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Springfield Meetinghouse,VT

Unitarian Universalist

Worship Services

We have been holding services weekly on Zoom during the past church year and have begun a transition to hybrid (in-person and Zoom) services. For the winter we were on Zoom only. We plan to start in-person/ Zoom hybrid services on May 22nd,

Our Sunday services begin at 10 am and last about an hour, followed by coffee hour and discussion. We welcome people from near and far to join us on Zoom at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6130779853.  Our services generally include music, readings, a story and a reflection (or sermon).  We may include practices such as art, meditation, prayer, yoga, dance, journaling, poetry.   Children are welcome at our services; child care is available for those who don't wish to stay in the sanctuary. We have both ordained clergy and lay leaders, as well as special guests, lead our services.

Music is especially important to us and we often include live performances as well as hymns for the congregation to sing.  Our virtual choir, directed by Julane Deener, has been a crucial part of our online services.  The choir will continue to perform virtually at times as well as live during many future services.

We acknowledge and include many spiritual traditions, including Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Indigenous, Jewish, Muslim and Pagan.  We include humanists, atheists and agnostics among our congregation.  Many folks describe themselves as “spiritual but not religious.”  We agree that we do not have to think alike, but we love alike.

 

May 2022 Services, Sundays at 10 am EDT

May 1: "The Great Turning" with Sharon Mueller and Friends Please join us as we look at this transition as conceived by David Korten and Joanna Macy.  You're invited to stay for a virtual coffee hour discussion after the service.

May 8: Imagining Peace on Mother’s Day with Julane Deener and the Meetinghouse Virtual Choir. Please join us on Mother’s Day for a choir led service filled with hymns, anthems, poetry, and hope for peace on earth.  We’ll meet mother goddesses from around the world and celebrate the mother figures in our lives.  Feel free to bring along a photo of a beloved, mothering family member (male or female) to share. You're welcome to stay for a virtual coffee hour discussion time after the service. 

Sunday, May 15: Spiritual Makerspace Service "Race Amity and the Legacy of Howard Thurman" with Dr. William Smitty Smith, Rev, Dr. Mellen Kennedy, Rev. Dr. Kristal Owens, Minister Usher Moses, and Robbin Ruffner, RScP. In addition to the existence of racial enmity and injustice in America, there has always existed the "other tradition" of Race Amity or friendship across the races.  Our featured speaker, Dr. William Smitty Smith is the founder and director of the National Center for Race Amity.  The parallels between Race Amity and the profound teachings of Howard Thurman are strong.  This service is our finale of the 8 part series on, "Medicine for Our Times: Living the Legacy of Howard Thurman".  Smitty will lay the foundation with his presentation and our team of Thurman enthusiasts will respond and discuss the exciting work, and we'll reflect collectively on the series and how we can continue to live this legacy in our own lives.  Special music from the Virtual Choir.  We hope You'll join us.  Followed by a virtual coffee hour discussion.

Sunday, May 22: "Annual Flower Communion" with Rev. Mellen Kennedy, IN PERSON & ZOOM  The vision of Norbert Capek in the first half of the last century, this ritual of sharing, and beauty is celebrated by Unitarian Universalist Churches all over. This hybrid service will be a very special Flower Communion this year because it will be our first service back in sanctuary (and still on-line as well).  We will also recognize transitions of births and deaths  in the community in the past 2 years as well as of the departure of our staff, Rev. Mellen and Deb.  Bring a flower to the service (whether You're in person or on-line).  It will be a very beautiful celebration of our community local and virtual. 

Sunday, May 29: "Celebrating" with Sharon Mueller and Friends, IN PERSON & ZOOM We are celebrating Celebrations! From the dawn of human life, people have honored important events, both large and small, personal and communal. What makes a celebration; what inspires you? Come share your stories with us. Please bring percussion instruments!

 


 

April 2022 Services, Sundays at 10 am, EDT

April 3 “Finding Light-Minded Friends: Happy ThanksLiving!” With Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy and Delia Chaney.
 One of the things that leaves our hearts brimming in gratitude, is when we have Soul connections with others.  There is so much to be thankful for, even and especially and in time of trouble. And friends on the path who help us remember this, is one of life’s blessings that fills us with joy.  In a light-hearted spirit of April Fool’s Day, let’s share how gratitude has shaped us, especially for those who have taken the ThanksLiving Challenge  in recent months. You’re invited to stay for the virtual coffee hour afterwards.
 

