November 2018 Newsletter

Church Events

Sunday Services begin at 9:30pm; childcare Provided

  • November 4, 2018, by Kevin Carson: “Our Story, Part 3: An American Faith.” 
    Part three traces the development of the Unitarian and Universalist sides of our family tree in America, and how we eventually became the Unitarian Universalist faith we see today.

  • November 11, 2018, by Nancy Crumbine: “Rising from the Past” 
    Thoughts on simple spiritual practices that pull us from the ever seductive

    past into the healing light of the present.

  • November 18, 2018 by Kevin Carson: “Embracing Our Ecological Self.” 
    Finding a new perspective to confront the slow-motion catastrophe of climate change.

  • November 25 Nick Boke: “How We Celebrate" just a few days after Thanksgiving. Since all people everywhere have, as far back in time as we can tell, have celebrated-births and weddings, harvests and holy days, new moons and revolutions-there's clearly something dear to our hearts about this process. But what does it really mean to celebrate something? Why do we do it? What do we hope will come of it?

Principles in Action – November

Each month we collect donations in the yellow envelops for an organization that works to put our principles in cation month we collect donations in the yellow envelopes for an organization that works to put our principles into action. In November our donation will go to the Women’s Program Association (WPA) of the Bourj al Barajneh Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut. This organization has a long history of helping women and families in the camp, which is a small, under-resourced and under-funded city within the city. Under the leadership of Mariam al Shaar since 2004, with whom Nick Boke has worked since 2007, the WPA has launched several new ventures, from a catering service to the learning center for out-of-school Palestinian and Syrian children in the camp (, along with a new kindergarten. The WPA receives grants, but no on-going funding.

November Music News

We have greatly enjoyed putting our efforts into historic music for Rev. Kevin Carson’s historic services.  The choir and guest musicians shared Medieval and Renaissance music the first Sunday, Baroque for the second service, and for the last of the series we’ll share an anthem by America’s first choral composer, William Billings, and several American folk hymns for Gathering Music and Postlude.

Nov. 4:  Sing Gloria!

Nov. 11:  Who Has Seen the Wind (lyrics by poet Christina Rosetti)

Nov. 18:  Thanksgiving (traditional, with additional third verse by Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Nov. 25:  Autumn Gives Her Hand to Winter

The choir is gearing up for the holiday season.  We’ll be starting our Solstice and Christmas music in the next week or two, and plans are under way for this year’s New Year’s Eve Vesper Service.  The Peace Choir will once again be singing on New Year’s Eve – any interested singers should contact Julane for details.  Peace Choir is a great way for those who can’t make weekly rehearsals to participate musically from time to time!

Singing Meditation is cancelled for November. 

December may see a Solstice night Singing Meditation on Thursday, December 20th. 

Let Julane know if you are interested in celebrating the longest night of the year with song and silence.  If there are enough interested in attending, we’ll meditate that evening upstairs in candle-light (a reprise of our vernal equinox Sunrise Meditation).

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 Board

October was a busy month here at First Universalist Parish. Kevin Carson began his three-part historical series and Julane and the choir worked very hard on special music to complement Kevin’s sermons. We welcomed Nancy Crumbine back into the pulpit. Our longest and oldest member, Ginny Freeman, passed away in September and her Memorial Service, conducted by the Rev. Telos Whitfield, was held on October 14th. Thanks to all who helped with the reception following the service and to the choir for singing “Gift of Love” during the service. Ginny lived a long, full life, singing in our choir for decades, handing out orders of service, participating in a variety of women’s groups, tending her birds, and always lending a helping hand. She will be missed, and we extend our deepest sympathy to her family.

