Feb 272019
 
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March 31 “The First Step Towards Peace – Being Peaceful Within.” With Richard Czaplinski. 

Using his personal experience as a veteran, Richard is seeking a way out of suffering and toward a more harmonious world.  He’ll share what he has gleaned from his decades of internal work as a mediator.  And he’ll share ways that Veterans for Peace is motivating people and the planet toward a more peaceful world.  You’re invited to stay for a small group discussion and conversation with Richard from 11:30 till 12:30.

March 3 “Celebrating Shivaratri” w/Angie Follensbee-Hall and Rev. Mellen Kennedy.

March 4th is the feast of Shiva, Lord of the Dance in the Hindu religion.  We’ll celebrate with traditional Hindu music, called kirtan.  Our musicians,  Angie Follensbee-Hall and Josh Hall are from Jai Studio in Brownsville.  They’ll share their story of one year celebrating Shivaratri in India on an Island dedicated to Shiva.  Come join us for uplifting, sacred music and chant from India.  All welcome.

This is a Share the Plate Sunday.  We’ll be collecting donations (cash or gift cards) for people who are homeless or in other desperate situations.  See below for details.

Unfortunately we have had to cancel this service again!  March 10.  “Healing and Hope: More on the New Research on Psychedelics” with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy 

We are in the midst of a Psychedelic Renaissance brought about by the loosening of government research restrictions in recent years.  Researchers are demonstrating that these medicines hold great promise addressing PTSD, depression, anxiety, end-of-life angst and many other conditions, by helping folks find meaning, hope and peace in themselves. Let’s explore this cutting edge development and the hope it holds for alleviating suffering. Reminder: Daylight Savings Time begins; remember to set your clocks ahead on Saturday night so you won’t be late!

March 17: “The Mystery of Sleep” with JoAnn Gaffron-Hargrove

“Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.”  Mahatma Gandhi

Sleep is the state in which we renew our energy and heal our bodies from the stress of the day.  There is much research on sleep, yet so much we have yet to understand. What happens to our brain during sleep: where do dreams come from and do they serve a purpose? Since we are partially absent in this state, we do we go?  In this service we will delve into the mystery of sleep.

March 24 “How Did We Do with the Meditation Challenge”  with Sharon Mueller and Tina Feindel.

March 24th marks the start of Springfield Wellness Week and our service is on this theme.  From early February till about the Equinox a bunch of us from the congregation have taken on the challenge to meditate every day with the hope of experiencing the wellness benefits that a regular practice can provide.  We’ll share with You what we did, what we learned and particularly the insight we got from our six weeks experiment.

Jan 242019
 
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February 3: “Word Service” with Tina Feindel and Toni Streeter  Our annual service on the meaning and impact of words will focus on helpful words vs.unhelpful ones.  While most people are thoughtful,  sometimes we can get hurt by the words people use. Come explore words with us!

Feb. 10.  “A Celebration of Susan B. Anthony’s Birthday!” with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy Susan B. Anthony and her lifelong friend Elizabeth Cady Stanton, are two of the most inspiring resisters in our nation’s history.  They birthed the women’s suffrage and women’s rights movement from their homes in upstate New York and worked with creativity, perseverance and great skill and strategy.  Susan’s birthday is February 15.  Let’s gather to remember, learn about and from these legendary women and glean from their lives lessons for leaping into the world we need now.  Come dressed as a suffragette or ally! Birthday Cake following the service at Souper Sunday!  A Small Group Discussion will follow the Souper Sunday.

For more about Susan B. Anthony see susan-b-anthony-celebration-on-2018-02-10

February 17: “Where Do We Go from Here?” w/Rev. Dr. Patience Stoddard What can we learn from Martin Luther King’s latest writings to help us find a way forward? Patience was minister here from 1998-2006 and most recently served the UU Congregation of the Upper Valley.

CANCELLED: February 24 “Healing and Hope: More on the New Research on Psychedelics” with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy  We are in the midst of a Psychedelic Renaissance brought about by the loosening of government research restrictions in recent years.  Researchers are demonstrating that these medicines hold great promise addressing PTSD, depression, anxiety, end-of-life angst and many other conditions, by helping folks find meaning, hope and peace in themselves. Let’s explore this cutting edge development and the hope it holds for alleviating suffering.