April 10 “Living Buddha, Living Christ” with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy As we approach Easter Sunday, next week, this is a great opportunity to pause and reflect on who Jesus was and what are the parallels between these two great teachers, Buddha and Christ.  “Living Buddha, Living Christ” is the title of a book by that great Buddhist teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh who transitioned recently.  This is the third and final part of our series on Thich Nhat Hanh. Please stay for the virtual coffee hour discussion afterward.

April 17 "Easter Renewal" with Robbin Ruffner, and Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy, Rev. Dr. Kristal Owens, Minister Usher Moses
and Rev. Will Hunter
Easter bursts on the scene with a shout of Hope!  Even in times of despair and chaos, Love triumphs!  How can this be?  What better place to turn for answers, than Howard Thurman.  Thurman turns our attention to the growing edge, to possibility, to Hope! He invites us to both have courage to face life’s pain and injustice, AND the wisdom to connect to the Source beyond all daily drudgery and suffering.  Thurman was a compelling voice in a recent time of turmoil and his message rings beautifully true in the Spring of 2022!  Please stay for our virtual coffee hour discussion.

April 24: "Awakening Through Movement, Practices for Enjoyment," a Spiritual Makerspace Service with Neva Cockrell and Raphael Sacks from the Art Monastery  Come join Neva and Raphael as we explore embodiment practices to help us feel fresh, feel energy and joy! Let’s shake off winter and welcome Spring with our dear friends at the Art Monastery. Please stay for coffee hour after the service.


March 2022 Services, Sundays at 10 am Eastern Time

March 6: "Sidney Poitier, the Man, the Myth, the Legend" with Sharon Mueller and Tina Feindel.  Come join us as we take a deeper look at the spiritual life of Sidney Poitier, including a deeper understanding of who he was at his core, and the gifts he gave us.  Please join us also for a virtual coffee hour discussion after the service.

March 13: SPIRITUAL MAKERSPACE SERVICE ~ “Trauma-Informed, Harmony Bound:  A Continuing Tribute to Thich Nhat Hanh” with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy and Angie Follensbee-Hall  Let's celebrate the resiliency and power of the human body, mind and spirit here at the two year mark of the virus situation. We'll explore embodied practices including meditation, for being present and integrating trauma. Yes, it's been a challenging time and yes, we can breathe, be present, integrate and move beyond. Join us for practical skill building and spiritual celebrating. One of the sources we'll draw from for inspiration is the profound work of Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, with Vietnam and other war veterans.  Rev. Mellen Kennedy is the settled half-time minister of the Meetinghouse.  Angie Follensbee-Hall is an artist, teacher, yoga instructor, podcast host, exhibiting artist, and a lifelong self-employed maker.  She and her husband, Josh Hall are both members of the Meetinghouse and work form their home, Jai Studios in Brownsville, Vt.  You're welcome to stay for virtual coffee hour. 
Don't forget to change your clocks - Spring Ahead!

March 20: “Howard Thurman’s Connection with Nature: An Equinox Celebration” with Minister Usher Moses along with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy, Rev. Dr. Kristal Owens and Robbin Ruffner, Divine Science Practitioner. As we turn toward Spring, what better place to look for uplift and inspiration than the life of Howard Thurman, that great nature lover, mystic, African American scholar and preacher.  Yeah Spring! 

March 27: "Spiritual Democracy" with Sharon Mueller and Friends  Democracy is a spiritual practice. Please join us as we look at what Walt Whitman and others have to say about Spiritual Democracy, and discuss ways we can nurture it in our own lives.

 

 


February 2022 Services, Sundays at 10 am

February 6, Annual Word Service: "Tower of Babel 2.0" with Sharon Mueller, Tina Feindel and recorded offerings by Suiko McCall and Qayyum Johnson of the Art Monastery. The Tower of Babel is a story of the ultimate communication breakdown; that is, what happens when we no longer understand each others’ words. Words are key to understanding each other, to peace. Join us as we share out thoughts on Words that have meaning to us. Stay for virtual coffee hour after the service.

