April 9th Newsletter

April 9th Service

Rev. David Robbins, D. Min.
“The Challenges Our Theologies Face. “

Today is Palm Sunday in the Christian calendar, and the day before Passover in the Jewish calendar. From these two holy days, and from our Unitarian Universalist theologies, streams the message to ground our faith in who and what we love. David Robins is retired from parish ministry in Peterborough, NH, Bloomington, Illinois, and Franklin, NH. He and his wife, Jean (a 4th grade public school teacher), live in Harrisville, NH.

Upcoming Services

April 16, 2017 - Nancy J. Crumbine

April 23, 2017 - Kevin Carson
“In Praise of Diversity’. Our Unitarian Universalist faith is a celebration of diverse beliefs, and this is one of our great strengths in an increasingly diverse world.

April 30, 2017 - Kevin Carson
“The Practice of Forgiveness”. How forgiving others and forgiving ourselves can transform our emotional and spiritual life.

Memorial Service April 8, 2017

Our hearts go out to Randy Wiggin on the recent death of his son, Tanner. A memorial service will be held at the church on Saturday, April 8th at 11AM. The congregation will host a reception following the service and congregants are requested to drop off finger food items (cheese/crackers, vegetables & dip, cookies/bars) between 10am and 11am on April 8th. Please let Nancy Davis know if you can help.

Tanner Gasco-Wiggin, born in Randolph, VT on July 3, 1990, grew up in the Springfield area and graduated from Springfield High School in 2008. He attended the Maine College of Art in Portland, ME, and he became an accomplished artist and printmaker. Tanner cared deeply about social and political causes and was a fierce advocate for freedom of expression. He was an avid reader, and enjoyed snowboarding, hiking, music of all kinds, and reading and writing poetry. He is survived by his father, Randall Wiggin and partner Marybeth Maloney of Chester, his mother Valerie Gasco and his step-father Jeff Lavin of Lehigh Acres, Florida; his paternal grandmother, Ruth Wiggin, of Rutland; his brother, Ian Gasco-Wiggin and sister, Siera Lavin, both of Boston, Mass; and many loving aunts, uncles, cousins and friends in New England and Florida. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Tanner’s memory to: the Vermont Arts Council, Outright Vermont, or the Vermont Suicide Prevention Center.

Notes from the Board

To members & Friends of the First Universalist Parish of Chester:

So much has happened in the last month–-wonderful events, sad news, and enhancements to our building.

• The month began with the film, “He Named Me Malawa.” Olivia Bernier introduced the movie, telling us how the movie affected her and what inspired her to share the story of a 16-year-old Pakistani girl who was shot during her fight for education for girls. She eventually received the Nobel Peace Prize.

• At mid-month we shared a soup supper, when we wrote postcards to our Congressional delegation and president, expressing our concerns about health care, equality, and protection of the environment. Young members wrote earnestly while their parents and other church members tried to fit their indignation and values on postcards.

• A dedication of the asylum seekers’ apartment at Singing River Farm was spiritually uplifting, with hymns and readings by Rev. Nancy Crumbine and the priest from St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. The pastors visited and blessed each room. A few days later the church presented a check for $800 from our Principles in Action fund to Steve Crofter and Laurel Green, who own Singing River Farm. They established the Community Asylum Seekers Project to welcome asylum seekers.

• On March 24 our religious education students put on an ice cream social. Lisa Crocker served ice cream, and then we proceeded down the table for hot fudge, Oreos, whipped cream, cherries and other toppings. Watching the students raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation was delightful.

• Also on March 24 Sam Lloyd, a long-time member of the church, passed away. In church two days later people recalled Sam reciting humorous poems or telling tales of his time in the Vermont Legislature. As you travel our billboard-free roads or return beverage cans for deposits, you can thank Sam, who was chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee when he persuaded his colleagues to protect Vermont’s environment.

• Another sad note is that former member Mary Lou Farr is being treated for terminal brain cancer. You may send cards to her at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.

• Several members gathered two weeks ago to de-clutter the social hall, sorting historic papers and a jumble of office equipment, and discarding outdated materials. Please join us on Friday, March 31, at 9:30 a.m., if you’d like to help finish this task.

• If you drive by the church at night you may notice the stained glass windows glowing. Automatic timers now turn on a couple of low wattage lights in the sanctuary. We hope this will catch the attention of passing motorists, and be a welcoming sight to us when we attend evening programs.

