Debbie Diegoli

Dec 292019
 
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January 19, “Health Is the First Wealth” with Dr. Jim Cahill and Rev. Mellen Kennedy

Jim and Mellen will reflect on the spiritual foundation of health.  Each of them made it through difficult health challenges. They both say now, Jim in his 70’s and Mellen in her 60’s, that they have never felt happier or healthier in their lives! They’ll share their thoughts and experiences including reflecting on the saying, “The body is the temple of the holy spirit.”  The service will be followed by Souper Sunday lunch.  After lunch join us for a discussion of the topic of the service and the book, “Younger Next Year: Living Strong, Fit and Sexy – Until You’re 80 and Beyond.”  A few free copies of the book are available on the Harvest Table in the Lobby.

January 26:

Cultivating Wisdom and Building Community with Rev. Telos Whitfield  We will explore the qualities needed to deepen our wisdom, strengthen ourselves and build community in this new year.  Rev. Telos Whitfield serves the Universalist Society of Strafford and works as thrift store manager for the Southeastern Vermont Community Action. Working for peace has been a path she has followed for decades, including a 300 mile peace walk for nuclear disarmament in 1987, managing the Earth Charter Celebration in 2001, attending multiple retreats with Buddhist peace leader Thich Nhat Hanh, and completing his 14 mindfulness trainings program. She has also folded thousands of peace cranes over the years!


January 5, “Labyrinth Service” with Ellen Allman

The sanctuary will be set up with a simple labyrinth.  Ellen will talk about the history of labyrinths.  There will be songs, reading and an opportunity to walk the labyrinth, as well as a lap labyrinth to be used by anyone not wishing to walk the larger one.  All welcome!

January 12,  “Living Love in Turbulent Times:  King the Great Collaborator” with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy

One person alone does not a great social movement make.  King expressed and embodied some critical lessons on how to work with others to effect lasting social change, to bring the Kingdom of God on Earth, as King would say.  In these challenging times, King’s legacy is a treasure trove!  Come, role up your sleeves and dive in to the learning the slippery work of collaboration.  A Friends on the Path Small Group Discussion on the topic will follow the coffee hour.   All welcome
Dec 282019
 
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CANCELLED: January Coffee House. Jay Doucette will now play on Saturday, February 15, 7 pm

     Jay Doucette will perform at the UU Coffee House on Saturday, FEBRUARY 15.
  Please come and enjoy the music and the delightful refreshments. No             admission fee. Doors open at 6:30, music starts at 7 pm. You’ll be able to     purchase delicious snacks and beverages.  Held at the Meetinghouse at 21   Fairground Rd, Springfield, VT. .All welcome!

Souper Sunday, January 19 After the Service

The Caring Committee is sponsoring Souper Sunday on January 19th. This is a time to gather after the Service and share soup and bread as well as conversation. Soup and bread will be $4 (no charge for visitors). Join us!  

Meetinghouse Book Group, “Younger Next Year”  Sunday, January 19, after Souper Sunday

Our next book will be “Younger Next Year: Live Strong , Fit, and Sexy — Until You’re 80 and Beyond.” by Chris Crowley and Henry Lodge, MD.  This is a great book that challenges many of our unquestioned assumptions about aging. You’re invited to start the New Year with this very hopeful and empowering book. The book discussion will be co-led by Jim Cahill, MD and Rev. Mellen.  We’ll meet after the Souper Sunday lunch on January 19.  Several copies of the book are available for free on the Harvest Table in the lobby.

Tai Chi Winter Session Begins,  January 20th  ~ Weekly on Mondays from January 20 – March 30, 5-6 pm

New session of weekly tai chi classes begins on January 20th.  Tai chi can improve your balance, help improve body alignment and bring a new sense of coordination. Instructor Sue Rubel is certified by Tai Chi Vermont. Please wear comfortable clothing, flat shoes. No charge. All welcome – all abilities! No experience necessary. Held at the Meetinghouse, on Mondays through March 30th. 


