Jan 242019
 
martin-luther-king-180477_640
 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.
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.

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

Oct 272015
 

Upcoming Worship Services: Sundays at 10 a.m.

November 1:  We Refuse to Be Enemies:  The Job of Religion Today
Service Leader:  Rev. Dr. M’ellen Kennedy
Learning to befriend the “other”, is a opportunity to practice love daily and in so doing, to help heal our world.  There are so many ways that people are doing just that.  In this service, Rev. M’ellen will share gutsy stories, some from her work on countering Islampphobia.  Nationally an interfaith group has invited congregations across the country to offer “We Refuse to Be Enemies” events this month.  Just a few weeks ago, anti Muslim groups called for aggression towards Muslims — and didn’t get much response.  What a cause for great hope and celebration!
Souper Sunday after the service.

November 8: A Scientist’s Beliefs 
Service Leader: Dr. Seth H. Frisbie
Our guest speaker is a professor of chemistry and has worked on drinking water and public health in Bangladesh and other developing countries for the last 18 years.  His team has helped improve the health of over 60,000,000 Bangladeshis and is helping to prevent hundreds of thousands of cancer deaths around the world.  He will discuss his spiritual beliefs.  Please read more at http://www.uuworld.org/news/articles/289495.shtml  Dr. Seth H. Frisbie  who has worked on drinking water and public health in Bangladesh and other developing countries for the last 18 years.  His team has helped improve the health of over 60,000,000 Bangladeshis and is helping to prevent hundreds of thousands of cancer deaths around the world.  Please read more at http://www.uuworld.org/news/articles/289495.shtml

November 15th Grassroots on the River
Service Leader: Kelly Stettner.

What does it mean to “clean up a river”?  Over the past fifteen years, Kelly Stettner has learned that it’s a lot more than just pulling shopping carts and tires out of the water. In September of 2000, she rolled up her sleeves and started a journey to improve the condition of the Black River in Springfield, Vermont.  A one-time cleanup of a 200-foot-long section of riverbank fifteen years ago has grown into a well-developed watershed group that encompasses well over 100 volunteers doing river projects in six communities.  The organization is entirely not-for-profit, depending on grassroots ingenuity, local donations, and the occasional grant in order to get things done, from the annual RiverSweep cleanup to monthly water quality monitoring, mapping to tree planting, and much more.

November 22:   Being Thankful: Climbing the Stairway to Heaven
Service Leader: Rev. Dr. M’ellen Kennedy
As we approach Thanksgiving, this is a great opportunity to reflect of the real power of the practice of gratitude.  You’re invited to a Friends on the Path Small Group after the coffee hour to continue exploring the topic of the service.  The choir will be performing special music.

November 29: The Refugee Crisis:  Are love and optimism enough?

Service Leader: JoAnn Gaffron-Hargrove
Having spent some time in Berlin, Germany in October, I found myself in emotional and intellectual turmoil over the refugee crisis. I heard many  voices of hope and optimism.  There is a wave of positive energy seen in the willingness of the those who  are responding to the humanitarian needs of the refugees by volunteering to help and give of themselves.  Of course negative energy and pessimistic attitudes are also present, not only on the politians’ level. Everyone is affected in one way or another.  Will the positive outweigh the negative?  What can we do to support the positive energies?

Jan 252015
 

10am Sundays

Child Care Available. We are a Welcoming Community.

Feb 1: “The True Wisdom of the Groundhog, er, Woodchuck”

Service Leader: Becky Eno, Guest Speaker from the Rutland UU

At this time of year, serious people observe spiritual holidays like Imbolc and Candlemas as a way of sweeping away the darkness and the cold, and honoring faith in the latent fertility of the Earth. But what about Groundhog Day? Beyond the media-hyped appearance of poor, exploited Punxsutawney Phil, what do REAL woodchucks have to tell us about the oh-so-slow coming of spring – and about how to live year-round?

 

Feb 8: “My Call to Ministry: Celebrating Community Ministry Sunday”

Service Leader: Rev. Dr. M’ellen Kennedy

Congregations in the Unitarian Universalist Association are encouraged to celebrate Community Ministry Sunday in early February. Community ministries include hospital and prison chaplains, spiritual directors, choir directors and even street musicians. “Ministry is where your gifts and great passion meet the needs of the world”, it’s been said. I believe that each of us is here for a reason. I’ll offer a bit about my journey as an invitation for each of us to reflect on our own. This worship service will build on our conversation on January 18 about the future of religion. Hope You’ll join us for one or both. ~ Rev. M’ellen

Feb 15:  “Artists and Poets Help Us See the World”

Service Leader: Diane Kemble and the children

The children have been learning about artists, poets, and others who help us celebrate the world around us. What connections can we make with our UU Principles?

 

Feb 22: “Celebrating Shivaratri: Lord of The Dance”

Service Leader: Rev. Dr. M’ellen Kennedy

Shiva. Lord of the Dance, is one of the major faces of God in the Hindu view. His holiday, Shivaratri, will be celebrated February 17 by many Hindus in song, ritual, offering and dance. In Shiva, we discover the flowing of abundance, of moving in sync with the continual dance of Birth, Preservation, Destruction and Rebirth.

