What Can I See Now That I Couldn’t See Then?

In this service Gaye will look back to February, 2020, to consider how her perspective on history and pretty much everything has shifted given the events and lessons of the past three years. Years where, together, we witnessed George Floyd’s murder for 9 minutes on video, where, together, we experienced a pandemic that claimed lives disproportionately by race and income, and where our legislative leaders acknowledged and apologized for state policies that caused lasting harm to our Indigenous, disabled and low-income neighbors. Gaye’s learning journey is a work in progress and she’ll invite others to share their perspective. She has been a member of MMUUF since 1993 and lives in Jericho.

Home

About “home” the author and civil rights activist Maya Angelou wrote, “The ache for home lives in all of us. The safe place where we can go as we and not be questioned.” Graham Rowles, a gerontology professor at the University of Kentucky, said “We have a need for a place that is called home. Home provides security, control, belonging, identity, and privacy, among other things. But most of all, it is a place that provides us with a centering– a place from which we leave each morning and to which we return each evening.” What does “home” mean to you? This talk about home explores loss, perspective, gratitude, and hope.

Hilary has devoted her career to ending homelessness. She has worked in shelters, supervised street outreach teams, and administered permanent supportive housing programs in Boston, New York, and Vermont. She helped pioneer the evidence-based Housing First model in the 90s in New York City and brought the Housing First model to Vermont in 2009. As the founding Executive Director of Pathways Vermont, in addition to permanent supported housing programs, Hilary has developed alternative community mental health initiatives to meet the unmet needs of Vermonters experiencing mental health challenges. These include the Pathways Vermont Community Center, Support Line, and Soteria House. Hilary is a former Peace Corps Volunteer, having served four years in Benin, West Africa. She holds an MFA degree in creative writing/poetry and lives with her family in South Burlington.

Growing Our Happiness Muscles to Build a Better World

Many well-meaning people think focusing on personal happiness in such a tumultuous time is self-centered, that our energies should be focused more on helping others. In fact, building our personal happiness muscles is one of the best ways to help advance whatever cause is near and dear to our hearts. Ginny Sassaman, author of “Preaching Happiness: Creating a Just and Joyful World” lays out in a very down to earth way how the science of happiness can help us find more joy AND greater effectiveness in our social justice work. 

Ginny Sassaman is the author of “Preaching Happiness: Creating a Just and Joyful World,” a collection of her sermons published in 2020. She is a writer, mediator, artist and activist. As a co-founder of Gross National Happiness USA and of the Happiness Paradigm, she has spoken on the connection between personal happiness and social justice coast-to-coast, and even in Costa Rica. Ginny is a member of the Unitarian Church of Montpelier, which invited her to deliver her first sermon in 2013. Since then she has delivered dozens of sermons at UU churches in Vermont, Massachusetts, Wisconsin and South Carolina. Ginny has a Masters in Mediation and Applied Conflict Studies, and a Certificate in Positive Psychology.

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Reflections on Gratitude

Can the practice of gratitude have a positive effect on your daily life? In this service, Ann and Catherine will share their thoughts and reflections and ask others in attendance to share their own experiences.

Ann Bonanno and Catherine Stevens are both members of MMUUF as well as members of the Sunday Service Committee.