First Friday Film: “Dancing with the Cannibal Giant: 5 Stories of the New Transition”   January 3, 7 pm (rescheduled from Dec. 6)

“When today’s stories of crushing greed and endless growth  have come to an end, what, then, will be the new stories?”

This documentary  portrays “five remarkable stories of people and places transforming the world.” Narrated by Penobscot elder, Sherri Mitchell (Weh’na Ha’mu Kwasset), “we are introduced to the Penobscot mythology of the cannibal giant: a creature awakened by the destruction of mother earth. The film is told through the lens of this powerful prophecy: only if people can awaken to their own destruction, and the need for change, will the cannibal giant be put back to sleep.” The film includes groups from Vermont and upstate New York among the New Stories for the Great Transition.

“The way that we are living in the world right now is disconnected from the source of our survival … This is not the time to wallow in despair and fear, this is not the time to waste our energies pointing fingers and casting blame. This is a time for us to organize, it’s a time for us to galvanize our efforts, and to unify in ways that we never have before, to protect what is sacred and precious to us.”  – Sherri Mitchell

Executive Producer of the film, Chris Wood of BALE (Building a Local Economy) in South Royalton, will join us for a discussion after the film. Free admission and popcorn. Held at the Meetinghouse, 21 Fairground Road, Springfield, VT 05156

Games & Crafts Night, Saturday January 11, 6:30-8:30 pm

Join us for a fun evening of games and crafting on Saturday evening, January 11th . Bring a craft, knitting, mending project  – or bring your own game  – or play one of ours. All welcome!

Nov 302019
 

THE GRATITUDE CHALLENGE
 Between Now & New Years’ Day

1. Keep a Gratitude Journal.  Take just a few minutes a day to write down three things you’re grateful for. You rewire your brain when we take on a daily practice like this.  When You develop the habit of writing down what You’re thankful for, You get stronger and stronger at noticing positive things! And more things to be grateful for come your way!

OR                      

2. Keep a Good Stuff Journal. Journal at the end of the day about a positive experience you had.  Taking the time to record a positive experience imprints it into your awareness. The good feelings grow and You get more adept at noticing good stuff!  You actually become happier over time as You do this.

Want some nudges for this challenge? 
* Come to the Small Group Discussion on Sun. Dec. 8 at 11:45 led by Rev. Mellen
Read the quotes in this newsletter
* Subscribe for free to “Word for the Day” from Gratefulness.org
* Make a “gratitude magnet” with a quote or image that will
remind You and hang it where You’ll see it regularly.

Six weeks is about how long it takes to imprint a new habit.  So start now and by the new year, You’ll be a new You!  With your newly grateful heart, may 2020 be your best yet!

Nov 302019
 

*Tai Chi Classes are taking a break until mid-January 2020*


Please note: there is NO Rumi celebration on December 17th.  That listing in the local paper was in error. 

December 17th is the anniversary of Rumi’s death; however, our  celebration was held on December 8th.  We’re sorry for any confusion.


Entheogens Discussion Group, Sunday, Dec. 1 at 11:45 – 1 pm
Some of us were very inspired by reading Michael Pollan’s new book, “How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Up about Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence.”  Though we’re done with the book, we’re continuing the conversation. Join us on Sunday as we watch and discuss a short video on Holotropic Breathwork, explore bring a breathwork person to Springfield and discuss other resources for our mutual learning.  Facilitated by Rev. Mellen.

12/6 Film Cancelled -will be rescheduled in the future.

Got Hope?  Come See this Film!!


“Dancing with the Cannibal Giant: 5 Stories of the New Transition”
Special Screening with Executive Producer of the film, Chris Wood
First Friday Film, December 6, 7 pm

“When today’s stories of crushing greed and endless growth have come to an end, what,
then, will be the new stories?”
This documentary portrays “five remarkable stories of people and places transforming the world.” Narrated by Penobscot elder, Sherri Mitchell (Weh’na Ha’mu Kwasset), “we are introduced to the Penobscot mythology of the cannibal giant: a creature awakened by the destruction of mother earth. The film is told through the lens of this powerful prophecy: only if people can awaken to their own destruction, and the need for change, will the cannibal giant be put back to sleep.” The film includes groups from Vermont and upstate New York among the New Stories for the Great Transition.

