Jun 052017



The Flower Communion is an annual tradition in UU churches. It was begun by a Unitarian minister in Czechoslovakia, Norbert F. Capek, who had started the first Unitarian church in that country in the 1920’s.
Norbert Capek preached that everyone was worthy, regardless of ethnic group, religion or creed. When the Nazis came to power this radical idea did not set at all well with them, and he was arrested and sent to the Dachau concentration camp where, sadly, he died.
We remember him with this beautiful ceremony each June and celebrate the fact that all people are welcome here as long as they treat each other with respect.

For more photos, see our Facebook page.

May 292017
First Friday Film: SHERPA
“An Epic Journey with the Fearless Guides of Mount Everest.  Every year Western mountain climbers make news ascending Mount Everest.  But the compelling stories of the Sherpas, the Nepalese guides who risk their lives to provide for their families, have gone untold – until now.  SHERPA chronicles a fateful 2014 expedition and the tragic avalanche that spurred the Sherpas to make a stand for human rights and respect. SHERPA will forever change the way you look at the world’s most famous mountain – and the brave guides who navigate it.”  96 minutes ~
Held at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 21 Fairground Rd, Springfield, VT.  Doors open at 6:45 pm; film begins at 7:00. Popcorn and beverages served.  No charge. All welcome!
Apr 272017

“Seeds of Time:  One man’s Journey to save the future of our  Food”

Crop diversity pioneer Cary Fowler travels the world, racing against time to protect the future of our food.  Climate change affects crops globally, and crop failures are causing food shortages and starvation.  Fowler works with others, including farmers in Peru, to try to save seeds that will ensure our future.”
77 minutes long, released in 2015.  Doors open at 6:45 pm and movie starts at 7 pm.  Popcorn and beverages served.  No charge.
We’ll be having a Seed Swap as well.
Have extra seeds from your garden or starting May Festival plants?  Did you save some of your own seeds last fall?  Want to try something new?  Bring your extra seeds to the film on Friday the 5th or the 10 am service on Sunday the 7th and take home some of another variety.  A great way to be sure that partial or extra package doesn’t go to waste. And a terrific chance to try something different at no cost.


Mar 302017

Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory is a 2014 American documentary film directed and produced by Michael Rossato-Bennett.  This award winning film deals with the subject of people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and how music therapy can help and ease their suffering.  In many chapters of the film Dan Cohen of Music and Memory places music headphones on patients and we see them become very expressive; his pioneering efforts have placed personal music players in nursing homes.

We’ll open the doors at 6:45 pm and will offer beverages and popcorn.  Film begins at 7 pm.

Feb 232017

“Which Way Home” is a highly regarded film nominated for an Academy Award in 2010. The story is of children from Mexico and Central America trying to get to a better life in the US, using freight trains to reach the Border. A reviewer calls the journey “wrenching and suspenseful.”

Amazon’s website notes that ” Director Rebecca Cammisa’s choice to focus almost exclusively on interviews with the train-hopping children, who range in age from roughly 8 to 18, makes this documentary infinitely more touching and effective……Many of the children in “Which Way Home”, like José from El Salvador, have experienced abandonment by their parents, who left in search of income and provided little in the way of role models. A few key scenes, like that filmed in the Guatemalan Consul where national officials interview boys before deporting them back to their home countries, and the scene showing Grupos Beta, a grassroots group that travels by van alongside the trains to provide free supplies and medical care to these children, are inspiring. Still, one comes to realize that the problem is overwhelming…. While “Which Way Home” chronicles a problem that demands attention, it does so in a touching manner, leaving its star characters’ dignities intact as they confess their motivations, namely devout family loyalty. –Trinie Dalton

The film is 90 minutes long, we will open the doors at 6:45 pm and will offer beverages and popcorn.  Steve Crofter, who is leading our service on Sunday March 5th, will lead discussion after the film.

Steve and other community memberss recently organized  The Community Asylum Seekers Project (CASP) .  Steve and his partner Laurel Green are preparing CASP’s first host home  by renovating a living space at their farm to which they will invite a family of asylum seekers. We’ll learn more about this vital work when Steve and Laurel lead our worship service on March 5th.


Dec 292016

Our January 6th film will be offered in connection with our annual Sunday Morning Labyrinth Service being led by Ellen Allman on Sunday Jan. 8th at 10 AM.

As You may know, amazingly, Ellen sets up a labyrinth using stones in the sanctuary and during the service, folks are welcome to walk the labyrinth.  We’re aiming for the labyrinth to be set up by Friday so those attending the film will be able to walk it before or after the film.  We’ve inviting our Episcopalian neighbors at St. Mark’s who are also very interested in labyrinths.  In turn, they’ve invited us to join them before the film for their annual Epiphany Celebration and a potluck  Sounds like a very rich evening.  More details in the January Bellringer.  Here’s the info on the January film:

This film documents the six-year odyssey of a formal labyrinth program at the Hampshire County House of Correction in Northampton, MA. This film highlights construction of an outdoor labyrinth within the secure perimeter of the jail. Interviews with facility staff, volunteers and incarcerated men who worked on the project are included, along with aerial views of the jail and surrounding community.
We’ll start the movie at 7 pm, doors open at 6:45 pm.  We’ll have popcorn and beverages.  All welcome!

Dec 012016

Based on the best-selling book by Ron Suskind, “Life, Animated” is the story of Ron’s son Owen Suskind, who at three years old, is a chatty, energetic little boy.  Suddenly Owen stops speaking and disappears into autism.   Nearly four years pass and the only thing that seems to engage Owen are Disney films.  One day, his father donned one of his son’s puppets, Iago, the wisecracking parrot from Aladdin,  and asked “:What’s it like to be you?”   Unexpectantly, Owen responded to his dad with dialogue from the Disney movie.

Directed by Academy award winner Roger Ross Williams, “Life, Animated” tells the remarkable story of how Owen found his path to language and a framework for making sense of the world.   The  film explores how Owen identified with film characters like Simba, Jafar and Ariel — they gave him a context to understand his feelings and to interpret reality.  With an arsenal of narratives at his disposal, and the support of his family, Owen rises to meet the challenges of adulthood in this moving coming of age film.

Winner of the Sundance directing award for Documentary film and the Audience Award at the San Francisco International Film Festival for 2014, this film also garnered great reviews from Rotten Tomatoes (93) and accolades from Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers (“Truly Inspirational!”) and Entertainment Weekly (“A moving, extraordinary story” – Joe McGovern.) 92 minutes long.

Nov 032016

It’s a lovely film. directed by Jacques Perrin, 87 minutes long.  Here’s a quote from the Amazon website:

“Witness as five film crews follow a rich variety of bird migrations through 40 countries and each of the seven continents. With teams totalling more than 450 people, 17 pilots and 14 cinematographers used planes, gliders, helicopters and balloons to fly alongside, above, below and in front of their subjects. The result is a film of staggering beauty that Entertainment Weekly hailed as Mesmerizing! and the Los Angeles Times applauded as Breathtaking! As lofty as it is exhilarating! Open your eyes to the wonders of the natural world as you fly along with the world’s most gorgeous birds through areas.”

We will start the movie at 7 pm, doors open at 6:45 pm.  We’ll have popcorn and beverages.  All welcome!