Saturday, May 1, 2021

May 1, 2021 ~ Multigenerational Service Project: UCM Green Up Team!

 

Thanks to everyone who turned out for a GREAT showing of caring for the Earth, our home.  That is part of our mission at the Unitarian Church of Montpelier, and the 7th principle of Unitarian Universalism:

Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

We had 30 people of all ages brave the chilly, windy, but SUNNY day for this Vermont rite of spring.  And we cleaned up EIGHT different areas on the Montpelier Alive! interactive Green Up map.  Look at all those smiles and connections being made.  Let's do it again next year!   











































Enjoying the thank you gift coupons from downtown businesses afterward:



And many thanks to others from UCM who extended the multigenerational effort to their towns too.  Below: John Poeton wielding a great litter grabbing tool in Williamstown.  They gathered 3 bags full! 






Thursday, April 29, 2021

April 12th and 16th: Exploring Unitarian Universalist History: Early roots of liberal religious thinking in Europe

 




On two Monday evenings in April about 15 people gathered on Zoom to dive into some UU History.  We had the help of the first in a six part documentary series on UU History called Long Strange Trip.  Also there to help was congregant Ann Earle, who taught Humanties and European History at St. Michael's College for many years.  

Each session we watched just 30 minutes of the film.  Because this first DVD covers a LOT of time, we paused every ten minutes to answer questions and regroup.  People were fascinated to learn about what an intense topic of debate (we're talking life or death!) the concept of the Holy Trinity was.  Jan Hus and Michael Servetus are two interesting figures whose stories we learned.  

There was a sense of pride of being part of a long history of questioning the status quo and standing against concepts like pre-destination and the selling of relics for profit.  People want to continue and we will hope to continue the series in the fall of 2021.  In the meantime, people can reach out to Liza to borrow the DVD set, or visit the Lifespan Spiritual Exploration library at 397 Elm St. to borrow some of the books there.   


Sunday, April 25, 2021

April 25, 2021 ~ Tree Planting at North Branch Nature Center

 



Ten different UCM households gathered from 1-3pm on Sunday afternoon to plant trees at the North Branch Nature Center. I'm so very thankful for the heart, energy and muscle the families and our partner organizations put into this project.  It was a collaborative effort organized by 350vt.org / Mother Up Montpelier, Friends of the Winooski River, and North Branch Nature Center.  Collectively, along with other volunteers from the community, we planted 300 trees to restore the traditional flood plain forest in their lower field by the foot bridge.  Watch it grow over the coming 20-30 years!  
 
As I was helping pack up the last of the buckets and shovels, a barred owl called several times from the hill across the river.  It felt like a special blessing of the sacred work that we engaged in with one another and that land. 

























2021 Kids Annual Meeting




This morning at the Kids Annual Meeting the kids put our 5th principle of Unitarian Universalism into action--being a democratic faith. The kids voted between a couple local organizations to receive the Kids Choice Community Pouch (in June this year).

In the end they voted to support the next steps of making Confluence Park a reality.

This project, managed by the VT River Conservancy, has been stalled out by COVID. To revive it they want to fundraise for a sign to showcases the current vision (see below). This vision is a result of many community forums with participation by all ages. The kids were excited at the idea of a nearby, fully accessible way for church programs to gather at the river! The sign that the kids want to help fund will showcase the vision in a highly visible location next to the bike path. Thank you to all the young people who participated in the process!

Friday, April 2, 2021

April 2, 2021 ~ Spring Care Packages to UCM Families!

 


Once again, I'm so full of gratitude for the team effort to get some Spring Care packages out to our fabulous UCM families. Families have been navigating so many of layers challenge this past 12 months. The LSE Committee (plus the junior members) helped assemble the contents of 60 packages, and there was a crew of 14 UCM Easter bunnies who are delivering the packages this weekend! These packages are our way of saying "We miss you, here are some ways to stay connected and to explore our UU values, including service projects for those with the capacity to help others right now." If you want to know exactly what's in the packages, read on!

