with little outside support after defeating successive U.S.\- and Soviet\-backed regimes and overcoming drought and famine while working to unify and reform the society from which it derived its strength. A 1997 Afterword captures the optimism generated by these achievements. But a New Reappraisal recounts its slide into despotism after renewed conflict with Ethiopia and the dark years of isolation and repression that followed, the hopes raised by a 2018 peace pact and then dashed by another round of war. It concludes with reflections on how to break this cycle and begin the democratic transition for which so many fought and died.

Sawyer Free Library honors legacy of Gloucester’s Local Civic Leader Janis Davidson Stelluto

On Tuesday morning, August 10 the Sawyer Free Library hosted a ribbon-cutting to commemorate their amphitheater’s new awning in memory of one of Gloucester’s preeminent and beloved public citizens, the late Janis Davidson Stelluto.

Dr. Michael Stelluto, Janis’ husband, her family, friends and colleagues, along with the Sawyer Free Library leadership, came together to mark the official opening of the Library’s now shaded expanded outdoor space. Gloucester’s Mayor Sefatia Romeo Thenken , former chair of the City Planning Board Jack Clarke, President of Library Board of Trustees Mern Sibley and Library Director Jenny Benedict offered remarks prior to the ceremonial ribbon cutting.

Through the Stelluto family’s generosity, the Library was able to bring to fruition the installation of a state-of-the-art awning over its amphitheater as a lasting tribute to their family matriarch Janis Davidson Stelluto, who dedicated herself to serving the Gloucester community for over two decades. Among many other organizations, Janis Stelluto served in leadership roles at the Sawyer Free Library for more than twenty years.

Sawyer Free Library Amphitheater Awning Dedication and Ribbon Cutting with Stelluto Family
Stelluto Family joined by Jack Clarke, Mayor Sefatia Romeo Thenken, Library Director Jenny Benedict

Shaded by the new awning, the Sawyer Free Library’s outdoor amphitheater located on Dale Avenue now serves as an inviting venue for Library programs, public performances, including theater and musical performances, art exhibits, lectures, and community activities. 

“We are very grateful for the Stelluto family’s generosity,” said Mern Sibley, the Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library’s Board of Trustees’ President.  “Janis made it her life’s work to find ways to improve our Gloucester community, all the while seeing beauty in the world. It only seems fitting that the awning has been installed in her memory, creating a welcoming space where people can take advantage of all that the Library offers while enjoying being outside.”

“The awning has created a welcoming outdoor gathering space for Sawyer Free Library’s summer programs which are open and free to the community,” said Library Director Jenny Benedict.  “From children’s storytimes and adult book club gatherings to family concerts, we have found with the new awning, the sky’s the limit to what we can do!  Stay tuned because we have big plans, and we can’t imagine Janis Stelluto would want it any other way.” 

The Sawyer Free Library is open throughout the summer, Monday through Friday, 10 am to 5 pm, Thursday 12 – 7:00 pm, and Saturday 10:00 am to 1 pm and 24/7 at sawyerfreelibrary.org.

GAAC is Back Live in Lanesville!

The Gloucester Area Astronomy Club is once again meeting in-person at the Lanesville Community Center, on the second Friday of every month at 8:00 pm. We have a terrific program for our Friday August 13 meeting, with astronomer Dr. Seth Gossage from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, with a great presentation on starlight and what it can tell us.

In addition to discussing what light can tell us about a star’s properties such as mass and chemistry, Dr. Gossage will review next generation stellar models built to explore the effects of stellar rotation. Stars spin, and this is also a fundamental stellar property (alongside mass and chemical composition), which helps determine the evolutionary course of a star, and its light output for the entirety of its lifetime.

GAAC members meet at the Lanesville Community Center in the Lanesville neighborhood of Gloucester MA, at 8:00 pm on the second Friday of every month, for presentations, discussions and activities related to all facets of astronomy. There is no cost. These are fun meetings, with lots of friendly people, refreshments, and great, accessible talks by knowledgeable and entertaining folks. Come see us! No special knowledge or equipment is needed to have a great time. Meetings are also streamed live on our Facebook page. For more information on the club, see our website.