Archives: Services

How do you find truth in the news?

With the increase in social media, media bias, and even Artificial Intelligence, what can we do to make sure that what we read/watch/hear is true? The thought of examining each news story before believing it is daunting. But if we want to know if something is true, is that what we need to do?

Catherine Stevens lives in Jericho with her husband and their two dogs. Her professional life began in marketing, and about 20 years ago she began using the same skills as a Development Director, responsible for fundraising, grants and communications for non-profit organizations. She enjoys travel, not only seeing new places but also learning about other cultures and history. And, while she is still very interested in news, it has proven to be a challenge to know what is true.

Curiosity and open-heartedness during conflict

I hope to offer still-evolving reflections about approaching conflict without the baggage of advance expectations and righteousness. Our MMUUF fellowship’s covenant speaks of nurturing our spiritual curiosity. In it we promise to learn from others with open hearts and to assume the best intent in others. I will try to apply lessons from Amanda Ripley’s High Conflict in putting those promises into practice in responding to world events, presidential election cycles and more local disagreements. 
Gaye is a long-time member of MMUUF. She’s retired from a nonlinear career that included baking, managing mission-focused organizations, legislative service, and leading a grantmaking organization. Now her days change with seasons, but consistent elements include trying to keep up with her 90-something friends and role-models and serving on the board of VTDigger, a nonprofit news organization. She lives in Jericho with her husband, Chuck Lacy, and their two cats.

Music Service

Ever wonder what the Last Minute Choir would play if they weren’t choosing music to support one of our amazing service themes? Here’s your chance to find out, as we put LMC in the driver’s seat. Choir members will select songs that are especially meaningful to them—as UUs, as musicians and/or just as humans. They’ll let us in on why these selections resonate. During some numbers, just sit back and listen. For others, get ready to sing along. In the words of Hans Christian Anderson, “Where words fail, music speaks.”

Firsts, Lasts and Everything in Between

We as a society are very focused on firsts and lasts. Soon we’ll be starting a new year and this is the first service of the year. How many times have you said, “this is the last time I’ll ever…” fill in the blank. In this service I will explore our fascination with firsts and lasts and maybe say something about the times between.

Dana Baron was a long-time member of MMUUF before moving to Shelburne just before the pandemic. He retired from his career in IT in 2018 and now fills his time with family, community and adventure. He currently volunteers at the Lund Family Center in Burlington and is president of the Alliance Française of the Lake Champlain region. He and his wife like taking week-long bike trips in various parts of the world. His two daughters, Erica and Joanne, live in Boston and Washington, DC, respectively.

Christmas Eve Service

Our theme for this service of songs and readings is “Peace on Earth”. We will close the service with our tradition of lighting candles and singing Silent Night so if you are joining us virtually, please have a candle ready at home. All are welcome!

Progress: Is it worth it?

We are besieged daily with reminders in the news that progress has a downside. But simply reading this, in the comfort of your home is proof that it has an upside. Progress is a two-edged sword. It is a sword that many of us might like to put down. How do we weigh the pros and cons? Or is the question really that we need to at least consider the weighing?

Kevin Geiger has worked in regional planning in Vermont for 30 years. He also spent a few years with the National Park Service as a wildland firefighter. He is the town moderator for Pomfret, where he lives, and is a sporadic member of the North Universalist Chapel Society in Woodstock. He is a decent cook, devoted gardener, chatty apple pruner, ex soccer coach turned referee, good husband, proud father of two, and is half dog. He thinks a lot.

This I Wonder, This I Believe

“This I Wonder, This I Believe” is a cherished topic for exploration with members of Mount Mansfield Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. Guest Stephen Kastner will share their own life experiences, personal insights, and wisdom.  Stephen asks, “When will we ever realize that we will never understand the mystery of life?  We swim like fish in a sea of sensations trying to make order out of chaos.”

Stephen Kastner writes essays, science fiction, memoirs, poetry, and is currently working on a screenplay and novel about his Quaker ancestor Thomas Maule, who was arrested for defending the wise women accused of witchcraft in Salem in 1692. He leads the Green Mountain Writers Group in Vermont and creates digital media professionally as DesignWise Studios.

Thanksgiving Advent

Many Christians view Advent — the month of spiritually preparing for Christmas — as a vital part of observing the holiday. Rev. Barnaby looks at how Thanksgiving might be saved from commercial corruption by its own Advent period and some UU-grounded practices that might help.

Rev. Barnaby Feder, a lifelong UU, was raised in the San Mateo, Calif., congregation. After several decades as a reporter, primarily with The New York Times, he entered seminary in 2008. He has served UU congregations in Morristown, N.J., Stroudsberg, Pa., and for the 11 years that ended June 30, the Champlain Valley UU Society in Middlebury. He is edging into “retirement” as the half-time interim minister for the Universalist Unitarian Congregation of St. Johnsbury. He and his wife, Michele, live in Middlebury with an odd cat named Alma.

The Wisdom and Lessons of Star Trek

Gene Roddenberry, a humanist, based the ideals of Star Trek on principles that reflect our Unitarian Universalist ideals and values. Since its beginning in 1966, it addressed problems of racism, poverty and violence, building on concepts of the inherent rights of all, and protection of the vulnerable.  Roddenberry provided us with the vision and hope for the future and the potential of humanity.  Come explore together and catch a dose of Roddenberry’s optimism for the future.

Lindamarie Hill is a Master Healer/ Instructor, who founded Trinity Point Holistic Center in 1998. She combines her expertise in life skills teaching and curriculum development and a background in Yoga, Qi Gong, meditation and healing prayer, with cutting edge training in many complementary and integrative medicine therapies. Lindamarie wrote a popular Mind/Body/Spirit column for the Plattsburgh Press Republican, and poetry, some of which became music lyrics. She has taught and worked internationally. The passions that drive her life are family, friends, community healing and building, the arts and caring for the Earth and each other.

A Course in Miracles and How I Came to It

This Service will be a synopsis of Julia’s spiritual seeking and a bit of life for context. An introduction to the framework, content, and purpose of the Course.
Julia Davenport was born in Yosemite CA and has lived in Fl, PA, TX and now VT for 15 years. She has been married to Otis Cleveland for 22 years now and is the mother to 3 young men in college- Moses, Max and Cooper Cleveland. She has 4 cats and feral gardens. She is a natural foods chef, certified health coach, practicing herbalism, aromatherapy, yoga, dance, drumming, singing, Taoism, Wicca and A Course in Miracles.  She teaches Zentangle, arts and crafts, and is in love with plants in general.