Speaker: Rev. Barnaby Feder

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.

Another Possibility, Waiting

We tend to agree readily with Rev. Rebecca Parker’s well-known advice to “Choose to Bless the World,” but should we be focusing on doing more of it collectively as visible communities of UU’s? Rev. Barnaby Feder, a lifelong UU now in his 11th year leading our Middlebury congregation, reflects his experiences with the challenges, pitfalls, and most promising ways toward making Love effective together.

Rev. Barnaby Feder has been the Champlain Valley UU Society’s Lead Minister since Aug., 2012. He will be retiring on June 30, with plans to remain in Middlebury doing part-time ministry work around New England, writing and teaching projects, and volunteer community work. Rev. Feder is a San Francisco Bay Area native. He was raised in a UU congregation in San Mateo, Calif., that his late mother helped organize. His transition to New Englander began with extended summer visits to relatives in the region. He entered Williams College (Williamstown, Mass.) in 1968 and lived in Putney, Vt., in 1970 to work in the “Phil Hoff for U.S. Senate” campaign. After graduating from Williams, he became a reporter for the nearby North Adams Transcript. After a break from 1974-77 to obtain a J.D. Degree at the University of California at Berkeley School of Law, he resumed worked as a journalist. He spent 27 years with The New York Times, covering business and technology from New York City, London, and Chicago. He was one of the writers on the award-winning Portraits of Grief project memorializing the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Barnaby entered seminary at Drew Theological School in 2008. Prior to being called to Middlebury, he served as a ministerial intern in Morristown, NJ., and half-time interim minister in Stroudsburg, Pa.