“The way that we are living in the world right now is disconnected from the source of our survival .. This is not the time to wallow in despair and fear, this is not the time to waste our energies pointing fingers and casting blame. This is a time for us to organize, it’s a time for us to galvanize our efforts, and to unify in ways that we never have before, to protect what is sacred and precious to us.” – Sherri Mitchell

Rev. Mellen saw the film at a showing where she lives in Lincoln and met the Executive Producer of the film,  Chris Wood of BALE (Building a Local Economy) in South Royalton. Mellen was so inspired by the film that she asked Chris to come show it in Springfield.  Chris will join us for a discussion after the film. Free admission and popcorn.

 

“Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude” 11:45-1:00 pm, Small Group Discussion facilitated by Rev. Mellen – part of the Gratitude Challenge – See:

Rumi Night with Poetry and Dancing

Sunday, December 8, 4-5:30 pm followed by reception

A participatory evening of Poetry, Meditation & Sufi dancing here at the  Meetinghouse. Live music with The Dances of Universal Peace. Sarah-Elizabeth Anderson, David Khalid Willis,  Wahaba Babb, Alim LaBrie and Mellen Kennedy will  lead us. December 17 is the 746th anniversary of the passing of Jalaluddin Rumi, the great Persian mystic and poet.
Around the world, fans of Rumi meet in December to recite his poetry and remember his inspiring life. Join us for our own local celebration.  No admission fee; donations accepted.

Coffee House: Josh Hall, Saturday, December 14, 7 pm

New Hampshire native, Joshua Hall started playing guitar at age 14. His relationship with music has found him embracing, composing, and performing in an unusually wide variety of musical styles.  Classically trained, he earned his bachelors degree in music education from Ithaca College. In 1997, he began teaching music at the Frances C. Richmond Middle School in Hanover, NH, where he continues to direct several choruses, jazz and concert bands, general music, and the guitar program.

Joshua married his high school sweetheart, Angie, and regularly accompanies her Yoga classes at various yoga studios in the area. His two daughters, Isabella and Ellessia, provided constant inspiration and reminders of how free we are as children. Whether he is writing music for solo guitar, yoga classes, or Extraneous Solutions, Joshua draws inspiration from all areas of his life.

In his most recent release, Simple Life, Joshua explores regular life with all of its complex emotions. Feelings of joy and melancholy entwine throughout. Just as each day has its peaks and valleys of emotion, these songs each occupy their own emotional space. Struggles with sobriety, the joy of a happy marriage, the sadness of leaving your first house, and the tenacity of will to stay present in the moment all find a voice on this album.

Please come and enjoy the music and the delightful refreshments. No admission fee. Doors open at 6:30, music starts at 7 pm. You’ll be able to purchase delicious snacks and beverages.  All welcome!

Souper Sunday, December 15 –  After the Service

 The Caring Committee is sponsoring Souper Sunday on December 15th. This is a   time to gather after the Service and share soup and bread as well as conversation.   Soup and bread will be $4 (no charge for visitors). Join us!  We’ll decorate the tree after lunch.
Nov 222019
 
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December 29:  Annual Fire Ceremony with JoAnn Gaffron-Hargrove

Our traditional Fire Ceremony will help us prepare for the New Year. After a reflection on “Our Attitudes toward Time”, we will use the cleansing fire to rid ourselves of those things which burden us and we wish to be rid of for a new start. Then each of us will write a  list of intentions for the New year and seal them is a self-addressed envelope. This will be returned to you in the fall of 2020.  Each person will light a candle of love and hope for the New Year.