February 13: "Love and Compassion, Can we offer this to Ourselves?"  A Spiritual Makerspace with Lindsey, Ti, Rosaleen, and Ann Marie Knoepfel How can we offer Love and Compassion to Ourselves? In the last several months our community has been nurturing our inner light and discovering our growing edge. In this service we will explore how and why offering ourselves Peace, Love, and Understanding benefits us and our communities beyond measure. Please stay for our virtual coffee hour discussion.  

February 20: “The Spiritual *Is* Political:  Tracing Divine Love onto a Broken World” with Omid Safi  and Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy, Rev. Dr. Kristal Owens, Minister Usher Moses and Robbin Ruffner, Divine Science Practitioner.  PART OF OUR HOWARD THURMAN SERIES Almost all mystical traditions call our attention to Here and Now.  The Kingdom of God is to be established Here, and the redemption is Here.  Our great spiritual traditions are concerned not only about the spirit, but about the bodies also made in the image of God.  The cosmic in us has to be about both changing the human and changing the world of which we are a part. The healing inside and the healing of the world are wrapped up in one another.
Omid Safi is a scholar in the Sufi tradition of Radical Love & Founder of Illuminated Courses & Tours.   Omid is a professor at Duke University specializing in Islamic spirituality and contemporary thought. Omid is among the most frequently sought out Muslim public intellectuals in popular media, appearing in The New York Times, Newsweek, Washington Post, PBS, NPR, NBC, CNN, and other international media.  He has delivered the annual Martin Luther King keynote from the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel, and preached at Ebenezer Baptist Church. His most recent book is Radical Love, which has been published by Yale University Press.  He teaches courses on Islamic Spirituality, focused on the mystical poetry of Rumi  and the Heart of the Qur’an.
Join us after the service for virtual coffee hour discussion.

February 27: "Peace Is Every Step: A Tribute to Thich Nhat Hanh" with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy The Great Vietnamese Buddhist teacher, Thich Nhat Hanh, passed away recently.  We will celebrate his exemplary life and look toward how we can integrate his teachings into our own lives.  If your life was impacted by him, You are invited to reach out to Rev. Mellen to consider sharing something in the service.  You're also invited to stay for the virtual coffee hour afterwards.

 


January 2022 Worship Services, Sundays at 10 am

January 2: "Finding The Light - Connecting With Each Other" with Ann Marie Knoepfel, Tina Feindel, Deb Diegoli. As a follow up to our Annual Fire Ceremony, you are invited to an informal sharing of ideas on ‘Finding the Light’ in the coming year. We’ll have music and readings to inspire and time for informal discussion.  

January 9, “Happy ThanksLiving: Let’s Bless Our Way Through 2022” with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy. 10 am  The mental health indicators for us humans have taken a nose dive in the past few years, social science data indicates.  What can we do?  Time for an epiphany! The universal teachings of the world’s wisdom traditions point to a tried-and-true method for improving our mental, spiritual and physical health.  And it lies within your very own heart.  As Rumi said, Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone with others. Unfold your own myth. Special music by Bill Brink, The Virtual Choir and Julane Deener. If You’d like to participate in a ritual during the service, bring a small stone with You when You sign on.  You're invited to stay for small groups in our virtual coffee hour.

January 16, “The Legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and His ‘Hidden Figures’: Dr. Howard Thurman and Other Influencers.” Minister Usher Moses with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy, Rev. Dr. Kristal Owens and Robbin Ruffner, Religious Science Practitioner Emerita. In this is the fourth part of our eight-part Howard Thurman Series, guest minister, Usher Moses will dive deep into the crystal waters of universal love with the people who made a major impact and influence on MLK's life and civil rights ministry, practices and procedures!! This series, "Medicine for Our Times: Living the Legacy of Howard Thurman", is co-sponsored by the Empowerment Center of Cheverly, MD and the Springfield Meetinghouse. A perfect way to celebrate M L King Weekend! Usher Moses is the senior minister of the Empowerment Center and works at Howard University. Special music by The Virtual Choir and Julane Deener. You’re welcome to stay, make some new friends and connect with old friends in our virtual coffee hour. 