Sep 302014
 

Oct 5: “What I Love about Islam”

with Rev. Dr. M’ellen Kennedy

The tension and misunderstandings between the Islamic World and the West are costly and severe.  This sermon is an effort to bridge that gap of misunderstanding.  What may be intriguing about Islam for religious liberals?  Join us for an opportunity to open our hearts and minds to what valuable life lessons we can gain from this powerful and inspiring religious tradition.

Greeter: Evelyn Beebe & Melissa; Cleaning: Eveyln; R.E. Friend: STILL NEED; Refreshments: Evelyn & Melissa; Driver: STILL NEED

Oct. 12   Working with your own fear as an activist and honoring differences

Guest speaker is Charis Boke from Chester

“I’ll share stories about my own work as an activist whose work is grounded in my own sense of spirituality. The sermon meditates on working with our own fear as a teacher in that work. I draw on my perspectives as an anthropologist, a holistic herbalist, and an activist to offer reflections on what it means to challenge ourselves, how we can work with our own growing edges with humility and joy, and how we might work to live in the world in a way that honors difference–in ourselves and in others.”

Greeter: STILL NEED; Cleaning: Cathy; R.E. Friend: Cathy; Refreshments: Cathy; Driver: Evelyn Beebe

Oct. 19 “Intimacy and Ultimacy”

with Rev. M’ellen Kennedy

From time immemorial humans have engaged in religious gatherings. Why? What basic needs are being met in church/synagogue/mosque/temple/grove? Why do people come to church? Why do You come? Does church address the brokenness of our time? Does gathering inspire us toward new ways of connecting? How so? Come explore these foundational questions about who we are as humans.

Greeter: Tina.

Oct. 26  The Practice of the 5th UU Principle: Democratic Processes within our Congregations

Guest Leader Steve Finner , Minister of Music from St.Johnsbury

Steve will share with us on what it means to practice the 5th UU
principle “…the use of the democratic process within our
congregations”, as well as a piece of interesting history about the
impact of congregational polity on town governance in northern New
England. He also will be introducing a new congregational song by UU
composer Joyce Poley.

Apr 232014
 

May 4: The Sermon on the “Amount”: A Reflection

Service Leader: Kitsy Winthrop

“The Sermon on the Amount”: a message for that time of gifting on behalf of the congregational ” you” and the hurting world beyond your walls.
The title chosen for my “sermon”, a message commonly delivered by clergy on Canvass/Pledge/Stewardship Sunday on an annual basis is really an “inside joke” (the title, not the message) among colleagues.  BUT your planning group that met with me in March said I should keep it.  So, I yield to their wishes.
It drives me slightly mad when folks – especially those thinking they are quoting the Bible say: “Money is the root of all evil”.
I trust you all know better.  Correctly, “LOVE of money is the root of all evil”.  Love AND Money (Well, there’s another title.)
This Sunday we will also welcome those who have decided to join the congregation at this time.

May 11: Service at 10 a.m.

Service: “Motherhood”

Service Leader: Rev. Sandra Whippie

The service for Mother’s Day will be led by Rev. Sandra J. Whippie, past minister of the Walpole (NH) Unitarian Church.
She will address the many  images of ‘motherhood’ and their contributions to our faith understanding both historically and in today’s world. Rev. Whippie is a retired educator and is pleased to be asked as guest preacher in many churches throughout the Monadnock region and a few in southern VT.  She has received the honor of Minister Emerita by the Walpole congregation and presently lives in Keene.  She is also the mother of three, grandmother of four and great-grandmother of two little boys!
She taught in NH public schools for thirty years and then was an Assistant Principal in Derry for ten yrs in a school of 650 children. She served as a school principal in Marlborough, NH for seven years before retiring. She then, unexpectedly, began a career in ministry. She sees her work as an ordained minister as a continuation of  education as we endeavor to reflect on the purposes and sanctity of our personal lives and the intentions of our denomination.  Rev. Whippie also produced a weekly TV program on the Keene Community TV channel for three years. It was entitled “My Karma Ran Over my Dogma” and is presently being run on the community channel for Bellows Falls/ Westminster, VT. The program addressed the history of religions, the issues of religious freedom,  and how we might live together embracing religious diversity. She interviewed about fifty people representing varied religious points of view.

May 18: Activism Through Music – The Life and Powerful Works of Peter Seeger

Service Leader: Jeff Taft-Dick

 

God’s messengers have come in many forms. We will examine the wonderful life of Pete Seeger, the singer, songwriter and folk-song collector who spearheaded an American folk revival and spent a long career championing folk music as both a vital heritage and a catalyst for social change.

May 25: The Value and Influence of a Garden

Service Leader: Rev. Whippie

From the image of EDEN to Central Park; from the stately gardens of Europe to a simple window box- GARDENS are sanctuaries, places of rest and recoupment;  HOLY PLACES. During  springtime in New England many people feel this rejuvenation of their soul.Rev. Sandra J. Whippie is past minister of the Walpole (NH) Unitarian Church and a retired educator and is pleased to be asked as guest preacher in many churches throughout the Monadnock region and a few in southern VT.  She has received the honor of Minister Emerita by the Walpole congregation and presently lives in Keene.  She is also the mother of three, grandmother of four and great-grandmother of two little boys!