~Liza







      April 2, 2021


Dear families, 


Happy Spring!  With the days getting longer and warmer, the crocuses and snowdrops

coming out of the ground, we couldn’t help but put together these care packages to

congratulate YOU, our amazing church families!  The winter was filled with wonder and

magic and yet challenges too!  We’re proud of all that you have done in your families to

create special moments together.  We want to honor all the resilience and strength, the

times that you have helped others, said something kind, tried something new, and didn’t

give up. We’ll stick with virtual worship this spring and hope to be back in the fall,

perhaps with a mix of in-person and online options. We miss you, love you, and hope

to see  soon!


Packed with love:   


  • Easter Chocolate and the

Story of OSTARA, the GODDESS of Spring
--To align with our UU principles this is Fair Trade certified and non-GMO chocolate.


  • Stickers or post-its to say good job sticking to the COVID guidelines!


  • Butterfly craft & service project --

Spring and Easter are celebrations of rebirth and butterflies are great representations of that. 
All ages invited to join us in the Zoom Children’s Chapel on Easter Sunday
(April 4th) at 9:15am to get started with this simple craft.
Click the yellow “Join Children’s Chapel” button at ucmvt.org
~OR~ Youtube search ‘coffee filter butterflies’ 
    • 6 pipe cleaners 

    • 12 coffee filters

(You’ll also need: some non-permanent markers and 

a spray bottle or dropper (water color paints can work too). 


Optional service project: Donate some or all of your butterflies to people who

could use a boost! Take a picture of you with the butterflies and email it to Liza

so we can show others what we’re up to!  Then place them in a bag labelled with

your name. Drop-off any time in April to Liza’s front porch (397 Elm St.) The Lay Pastoral Care volunteers will get these to UCM members who are

struggling with illness or other challenges. We’ll also include them as a gift for

any of the people who get the free meals on Mondays or a local nursing home!


  • Crescent moon and stars mobile

--The Muslim holiday of Ramadan begins April 12. 
Like Spring and Easter, it is based on the lunar calendar. 
Make a sun and star mobile on your own schedule OR
Join us in the Zoom Children’s Chapel on Sun. April 11, 9:15am to do this
craft and learn more about Ramadan.  


  • Calendar of upcoming programs--Stay connected. 

We’ll continue to offer Zoom programs, at-home ideas, and are hoping for
some outdoor, socially distanced gatherings outside as the weather warms. 
These are contingent on the state guidelines allowing for multi-household
outdoor gatherings, so may need to be postponed, depending.  Stay informed
via the weekly e-news letter.  Email Liza if you’d like to be added.  


  • Seedling supplies --To grow life from a seed is a such a hopeful thing to do. 

And having young people of any age grow even just a few plants in a garden is an
excellent way to connect with nature and build a relationship that inspires climate
action and other care for the environment as they grow. We’ll be doing this in the
Zoom Children’s Chapel Sun. April 18th (see Seedling Directions for more details
and Zoom info).  Older kids / youth welcome to join us for an all ages time!  

 

  • 1 quart VT Compost Fort Vee potting soil

  • High Mowing seed packet

  • Clear container for mini-greenhouse (salad containers donated by congregants) 

  • Seedling Directions (attached)


You can use these supplies to

1. start some seeds (directions attached) and just call that the goal, or

2. transplant seedlings to a garden or growing pot, or

3. bring them to our Seedling Swap (church side yard on the morning Sat. May 29th).

4. If it feels beyond you, it’s also fine to just gift the soil and seeds to someone else

who might enjoy them!


  • Envelope with Forgiveness Puzzle

--May’s theme is Story, and every life story (every day really) contains some mistakes. 
How do we forgive others and ourselves for these mistakes?  How do we begin the
repair and enter back into right relationship with each other?  Cut out the puzzle
pieces on your own and explore as a family, or join us on Sunday May 1st in the
Children’s Chapel to do that.  

 


** Many thanks to High Mowing Seed Co. for donating 100 seed packets! **


With love, 


Liza and the LSE Committee members (and junior members): Beth Merrill and Maizy,

Kate Spring and Waylon, Ginnie Humphreys, Liz Benjamin, Margaret Blanchard













 




May 1, 2021 ~ Multigenerational Service Project: UCM Green Up Team!

  Thanks to everyone who turned out for a GREAT showing of caring for the Earth, our home.  That is part of our mission at the Unitarian Chu...