December 31: “Words of Hope, Songs of Peace: New Year’s Eve Vesper Service for Peace”  5 pm AT THE CHESTER UU
The interfaith Peace Choir will sing for peace in the coming year at our third annual New Year’s Eve Vesper for Peace – Words of Hope, Songs of Peace.  The candle-light service includes anthems, poetry, meditation, hymns and chants, and special messages by visiting clergy of multiple faiths including Rev. Mellen Kennedy. Held at the First Universalist Parish, 211 North St, Chester, VT. Located on Route 103, 1 mile north of Chester’s village. 802.875.3257


December 1st: “What if? The Power of Open and Honest Questions” with Charis Boke.  None of us get through life without encountering difficulties alongside our joys. When we witness others, or shepherd ourselves along our own life path, one of the most powerful things we can do is to ask open and honest questions. Today we will reflect together on what it means to open to the unknown as a powerful teacher.

December 8th:  “Rumi: Poet for Our Times with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy In preparation for Rumi’s Urs on Dec. 17th, we’ll gather to hear his poetry, sing or chant and listen to stories about his inspiring and challenging life.  Rumi was a 13th century Sufi poet adn mystic.  He grew up and lived in a time of turmoil and his insights speak so clearly to our time. Join us for a celebration of Rumi. You’re invited to bring your favorite Rumi poem to share if You’d like.

December 15th: Creating Holiday Traditions with Sharon Mueller  At this darkest time of year, many spiritual traditions have, over the centuries, provided ways to celebrate. Whether ancient or modern, what traditions have touched your life, brought you joy? Let’s look at those we hold to, those we can let go of, and new ones that create joy and good cheer.
(After the service and Souper Sunday lunch,  everyone is invited to join in decorating our tree, one of our own traditions!)

December 22: Solstice Candlelight Service, 5 pm, followed by a High Tea

This year’s theme is The Children and Youth Will Lead US, and the service will include a holiday skit or two, sharing stories of the season, singing carols and lighting candles.  There will be original music by Bill Brink, a joint performance by members of the Chester and Springfield UU choirs, and demonstration by our Tai Chi class members. A High Tea follows the service. The December 22nd Share the Plate will benefit the World Food Program for Syrian refugees.
Nov 042019
 
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CANCELLED: November 24: “The Mountains Are Calling and I Must Go.” with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy and Ephraim, two mountain enthusiasts.

Ephraim is the nine year old grandson of Diane Kemble who lives up to being named for Mt. Ephraim. We’ll have special music with Paul Ippolito leading us in a couple of mountain songs. We’ll be singing the Vermont state song, “These Green Mountains”. This is definitely a service for all generations to enjoy together!


November 3: “The Land Loves Us Back” with Charis Boke What does it feel like to belong to a place? Right now in this complicated world, asking this question can help us think about histories of power, and also help us to lift our gaze to the possibility of healing relations with land and reconnecting communities.
As a scholar-practitioner of anthropology, the environment, and health, Charis also serves her communities as a teacher and an organizer. Drawing on her background as an anthropologist of medicine, healing and religion, as well as her long term commitment to building a socially and environmentally just world, she tries to help communities figure out how to analyze issues and work to do better–to move towards mutual thriving with the planet.

November 10: “Visioning Through Collage” with Shannon Aubin and Sharon Mueller Sharon and Shannon collaborate to present the Power of Visioning Through Collage. We will share personal experiences and invite you to try your hand at creating your own!

November 17: “Attitude of Gratitude” with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy and Cathy Shidlovsky As we move toward celebrating Thanksgiving, let’s pause to reflect of one of the most powerful forces in the world: gratitude. We’ll share stories, life experiences, poems and challenges. Join us!

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~ Rumi

Oct 262019
 
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 Tai Chi with Sue Rubel – Fall Session Weekly Classes on Mondays, 5-6 pm, through December 16th.

This class will let you discover for yourself why so many people are now taking tai chi classes. You’ll see how tai chi can improve your balance, help you with better body alignment, and bring a new sense of coordination. In all cases you’ll find tai chi’s movements gentle and slow, allowing time for you to open your senses in new ways.
No experience is necessary. Suitable for all ages and abilities. Instructor Sue Rubel s certified by Tai Chi Vermont. Please wear comfortable clothing and flat shoes. No charge. All welcome!
Held here at the Meetinghouse.

