Apr 082019

After our June 9 service, we’ll take a break for a few weeks in June.  Over the summer we’ll have four Sunday morning services at 10 am: July 14, July 28, August 11 and August 25.

Again this year we’re collaborating with the Springfield Town Library to hold Vermont Reads events.  The book we’ll explore is March (Book One), a graphic novel written by John Lewis  and Andrew Aydin and illustrated by Nate Powell.  We’ll hold several Vermont Reads events during the summer and fall, including our annual Campfire & Potluck at the Tree Farm Campground  on Sunday August 4, 5-9 pm.

We’ll hold a Book Group on July 14 and on August 11 from 11:30 am – 1 pm. Our first book for discussion will be “How to Change Your Mind” by Michael Pollan.  On July 14th, we’ll be discussing the prologue and chapters 1-3; on August 11th chapter 4-6 and the epilogue.

Second Wednesday Gentle Yoga classes will continue through the summer.  However, First Friday Films and the Coffee House Music Series will not resume until September.

Other summer events to be announced.



Mar 172019

Join us at the Springfield Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse on Saturday, March 23rd, for a Latin American dinner to benefit the Community Asylum Seekers Project (CASP). CASP is a local nonprofit that provides basic needs and a welcoming community for those in the process of seeking asylum.  CASP currently hosts 9 asylum seekers in our local area.

CASP guests will prepare some of their native dishes: Cuban pollo (chicken) fricassee, Mexican tamales, and a Honduran sweet bread.  Rice and beans, tortillas, salsa  and flan will round out the meal.  There will be vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options

Reservations are required.  Please email uuspringfieldvt@gmail.com or call 802-885-3327 before March 21st to reserve a spot. (Space is limited.) The cost is $15 for adults, $8 for children 12 and under, no charge for preschoolers. Payment is at the door – cash and checks will be accepted. The dinner will be held from 5:30-6:30 on March 23 at the Meetinghouse at 21 Fairground Road, Springfield, VT.

Dec 152018



This course will be held on five consecutive Tuesday evenings from 6:30-8:30 pm at the UU Meetinghouse.  Total fee for the 5 sessions is $75 per person. Open to the public.  See below* for registration information.

Based on the Book Taking the War Out of Our Words by Sharon Ellison
Workshop Presentations by Hilary Mullins

In this five-session class, I teach the concepts and techniques of nondefensive communication using a mix of lecture, discussion, and take-home exercises. Rather than projecting slides, I use an easel or white board, mixing words and simple drawings in the manner of a graphic facilitator. I also use short 4-page comics in class that students then take home for review and practice.

SESSION ONE: Looking at the War Within

In this introductory session, we look at how our inherent fight, flight or freeze system leads us to react to conflict with the four basic techniques used in battle. We will also learn to spot six common characteristic defensive strategies that are so typically engrained we mistake them for our personalities.

SESSION TWO: Taking the War Out of Our Questions

In this session, we first identify commonly used defensive questions, which, by their very structure, make others defensive in turn. Then we learn nondefensive questions that allow us to simply ask for information instead, transforming potentially defensive interactions into constructive exchanges.

SESSION THREE: Taking the War Out of Our Statements

In this session, we’ll first learn how to identify when we are making defensive assertions, imposing our opinions as facts. Then we will learn how to make nondefensive statements, using a structure that allows us to express our thoughts and feelings clearly, giving them authentic power.

SESSION FOUR: Taking the War Out of Our Predictions

Setting limits is an important part of getting along. However, when we try to do it, we often collapse into making defensive, threatening predictions instead, e.g.: ‘If you don’t do x, I’ll do y!’ This class presents a process that allows us to avoid this kind of manipulation, instead thinking through and setting our limits clearly and firmly, giving those we deal with a clear picture of what they can expect from us.

SESSION FIVE:  Putting it All Together: Nondefensive Communication for the Road

In the final session, we practice applying non-defensive questions, statements and predictions to real life situations. Also, because changing our deeply-rooted defensive habits takes repetition over time, we will learn ways to keep practicing nondefensive communication so we can shift the insights of the class into lasting skills.

*The trustees have designated some funds toward this class so that the total cost per person for the five sessions will be reduced to $75.  Add your name to the sign up sheet on the harvest table or in the Activities Room and give your payment to Deb Diegoli in the office.  Checks made out to Springfield UU Meetinghouse” with “Non-Defensive Comm. Class” in memo.  

OR mail your check for $75 to UU Church, PO Box 944, Springfield, VT 05156.  Deadline: March 5th.

Contact uuspringfieldvt@gmail.org for more info.

