UUA Article II Feedback

In the world of Unitarian Universalism, the foundational principles and purposes of the faith are laid out in Article II of the UUA bylaws.  It is the covenant to which all UU congregations pledge themselves.  A UUA commission has spent the past two years studying Article II, collecting input, and drafting proposed amendments. Now it is time for individual Unitarian Universalists and UU congregations to learn about these proposed changes and weigh in. How do they reflect our values? How do they take Unitarian Universalism into the future? 

You have recently received emails, and may have attended a meeting here at the Barn last Sunday, about the UUA proposed revisions to our principles by creating a revised Article II. We are compiling input from the MMUUF community about these changes that our representative(s) to the UUA General Assembly will be able to draw on to do our part to guide this democratic process at the national level. Please review the proposed Article II and make any comments you have either on the board at the Barn or via this google doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rzY1opGtd3B_W5SmlSLrv3rAOx7I_3Z5DUxlqBcB7HQ/edit?usp=sharing. Please write clearly to help those who will be compiling our recommendations to the UUA and feel free to include your name if you’d like so we can follow up if there are questions about your input. If you are interested in representing MMUUF at the UUA General Assembly in June (you can attend via Zoom) get in touch with the Steering Committee.

In the meantime, we encourage you to learn more on your own. Here is a document with both the old and new versions of Article II so you can compare side by side.

The UUA website has lots of information about Article II including the 26 pg study report – https://www.uua.org/files/2023-02/article-II-study-report-2021-23.pdf, an introductory video: https://youtu.be/64ItC1mv_3Y, and the Article II Study Commission webpage: https://www.uua.org/uuagovernance/committees/article-ii-study-commission.

Reopening the Barn

The time has come! We’re reopening the Barn!

Barring a catastrophic turn in the rollercoaster that’s been Covid, we’ll be throwing open the barn doors (literally, all of them and the windows, for ventilation, as well as our new air filters!) on Sept 11 for our first service of the new year. We will also still be holding the service hybridized via Zoom, as we practiced a number of times last spring. You are all welcome to attend in whatever and wherever capacity is right for you, taking the precautions that best reflect our first UU principle: “The inherent worth and dignity of every person.” That includes respect for ourselves, our health, and our mental wellbeing, as well as those of others, accepting as well as we can, fellow humans for whom that equation is very different, and manifests in a different set of choices and priorities.

We welcome all with open arms, in whatever capacity they wish to join us in Fellowship. Here’s what we have planned so far:

 — We are having a Barn Day on August 27th, sprucing up the place indoors and out. I’ll be putting the Sign back in its frame by the road, our kids will be milling about, we’ll bring some games and snacks, and I hope you’ll join us for a bit of fellowship through service. We’ll rain date to the 28th.

— The first service is Sept. 11th, gathering the waters from our summers apart, telling our stories and reconnecting at the beginning of the year. Join us however you wish, on Zoom or in person! We’ll have coffee and snack time after for those at the barn, and Zoom will break out to chat as well as is our habit.

— RE is hosting kids Movie night on Sept. 16th. Movie will start at 8pm, the fire will be lit by 7:30, come early and enjoy s’mores and connection with the other parents and children of the fellowship.

— Look forward to October, Date TBD, Julia and I will be setting up our apple press again for Cider Day and Pumpkin Carving. Scour the countryside for dropped wild apples, bring your horde, and we’ll turn them into golden goodness of fall in Vermont!

Feel free to get in touch with me or the Steering Committee with anything you’d like to add, whether it be comments or concerns, or ideas to add to our gatherings this fall. Our meetings are generally on the third Tuesday of the month at 7pm at the Barn (or you can tap in via Zoom), we’d love to see you. You can check the Calendar for updated meeting times for all committee meetings.

In fellowship and peace,
Lincoln Grey, MMUUF President on behalf of the Steering Committee

Online Services via Zoom

Sunday Services from home. Traditional MMUUF worship using Zoom, during Vermont’s stay home, stay safe period. Email info@mmuuf.org for Zoom log-in information. Structured readings, music, joys and concerns, children’s moment, thoughtful speakers, and Fellowship response.

Hygiene kits for needle exchange

On November 5, from 5:30 -7:30 PM MMUUF volunteers will be making hygiene kits that are handed out at needle exchange sites in Vermont. There is no need to RSVP for this, just show up with questions and stay to make some kits.

Vermont Cares is an organization that runs needle exchanges in an attempt to reduce HIV and Hepatitis C infections for injection drug users.

There is a real need for these hygiene kits and the ones we make on November 5th will be distributed immediately outside of Chittenden County. By having volunteers make the kits, the Vermont Cares staff can focus on other aspects of their programs.

The actual kit making involves taking some medical supplies and packaging them together in small plastic bags. It’s very simple and safe. There are no needles involved or present as part of this activity!