January 23: "Our Science, Ethics, Discovery of Three Mass Poisonings, and the Long March Toward Truth" with Dr. Seth Frisbie. A drinking water survey in Bangladesh ultimately lead Dr. Seth Frisbie, his wife, Dr. Erika Mitchell, and a small handful of colleagues to discover three mass poisonings: (1) arsenic, manganese, and other toxic elements in Bangladesh’s drinking well water, (2) the possibility of corruption at the World Health Organization, and (3) the significant risk of neurodevelopmental harm from excess manganese in infant formulas sold in the United States. The science behind these discoveries and the ethical challenges they presented will be discuss. And the final victory of truth will be celebrated. Virtual coffee hour after the service.
Dr. Seth H. Frisbie has over 25 years of experience in public health. He earned his B.S. from the University of Massachusetts, his M.S. from Cornell University, and his Ph.D. from Cornell University. Dr. Frisbie is an Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Norwich University. He has worked on public health in Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Nepal, and many other countries since 1997. Dr. Frisbie has won numerous awards for outstanding research and teaching. You're invited to stay for our virtual coffee hour.

January 30: Spiritual Makerspace Service ~ "Holy Imbolc: A Midwinter Reflection” with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy.  My one and only trip, so far, to Ireland, took place during Imbolc three years ago.  And my understanding of this ancient Celtic Holiday has been deepened by my sojourn on the green isle.  I invite You to join us in this midwinter celebration of Imbolc, February 1st, the midpoint between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. You're invited to stay for the small groups, an opportunity to visit in our virtual coffee hour after the service. 

 


December 2021 Services (note times below)

Sunday, December 5, 10 am  "Finding and Fostering Friendship" with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy and Toni Streeter. The spark of friendship is mysterious and wonderful.  It is one of the sustaining forces in our lives.  Conversely, loneliness is one of the greatest forms of suffering and has been on the increase for decades according to psychological studies.  What makes for this amicable connection and what fosters it, especially in these interesting times?  Join us for a participatory service exploration of the special spiritual connection among friends.

Sunday December 12, 10 AM Spiritual Makerspace Service ~ "Holy Social Media: Click Local!" with Michael Wood-Lewis and Rev. Mellen Kennedy. In this Spiritual Makerspace service, we'll explore the problems of big tech and the hopes of small tech.  We've heard so much about the negative impact and dangers of social media.  But what does that really mean?  And what about the benefits of this?  What do we mean by Attention Economy and Surveillance Capitalism? And why are these a spiritual issues?  What better person to help us delve into these questions than the founder of Front Porch Forum (FPF), Michael Wood-Lewis. FPF is a community-building platform which Michael started about 20 years ago in Vermont and which now has expanded to serve other geographic areas. FPF has gotten national accolades for being social media at its best.  In addition to being an amazing entrepreneur, Michael is a deeply thoughtful person and happens to be a member, along with his wife and kids, of the First Unitarian Society in Burlington, Vermont.  
 

Resources for “Holy Social Media” Service 12/12/21
With Michael Wood-Lewis and Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy
Springfield UU Meetinghouse, Vermont
The service will be posted on our
YouTube Channel soon

 

The Social Dilemma trailer

Terms and Conditions May Apply (and other cyber security film reviews and trailers)

Two TED Talks by Tristan Harris:

How Better Tech Can Protect Us from Distraction

How a Handful of Tech Companies Control Billions of Minds Everyday

TED Talk of Harris and Yuval Harari: Humans Get Hacked

Guardian article:  Smartphone Dystopia

NY Times article: You Are a Object of Facebook's Secret Extraction

From The Attention Economy To The Creator Economy: A Paradigm Shift

Front Porch Forum

Berkley Economic Review article: Paying Attention: The Attention Economy

The Internet is Tricking our Brains

  

Sunday, December 19, 5 pm "Make Music in the Heart! A Solstice Celebration" with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy and Robbin Ruffner. We hope that You will join us for our annual solstice celebration with carols, stories, music and more.  We'll create a time of centering, singing, laughing, loving and tuning our hearts to the magical mood of the season. We're delighted that Robbin Ruffner, Religious Science Practitioner, will join us in this, the third part of our Howard Thurman Series, along with Rev. Dr. Kristal Owens and Minister Usher Moses of The Empowerment Center in Cheverly, MD.  The virtual choir will perform, "The Work of Christmas",  by Howard Thurman.  Please bring a candle for participating in our candle lighting at the end of our service.  Stay for a virtual high tea after the service. For more info on our Thurman Series and biographical info of our guests, please visit our web site:  https://uuspringfieldvt.org/howard-thurman-medicine-for-these-times.