• Lynn Way is recovering from a knee replacement surgery on April 4 and is at home in Wichita, KS. Her address is 3450 N. Ridgewood, Apt. 714, Wichita, KS 67220.

The events of our church life will always be wonderful or sad, mundane or uplifting. I hope we continue to weather them together in grace. Stephanie

April Principles in Action

The April Principles in Action collection will go to the Vermont Eco Studies (VEC) Loon Conservation Project. VEC partners with the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department and a corps of dedicated volunteers to provide monitoring, management, public education and research on common loons in Vermont. There are now 300-500 adult loons in Vermont and they will begin returning from their ocean wintering grounds off the New England Coast in April. Nests are built in May-June and both parents help incubate one to two eggs for 27-28 days. Chicks grow and learn to feed themselves and practice flying so they are ready to migrate to winter grounds by November. Loons can be found on many lakes in Vermont, including nearby Lowell Lake.

Religious Exploration (RE)

The RE kids started their Medicine Wheel project this month with guest naturalist and herbalist, Jamie Malouf. We had a full house that day! The kids got an introduction to native medicine wheels, saw pictures and learned about the different meanings they may convey. We discovered the endless possibilities for constructing, laying out and populating a medicine wheel, from flowers, medicinal and edible herbs and plants, rocks and wood. We discussed the possibility (probability) of installing a fire ring in the center, growing plants and herbs that lend themselves to further RE projects such as making herb pillows, salves and teas. After much discussion and viewing of sample medicine wheels, we began the process of imagining our own, with each child starting to draw their ideas for a medicine wheel. All in all, it was a great start to what will doubtless be an engaging, inspiring, creative venture that will offer nice opportunities for community-building and inter-generational engagement within our parish.

The children also are enjoying the opportunities to give back to the greater community by making food for the Greater Falls Warming shelter, one main dish and then a dessert, and by deciding to hold an Ice Cream Social fundraiser for this past month's Principles in Action cause, the Make-a-Wish Foundation. The children watched a short film portraying a little girl with serious health issues, what her life was like with these challenges and how her life was so brightened by having her wish come true. The difficulty this little girl faced was not lost on the children, and they were visibly affected by this story of struggle and hope. They were eager to contribute their efforts, ideas and energy to this cause. Almost all our kids showed up for this event and everyone participated fully and with joy. During the month of April, there will be RE every week except April 16. Thanks for the opportunity to work with these amazing kids. Lisa Crocker

Church CommunityThe congregation extends deep sympathy to Barbara Lloyd and her family on the recent death of long-time First Universalist Parish member, Sam Lloyd. Sam was well known not only for his acting and dedication to the Weston Playhouse but for his great generosity and his wonderful sense of humor. You can learn more about Sam’s life by reading this article on Vermont Digger. You are bound to learn something new about this remarkable man. It was very special to witness people spontaneously sharing “Sam Stories” during our worship service on March 26th and to witness the outpouring of love than Sam engendered. Kudos to all our congregants who participated in the Wizard Of Oz production at GMUHS. Tuck Wunderle starred as the fabulous lion, Brielle Heyburn did some great dancing as a CAES Munchkin, and Olivia Bernier,

Ang Wunderle and Scott Wunderle made the pit band music rock. Saturday shows are at 2PM and 7PM at the high school and this is a show everyone will enjoy.

Art at the Stone Church

Main Street Arts in Saxton's River has three exciting ART opportunities on their spring calendar.

Playing Like Picasso - April 8
Life Drawing - Thursdays, April 13 - May 18
Watercolor; Mood and Water with Robert O'Brien, June 10

Community Events

“Vermont Wildlife: The Working Landscape Edition.”
Presented by The Nature Museum and the Windham Foundation

The Nature Museum and The Windham Foundation announce a celebratory event in honor of Earth Day. This special occasion will take place on Saturday, April 15, at 10:00 a.m. at the Phelps Barn, The Grafton Inn, in Grafton, Vermont. Musician and singer Will Danforth will get the show started with songs of nature before introducing the main event. Then enjoy a multi-media presentation with renowned wildlife expert Mike Clough complete with live wild animal guests from the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum.

For more details> 

The Art of Bookmaking -- A note from Amber Paris local artist & teacherHave you ever wondered how hard it would be to make your own book? Have you tried other simple binding methods and found yourself ready to step it up a level? Do you love learning new creative skills? Come join me at The Community Art Garden and learn how to make homemade books using the Western Codex binding method. The next class is April 23rd! For more details >