Jul 212019

2nd Annual Campfire Potluck at Tree Farm Campground,  Aug 4th, 5-9 pm

tree-farm-campground-sign_origExplore the graphic novel March (Book One), the 2019 Vermont Reads pick,  at our free event. Enjoy  community and conversation as you join the potluck meal, marshmallow toasting and make s’mores.  Learn about the Civil Rights movement and how art is an important part of social justice work.

Held under the pavilion, rain or shine, at the Campground, 53 Skitchewaug Trail in Springfield.  Generously sponsored by Vermont Reads, the Springfield Town Library, Tree Farm Campground and the Springfield Food Co-op.

Optional tent camping that night for $5.  To get this special rate, you must contact Deb Diegoli at the Springfield  UU Meetinghouse at uuspringfieldvt@gmail.com or 802-885-3327 (please do NOT contact the Campground) so she can reserve you a spot.

Copies of March (Book One) are available to borrow at the Meetinghouse. Contact Deb if you wish to borrow one, or pick one up at our July 28th service.

Everyone of all ages welcome!




Jun 282019

Meetinghouse Book Group, July 14, 11:30 am-1 pm

The group will meet the second Sunday in July and in August from 11:30 to 1 at the
Springfield UU Meetinghouse.  Our first book for discussion is, “How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us about Consciousness, Dying, Addition, Depression and Transcendence.” by Michael Pollan.  We’ll meet on the second Sundays from 11:30 to 1.  On July 14th, we’ll be discussing the prologue and chapters 1-3; on August 11th chapters 4-6 and the epilogue.

You can download an outline/summary of the book which Rev. Mellen compiled as well as info on psychedelics in general by clicking on the links below.



Gentle Seva Yoga to Benefit Springfield Humane Society, Wednesday July 10, 5:30-6:30 pm

Feel Good, Do good.  Gentle Seva Yoga, is led by Aimee Parnell every second Wednesday, 5:30-6:30 pm at the Meetinghouse.

Seva is the yogic principle of service to others.  Each month this free, gentle class raised funds or supplies to benefit a local cause. This class is suitable for all levels of experience and flexibility, including those who have limited mobility or who will remain seated during their practice.  A limited number of mats and props are provided. All are welcome.

The July class will be accepting donations for the Springfield Humane Society.


May 272019

 July 28: “The Creative Process” with Toni Streeter. 

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.

August 11 “Art and the Civil Rights Movement” with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy

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.

August 25 Revolution of the Heart: Truthtelling & the Imaginaria” with Betsy McCall  

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.Details to be announced.

July 14 “Art Will Save Us” with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy

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.

“Green Living, Green Loving, Green Burial” our annual Parker Hill Service and Picnic with Rev. Mellen Kennedy, June 9, 11 am.

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.

“Flower Communion” Service with Sharon Mueller, June 2, 11 am

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!


May 242019

Pride Potluck with VINE Sanctuary, Sunday June 23rd

Here at the Meetinghouse, 1-3 pm

Celebrate Pride month by enjoying a rainbow of plant-based food while learning how to grow a rainbow of your own. This free event is open to the public, and everyone is welcome whether or not they are vegan, LGBTQ, or bring a dish to share.

This year, in conjunction with the recent opening of the Free Seed Library at Springfield Town Library, VINE also will be helping participants to “grow the rainbow” by offering free seeds of vegetables that come in a rainbow of colors (such as radishes, carrots, lettuces, corn, and beans) to all attendees. We’ll also have a fact sheet on how to grow these vegetables in your garden.

This event is free and open to the public. As always, VINE volunteers will be making extra food, so everyone is welcome, whether or not they bring a dish to share.The only requirement is that any food brought to the potluck must be vegan, which means free from any animal products such as meat, dairy, or eggs. People who would like to try making a vegan dish but don’t know where to start can visit VegWeb.com or VegKitchen.com to search for recipes.

Launching the Meetinghouse Book Group, June 2, 11:45 – 12:30  

Come join us as we launch a book group.  We’ve read the book, “How to Change Your Mind” by Michael Pollan, had one session to talk about it, and some of us want to continue.  We’ve also talked about other books we might consider including Michelle Obama’s, “Becoming”, J.D. Vance’s, “Hillbilly Elegy” and more.  This fall we will participate in the Vermont Reads program, reading John Lewis’s, “March, Book 1” on the US Civil Rights Movement.  Come share ideas and help plan together the new Meetinghouse Book Group with Rev. Mellen Kennedy.