Dec 302018
 
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January 6: “Aha! The New Science of Psychedelics in Celebration of Epiphany” with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy.  What better way to start the new year than with Michael Pollan’s new book, “How to Change Your Mind”.  Psychedelics or entheogens have been used in religious contexts by shamans, healers and religious leaders from time immemorial.  What can we glean from the practices of the ancient sages and from current and cutting-edge research?  Join us for an exploration of these challenging questions.
Followed by Souper Sunday lunch ($4 for members and friends; no cost for newcomers) and Friends on the Path small group discussion on the topic of the service.
January 13: “Labyrinth Service ” with Ellen Allman  The sanctuary will be set-up with a simple labyrinth for our annual labyrinth service.  Ellen will talk a little about the history of walking labyrinths.  There will be songs, readings  and an opportunity to walk the labyrinth.  There will also be a lap labyrinth that can be used by anyone not wishing to walk the larger one.
CANCELLED, WILL BE RESCHEDULED FOR FEBRUARY 17.  January 20: “Where Do We Go from Here?” with Rev. Patience Stoddard What can we learn from Martin Luther King’s latest writings to help us find a way forward?
January 27: “My Climate Journey” with Carol Stedman
Local Climate Leader Carol Stedman will speak on her experience as a climate activist at the Springfield Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse on Sunday, January 27, at 10 am.
Carol Stedman is a local  Vermont Farmer, and a Climate Reality Leader.  She runs Clay Hill Corners Blueberry Farm with her husband in Hartland VT.  She is a Mother, Grandmother, Wife, Daughter, Caretaker, Sister, Friend, Farmer, Political Activist.  She says
“It is difficult to make sense of our current toxic politics and the frightening warming of our planet. My anger and despair after the 2016 election was profound. Doing nothing felt like a slow miserable decline into darkness. However, on the day of the 2017 Woman’s March, I felt the first glimmer of hope after my dismay over the election results.  Participating in that positive action led me to the decision to take at least one positive political action per day for 100 days.  One action led to another and after many letters, phone calls, marches, gatherings, weeks, months and  years, I decided that my next positive action was to go to Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Training in October of 2017. from Hartland VT   What i learned there has given me focus and tools to bring Climate Awareness to my Vermont community and have Climate Conversations that inspire Climate Action.  My Climate journey has been constant throughout the dramas, illnesses and personal family crisis that the past year has brought. I would like to share my climate journey which is also a spiritual journey with you.”   All welcome!

 

Nov 252018
 
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December 30, “Fire Ceremony” with JoAnn Gaffron-Hargrove, 10 am  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 2019.  Each person will light a candle of love and hope for the New Year.

 


CANCELLED: December 2, “Love the Hell Out of This World,” with Matt Meyer, 10 am

A special service,  “Love the Hell out of this World,”  with drummer Matt Meyer will be held at the Meetinghouse on December 2 at 10 am.  When the culture around us doesn’t encourage us to our best selves, how do we model the kind of world we want to live in? Matt will reflect on the good and bad of middle school, the time he picked the very best costume for a high-stakes 5th grade costume party, & how we find the skills for beloved community.
Matt is a musician and community organizer who has led hundreds of services for UU congregations across the country. He has a degree in hand drumming and has studied abroad in Cuba, Ghana and Central America. Matt serves as Director of Community Life for Sanctuary Boston and is a founding resident of the Lucy Stone Cooperative in Roxbury.

December 9: “Stories to Live By” with Deb Diegoli, Tina Feindel and Toni Streeter 

Stories can inspire, teach, help, challenge and heal. Deb,Tina and Toni will each relate a story of her own. As time allows, we’ll share a brief story from member(s) of the congregation.  A discussion on the topic will follow Souper Sunday.

Souper Sunday lunch sponsored by the Caring Committee follows the service.  Cost: $4 for members and friends; free to newcomers

December 16, “The Shakers Shook and So Can We” with Rev. Mellen Kennedy and Shems & Walia Guillow, 10 am

Throughout time, dance and spirituality have been closely linked.  Let’s explore this connection keeping in mind Alice Walker’s observation that “Hard times call for furious dancing!” The service will include some Dances of Universal Peace.