 

Coffee House Music Series, November 16, 7 pm: Pat Daddona

Pat Daddona will be the featured artist at the Saturday, November 16th UU Coffee House. Nurtured pat-on-lets-chatmusically in New London, Conn. Pat plays originals, covers and a bit of banjo,  Janis Ian, Lui Collins, Joni Mitchell and Tracy Chapman are just some of her heroes. As the poet and her teacher William Meredith said, “what we must learn is how to walk light.” Pat spent most of her journalism career in Connecticut, and now works at mentoring and youth service nonprofits in Windsor County. She lives in Chester with her partner and cat. Check out her website at https://www.reverbnation.com/patriciadaddona/songs.
Weathersfield singer/songwriter Bill Brink will open for Pat. Come enjoy the music and the delightful refreshments. No admission fee. Doors open at 6:30, music starts at 7 pm. You’ll be able to purchase delicious snacks and beverages. . Held at the Meetinghouse at 21 Fairground Road, Springfield, VT. All welcome!

First Friday Film “Paris to Pittsburgh” & Panel Discussion, November 1, 7 pm
From Florida to Iowa to California, the consequences of climate change are increasingly evident across the country. These impacts have created a new force for change as mayors, governors, businesses, and everyday citizens launch local climate solutions. . . .
This free screening of “Paris to Pittsburgh” will be followed by a panel discussion on proposed Vermont legislation related to climate change will follow the film. Doors open at 6:30 pm.
Hosted by Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse & Springfield Energy Committee.
Sponsored by Vermont Climate & Health Alliance and Vermont Interfaith Power & Light.
For more information, e-mail Dan at contact@vtcha.org
Games & Crafts Night: Saturday, November 2, 6:30-8:30 pm*

 Join us for a fun evening of games and crafting on this Saturday evening. Bring
your own game or craft project – or play one of ours. All welcome!
* Note that this month t\games night will be on the first Saturday to accommodate the Jamaican dinner that will take place on November 9th.

Jamaican Dinner, Saturday, November 9, 5:30-6:30 pm
Fundraiser for the Meetinghouse

Join us for a hearty meal featuring:

  • Jerk chicken .
  • Rice and beans
  • Baked sweet potatoes
  • Cole slaw
  • Banana bread
  • Grilled bananas and pineapple
  • Fruit punch

Cost: $15 for adults ($8 for kids 12 & under; preschoolers free). Please let Deb Diegoli know if you plan to come.  Contact uuspringfieldvt@gmail.com .

Important change re: 2nd Wednesday Gentle Seva Yoga:                               

Aimee is changing her schedule for the winter months and will offer Seva Candlelight Yoga by donation at her studio at East View Farm, 689 Massey Rd, Springfield, Vermont 05156. For more about Aimee’s studio, please see https://eastviewfarmvermont.com/

Oct 012019
 
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 October 27, Heritage of Mind and Heart  with Diane Kemble What do we carry from our ancestors and pass on to our children? What is in our carefully loaded ship? How does living our Unitarian Universalist Principles help provide guidance for all generations?
In a house which becomes a home,
one hands down and another takes up
the heritage of mind and heart,
laughter and tears, musings and deed
s. –   Antoine de Saint-Exupery

 

October 6,  “Music Alone Shall Live”  with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy
Twenty years ago, members of the Meetinghouse had a vision — They created the Music and Piano Fund which resulted in the purchase of the beautiful piano that we now use in the sanctuary.   Let’s celebrate the power of music and the vision of those folks back then. And let’s look ahead to what we would like to see in our musical experience here at the meetinghouse in the next two decades.  Mellen will report on her trip to UU Songleaders Convergence in Denver and share ideas about what we might envision for the future. This service will be a lead up to the workshop the next week on the13th after the Souper Sunday to be led by Rev. Dave Ruffin.
October 13, “Spiritual Homecoming” with Rev. Dave Ruffin and Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy Join us for a service of renewal inspired by the high holy days of the Jewish New Year and Day of Atonement. Because we humans are such forgetful animals, forgetting our inherent worth and unconditional belonging, we need to support each other in remembering ourselves back into wholeness. And we need space to forgive and be forgiven for the consequences of our forgetting. This Sunday will be such a space.   Stay for the Souper Sunday and the “Sing Out UU’s!”  Workshop.  See Dave’s bio with the music workshop announcement below.
October 20,  “Cooperatives and Social Change” with Debbie Diegoli  We’ll discuss the role of cooperatives in the Civil Rights and other social movements and explore what makes co-ops a suitable model for social justice now and in the future.  Debbie Diegoli has worked in a variety of roles at a number of Upper Valley non-profit organizations, and currently serves as Administrative Assistant for the Meetinghouse. She is a board member of the Upper Valley Food Co-op in White River Junction and is a member of several other cooperatives. Deb lives in Weathersfield.
Oct 012019
 