Friday, December 24, 5 pm  Christmas Eve Stories and Carols with Rev. Mellen Kennedy and Rev. Will Hunter. We are delighted that the Springfield Meetinghouse and the Weathersfield Center Congregation will be collaborating again for a joint Christmas Eve Service! Yeah!  Join us for Christmas carols, nativity reflection, singing, stories and community.  The virtual choir will be performing.  Stay for a virtual coffee and social time.

Sunday, December 26, 10 am "Annual Fire Ceremony" with Sharon Mueller -Theme: "Burning Away the Dross and Lighting the Fire Within". As we have for over a decade, let’s gather, this year on zoom, to look back, and to look forward. What shall we release? What passion do we want to set alight in 2022?  Service leaders will zoom from the Sanctuary, with our Fire Bowl, and Candle of Renewal. Please have paper, pen and an envelope handy. There will be a response time so you may share what 2021 has meant to you, and what dreams you envision for 2022! A virtual coffee hour will follow.
 
Singing Meditation with Julane Deener,  New Year's Eve, 5 pm  and New Year's Day, 10 am. Begin the New Year in tranquility.  Singing Meditation is an interfaith spiritual practice in which sound and silence are alternated. It is not a rehearsal or a performance.  It is singing for the purpose of facilitating a connection with Spirit.  Songs and chants, originating from many faiths, are followed by periods of silence in which participants meditate, contemplate, or pray.  (Since we are on zoom, participants will be muted for most chants.  We’ll include some toning which we can do unmuted, in order to hear each other and connect on a personal level.)  Wear comfortable clothing, and have a relaxing chair or cushion, and perhaps a candle for centering.  “The paths are many, but the peak is one.” For more information contact Julane at julanejulane@comcast.net.  5 p.m. December 31st  and/or 10 a.m. January 1st.  Join us for one or both.  No experience necessary – all are welcome. Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6130779853
 


November 2021 Services, Sundays at 10 am

November 7, "Gearing Up in Gratitude" with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy and Sharon Mueller. Do you need a boost as we enter the holiday season and our second winter dealing with the virus situation?  Then please hop on board Zoom for a uplifting, encouraging, challenging and fun ride.  How can You find joy in the midst of sorrow, hope in the midst of despair?  The answer is deceptively easy and obvious! Please join us for an exploration of the depth of our being and the breadth of our imagination! And remember that daylight saving time ends.  Stay for randomly assigned small group coffee hour after the service.

 
November 14, "Cultivating Civil Discourse" with Ann Marie Knoepfel, Deb Diegoli and Tina Feindel.  It seems that harsh speech has become the norm.  Let's affirm our commitment to engaging in civil discourse and honing our skills for finding common ground.  We have a choice each moment to escalate or calm, to be inflammatory or soothing, to be extreme or balanced. Let's be part of the solution and help heal the world conversation by conversation, breath by breath. Join us after the service for coffee hour in randomly assigned small groups. 
 
November 21: "Walking in the Footsteps of Howard Thurman" with Rev. Dr. Kristal Owens and Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy (others in the Thurman Series Team will also be present). November 18 is Howard Thurman's 122nd birthday!  How fitting to explore his roots, his life trajectory and career.  Where did he come from?  How did he become such a powerful mystic, teacher and minister?  And what lessons can we take as we unfold the story of our own lives?  Join us for the second installment of our series. Stay for virtual coffee hour in randomly assigned small group discussions.
 
