The first principle of Unitarian Universalism affirms the inherent worth and dignity of every person. Loving a person with a disability and experiencing the daily joys and challenges that comes along with that is an opportunity to put that principle into action. She urges us to rejoice in the spectrum of differences surrounding us. Not just the diversity of race, color or creed, but of thought, mental health and ability as well. As a Unitarian Universalist, long time MMUUF member and parent of 4 very unique children, Amy enjoys celebrating the diversity of the entire human spirit.
This service is about our individual responsibility to form intention and carry out action to move UU Principles forward in the world. Each of us needs to understand who we are, where we are, and what we want to do to. In Steve’s case, the Mission Statement of the Montpelier Unitarian Church elegantly defines those principles and forms the basis, along with his intellectual commitment to scientific materialism, for his intentions and actions.
Steve is retired and lives in Montpelier with his wife, has two grown children, and has been a member of the Montpelier Unitarian Church for more than 30 years.
We are building the service around several of Scudder’s poems, with Scudder reading his poems and inviting discussion after each one. He will introduce each poem with a few thoughts about the spiritual questions or challenges reflected in the poem.
Scudder Parker grew up on a family farm in North Danville Vt. He has been a Protestant minister (20 years), a state senator, a utility regulator, a candidate for Governor, a consultant on energy efficiency and renewable energy. At 74 Scudder is settling into his new and ongoing work as a poet. He is a passionate gardener and a proud grandfather of four. He and his wife, Susan Sussman, live in Middlesex Vermont..
A sense of community is one of the compelling reasons people love living in the Jericho-Underhill area, or just in small town Vermont. This service will be a time for us to verbally remember some of those recent (or not so recent) ancestors that had an impact on our communities. People can speak for three or four minutes about someone they remember. You may prepare a little something before hand or be moved by the moment in the service. This is a time to celebrate the lives of those that came before us. What is remembered, lives!
In this service, we will discuss how we deal with wrongdoing or harm in our society, and how our traditional system affects people. We will then describe an alternative approach called Restorative Justice. This alternative deals with wrongdoing from a perspective that focuses on people and relationships, and works on repair rather than punishment.
Susanna was born and raised in New Jersey, but hopes you don’t hold that against her because she got here as soon as she could. She has always had a strong interest in Social Justice, and is drawn to work and conversations that aim to address oppression and disparities. She has a Master of Public Health, and the first 2 decades of her career was in this field. In 2016 she made a change and now works in Restorative Justice, which she loves. Susanna Weller is employed at the Essex Community Justice Center.
Who is the “real” Vermonter? A descendant of an 18th century European, a new American immigrant,
or the Abenaki people of the First Nation? In attempting to exercise our collective responsibility of
justice, equity and compassion, we would be remiss to exclude the Abenaki who live largely
unseen and unheard in the Champlain Valley — and other minorities in the United States.
Where and how do we begin setting a chair for the disenfranchised at the table? Who is the host, and
who is the guest? What reparative justice may we be called to upon to pay? Do contemporary virtues serve to heal historical vices?
Indigenous peoples, descendants of slaves, undocumented immigrants…let’s discuss how unpacking privilege
here in Vermont means surrendering power to other populations.
Sometimes we find ourselves needing to make a choice about whether to speak up and risk offending another person who holds a different belief than our own. Finding compassion towards others who appear to be selfish, or dismissive can be a challenge. Better Angels is an organization attempting to help bridge the communication gap between the red and blue party lines that are often drawn on current issues. We will explore their method of building bridges in a workshop format during the sermon. Come prepared to take a stand and learn ways to engage someone with a different view point than your own.
In this sermon we will explore how our society — and how we, personally, — show justice, equity, and compassion for people with mental health challenges. It will challenge us to explore if we are really living this principle when things get uncomfortable. We will discuss why and how living this principle can be harder for mental health than physical health. And it will examine how much are we comfortable with, and what many do when we reach our limits.
Not-so-traditional traditional Service celebrating birth, families, possibilities, and renewal. Songs, stories, readings, candlelight will fill the barn and our hearts.
This service will explore the big question: God? Don’t expect any answers, just a lot more questions. Like where: Where does God fit into Unitarian Universalism? Where does God fit into my belief system? Where does God fit into yours? Does the word God turn you off? Scare you? Are you comfortable with the language of reverence? Come find out.
The annual Holiday Potluck with follow after the Service. All are welcome.