Tai Chi with Sue Ruble – Weekly Class on Mondays, 5-6 pm

This class will let you discover for yourself why so many people are now taking tai chi classes. You’ll see how tai chi can improve your balance, help you with better body alignment, and bring a new sense of coordination. In all cases you’ll find tai chi’s movements gentle and slow, allowing time for you to open your senses in new ways.
No experience is necessary. Suitable for all ages and abilities. Instructor Sue Ruble is certified by Tai Chi Vermont. Please wear comfortable clothing and flat shoes. No charge. All welcome!
Held here at the Meetinghouse.

First Friday Film: “The Language You Cry In” October 4, 7 pm

This film tells an amazing scholarly detective story that searches for, and finds meaningful links between African Americans and their ancestral past. It bridges hundreds of years and thousands of miles from the Gullah people of present-day Georgia back to 18th century Sierra Leone. It recounts the even more remarkable saga of how African Americans have retained links with their African past through the horrors of the middle passage, slavery and segregation.

The film dramatically demonstrates the contribution of contemporary scholarship to restoring what narrator Vertamae Grosvenor calls the “non-history” imposed on African Americans: “This is a story of memory, how the memory of a family was pieced together through a song with legendary powers to connect those who sang it with their roots.” Fee admission and popcorn..  Doors open at 6:45 pm; film starts at 7 pm.  All Welcome!

Meetinghouse Book Group: March (Book One) the 2019 Vermont Reads Selection, Sunday, October 6, 12-1 pm

The graphic novel March (Book One) by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell, the 2019 Vermont Reads selection, will be discussed at the UU Meetinghouse.on Sunday, October 6, 12-1 pm.  All are welcome to join us

Book One tells of Lewis’s childhood in rural Alabama, his desire as a young man to be a preacher, his life-changing interactions with Martin Luther King, Jr., and the nonviolent sit-ins he joined at lunch counters in Nashville as a means of undermining segregation..

Copies of the book are available for loan at the Meetinghouse and at the Springfield Town Library.  Held at the Meetinghouse at 21 Fairground Road, an accessible.venue. Event is free and open to the public. Co-sponsored by Vermont Reads and the Springfield Town Library. Contact uuspringfieldvt@gmail.com

Yoga CANCELLED for Oct 9th due to illness.

2nd Wednesday Gentle Seva Yoga with Aimee Parnell, October 9, 5:0-6:30 pm

Feel Good, Do good.  Gentle Seva Yoga, is led by Aimee Parnell every second Wednesday at the Meetinghouse

Seva is the yogic principle of service to others.  Each month this free, gentle class raised funds or supplies to benefit a local cause. This class is suitable for all levels of experience and flexibility, including those who have limited mobility or who will remain seated during their practice.  A limited number of mats and props are provided. All are welcome. The October class will accept donations for the Springfield  Warming Shelter.

Games & Crafts Night: Saturday, October 12, 6:30-8:30 pm

 Join us for a fun evening of games and crafting on this Saturday evening. Bring
your own game or craft project – or play one of ours. All welcome!

Souper Sunday: October 13, After the Service

  The Caring Committee is sponsoring Souper Sunday on October 13th. This is a     time  to gather after the Service and share soup and bread as well as conversation.   Soup  and bread will be $4 (no charge for visitors). Join us!

