March 2019 Newsletter

Worship Schedule

March 3, 2019, by Kevin Carson: “Requiem for the Animals”
An alarming number of species are going extinct because of human activity, and the total number of non-human creatures with whom we share the Earth continues to shrink as well. Let us pause to reflect on the implications of these trends and how we might respond.

March 10, 2019, by Rev Dr. Nancy Jay Crumbine: “Dreaming, Praying, Dancing into Spring
Amidst the rubble of old sweaters and accumulated winter coats, we hope to find ourselves again this spring. After the distractions of paid work and winter chores, we hope to turn to the activities we cherish, the “work” only we can do, and to do it with our whole heart. Not as easy as it looks. Thoughts on what keeps us from what we most love, with a dose of Thoreau for good measure.

6:30 March 17, 2019, by Music Director Julane Deener: Sunrise Meditation

9:30 March 17, 2019, by Music Director Julane Deener and Peace Choir: An Interfaith Concert Service
This annual event, in celebration of the Vernal Equinox, will feature music, readings and interpretive dance. Please join us as we “Imagine Spring” with music reflecting peace and the hope of spring

March 24, 2019, by Kevin Carson: “A UU Encounter with La Noche Oscura”
The 16th century Spanish mystic John of the Cross, and his mentor Teresa of Ávila, spoke of encounter-ing la noche oscura in their spiritual journeys, which is usually translated as “the dark night (of the soul).” What did they mean by this phrase, and how might it speak to us today?

March 31, 2019 by Nick Boke: “Being Creative”
Words like creativity, creative and creation cover a wide range of activities, from finger-painting in kindergarten to setting up the whole universe in six days. It's at the top of Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives and seems to be the buzzword for everything from whatever's going on in Silicon Valley to United Colors of Benneton commercials. Some say it lies at the heart of what matters about the human experience. But what is creativity, anyway?

Principles in Action March 2019

Our March collection will go to the Equal Justice Initiative in Birmingham, Alabama. The Equal Justice Initiative is an organization committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States. Racial and economic injustices are challenged, and this organization works to protect basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society. Bryan Stevenson, author of Just Mercy, is the executive director of this organization. Just Mercy is a story of justice and redemption and is well worth reading. Bryan Stevenson works tirelessly on behalf of the poor and people of color to overcome bias in the criminal justice system and he has been a keynote speaker at the UUA General Assembly. Among his numerous awards is the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant.

President’s Message - March 2019

This time of year, inclement weather offers us an excuse to stay cozy inside and work on projects that otherwise get pushed to the back burner. For me it’s been working on genealogy and the ever-extending branches of my family tree. Some of us plan gardens, scouring newly-arrived seed catalogues, or dive into a few good reads on bestsellers lists, and others pursue creative projects like quilting.

My husband has been trying out new bread recipes for the last month (not sure if this is entirely a good thing). But isn’t it lovely to give some attention to the things we enjoy doing inside when we’re not having to dash here and there in the hustle bustle of our too busy lives? Winter storms allows for it without guilt.

Today in church Dick Andrews spoke of a joy during his morning walk that even though it was just barely above freezing the atmosphere was such that it carried up and sent sailing his way the aroma of boiling sap. The collective sigh in the sanctuary was audible, “Ah!” Vermont. Soon enough the ground will thaw, and snow will melt revealing yards full of branches from the wind’s natural tree pruning, and outdoor projects will call us away from our inside indulgences. The sun is inching its way north. Relish these last days of winter!

Take care,

Melody Reed

The board meeting will be held after coffee hour, Sunday, March 24. Members and friends are welcome to attend. If you have an item, you’d like added to the agenda please email me at

Music News March 2019

Vernal Equinox Interfaith Concert Service
On Sunday, March 17, 2019 at 9:30 AM, Music Director, Julane Deener will lead an Interfaith Concert Service at the First Universalist Parish in the Stone Village in Chester VT. This annual event, in celebration of the Vernal Equinox, will feature music, readings and interpretive dance. Please join us as we “Imagine Spring” with music reflecting peace and the hope of spring. A special feature of this service is the community-based Peace Choir made up of singers representing a wide range of faiths and backgrounds. The Peace Choir gathers several times a year to share a common love for singing music on a theme reflecting peace and hope.

On this special Sunday, March 17, Julane will also lead a sunrise meditation from 6:30 to 7:30 AM at the First Universalist Parish.

March 3: Anthem: Kyrie Eleison – a Gregorian chant

March 10: TBA

March 17: Choir led Vernal Equinox musical service: Imagine Spring
Anthems of spring and hope, readings, poetry, hymns and reflection. Once again, a highlight of the service will be interpretive dancers Olivia and Greta Bernier.

March 24: Anthem: The Silence and The Song

March 31: Soloist: Will Danforth

The Peace Choir had its first rehearsal for the vernal equinox service last week. The music was lovely, the musicians excited to learn new music to celebrate spring and hope. The choir already sounds great and will only get better – put March 17th on your calendar! Celebrate the coming of spring with us!

The Parish Choir rehearses every Tuesday from 6 to 7:30. All are welcome. Those who cannot commit to weekly rehearsals should contact Julane about other musical possibilities.

The Peace Choir is a great way to be involved with our music without needing to make a weekly commitment. We are just getting started for spring, so if you’d like to sing, please speak to Julane, or come to any Tuesday rehearsal. We’ll also be rehearsing Saturday, March 9th, from 10 a.m. to noon.

Singing Meditation will resume for spring with a special Sunrise Meditation the morning of March 17th, from 6:30 to 7:30. Alternating song with silence, we’ll watch the rising light as it gradually illuminates our glorious windows. It’s a special morning!!

In April the group will resume its monthly meditations on the third Thursday, from 6 to 7 p.m. For information about music at First Universalist Parish, contact Julane Deener at (802) 463-9719 or

Food for 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.

Photos from Our Italian Night, February 24

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