Welcome and welcome back

Greetings members and friends of the Mount Mansfield Unitarian Universalist Fellowship,

I can hardly believe we have already found ourselves in September! This means it is time to join together again in faith and community at MMUUF. Our first service of the year will be Sunday, September 9th at 9:30 when we gather the waters from journeys far and near to reflect on the meaningful experiences that have shaped us throughout our summer absence. This service will be inter-generational with all youth remaining with adults for the entire service. The Religious Education program will officially begin on Sunday, September 23rd.

A few notes on summer projects, the building committee has been busy rebuilding the front porch and our driveway is well underway. The new driveway from Bittersweet Lane will shift the parking in the lot so please pay close attention to allow access. Thank you to everyone who has helped with summer cleaning, organizing, building, and planning!

I look forward to reconnecting with each of you as we start another year together. Please feel free to reach out to me or any member of the Steering Committee with questions or concerns.

In peace,
Jenn Fink
MMUUF President

Enjoy summer! MMUUF services resume Sunday September 9, 9:30 a.m.

We take a break from Sunday Services every summer. We stop the routine for a couple months. We take time to be with family and friends, be outdoors, travel, learn, give and receive.

“Recreation” means to create again, to create anew. At MMUUF, we take time each summer to recreate, to make room for something new.

The Road Ahead wrap-up

What should our future look like for MMUUF?

The Road Ahead process was chartered in Fall 2017 to help MMUUF to consider our future from the perspective of our recently adopted Covenant. The Road Ahead looked at how the Fellowship might grow membership, how to provide more spiritual nurturing and guidance, and how to evolve our beloved Barn. While growth, spirituality and space are intertwined, how should we focus and prioritize our energy, talents and resources?

The Road Ahead process included an online survey, three all-Fellowship meetings over the winter, and some committee work behind the scenes.

What did we learn from the Road Ahead process?

Most participants said they like our current model of being a lay-led Fellowship. Several members would welcome more spiritual guidance and mentoring from a UU professional in some limited capacity, for example coaching our members to give sermons, providing pastoral care to members in times of joy and sorrow, and to support our Religious Education teachers. We discussed different ways to bring ministerial support to the Fellowship. Some members support hiring a part-time minister while others would prefer ad hoc arrangements to fulfill specific spiritual mentoring needs.

Most people feel our current space is adequate and we should continue to make modest improvements to the Barn. We like the current schedule of having Services two Sundays per month and we don’t want to switch to a weekly schedule. And most people agree we would like to be more visible in the community to let more people know what MMUUF is all about, so that more people will choose to attend Services and become part of the Fellowship.

Next Steps

From April-September 2018, the Fellowship will focus first on growth and visibility, as we gear up for resuming Services next fall after our traditional summer break. Then, beginning September 2018 we will explore different models of spiritual support and mentoring.

This work will be grounded in our Covenant – “What do we need to do to live out our covenant?” and, “How would any new initiatives help us live out our covenant?”


“Fun-raiser” Jan. 27th, 5 p.m.

Join us at the barn for a game night fun-raiser/birthday celebration for Dustyunspecified.
We will have games for all ages and yummy snacks.
Open to all, bring friends and family.

Saturday, January 27, 2018. 5:00 p.m., at the MMUUF Meeting House.

Donations to the Fellowship are encouraged.

Exploring the Future

In January, the Fellowship kicked off a project to explore MMUUF’s future. We’ll meet and talk together over the next few months, to reflect on where we’ve been and consider where we are called to go next as a UU community.

“The Road Ahead” committee will guide us, as we consider big questions.

Should we…

  • add professional ministry to our current lay-led ministry?
  • explore Small Group Ministry as another approach to shared ministry?
  • renovate our building to make better use of our space?
  • intentionally grow our membership?
  • take on more social justice projects?

The committee will host at least three meetings, on the third Sundays in January, February and March. At each meeting we’ll explore these questions and see what answers emerge. Also, the committee conducted a survey to hear initial thoughts from our Fellowship.

If you are interested in MMUUF please participate! You don’t need to be a member. Come to a meeting, or feel free to talk with the Road Ahead committee or the Steering Committee about your hopes, dreams, ideas or concerns about MMUUF’s future.


Vigil for victims and survivors of gun violence

MMUUF will host a vigil on Thursday, December 14, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., to remember the tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary school, as well as the 500,000 American victims and survivors of gun violence since December 2012. The MMUUF vigil is one of dozens being held throughout Vermont.

Let’s transform empathy into meaningful action to reduce gun violence in our nation. Please gather with us to remember ALL victims and survivors of gun violence, and to advocate for an end to these tragic incidents. Let’s shed a light on this public health crisis.

The candlelight remembrance vigil and call to action – Thursday, December 14, 2017, 5:30-6:30 p.m., at the MMUUF Barn, 195 VT Route 15, Jericho, Vermont.

For more information, see this press release from GunSense Vermont.