December 23, “Solstice Candlelight Service” with Rev. Mellen Kennedy and the Springfield Community Chorus, 5 pm  Come join us for warmth, song, story, laughter, candlelight, friendship and silence.  Winter is upon us and at the very same time, the light is returning! We gather for our annual celebration and hope You’ll share this magical tradition with us.   The Chorus will sing some beautiful pieces for us.  The service is followed by High Tea.  Please bring your favorite finger food, savory or sweet, to share.  All welcome.

Oct 282018
 
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November 25 “Virtues for Changing the World” with Rev. Buffy Boke As we work toward a more just, sustainable, and peaceful world, what ideals of behavior are we called to reach for in ourselves?

The Rev. Beverly Morrison Boke — called “Buffy” by just about everyone — was called and settled as minister to the Canton, Massachusetts congregation in August 2011, from which she retired in July of 2017. Immediately prior to that, she served on the Administration Team as a guidance counselor for three years at the American Community School in Beirut, Lebanon. Buffy was ordained at the Unitarian Church of Barnstable in 1985. She has served Unitarian Universalist congregations in Newport News, Virginia; Hartland Four Corners, Weathersfield, and Chester, Vermont; and Andover, New Hampshire, and she has supplied pulpits in many other Vermont and New Hampshire towns. Buffy now lives with Nick, her husband of 38 years, in Providence, Rhode Island.

November 4: ” Walking It, Talking It: Universalism & the Practice of Nondefensive Communication”  We are, as the UU hymn goes, a gentle and angry people, but sometimes it’s the angry that gets the upper hand–as well as a little reactive defensiveness and urge to control too! Join Hilary Mullins as she talks about “Taking the War Out of Our Words,” describing a method of  nondefensive communication that is not only practically useful but dovetails with our great Universalist heritage as well.
Hilary Mullins has studied at Starr King, the UU seminary in Berkeley, and is a graduate of the Vermont Academy of Spiritual Training, a lay-training program of the Congregationalist Church. She is also an alum of The Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction. A writer, teacher, and part-time preacher, she lives in Bethel.
November 11: “#MeTooHealing: Tiamat Rising!” with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy  Women around the globe are saying Enough! to disrespectful treatment and violence.  Religious and spiritual communities have been both culpable for misogyny and fighters against it.  Let’s unpack this complicated history and explore what spiritual resources help us gain our voices and heal.    That we can and do heal from abuse is in itself worth celebrating! You’re invited to stay for a gathering after the coffee hour on the topics of the service which will be open to the public.
November 18:  “The Art of Radical Receiving: A Guide to Gratitude” with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy  Being strong and tough is great.  However, when it cuts us off from the blessings of Source, then our strength impairs us.  In honor of Thanks giving, let’s delve into the art of gratitude.
Oct 042018
 
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October 28: “Dorothy Day: The World Will be Saved by Beauty: An Intimate Portrait of My Grandmother.” Weathersfield native Kate Hennessy will share stories of her grandmother, a journalist, social activist, and co-founder of the Catholic Workers movement, who is now being considered for canonization. Come hear the inside story of this fascinating woman!


October 7: “Our Pets, Our Friends” with Glen Williams and Hallie Whitcomb  We’ll explore how we learn from them.-  “We are theirs, they are not ours.”
“The gift of connectedness to other creatures extends kinship and affection which mitigates our human loneliness…and liberates imagination to the fact that nature itself is indivisible, interdependent and interactive.” (from “We Animals” by Nadya Aisenberg). This service is intergenerational and will be interactive with time to share short stories about our animal friends.
Share the Plate collection to benefit the Springfield Humane Society.

October 14 “Soul, Soil and Our Social Networks: Or How I Became Fungist”
with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy and Laurel Green

As we leap into the world we need, let’s ground ourselves, literally, in the earth we stand on.  Is soil a spiritual issue?  I’ve come to think that it is.  Join us for an exploration of our connection with the invisible world beneath our feet and what this means for our souls’ survival. Please bring with You some organic matter such as leaves, to contribute to our soil restoration work at the meetinghouse.  We’ll end the service with a foray out to our pollinator gardens where we’ll spread the organic matter and pollinator seeds as we bless this beautiful piece of land that we’ve been entrusted to care for.   This service is intergenerational. You’re invited to stay for Souper Sunday after the service.