The Board voted to hold a Congregational Conversation on November 4th, following worship. The treasurer will lead the meeting downstairs. We have very high-quality worship services led by our recurring ministers, complemented by great music and good fellowship. Our building is in good shape. However, our resources are limited, and we need to set some clear priorities for the future. This meeting will be an opportunity to begin such discussions. Put on your creative hats and be prepared to ask questions and participate in creative thinking about our future. Everyone’s input is needed. Many of the suggestions made a couple of years ago at a congregational meeting have been implemented.

There will be a Waffle Breakfast on Sunday November 11th following worship. The Board will provide waffles, sausages, and pure Vt Maple Syrup and everyone else is asked to bring along something to share. Enjoy good food, fellowship and conversation.

We are in the process of reinstituting a small RE program, based mostly on volunteers. Julane will do music with the children one Sunday a month, a high school student will cook meals with them for the Warming Shelter one Sunday a month, and Melody will do a craft one Sunday a month. Vanessa Heyburne will be available to help our volunteers as needed on Sunday mornings and to be in the nursery.

You may have noticed the new ads in both the Chester Telegraph and the Vermont Journal. Many thanks to Will for taking the lead on this initiative and Melody for helping to make it all happen. We’ve already had a visitor because of this ad!

Thanks to Scott for arranging to have the big ash tree on the east side of the building taken down and for moving those beautiful big rocks to create a real barrier along the top of the stone wall.

UU new wall in progress.jpg

The east side of the building is nice and open, and the church is a lot more visible. It’s great to look out on the marshland behind the building. Scott hopes to work on a streetscape plan over the winter that could be implemented gradually and it’s easier to imagine some alternatives now that the space is more open. Thanks to Barbara, Gretchen and Susan Marie for their work on the front Our building looks great with all the flowers.

Get your recipes out bakers! Melody is organizing a bake sale for the day before Thanksgiving, Wednesday, November 21, at Lisai’s Market. She’ll be bringing in festival bags and boxes so our baked goods will look great. We’ll need lots of pies, cookies, bars and anything else you want to bake. Volunteers will be needed to man our booth so please mark Wednesday, Nov. 21st as a day to help for a couple of hours.

Finally, our Annual Meeting will be on Sunday, December 2nd. There will be an abbreviated service, led by Scott Wunderle, followed immediately by the annual meeting. The annual meeting is where we review committee reports and vote on the budget and any other matters that may come before the meeting. If you have any items you want to have placed on the warrant, please sent them to Stephanie Rowe as soon as possible. Friends and members are invited to the meeting although only members can vote. If you are not able to attend and want to vote at the Annual Meeting, a Proxy is attached to the same e-mail as the November Newsletter.

The next Board meeting will be Sunday, November 18th following worship. The warrant for the annual meeting will be developed and a slate of Board Officers for positions where terms are ending will be proposed. The Board is acting as the Nominating Committee. If you are interested in serving on the Board, please let Stephanie Rowe know.

Stone Village Art Guild meets on Wednesdays - Please join us!

Does your inner artist need a regular, supportive environment where you can “do” art? Every Wednesday from 3-5:30, the community room at the First Universalist Parish in Chester’s Stone Village is alternately buzzing or serene as artists pursue their creative art projects.

All are welcome; first timers, beginners and experienced artists. We represent a variety of artistic mediums including water color, oil, pastels, quilting and any other means by which you like to express your creativity.

Please call or email Nena Nanfeldt, 802-875-4309, for information and to get on our email list. We will be sure you have table space and a chair. You need to bring your art supplies and a cover for your table space. Stop by for a visit on a Wednesday afternoon to meet the artists and check out our space, or bring your supplies and stay for art.

Whether you are an experienced artist or new to art, please join us. Our friendly, supportive environment will help your creativity flourish.

First Parish Book Club – Next meeting will be in January:

Look for more information in the next newsletter. We will have an e-mail conservation as to how we will continue so that we will have more continuity. Everyone is welcome. If you are looking for a book to read, I have attached as a pdf to the e-mail containing this newsletter

“THE GREAT AMERICAN READ” sponsored by PBS, so look at the Website also.