She taught in NH public schools for thirty years and then was an Assistant Principal in Derry for ten yrs in a school of 650 children. She served as a school principal in Marlborough, NH for seven years before retiring. She then, unexpectedly, began a career in ministry. She sees her work as an ordained minister as a continuation of  education as we endeavor to reflect on the purposes and sanctity of our personal lives and the intentions of our denomination.  Rev. Whippie also produced a weekly TV program on the Keene Community TV channel for three years. It was entitled “My Karma Ran Over my Dogma” and is presently being run on the community channel for Bellows Falls/ Westminster, VT. The program addressed the history of religions, the issues of religious freedom,  and how we might live together embracing religious diversity. She interviewed about fifty people representing varied religious points of view.
Mar 042014
 

Services This Month: (Sundays at 10 a.m.)

March 2: ” SBNR?” – A reflection on what “Spiritual But Not Religious” means
Service Leader: Kitsy Winthrop

If I had even one dollar for the number of folks who hasten to tell me that they are spiritual but not religious, I would be financially set for life.  I’m pretty sure I understand what is meant by this assertion,  yet I am saddened that so many humans in the world believe that “spiritual” and “religious” need be mutually exclusive.  For me they are not, and I’ll try to explain why.

March 2nd is our Share-the-Plate to benefit Springfield Area Parent Child Center.

March 9  Follow the Yellow Brick Road
Service leader: JoAnn Gaffron-Hargrove

We do not enter this world with a road map to help us find and follow our Path through life. We often ask ourselves if we are doing what we were meant to do in this life. Are we on the right track; are we fulfilling our purpose? And yet I wonder—is there really a specific Path that each of us has? Are we overly concerned about it, so that we are missing it altogether?

March 16: Climate Change and Religious Communities
Guest Speaker:   Laurel Green from the UU Chester Parish

Laurel will focus on how we as members of religious communities can reflect and take action on climate change.  She will also share about the start up of the Climate Action Team at First Universalist Parish of Chester.
“I used to think the ‘big three’ were climate, biodiversity, and pollution, but after many years of work I think pride, apathy, and greed are even bigger. We need cultural and spiritual transformation, and science doesn’t do that – the church does that.” Gus Speth, 2007

March 23: “Standing on the Side of Love”

Service Leader: Rev. Carol Allman-Morton.

Let’s talk about love, covenant, and action!  Rev. Carol Allman-Morton has served the Unitarian Universalist Meeting of South Berkshire in Great Barrington, MA since 2009, and is Bob and Ellen’s daughter.  She lives in Northampton, MA.

Souper Sunday! March 23- Stay after the service to enjoy great soups, bread and conversation: just $4!

March 30: “Rebellion in the Mountains: Universalism in Vermont”
Service Leader: Steve Finner

In 1802, a small band of Universalists met in S. Stratford Vermont and penned what a year later would become the “Winchester Profession of Universalism.”  It declared that religion was a matter of individual conscience and that everyone, regardless of belief or origin was saved by a loving God.  To say it was a radical statement, probably the most radical since the birth of Jesus, is an understatement.  It triggered a meteoric growth of Universalist congregations through New England, especially in Vermont, and gifted us with a legacy that affects our religious lives even today.  Steve will share this vital and exciting history with us, along with some new songs.

Steve is the Minister of Music at the St. Johnsbury VT Universalist Unitarian Church and we are pleased to have him back with us.

***Singers please plan on meeting with Steve at 9:00 to rehearse some short pieces that will be sung during this service***

Dec 282013
 

January 5: Labyrinth Service             

Service Leader: Ellen Allman

Join Ellen Allman for a service of reflection and celebration using the labyrinth. As we begin a new year come and walk the labyrinth, it can be a religious experience or just a fun thing to do.

(If you are able to help with set-up the day before, please speak with Ellen).

Share the Plate: Springfield Warming Shelter

January 12 at 10 a.m.: Voting Rights/Civil Rights 

Service Leader, Diane Kemble

What a long journey it has been from George Washington’s election when only 6% if the population was eligible to vote to today when there are still threats to voter eligibility. This summer marked the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Voting Rights was and still is an essential part of the Civil Rights Movement. These issues directly relate to our beliefs as Unitarian Universalists, especially: The inherent worth and dignity of every person; Justice, equity and compassion in human relations; and The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.

January 19: The Inspired Idea vs. Humility 

Service Leader: Serena Andrews

Within each of us are the seeds of our own inspired ideas. Ideas are a beautiful gift, quite unique to humankind. However, many of us have been taught to show modesty and humble characteristics, as a sign of respect and awe for our amazing universe and the powers that be. But, to whom does one ask permission to act boldly on an idea bigger than oneself? This talk examines our internal boundaries when inspired ideas blossom within.

Souper Sunday after the service!

January 26: Beauty 

Service Leader: Miriam Meserve

The appreciation of beauty is what makes life wonderful. Join me in considering what beauty is and how to see it in places you wouldn’t expect.