October 21, “Weaving the Fabric of Our Lives and Our Souls” with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy and Toni Streeter. Special music by Mimi Yahn.
The modern industrial world was ushered in by a dramatic shift from homespun to factory produced fabrics.  What does this mean to who we are as humans and how we work, create and live? Why is this a spiritual issue? In the service, we’ll use the book, “Bread and Roses, Too” as a source of inspiration.  A small group discussion on the subject facilitated by Rev. Mellen will follow the coffee hour.

Sep 012018
 
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September 30, “From Shock to Ease: Keep Calm and Love On” with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy One of the features of our modern public sphere is that we are being bombarded continuously and intentionally with upsetting, unprecedented, alarming news that destabilizes and disarms us emotionally, physically and spiritually.  When we’re in this state of confusion and perhaps despair, we’re unable to actively create the wonderful world we need now.  Let’s not fall for this barrage of shock.  Come find out why this is so important and how we can resist it individually and collectively.  A small group discussion on the subject facilitated by Rev. Mellen will follow the coffee hour.

September 9: Annual Water Communion In-Gathering with Rev. Mellen Kennedy
We commence our church year as we reconvene our community after the summer months when we’ve had less gatherings.  This will be an intergenerational service in which each of us is welcome to bring water collected from our summer excursions and combine the waters together as a symbol of our community reassembling.  We’ll begin to explore the them for the year, “Leaping into the World We Need”.  Share the Plate recipient this week will be BRAT, the Black River Action Team.  Ice Cream Social after the coffee hour.
September 16:”We the People”an Intergenerational Celebration of Constitution Day with Diane Kemble  We’ll explore the promises in the Preamble to the Constitution and how closely our Unitarian Universalist Principles align with those promises.
We’ll also consider President Coolidge’s reminders such as, “The Constitution of the United States is the final refuge of every right that is enjoyed by any American.”
September 23: “Gather in Love” with Hilary Mullins 
The Reverend Hosea Ballou, who led the Universalist denomination well into the 19th century, was an able and moving speaker in the pulpit.  Preaching for a total of six decades, he challenged  the fire and brimstone talk of his Calvinist brethren with a powerful theology of love. Come learn more about this charismatic, brilliant forefather while we explore the relevance of his old-time Universalism in our world today.
Hilary Mullins has studied at Starr King, the UU seminary in Berkeley, and is a graduate of the Vermont Academy of Spiritual Training, a lay-training program of the Congregationalist Church. She is also an alum of The Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction. A writer, teacher, and part-time preacher, she lives in Bethel, Vermont.
Jun 172018
 
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August 26: “Seeing the Forest and the Trees” with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy

In Vermont we’re blessed to be surrounded by northern forest beauty.  Let’s wake ourselves up to the livingness of the forests and what this means for our spirits, our survival and our humanness.  To be followed by a walk in the woods afterwards.
This will be our final summer service.  We resume weekly services on Sunday, September 9, at 10 am.

 August 5: Potluck and Vespers, 4:30 pm The Caring Committee will be hosting the annual potluck and vesper service. We will gather at 4:30 for conversation and appetizers, eat at 5:00, and the vesper service will follow our potluck.
 August 12: “Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor” with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy
We are a nation of immigrants and that has influenced every aspect of our lives. Let’s explore this history, the contemporary situation with immigrants and asylum seekers and why these are profound spiritual issues.  The service is intergenerational so children will stay in the service.
You’re invited to a discussion on this topic after the coffee hour, from noon to 1. We’ll be using the book, “Bread and Roses, Too” by Vermont author, Katherine Paterson, as a touchstone for the discussion which will be facilitated by Rev. Mellen.

July 8:  “Work Is Love Made Visible” with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy  It is one of the great joys in life to do work that brings meaning and satisfaction.  Yet, this experience eludes many Americans, for whom meaningful work and gainful employment are very hard to come by. “The working poor” has become a mundane phrase. Wages for men without high school diplomas have fallen steadily for the past 50 years.  We’ll draw on the book “Bread and Roses, Too”, by Katherine Paterson for insight about the current situation and its disturbing roots in the history of this country.  Come explore why this is a spiritual issue and where we might look for hope. The service is intergenerational so children will stay in the service.
You’re invited to a discussion on this topic after the coffee hour, from noon to 1.  We’ll be using the book, “Bread and Roses, too” by Vermont author, Katherine Paterson, as a touchstone for the discussion which will be facilitated by Rev. Mellen.
July 22:  “The Sacredness of Water” with Jan Lambert
Everyone is invited to join Jan who will  present the Sunday service,  with assistance from Sharon Mueller. We will explore the sacred role of water as the sustainer of life and climate on our planet. Learn how the water cycle is absolutely central, and by simply allowing the divine gift of rain and snow to soak into the ground and into plants and the atmosphere to replenish the water cycle, we are helping a lot of good things to happen! Come hear some positive, uplifting stories of restoration from around the globe, and how YOU can be part of this worldwide movement to restore water cycles. You may be astounded!
May 282018
 