First Friday Film “Albatross,” June 7, 7 pm

The First Friday Film at the UU Meetinghouse on June 7th will be ALBATROSS by artist Chris Jordan. ALBATROSS is an award-winning work of art, a work of art with a message: we need to diminish our use and disposal of plastics. The film lasts about 1 1/2 hours and inspires a strong emotional response in the audience not just in favor of albatrosses but generally on the impact of our trash disposal vs reuse and recycling. .
Free admission and popcorn. Doors open at 6:45; film begins at 7 pm. Held at the Meetinghouse at 21 Fairground Road, Springfield, VT. All welcome.

Gentle Seva Yoga with Aimee Parnell,
Wednesday, June 12, 5:30 pm

Feel Good, Do good.  Gentle Seva Yoga, is led y Aimee Parnell every second Wednesday, 5:30-6:30 pm at the Meetinghouse.

Seva is the yogic principle of service to others.  Each month this free, gentle class raised funds or supplies to benefit a local cause. This class is suitable for all levels of experience and flexibility, including those who have limited mobility or who will remain seated during their practice.  A limited number of mats and props are provided. All are welcome.

Apr 302019

May 26: “The Zen of Gardening”  with Sharon Mueller 

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.)

May 5: “Everyday Spirituality” with Rev. Patience Stoddard

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.


May 12: “Faith of Our Foremothers”  with Rev. Mellen Kennedy 

In honor of Mother’s Day, let’s turn to the lives of some of our feisty foremothers. Like Julia Ward Howe who wrote the Original Mother’s Day Proclamation in 1870 as a protest of war.  And Olympia Brown, the first woman in the US ordained in a Christian denomination.  These and other Unitarians and Universalists fought the good fight in their time and offer insight to us today that we may be powerful agents of hope and courage in our own time.   A Welcoming of New Members will be part of the service.
A Small Group Discussion on the theme of the service will be led at noon by Rev. Mellen.
All welcome.

May 19: “Wabi Sabi – Wisdom For A Perfectly Imperfect World” with Steve Shama. 

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.

Apr 302019

Annual Springfield May Festival, Saturday, May 18, 9 am – 3 pm

The Springfield May Festival is held every year on the Saturday after Mother’s Day weekend.  It has been held annually since 2010. Admission is free. The festival is held rain or shine.

The May Festival features our popular plant sale with perennials, annuals, vegetables and herbs for your garden. Ourmay-fest-with-uu-meetinghouse-sign-640x314 garden expert will be available for consultation and to answer questions.
Crafters and flea market vendors will be set up.  Musical entertainment will add to the festive atmosphere. Lunch is provided in our cafe serving delicious homemade food and baked goods.
There is an indoor art show and sale featuring the high quality work of our local artists.
Come,  join the fun at the Meetinghouse, 21 Fairground Road, Springfield.

Coffee House Music Series: Tom Ghent, Saturday, May 18, 7 pm


Singer-songwriter Tom Ghent will perform at the UU Coffeehouse on Saturday 5/18.. Tom’s songs have been recorded by Kris Kristofferson, Gene Watson, Bobby Bare, Mama Cass, Bobby Goldsboro, Michael Settle, Rita Coolidge, Charlie Louvin, and dozens of others.
His classic, “Whiskey Whiskey” is considered a standard, and has been cut by a long list of performers in a variety of styles.
He’s played lead guitar for Mickey Newbury, appeared as a background vocalist on Joan Baez’ “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and Steve Goodman’s “City Of New Orleans,” and his expertise in the studio is well known and respected among his industry peers. . Tom also sang the title song on the soundtrack album for the Mick Jagger movie “Ned Kelly”, a soundtrack which also featured Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, and Jagger himself.
There is a five dollar suggested donation.
Doors open at 6:30, music starts at 7 pm. This is a family-friendly evening of music and fun. You will be able to purchase delicious snacks and beverages.

Note: this will be the last UU Coffee House until fall.

First Friday Film “an Inconvenient Sequel, Truth to Power” with Carol Stedman, May 3, 7 pm

“An Inconvenient Sequel, Truth to Power,” the follow-up to Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth,” will be the May First Friday Film at the Meetinghouse. Local farmer and climate activist Carl Stedman will join us for the film and discussion.
About the film:  Ten years after the Academy Award-winning An Inconvenient Truth  brought climate change to the forefront of mainstream culture, former Vice President Al Gore continues his tireless fight to educate the next generation of climate champions.  Eye-opening and alarming, this compelling follow-up shows that while the stakes have never been higher, the solutions to the climate crisis are still within our reach.
Free admission and popcorn.  Doors open at 6:45, film begins at 7 pm. All welcome.