“Sing Out UU’s! — The “Secret” Ingredient in Transformative UU Communities” Workshop w/Rev. Dave Ruffin, Sunday, October 13, 12-1:30 pm

The science is in! Singing together increases trust and connection. It releases the “happiness quartet” of dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin and endorphins, supporting positive outlook and mood. It lowers blood pressure and stress and increases immune function. It helps with alertness and memory. The list goes on and on. But I’m betting you don’t need any of this to know what good medicine music and song are for you! There is no known healthy human culture that hasn’t sung, after all. So why is it such a rare occurrence these days?
Singing together, while still cherished by many of us, has become a largely forgotten art. We lack the cultural glue of simple and accessible music we all grew up sharing and so continue to. Music is, instead, becoming personalized and professionalized. And, in a culturally diverse world in which certain cultures have been marginalized, there are also important and challenging questions about what music we choose to use and how. Perhaps most significantly, though, many of us have had our voices shamed and/or silenced along the way. Singing, that is to say, has become a vulnerable act.
But we can turn this vulnerable act into a radical gift, as we risk opening our hearts and mouths anew to co-create a culture of singing in our communities. It’s my belief that no aspiration we have for the world, or our own lives, is not supported by taking this step. In this workshop we’ll get started taking down the obstacles that stand in our way, and rediscovering anew, together, this basic gift we’re all entitled to share as humans. No singing experience or expertise needed. Inhibitions and skepticism welcome. I love few things as much as helping fellow travelers live more fully into the gift of communal singing. All you have to do is show up!

Bio:  David Ruffin is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, artist and educator who came to Vermont for a sabbatical time of renewal, exploration and discernment two years ago and hasn’t been able to leave since. Early in his ministry he founded the alternative spiritual community, The Sanctuary Boston, a home for young adults and others who often don’t feel at home in more traditional church environments. He also then served for two and a half years as the Assistant Minister at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, OK. Prior to ministry, David worked as an actor and singer based in New York City. Since coming to Vermont, David has dived into the worlds of sustainable agriculture, nature connection and outdoor education, including working with the Metta Earth Institute in Lincoln the Crows Path’s Field School in Burlington, and the Walden Project in Monkton. 

After launching the Sanctuary Boston David began offering workshops on worship and particularly the integration of music and congregational singing, therein. David continued this work while with All Souls in Tulsa, particularly working with a small lay led congregation in Hot Springs Village Arkansas which he went on to serve as a short-term consulting minister. He has led worship and facilitated music and worship workshops at many UU congregations, particularly in the Boston area, as well as for the UUA, LREDA, the UUMA, UU Summer Seminary, the MidAmerica UU Regional Gathering, and at General Assembly working with, among others, the Rev. Thandeka, Rev. Fred Muir, and members of the Sanctuary Boston. He wrote his thesis at Harvard Divinity School on transformational Unitarian Universalist worship, and wrote a chapter about his work with the Sanctuary Boston in Turning Point, Essays on a new Unitarain Universalism, edited by Fred Muir. David’s writings are also included in Becoming, A Spiritual Guide for Navigating Adulthood.

Coffee House: Natural Woodchucks, Saturday, October 19, 7 pmTwo Coffee House favorites, Heron Fire and Woodchuck’s Revenge, join together for our October session.  The Woodchucks’ repertoire, which has been described as encyclopedic, ranges from New England fiddle tunes to modern cowboy songs, from Irish ballads to 60’s folk, blues and bluegrass.Songs about Vermont, mountains, and life in New England are staple of the group’s performances, along with a healthy dose of humor and a small but growing number of originals. From Heron Fire you’ll likely hear folk, rock, country, comedy, blues, jazz and even a smattering of original material.  The variety of music should make for an exciting Coffee House!

Please come and enjoy the music and the delightful refreshments. No admission fee. Doors open at 6:30, music starts at 7 pm.   This is a family-friendly evening of music and fun.   You will be able to purchase delicious snacks and beverages. All welcome!