November 19: “The Art of Hospitality: A Thanksgiving Reflection” with Rev. Mellen Kennedy As we roll into the holiday season, let’s pause to reflect on what hospitality means from a spiritual perspective. The world’s religious traditions have held up hospitality as a sacred act. Proverbs in the Hebrew Bible says “Who practices hospitality entertains God himself”. We humans long and need to be included in a circle of sharing of home, hearth, food, friendship and story. How do we learn to be even more gracious in this ancient unifying spiritual practice? To get in the spirit, wear your favorite apron!
The choir will be performing. Friends on the Path Small Group after the coffee hour.
November 26: A Basic Call to Consciousness with Sharon Mueller
In 1977, the Haudenosaunee- the Six Nations, or Iroquois- presented position papers to the Non-Governmental Organizations of the United Nations in Geneva. They conveyed the point of view that the destruction by Western Civilization of the Natural World and its peoples is the clearest indicator of humankind’s spiritual poverty, and called for consciousness of the Sacred Web of Life. I read this book when it came out, and was profoundly affected. Forty years later, where do we stand? Have we listened to these wise words? Is there still hope?
On Sunday, Nov. 5, at 10 am, Greg Supernovich will lead our service, “Other Ways of Seeing: Insights from Asia.” The service is open to the public. The service will explore the following areas: The deep spirituality that is woven into the lives of many people in Asia; the oneness and interconnectedness of all living beings and the cosmos; the dual nature of everything; the way to live without expectations; and the presence of some animals who exist in parallel and equal societies with humans in Asia. Included in the service will be prayers and thoughts from some of Asia’s major religions.
Supernovich is a Springfield resident and member of this church. He has had the opportunity to visit eight Asian nations in the last ten years, including Japan, China, India, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Guam and Singapore, and he has had the good fortune to live for a year in Thailand, where he taught English at Burapha University. He is a part-time faculty member in the English Department at Castleton University. Also, he is a writer and novelist, and a former journalist and carpenter. If there is one thing he says he has learned in his many years of living, it is that the older you get, the less you know, but, he says that he has also learned one should not give up trying to share with others something that we think might be worthwhile.
Nov 12, after the service
At our Souper Sunday fund raiser on Sunday November 12, we will have three hearty soups and several choices of bread available, as well as the usual Sunday refreshments. The cost is $4 and if necessary, soup can be taken home. This is a good way to get to know our congregation members in a relaxed atmosphere. We’re all encouraged to bring a friend – new people will receive a free meal.
Life deals us traumas and challenges. That’s a given. It’s how we respond that defines us. Let’s explore how we can become even more resilient in the face of life’s adversities. You’re invited to continue the conversation in a Friends on the Path Group discussion facilitated by Rev. M’ellen after the coffee hour.
Becca Polk, a middle school teacher and adult leader of the Lettuce Grow Food summer camp will come speak to us about the summer camp and why she decided as a social studies teacher to begin focusing on food and gardening.
Autumn is a perfect time to mimic the natural world and just let go! The wisdom of the world’s religions teach us the folly of demanding permanence in this ephemeral world. The lesson of impermanence is all around as our gardens die back and the leaves fall. Let’s welcome in the Autumn and practice letting go and forgiving.The choir will be singing “And When I Rise” with words by Buddhist teacher, Thick Nhat Hanh.
Come explore together the agrarian and folk tradition origins of the festival of Samhain (pronounced SOW-in). Samhain marks the end of the harvest season, introducing the beauty of darkness, the winter, and a spiritually reflective time of the year. This is a time when we honor completion in the cycle of life and death, honoring the lives lost over the year. But it is also a beginning, as the wheel of Life, the wheel of the year continues to turn. We have, hopefully, filled our stores for the coming months. We take this time to rest and refuel, to reflect on the blessings and lessons of the cycle past.
Kali Fyre is a candidate for Unitarian Universalist ministry living in Weare NH (outside of Concord & Manchester). Kali and her partner cultivate a vintage farm using natural and permaculture techniques, raising poultry and vegetables. She is currently a consulting R.E. Coordinator at Peterborough (NH) UU Church.
September 10: Annual Water Communion In-Gathering with Rev. M’ellen Kennedy
We’ll continue exploring the world’s religions, this week through dance. The Dances of Universal Peace are simple, meditative, joyous, multi-cultural circle dances that use sacred phrases, chants, music and movements to touch the spiritual essence in ourselves and recognize it in others. No musical or dance experience of any kind is required. And everyone is welcome (but not pressured) to join in. The Dances focus on PEACE — creating a sense of solidarity and community, while celebrating and understanding the unity of all spiritual traditions on the Earth. Come and be a part of the circle that connects all of humanity. Sandra Walia Guillow is a seasoned and enthusiastic dance leader from Connecticut who will help us find ease and grace and will be accompanied by her musician husband Shems WIlliam Guillow. For more info www.dancesofuniversalpeace.org
Twenty years ago, on Sept 28, 1997, the Springfield UU Congregation dedicated the Peace Pole on the patio outside the sanctuary. We’ll commemorate this event and rededicate the Peace Pole in our intergenerational worship service on September 24. If the weather permits, part of the service will be outside on the patio. Learning how to live peacefully in the world, with each other, with the Earth, with folks of all religions and races, is the aim of religions. We’ll tie this event in with our theme for the year, “Exploring the World’s Religions – Paths to Peace.” The choir is preparing some special music. In the service on September 24, we’ll re-dedicate not just the pole, but more importantly ourselves, to this crucial work of being instruments of peace in our beautiful and broken world. In this fractious time, peace-keepers and peace cultivators are critically needed.
August 2017 Services
August 6, Picnic and Vesper Service
It has become a tradition that we gather once during the summer for a picnic and then a vesper(evening) service.
The date for this year is August 6th. We will begin gathering at the church at 4:30 P.M. with time to catch up on how our summers are going. Please bring your summer picnic favorite to share. The Vesper Service will be after we have finished eating around 6:00. All welcome!
The picnic and Vesper Service is organized by the Caring Committee.
Prior to the Vesper Service and Picnic, at 3:30 pm, there’ll be a walking tour of the Food Justice Summer Camp gardens and trails from Riverside School to St. Mark’s next door to us.
August 13: “To Live Deliberately: Celebrating Thoreau” with Rev. M’ellen Kennedy
July 12th marked the 200th Anniversary of the birth of Henry David Thoreau, author of that great work, “Walden or
Life in the Woods.” “I went to the woods to live deliberately” is a quote
from “Walden,” Thoreau is imploring us to wake up! Let’s draw inspiration from Thoreau and look together at how we can have the courage to live with purpose and power.
August 27: “Our Local Food Coop” with Lucy Georgeoff and Julie Jones. Let’s explore how we can take back our lives by shopping locally, consuming local foods and eating foods that support our physical, emotional, social and spiritual well being.
Weekly Services resume on September 10th!