November 28: "Aware of N'dakina: Our Abenaki Homeland." with Charlie D. Megeso and Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy. We're exploring the theme this year of, "What makes You Come Alive?  Go Do It!".  Our guest this morning, Charlie Megeso, is an indigenous activist who has worked with the Nulhegan Coosuk and Alnobaiwi Councils. The Abenaki are the Native people of Vermont - N'dakina. For Charlie, connecting with his Abenaki heritage has made him come alive! He has been working for 35 years for tribal recognition and celebrating Abenaki culture. He is enthusiastic about showing folks who the Abenaki are today and including this in the N'dakina narrative. Charlie helped establish Alnôbaiwi.org, a nonprofit for cultural, traditional Abenaki (our Share the Plate recipient this month --see below).  Till then, Powidahozi  --- think and be very Happy!  Join us for coffee hour break out group discussion after the service. Join us after the service for coffee hour in randomly assigned small groups. 
 


October 2021 Services, Sundays at 10 am

Sunday October 3, 2021  “Do You Know How Powerful You Are?  No Need for Despair!” with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy and Lynne Wolf.  Do you feel overwhelmed or even despairing as You look around the world?  Dear Friends, truly, no need for that!  The human heart, is an energetic nexus for healing and transformation. And each of us can make a profound difference in the world around us as we tend the garden of our heart. And when we engage in this endeavor with others -- well!  The sky is the limit!  We’ll draw from multiple sources including current neuroscience research, Maharishi effect research, the teachings of ancient mystic such as St. Francis, and more.  We’ll end the morning with an invitation to participate in group energetic efforts to help heal our beautiful world.  "Don't fight darkness. Bring the light, and darkness will disappear." Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Sunday, October 10:  “The Opportunity to Improvise,” Spiritual Makerspace service with Christal Brown and Lida B. Winfield. Join the Springfield Meetinghouse Online on Sunday October 10th for The Opportunity to Improvise at 10 am. Scholars and dance artists, Christal Brown and Lida Winfield share the process of turning curiosity, trust and improvisation into an artistic reflection on race, age, gender, and surviving life. For more about the artists and their work, see    https://www.lidawinfield.com/samebutdifferent  . You're invited to stay for a virtual coffee hour and discussion afterward.  All are welcome! Zoom link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6130779853 .

Sunday, October 17: "Medicine for Our Time, Living the Legacy of Howard Thurman" with Rev. Dr. Kristal Owens, Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy, Usher Moses, and Robbin Ruffner. Join us on this 8 month journey to learn and experience the great teachings of mystic, philosopher, author, and civil rights leader Howard Thurman! We will have our sessions every third Sunday of the month (add that to your calendars!). Did you know Howard Thurman was influential in Martin Luther King's non-violence movement?  If you like to learn more about Howard Thurman and his teachings you can click here. If you would like to gain deeper insight into what to expect during the 8 month series click here. We hope you enjoy the series as much as we do! Join us on zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6130779853

October 24: "Honor the Animals" with Julane Deener and the Worship & Arts Committee. For many congregations, October includes a Blessing of the Animals service to honor our pets and remember the work of St. Francis of Assisi.  These services, while well meaning, can be traumatic for pets.  Our online, in-home services can enable us to recognize our pets together in a safe and comforting way.
Over the past months, we’ve seen each-others’ pets cross our screens during zoom services and meetings.  We’ve gotten to know Penny, Mel, and many others as they visit our services, full of curiosity about those faces on the little screen.  On Sunday, October 24th, we’ll honor the fur and feathered folk who have been our companions and comfort during these uncertain times and always.  The members of the Worship and Arts Committee will share readings and thoughts, and a story of St. Francis and the Animals.  Visiting poet Heidi Selig will read a special poem.  We invite the congregation to gather via zoom, with our pets, to celebrate the joy that they bring to our lives.  There will be a time for introductions and sharing, and a time of peaceful prayer for these beings who in many ways lead exemplary lives which can teach us, if we’re attentive, to slow down and appreciate the beauty and love around us. Afterward, join us for a virtual discussion and "coffee hour." 

October 31:,"Veils Between the Worlds" with Sharon Mueller, Tina Feindel, Chrissie Howe. Let us celebrate this time of year together, when the veil between the worlds thins. Cultures around the world have held this time as sacred, when we honor those we’ve loved who have passed on. You're invited to stay for a virtual discussion and "coffee hour."