Jul 072018

Dear Friends and Members of the Springfield UU Church,

We’ll gather for a very special worship service tomorrow, July 8th at 10. Please come join us where You’ll be invited to:

* hear about the book “Bread & Roses, Too”, the Vt Reads book this year about the garment workers strike in Lowell Mass, in 1911, as seen from the perspective of 2 kids caught in that exciting time in history
* receive a free copy of the book for your reading pleasure this summer courtesy of the Vt Humanities Council
* learn and sing some uplifting labor songs performed by Laurel Green and Steve Crofter and learn a dance to one of these songs
* learn about Vermont and US history, and make connections between the US in 1911 and now
* participate in intergenerational conversation and connection ~ kids stay in the service. The book is by renown Vt children’s author, Katherine Paterson, and is suitable for both youth and adult audiences
* be curious about a technological innovation being introduced tomorrow (just come and see)
* let your soul be soothed by the simple sounds of the mountain dulcimer.
* drink in the aroma of real roses
* Roses, Too? Come explore what workers then and now really long for
* learn about what is being done now by creative individuals to help the heal injustices and income inequality
* support the non-profit TogetherRising, assisting refugees at the southern border
* search your own soul for what You’re called to do
* enjoy delicious snacks prepared by the Allman’s for coffee hour
* stay for a small group discussion on all of this after coffee hour facilitated by Rev. Mellen
This promises to be a beautiful, uplifting service, and I hope You’ll join us for the morning.

We also have a very special event tomorrow afternoon for Reading Frederick Douglass, his famous speech from 1852. The details are below. I hope You’ll stay for that as well if You feel moved.

It will be great to gather in community and strengthen ourselves as agents of healing this beautiful and broken world. See You at church!

with Love,
Rev. Mellen


May 072018


Creating a Listening Community:
Introduction to Restorative Circles Practice
Sunday, May 6, 11:30 to 1
Springfield Unitarian Universalist Congregation,
21 Fairground Road, Springfield, VT

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. Listening is often more difficult when conflict arises between us. Come experience some of the ways we listen to “the other” when friction arises. In cultivating listening skills, communities are able to strengthened decision making processes and reduced conflict. The practice of reflective listening creates understanding and bring down the walls that keep us apart. Join us on this listening journey!
Workshop Leader: Sarah-Elizabeth’s life is focused on creating harmony, peace and beauty within individuals and in communities. She leads Restorative Circles Facilitator Trainings for communities across New England. Sarah-Elizabeth is a NH licensed massage therapist, with a private practice in Concord. Sarah-Elizabeth holds an AB degree from the University of Chicago, an MA degree in Education from Teacher’s College of Columbia University.


May 062018
Free admission, popcorn and beverages.  All welcome.  Doors open at 6:45; film begins at 7 pm.      About the film:
“Every time history repeats itself the price goes up.”

Surviving Progress presents the story of human advancement as awe-inspiring and double-edged. It reveals the grave risk of running the 21st century’s software — our know-how — on the ancient hardware of our primate brain which hasn’t been upgraded in 50,000 years. With rich imagery and immersive soundtrack, filmmakers Mathieu Roy and Harold Crooks launch us on journey to contemplate our evolution from cave-dwellers to space explorers.

Ronald Wright, whose best-seller, “A Short History Of Progress” inspired this film, reveals how civilizations are repeatedly destroyed by “progress traps” — alluring technologies serve immediate needs, but ransom the future. .  . .

Includes commentary by Distinguished Professor of Environment Vaclav Smil,  primatologist Jane Goodall, author Margaret Atwood, and activists from the Congo, Canada, and USA.

Surviving Progress leaves us with a challenge: To prove that making apes smarter was not an evolutionary dead-end. (excerpts from  From http://survivingprogress.com   ) ALL WELCOME!

Jan 062018
Tina Feindel will host this gathering in the church Activities Room.  Tina is excited about some new games she got over the holidays and hopes others will bring theirs, too.  Active games (like juggling), puzzles and crafts also welcome! Please bring a snack to share and join us for this fun wintertime activity.

Super Sunday: January 14, after the service

At our Souper Sunday fund raiser we will have three hearty soups and several choices of bread available.  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.

Dec 232017
The film “Terms and Conditions May Apply” will be rescheduled at a later date.
“Admit it: you don’t really read the endless terms and conditions connected to every website you visit, phone call you make or app you download. But every day, billion-dollar corporations are learning more about your interests, your friends and family, your finances, and your secrets… and are not only selling the information to the highest bidder, but freely sharing it with the government. And you agreed to all of it. With fascinating examples and so-unbelievable-they’re-almost-funny facts, filmmaker Cullen Hoback exposes what governments and corporations are legally taking from you every day – turning the future of both privacy and civil liberties uncertain. From whistle blowers and investigative journalists to zombie fan clubs and Egyptian dissidents, this disquieting exposé demonstrates how every one of us has incrementally opted-in to a real-time surveillance state, click by click- and what, if anything, can be done about it.”
Release date:July 12, 2013.  Produced and directed by Cullen Hoback
Doors open at 6:45.  Popcorn and hot beverages served.  No charge.  All welcome!