Archives: Services

This I Wonder/This I Believe

At This I Believe/This I Wonder services, fellowship members offer thoughts about what they believe and what they wonder about over the course of their spiritual journey.

Ann Bonanno:  Ann will talk about her evolving theology around interconnectedness and the natural world. Ann is a member of MMUUF and the chair of the Sunday Service Committee.  She is a Compliance Officer at VSAC, and enjoys baking bread, discovering new corners of Vermont, and wandering in the woods.

Evergreen Erb: Evergreen will reflect on her Super Power, which has always been with her, unrecognized for the magical thing it is.  Evergreen belongs to the MMUUF fellowship. She recently moved from Jericho, where she lived for 43 years, to the mountains of Huntington, where she is happily surrounded by forest and mountains. She thinks she’s meant to be right there.


Sages, Saints, and Scoundrels

It’s easy to put our Unitarian and Universalist forebears on pedestals, but how noble were they really? How do we simultaneously celebrate their wisdom, good works, and faults… and our own?  

Rev. Kimberley Debus is a community minister newly based in Takoma Park, Maryland, inspiring an artful and art-filled faith. She consults with congregations and religious professionals throughout the denomination. She has previously served at the Church of the Larger Fellowship as well as congregations on Long Island and Key West.


Gathering of the Waters

As is our tradition, we will take time to share with each other some of our experiences from the summer. Where have the past three months led you on your spiritual journey? As you ponder that question, please prepare a sentence or two to share with the Fellowship. It has been a summer like no other, and we all have much to share. But please keep your remarks brief and focus more on your spiritual journey than your physical journeys.
This year we won’t be collecting water at the barn – committee members will be at the barn to add water to our joys & concerns bowl as you share your thoughts.
And if you can’t join us on Sunday, please send an email with the words you’d like to share, and we’ll read it to the Fellowship.
Thanks so much, and hope to “see” you this Sunday.
 – The Sunday Service Committee


Final Service

Our June 13 service, our last of the year, will celebrate the many paths we have walked together during this Fellowship year. Dana Baron and Kelly McCutcheon Adams will lead the service, weaving in the words of Fellowship members describing the hardships, losses, joys and hopes that they have experienced in this most extraordinary year.

Dana Baron is a long-time member of MMUUF and has served in many roles. Now retired, he has recently moved from Essex to Shelburne with his wife Karen.

Kelly McCutcheon Adams has been a member of MMUUF for eight years and is currently serving as the Vice President. She lives in Essex Junction with her husband Paul and their two children, Tess and Rhiannon. She telecommutes to Boston as a Senior Director at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.

Singing for Our Lives

Borrowing the title of a Holly Near song in our UU hymnal, this talk will examine the power of songs and singing. Through the ages and across cultures, people have sung together for social inspiration, a sense of unity of purpose, motivation to persevere, spiritual uplift, mental and physical health, entertainment, and the simple exhilaration and joy that it brings. Historical and personal examples will be woven together with the results of a 2000’s survey that assessed the significance of songs and singing in the lives of the members of the Rutland UU congregation. How have COVID times affected our need for and experience of singing – and especially singing together?

Becky moved from Philadelphia to Rutland in 1993, and joined the Rutland UU Church in 2000, where she served on the Sunday Service Committee for twelve years (always promoting more music!). She’s given numerous talks – both in Rutland and elsewhere through the Lay Speaker Exchange, including today’s “Singing for Our Lives”. The most challenging and rewarding role she’s taken on at Rutland UU has involved resurrecting and directing its tiny, but spirited choir.


Elu v’Elu: The Sacred Power and Limits of Conscience

For three years Rabbi Shammai and Rabbi Hillel disagreed. One said: The law is in accordance with our opinion, and the others also said: The halakha is in accordance with our opinion. Finally, a Divine Voice emerged and proclaimed: Both these and those [Elu v’Elu] are the words of the living God. Conscience is a powerful thing, one that Emerson so famously explored in Self-Reliance. At the same time, a passionate conviction that one is right and doing good and holy work is shared by both the BLM protesters and those who stormed the capital. So Conscience is important, but democracy can quickly be turned by fear, trend or anger. How then do we balance the principle of Conscience when it buts up against other core principles?

David Edleson grew up going to synagogue, church, and to Unitarian Fellowships in the deep south.  His experiences of anti-Semitism were also formative. Born into an assimilated Jewish family, David was removed as drum major of the band in high school because parents didn’t “want a Jew leading the band down Main Street.   David became very active in the Jewish community, was president of his college Hillel and William and Mary, and after living and working as a Jewish educator in Jerusalem,  was ordained by Hebrew Union College in 1990.  While in seminary, he successfully lead the student fight for the ordination of LGBT rabbis in the Reform movement. David served as the rabbi for the Hebrew Association of the Deaf for 25 years, leading services in ASL and adapting services to be participatory and inclusive for hearing and deaf.  While serving as a rabbi, David also worked as a leader at several social service agencies, including Vermont CARES, the AIDS service and advocacy agency in Vermont.  He was awarded his Doctor of Divinity in 2015.  David now serves as the rabbi at Temple Sinai in South Burlington, Vermont. In addition to his work as a rabbi, David has taught in a variety of spiritual traditions, and taught courses in literature, religion and ethics at the Community College of Vermont, and Middlebury College, where he served as a dean for eight years.  David grew up in rural Georgia where he met his husband Tim in ninth grade; they now live with their standard poodle Ginsberg  in a  house they built by hand in Lincoln.


It’s a Process

They (whoever ‘they’ are) say that the only constant is change. In this service, we’ll explore what that means from a theological and spiritual perspective, and how this way of understanding calls us to our work in the world.

Rev. Kimberley Debus is a community minister based in upstate New York, inspiring an artful and art-filled faith. She consults with congregations and religious professionals throughout the denomination. She has previously served at the Church of the Larger Fellowship as well as congregations on Long Island and Key West.


How the Cosmic Stories of Cassandra and Pandora Offer us Perspective on Living Through This Challenging Time of a Pandemic

The biblical story about Solomon’s dream offers us an interesting question. In the dream God tells Solomon to ask of Her whatever gift he most wants. What would be your answer? In our sharing we will consider the possible responses of Fannie Lou Hamer, Abraham Heschel, etc.
Roddy O’Neil Cleary is a retired Emerita UU minister who is a religious hybrid, a catholic unitarian.  She was a member of a religious community of sisters for almost 15 years, a campus minister at UVM for 15 years, and served at 1st UU in Burlington for 11 years. She is working at present in Hospice and prison ministry.


Purpose, Not Perfection

In the setting of the pandemic and Unitarian Universalism’s need for perfectionism, most commonly found in expectations around worship, Erica Baron of the New England Region writes “striving for perfection does not nourish” and “we affirm the turn away from perfectionism.” As a bi-racial person I see perfectionism as a tool of white supremacy, so her encouragement to be less than perfect speaks to my heart. I am looking forward to sharing these thoughts and heart feelings with you. Don’t miss it…….remember to SPRING FORWARD.

Rev. Di Bona has served Unitarian Universalism for 30 years, and is the 2018 recipient of the Award for Distinguished Service to the Cause of Unitarian Universalism. In her retirement, she serves as the Palliative Care chaplain at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, MA. She has served as a member of the UU Nominating Committee and on the UU Women’s Federation board. She is the former President of the Diverse and Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries, and continues to serve DRUUMM as Chaplain. Rev. Di Bona also serves on the Board of the Church of the Larger Fellowship. She is a Chaplain to the UUA Board of Trustees and Finding Our Way Home