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 deeds. – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Steve has worked at many trades – carpenter, bus driver, public school teacher, household goods mover, and farmer. After living for three years in Mexico, he and his life partner Laurel Green moved to Rockingham, VT. Steve’s interest in cross-cultural relations began as a child when his professor-father hosted international students for Sunday dinner.
Our annual Potluck/Vesper Service will be Sunday September 1 st . We will meet at 4:30
for conversation and then have our picnic supper at 5:00 followed by the vesper service.
Bring your own eating utensils and plate, along with a dish to share. This is a relaxed way
to connect with each other after many of us have been away for the summer.
This is being organized by the Caring Committee
The foundational truth of our existence is that we’re the blue planet, mostly water. Water sustains us, feeds us, grows our food, cleanses us, enthralls us and is us. Join us for our annual ingathering where we come together after our summer wanderings. Bring some water with You from your travels if You have it. Share the Plate collection for BRAT, Black River Action Team. Let’s celebrate in this intergenerational service of interconnectedness and our lives on this blue planet.
September 15, “Blessed Are the Peace Makers” w/Rev Dr Mellen Kennedy, 10 am
There is more to this Beatitude than meets the eye. Come be surprised at what’s hidden there. We can find inspirit on creating community and healing the world. You’re welcome to stay for a Friends on the Path small group discussion on Climate Change after coffee hour.
Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii, the largest mountain in the Pacific, has long been sacred to the Hawaiian people. Already host to several observatories, there is a plan underway to build a much bigger, thirty meter telescope (TMT) on its peak. Many native Hawaiians and supporters are opposing this effort. Which has priority- science or native culture and beliefs? We will look at some of the history, the current situation, and think deeply about the clash between scientific development and native beliefs. Are they in conflict, or is there a way to honor both perspectives?
Spirituality and art are intricately intertwined. Creating a beautiful, just, kind, sustainable world is the necessity of our time. Creating. Creativity. We exercise our creative capacity when we make and enjoy art and express ourselves artistically.
The creative process we all possess, like a spiritual journey, is intuitive and experimental. Following the clues one step at a time can be a magical trip. Let our souls delight in wonder as we find the hidden treasures within us. Toni is a sculptor, artist. She lives at Tree Farm Campground in Spingfield and with her husband was the former owner of the campground. She is a member of the Springfield Meetinghouse and her paintings are frequent beautiful additions to our services.
Artist like civil rights activist, Faith Ringgold, helped birth and shape new views of the world. “It’s a visual image of who you are. That’s the power of being an artist!” said Faith Ringgold. This summer and fall as we’re reading, “March (Book One) by civil rights activist, John Lewis, let’s broaden our understanding of civil rights by taking a look at the power of art in that time.
Art can free the heart and call the soul home. For a work of art to so deeply resonate with a viewer, every aspect of the work must be authentic. Art must speak the truth, a truth that the viewer can feel. To be truly transformative, an artwork must also offer a new perspective, a new angle, a new way forward. Betsy McCall is a painter, video maker, social sculptor, and founder & abbess of the Art Monastery. The Art Monastery, located in Springfield, aims to cultivate personal awakening and cultural transformation through contemplation, creativity, and community.
There is no childcare or Religious Exploration during the summer. Children are welcome during services.
Join us for this service out of doors in Parker Hill Cemetery. We’re in the midst of significant cultural shifts in terms of the environment, politics, technology, the environment and so much more including how we die and how we bury our dead. Just 4 years ago, Vermont passed significant changes in the legislation. The new approach is sometimes called “green burial” because it employs “land management practices that are more environmentally sensitive than those used by traditional cemeteries.” What is the spiritual significance of the green burial movement and what can we learn? Come stand among the grave markers of those who have gone before and contemplate together green living, green loving and green dying. A potluck picnic will follow the brief service.
Held at at 797 Parker Hill Road , Springfield, VT, the site of our first Universalist building, back in the 1790s, and is maintained as a cemetery to this day.
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). 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!
This is the last service of the church season for the Springfield Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse. We will hold four services at the Meetinghouse throughout the summer, on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of July and August.
Our annual Flower Communion service, our final regular Sunday service of the church year, commemorates the original Flower Service held in 1923 by Unitarian minister Norbert Capek, who founded the Unitarian Church in Czechoslovakia. He developed the service to bring people in his church together during a time of tension and strife in that part of Europe.
As fascism arose in Germany, Norbert Capek spoke out strongly against Hitler and the Nazis When Germany invaded Czechoslovakia during World War II, he was tried, found guilty of treason, and imprisoned in the Dachau concentration camp. He continued his ministry within the camp. In 1943 he was executed there.
The service was brought to the United States by his wife, Rev. Maya Capek, and the tradition continues today in UU congregations throughout the country. At the Springfield UU, and many others, it is celebrated each June..
You’re invited to bring a flower with which we’ll create a beautiful bouquet together symbolizing our spiritual community. All welcome!
We know that it is good to get your hands in the dirt. It is good to work hard. But it is also good to stop in the shade and rest, drink water, and reflect. Being in the garden roots you to a particular spot on the planet. It is good therapy for troubled times. We’d like to hear from you as well. What deep thoughts have you had in the garden? (Note: the originally scheduled service with Frank Nobile has been cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control. We hope that Frank will be able to join us at a future time.)
The service is about noticing those small, everyday moments that can open our hearts and touch our souls. Patience was the minister here from 1998-2006 and most recently served the UU Congregation of the Upper Valley.
Is life more complicated than it needs to be for you? Are you a perfectionist wishing for a simpler way to be?
Are you facing a life challenge that is stopping you from finding creative solutions?
Explore the power of Wabi Sabi in the clarification of life and uncover for yourself a simpler, more accepting, more fulfilling way to be.
April 28 “The Hidden Life of Trees” with JoAnn Gaffron-Hargrove
Trees, trees, trees! They are everywhere! We admire their beauty and majesty. They give us shelter, shade from the hot sun and help clean the air we breathe. But there is something mysterious about trees: Do they have feelings? Do they communicate? Do they have a life we know nothing about? Let us explore the hidden life of trees. Come early for the Stewardship Breakfast beforehand. See details below.
April 7: “Sacred Instructions: Wisdom for Living Spirit-based Change as We Leap into the World We Need” with the Rev. Kitsy Winthrop. For me every day has become Earth Day as everyday has become Thanksgiving. Think beavers, quantum physics and a magical ring.
April 14: “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.
April 21: “Easter Easement: Die before You Die” with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy The Spring season brings us through the mystery of dying, death and resurrection. Around us the Earth, after winter dormancy, is beginning to awaken. In the Christian tradition, at Easter we contemplate the mystery of Jesus’s dying, death and resurrection. This year Earth Day happens to fall the day after Easter. Let’s gather to celebrate the mystery of the Earth cycles and the Spirit’s cycles. Fear of death characterizes our contemporary world. Yet facing death is the doorway to rebirth, joy and ease! We hope You’ll join us.
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.
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!
“Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn.” –
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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?
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.