Do You Know How Powerful You Are? No Need for Despair!" Letter from Rev. Mellen Kennedy,

As we look around the world and notice problems, factionalism, anger, violence, incivility on so many sides, it is easy to feel overwhelmed if not despairing.  And yet, we are powerful beyond measure.  Actually, powerful within measure, too!  Scientific research has accumulated scores of studies now on the capacity of the human mind and heart to positively effect external circumstances.  And the results of this research support what the mystics and adherents of the world’s religions have been teaching us for centuries.  (Check out the new book, “How God Works: The Science behind the Benefits of Religion” by David DeSteno) https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56898155-how-god-works

We are energetic beings -- and practices such as meditation, prayers, being in nature, reading scripture, engaging in the arts -- can raise our energy level (now measurable by scientific methods and instruments).  For example, research has shown that people who meditate are more likely to help someone in need.  And when we engage in spiritual practices as a group, the benefits multiply profoundly.  Truly remarkable studies from 1976 show that Transcendental Meditation practitioners were actually able to reduce the level of violence in the geographic areas where they focused this calm, loving attention! https://anantidotetoviolence.org/transcendental-meditation/research-on-the-maharishi-effect/

So, what can You do about the challenges You see around You?  You can cultivate the garden of your heart. And be part of the solution to the challenges You see around You. Learn how to and get really good at radiating compassion, calm, gratitude, and forgiveness.  It’s a skill that improves with practice.  That great spiritual teacher, Mahatma Gandhi said, “If a single person achieves the highest kind of love, it will be sufficient to neutralize the hate of millions.”  Imagine what a group thus focused can do!! We can augment our positive experience and impact by joining with others who share our practice and conviction. 

At Richmond Hill, in the City of Richmond, Virginia, people gather 3 times a day “to pray for the spirit of the city. We pray for the Transformation of Metropolitan Richmond — for the more than 1.2 million people living in this historic capital city of Central Virginia…. This is a legacy we inherited from the Sisters of the Visitation, who came in the summer of 1866 to this hill to pray the healing and transformation of the city.”  https://www.richmondhillva.org/prayer-worship/daily-prayer/  What about Springfield, Vermont, The Upper Valley?  What about the geographic area around You, from where ever You are reading this?  Think of the difference we can make through the power of our loving attention – without even leaving our homes.  Where do You want to put your loving attention? 

If You’d like to learn more about cultivating the garden of your heart and about the inclusive, collaborative efforts that You can participate in, You’re invited to attend a Zoom gathering on Sunday, October 3 at 10 am sponsored by the Springfield Meetinghouse.  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6130779853 We’ll draw from multiple sources including current neuroscience research, Maharishi effect research, the teachings of ancient mystic such as St. Francis, and more.  We’ll end the morning with an invitation to participate in group energetic efforts to help heal our beautiful world.  We’ll include some calming and uplifting music in our gathering which will be follow by a time for discussion and socializing on-line.  Details at uuspringfieldvt.org.  Let’s close with this inspirational quote from anthropologist, Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”


September 2021 Services, Sundays at 10 am  

September 12: "Boundless Love, Laundry Love: Celebrating the Purifying Power of Water" with Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy, with special guest John Rahman English.  Special music by Bill Brink.  Join us for the Annual Water Communion . Weather permitting, service will be outdoors at the Meetinghouse; it will also be on Zoom in any case.


September 19: Autumnal Equinox Celebration with Sharon Mueller, Tina Feindel and Ann Marie Knoepfel Please join us, in person if weather permits, and on zoom, as we celebrate the Autumnal Equinox, the balance point between light and dark.  Let’s mark the changing season together! Please bring an apple, and pen and paper. 
Some words from the poem, "Autumn Prayer," by Christine C Robinson-
    God of the Autumn, help us to know
    that living and dying are one
    that life is precious, and beautiful, and limited.
    that nothing good is ever lost.


September 26: Purification Practices Ancient and Universal - Are They Still Relevant? 

Ann Marie Knoepfel, Rosa Martin Knoepfel and family, and Sharon Mueller will come together to explore Intentional acts of Cleansing for the purposes of release, removal, preparation and prayer. How do we see this in our own lives? (Zoom only)