The Work Continues Even When the Building is Closed

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May 152020
 

Mother’s Day Worship Service, Unitarian Universalist Church in Springfield from Loom Ensemble on Vimeo.

Join us on Sunday for a celebration of the Divine Feminine in all her many forms — mothers, grandmothers, the earth mother, the creative mother in each of us. Together we will call for the rebalancing of our society by bringing forth the wisdom of the mother. We will lift up this essential role and explore how each of us can call in the Divine Mother in our own lives. What gifts do we each have to bring forth in this time? What is yearning to be born from within you? What is calling to be nurtured in your life? What great creativity lives in your celestial womb? As Gaia is bursting with new springtime life, let us gather as people and give thanks for the gifts of fertility and all it takes to nourish ongoing life. This service will be full of LIFE — of song, movement, & storytelling, the most basic elements of our human communities. Together we can see what is being born in this time, and how to nurture our new world. All welcome!

Neva Cockrell is a professional dancer and interdisciplinary artist who uses dance-theater as a tool for social change. She has toured internationally with Pilobolus since 2016 in addition to running her own dance-theater company Loom Ensemble. In 2012, she joined the Art Monastery Project, and currently serves as a co-director of Art Monastery Vermont. Her mother is a Unitarian Universalist minister and her father a Zen practitioner. She has been practicing meditation for the past 12 years, and has found beautiful overlap in her artistic creations and her meditation practice. Her life path is deeply grounded in communal living, body-based activities, art-making, being outside, and contemplative practice.
Mellen Kennedy is a Universalist minister serving the Springfield Meetinghouse.


Followed by on-line “coffee hour.”
Zoom info for all services:

https://zoom.us/j/6130779853?pwd=bkc2cUltQlhYUU5YME1aaHlNTGtJdz09
Download Zoom first.
Or by phone, dial +1 646 558 8656 US
Meeting ID: 613 077 9853
Password: 082077


Mar 302020
 

April 26 :The Mountains Are Calling and We Must Go” with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy and Ephraim 

Join Zoom Meeting – for all services:
https://zoom.us/j/6130779853?pwd=bkc2cUltQlhYUU5YME1aaHlNTGtJdz09

Meeting ID: 613 077 9853
Password: 082077

One tap mobile:
+16465588656,,6130779853# US (New York)

By Telephone (Dial by your location):
+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)

Meeting ID: 613 077 9853

Password: 082077


April 5: Sunday Service with Rev. Mellen Kennedy and Qayyum Johnson, “The Silly Side of Resilience: An April Fool’s Celebration”

The words “silly” and “resilience” come from the same root meaning health or well-being.  In recognition of April Fool’s Day, we’ll explore the connection between humor and our well-being particularly in these challenging times.
Bio: Qayyum Johnson is a bricolage poet/writer, sculptor, sound & video artist & ordinary person. He was an organic vegetable farmer and resident Zen student at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center / Green Dragon Zen Temple for more than ten years. Qayyum has studied & practiced myriad spiritual paths, served on an interfaith street chaplaincy board.

April 12:   “Love in the Time of Pandemic: An Easter-Spring Celebration” with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy Rev. Robyn Carpenter, music by Lynne Wolf, Bill Brink, and Matt Meserve.  

Need hope?  Join us for an uplifting time of interfaith music, meditation, prayer,
stories, reflection and community connection.  All welcome!

As the natural world is burgeoning all around us, the human world is in an interesting state.  This annual celebration of death and rebirth takes on poignant meaning as we brave the challenges and enjoy the silver linings of the pandemic we’re experiencing together.  Join us for a real and uplifting look at this defining moment, Spring 2020

April 19  “Coping and Thriving in the Pandemic: Tools for Resilience” with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy and Sharon Mueller

Aug 222019
 
Bread & Puppet at Big Town Theater Amphitheater
99 N Main St (Route 100), Rochester, Vermont 05767
Friday, August 30

Join Bread & Puppet for their 14th Year in BigTown Gallery’s Intimate Outdoor Amphitheater for The Diagonal Life Circus (https://www.facebook.com/BigTownGallery/)!  We’l be car-pooling from the Meetinghouse. leaving about 3:45 pm, Doors open at 5 pm; show begins at 6 pm. bring a blanket or folding chair and, if you like, a picnic supper.

Reality is either horizontal or vertical or both. The horizontal produces us + eventually takes us back into its giant arms’ embrace. The vertical is the exceptional human predicament, the up + forward striding ambition that makes history + warfare.
The diagonal results from the hurts that the vertical suffers in the process. It is our common human fate, the hard-to-sustain-in-between life, neither up nor down that needs to muster all its strength to lift itself up + the courage to invent tricks that keep it from falling. And this trickery deserves a circus, however small or short, to celebrate the inventiveness of the struggling body + mind in the fight against falling, as well as a victory feast for the successful lifting itself up.
TICKETS $10 (6 year olds & under FREE)
PICNIC STYLE SEATING / Bring a blanket
First Come/Best Seat
Doors open at 5. Performance at 6.
Wood-fire Oven Pizza following performance.
RSVP Ticket purchase & reservations info@bigtowngallery.com
Please let Deb Diegoli in the Meetinghouse office know if you’d like to join us – uuspringfieldvt@gmail.com or 802-885-3327.

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
 

THE CLASS HAS BEEN CANCELLED FOR NOW; WE WILL RESCHEDULE AT A LATER DATE.

 

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.

participants-enjoy-a-small-group-discussion-at-the-springfield-uu-copy-640x360

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!