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June 10: Annual Parker Hill Service with Sharon and the Gang, who will lead us in Imagining the World that we want to live in! Think big! Afterwards, we’ll enjoy a potluck picnic. Please bring a folding chair, a hat, and if you can, silverware, plate, cup. Let’s help the Earth by not using paper and plastic. (We’ll bring some for those who forget, no worries). This cemetery is on the sight of our first Universalist building, back in the 1790s. There’s lots to explore! Please be respectful of the gravestones, as they are quite old, and might tip over if pushed. Enjoy reading the inscriptions. Let’s celebrate spring in this beautiful setting! (Address is 797 Parker Hill Road; the number is on the gate.)


June 3:  “Flower Communion” with Rev. Mellen Kennedy
At the end of each church year, we celebrate the power of community with our Intergenerational Flower Communion. You’re invited to bring a flower with which we’ll create a beautiful bouquet together symbolizing our spiritual community.

Apr 302018
 
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May 6 “Creating a Listening Community” with Sarah-Elizabeth Anderson and Rev. Mellen Kennedy  In any group or organization, the differences between the participants can be cause for conflict or a fertile opportunity for growth, insight and synergy.  Our ability to listen across our difference is the key.  We’ll learn about the powerful approach of creating Restorative Circles in communities to help navigate these kinds of challenges so that conflicts can be transformed and harmony can be restored.
Join us after the worship service for a workshop on “Creating a Listening Community: An Introduction to Restorative Circles,” which will be offered from 11:30 AM to 1 PM.  Sarah-Elizabeth Anderson is a Facilitator of Restorative Circles and former Chair of the Restorative Circles Facilitator Team at the UU Church of Concord, NH. She leads Restorative Circles Facilitator Trainings for communities across New England.

May 13: “Nurture” with Rev. Carol Allman-Morton. On Mother’s Day we honor those who mothered us throughout our lives. To nurture someone, is not only to love them, but to help them grow.  If we are lucky, many people will nurture us throughout our lives and care about us enough to help us figure out what is next. Rev. Carol Allman-Morton has been the minister at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting of South Berkshire, in Housatonic, Mass., since 2009. She is also the Director of Alumni Engagement at Amherst College (and the daughter of Ellen and Robert!).

May 20 “Initiate the Kids or They Burn Down the Village”  with Rev. Mellen Kennedy
Throughout human history, rites of passage for teens and young adults were understood to be necessary to help young people thrive. Unfortunately, this wisdom has been all but lost in our modern world.  Let’s learn what religious educators, psychologists and now neuroscientists can teach us about the spiritual, emotional, and mental unfolding of young people.  More importantly, let’s celebrate the opportunity that we as a community have to embrace and encourage youth and young adults.   The church is launching our own Coming of Age opportunity for early teens, where one of our youth is matched with an adult member of the congregation.  We’ll hear from our first mentor-mentee pair and we’ll learn how we can challenge ourselves to meet and support the kid today with where they are and what they’re facing. A Friends on the Path small group discussion on this topic will follow the coffee hour, facilitated by Rev. Mellen

May 27: “Yoga At Every Stage of Life” with Aimee Parnell
Come check out how yoga and meditation can improve your health and well-being. We’ll demonstrate sequences that soothe ailments like low back pain, headaches, indigestion, menstrual cramps, hot flashes, and arthritis. Yoga can also enhance your health during and after pregnancy, help you to avoid osteoporosis, and reduce your stress levels. Little ones also benefit from yoga through exercising their emotional intelligence, keeping their bodies mobile and limber, and having special bonding time with you! Come discover how yoga can enhance your life, at any stage!