Gentle Seva Yoga, Wednesday, May 8, 5:30-6:30 pm

Feel Good, Do good.  Gentle Seva Yoga with Aimee Parn

ell, every second Wednesday at the Springfield Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse.

Seva is the yogic principle of service to others.  each month this free, gentle class raised funds or supplies to benefit a local cause.  this class is suitable for all levels of experience and flexibility, including those who have limited mobility or who will remain seated during their practice.  A limited number of mats and props are provided. All are welcome..
This month’s class is Wednesday, May 8,  Donations for Turning Point are encouraged.
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.



Apr 012019

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.

Apr 012019

 Stewardship Breakfast! Sunday April 28, 8:45-9:45 am

“Coming Home to Community”

Once a year, we take time to celebrate how fortunate we are to be part of this community, to look ahead to the coming year, and to make a financial pledge to support the congregation in our collective plans for the future.  Thanks to the Caring Committee, this year, we’ll be having a Stewardship Breakfast (rather than the usual Soup Sunday).  You’re invited to join us for breakfast before the service.  Deb will share a slideshow of highlights of the year.  Rev. Mellen will give a short presentation on “Coming Home”. The breakfast is a little fundraiser, for $4 enjoy Frittata/breakfast casserole, fruit salad, an assortment of breakfast pastries and, of course, coffee.  If you are willing to make something for this event contact cathyshidlovsky@comcast.net.  See you then!

First Friday Film“The Economics of Happiness” April 5, 7 pm

Economic globalization has led to a massive expansion in the scale and power of big business and banking. It has also worsened nearly every problem we face: fundamentalism and ethnic conflict; climate chaos and species extinction; financial instability and unemployment. There are personal costs too. For the majority of people on the planet, life is becoming increasingly stressful. We have less time for friends and family and we face mounting pressures at work.

The award-winning film, The Economics of Happiness, describes a world moving simultaneously in two opposing directions: On the one hand, government and big business continue to promote globalization and the consolidation of corporate power. At the same time, all around the world people are resisting those policies, demanding a re-regulation of trade and finance. Far from the old institutions of power, they’re starting to forge a very different future. Communities are coming together to re-build more human scale, ecological economies based on a new paradigm — an economics of localization.

The Economics of Happiness includes interviews with activists and scholars such as Vandana Shiva, Bill McKibben, David Korten, and Zac Goldsmith who explain that climate change and peak oil give us little choice: We need to localize, to bring the economy home. The good news is that as we move in this direction we will begin not only to heal the earth but also to restore our own sense of well-being. The Economics of Happiness restores our faith in humanity and challenges us to believe that it is possible to build a better world.

Free admission and popcorn.  doors open at 6:45; film begins at 7 pm. All welcome.

Seva Yoga with Aimee Parnell,  Wednesday, April 10, 5:30-6:30 pm
The yogic principal of Seva refers to service. We’re offering this class at   no cost but request that attendees bring a donation for a local organization. This month Aimee is accepting donations for Turning Point Recovery Center of Springfield, who would appreciate monetary contributions toward finishing  their recreational activity room.  This will be a gentle yoga class and all are welcome.

Games & Crafts Night, Saturday, April 13, 6:30-8:30 pm

Join us for an evening of games and crafting.  Bring a favorite game, your knitting or any other craft project.  Games and coloring will also be available. Join the conversation and the fun at the Meetinghouse. All welcome!

Book Discussion: How to Change Your Mind, Sunday, April 14, 12-1 pm 

We’ll discuss the book, “How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us about Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression and Transcendence.” By Michael Pollan.  The discussion will follow a sermon that morning on the same subject given be Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy.   Rev. Mellen will facilitate the book discussion.  All welcome. (Rescheduled from earlier this winter.)

Coffee House Music Series: Heron Fire, Saturday, April 20, 7 pm

 “We’ve often been asked to describe what kind of music we do and have found   that performing is much easier to do than explaining.. That’s because the songs   we play aren’t limited to any one style. You’ll hear folk, rock, country, comedy,   blues, jazz and even a smattering of original material. Many of the songs are favorites of ours from a long history of performing together, some are more recent, but all are our own arrangements – rich with tight vocal harmonies and a unique sound and style of guitar work.In short, we feel that we provide a genuine sound, along with a versatility and creativity that’s undeniably our own. Making music has always been fun for us and we do our best to make our audiences feel “at home” with use, our music and the places we play..” – Peggy Rishel with “Heron Fire”

Free admission.  Doors open at 6:30, music starts at 7pm.   This is a family-friendly evening of music and fun.   You will be able to purchase delicious snacks and beverages. All welcome!


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.