December 2018 Newsletter

Church Events

Sunday Services begin at 9:30pm; childcare Provided

  • December 2, 2018, | First Universalist Parish of Chester Annual Meeting

    There will be an abbreviated service with special music beginning at the usual time, 9:30 a.m. led by Scott Wunderle, followed immediately by the annual meeting when we’ll review committee reports and vote on the budget, and any other matters that come before the meeting. Following the meeting at Coffee Hour, Julane and Melody will host a “Tacky Christmas Sweater Contest”. Attendees will vote for tackiest sweater and the wearer will win a prize! Join Julane and company for a few carols to kick off the holiday season.

  • December 9, 2018, by Nick Boke: “When was the last time you felt clueless?”
    I appropriated the idea from the sign in front of a nearby Congregational church which prompted him to think long and hard about both the nature of cluelessness and the question of how often he felt it (Hint: Often).

  • December 16, 2018 by Nancy Crumbine: “ After Lighting the Solstice Fire” 
    In the field beyond the pond we huddle upwind on the longest night.                    Persistent stars hover, coyotes answer. What’s not to believe?

  • December 23 by Buffy Boke: “We Need a Little Christmas”

    We “need a little laughter, need a little singing ringing through the rafter” so we’ll tell the ancient stories in a traditional service of “lessons and carols,” with some special music from Julane and Val and the Choir.

  • December 31 | Monday Evening Vesper Service by Julane Deer and the Peace Choir

    This is a choir-led service, featuring the Peace Choir. This year we’ll be singing a selection of lullabies from around the world, along with readings and poetry, encouraging us to Focus on Family this coming year. 

Please note: You will receive an e-mail notification of cancellation of services as early as possible, but a decision will usually be made early Sunday morning. So, check your e-mail before church on Sunday if there is any doubt whether services will be held. 

Principles in Action – December - Chester Family Center

Each month we take up a collection that supports a not for profit organization that works toward putting our principles into action.  In December, our collection will go to the Chester Andover Family Center.  The Center is impressive and provides financial assistance, nutritional food, affordable clothing and household goods to our community.  

Remarkably, it is run entirely by volunteers including several members of our congregation.  The Center funds the food shelf and financial assistance program with the proceeds from thrift shop sales, grants, and donations from our community.  This is one of the ways we support our neighbors and we encourage you to give generously.

Food Collection:  In conjunction with our financial collection, we will be collecting nonperishable food items throughout the month of December.  Please make sure that your food donations have not passed the expiration date.  Peanut Butter, cereals, soups, pasta etc. are all needed.  Food donations can be placed in the box in the entry way to the churc

Principles in Action Meeting:  January 6th following worship.  If you are interested in social outreach, this is a good way to help decide on the organizations that will receive our monthly collections and we would love to have greater participation, so we could offer films, discussions and other projects.

December Music News

December 2: the choir will participate in out abbreviated service prior to the Annual Meeting by sharing Sleigh Ride!  We’ll be singing, Scott will be playing the trumpet, and the kids made jingle bracelets last week so that they (and others!) can be our percussion section.  After the annual meeting, Julane will lead carols during our Christmas Sweater Party downstairs.

December 9: Special Music by Will Danforth!!!!

December 16:  Don’t miss the special candle-light service with special music and dancers!  The choir will sing Stars I Shall Find and O lux beatissima.  Laurel will lead a round while we light our candles “This Longest Night your candles light…..”

December 23:  Choir, accompanied by Scott on trumpet, will sing Sing Gloria, and we’ll reprise last year’s Gloria Gloria ending, with multiple instruments and lots of energy! 

December 31:  New Year’s Eve vesper service from 5 to 6.  This is a choir led service, featuring the Peace Choir.  This year we’ll be singing a selection of lullabies from around the world, along with readings and poetry, encouraging us to Focus on Family this coming year. 

Ever thought of learning to play ukulele?  Now’s the time!  Julane will be leading holiday carols and teaching chords on Wednesday nights from 5:30 to 6:30 in the Fellowship Hall on Dec. 5, 12, and 19.  Mele kalikimaka!!!  If you need to borrow an instrument, I may have an extra or two – email 

Singing Meditation WILL be meeting upstairs in the sanctuary this month.  Thursday, December 20 - 6:30 to 7:30 - (special time for this month only). Celebrate the solstice with silence and song.  No experience necessary.  Center yourself for the coming holidays – you’ll be glad you did.

The Parish Choir rehearses each Tuesday evening from 6 to 7:30. Interested singers should contact Julane Deener (802) 463-9719 or

Message from the President

“Start by doing the necessary, Then the possible,

And suddenly you are doing the impossible.” Francis of Assisi

  Sunday’s annual meeting, December 2, will include a short service and some seasonal music. This will be followed by our annual meeting which includes committee reports, budget discussion and a vote for its approval, and. election of officers to the board.

Our slate of officers for this year has been affected by life changes for several of us. Most of us can continue to serve on the board though perhaps in different capacities. We will present our slate and open the meeting to other nominees.

Following the meeting we will adjourn to the social hall for refreshments and hijinks. Wear your tackiest Christmas sweater to our gathering and judges will be awarding prizes for the gaudiest and most tinselly garments created. (If the prizes are what I think they are, you’ll be well rewarded for daring to wear your most outlandish apparel.)

We can look back on a full year of projects and activities which are highlighted in the annual report and look forward in the new year to continuing our fellowship and outreach.

I wish you joyful holidays and safe journeys.   

- Stephanie Rowe

Food for the Warming Shelter

there is a sign up to provide food for the Warming Shelter in N. Springfield at coffee hour.  On the first Sunday of the month, the children will be making a portion of the meal with Ange Wunderle.  Thanks to all who have signed up to help with the remaining portions of the meal.  There are a few spots still available and this is an easy way to volunteer to help our neighbors who do not have permanent housing.  There are approximately 8-10 guests at the shelter each night from November 15th to April 15th.   The Shelter is also looking for volunteers to staff the Shelter on the 1am-7am shift.  Talk to Nancy Davis if you can help.