Welcome

Our church celebrates freedom of belief and welcomes individuals and families of all backgrounds and faiths. Unitarian Universalism does not advocate a particular creed. We come together because of our shared commitment to values and to ways of living, not to religious dogma. See “What Is UU?” for more about the long history and tradition of Unitarian Universalism. The Strafford Universalist Society is the second oldest in Vermont and fourth oldest in the nation. We hope you will join us.

Happenings

At our 222nd Annual Meeting on June 5, we decided to experiment this year with new ways of responding to the challenges provided by the seven principles and purposes of our faith. Instead of the usual 1st and 3rd Sunday Services we will be holding some evening programs this summer.

An Evening with Gus Speth,  Tuesday June 28 at 7 p.m.

One of our nation’s longest serving and top environmentalists will share his reflections on a life of service to people and our planet and what he is up to now. A founder of the Natural Resource Defense Council, and founder of the World Resource Institute, Gus Speth has also served as Chair of the Council of Environmental Quality in the Carter Administration and Administrator of the United Nations Development Program. Most recently Gus was Dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a professor at the Vermont Law School.

Gus says that the only thing he ever said or wrote that has gone viral is the following:
“I used to think that the top global environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse and climate change. I thought that with 30 years of good science we could address these problems. But I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed, and apathy, and to deal with these we need a spiritual and cultural transformation, and we lawyers and scientists don’t know how to do that.”

Please join us for this interesting and thought provoking evening co-sponsored by Strafford Climate Action.

An Evening with Jim Rooney,  Tuesday July 12 at 7 p.m.

Jim Rooney has been “In it for the Long Run” having started playing and singing while in high school in the 1950’s on the “Hayloft Jamboree” a Boston country radio program.  While following an academic path for a time, including being a Fullbright Scholar in Greece and a graduate student in the Classics at Harvard, Rooney’s true love has been music. Besides touring the world with his banjo picking partner Bill Keith and a number of bands, managing and organizing clubs and festivals, Jim had a career as a Grammy award winning Nashville record producer working with quite a few artists including his good friends John Prine, Nanci Griffith, and Iris Dement.

Most importantly Jim Rooney has fashioned a rich musical based life combining talent with kindness, caring and fun. He will be speaking on his experiences and why he feels music and song can be a force for good in people’s lives.   Come and join us for this special time.

Daily Inspiration

Strafford UU member John Freitag sends out a daily inspiration often with poems or readings from our UU hymnal or collections such as Life Prayers and The Poetry of Impermanence, Mindfulness and Joy, as well as poets that speak to our New England weather and heritage like Robert Frost, David Budbill, and Emily Dickinson , and Native American poets like Joy Harjo and Joseph Bruchac.  If you are interested in starting your days with something other than the news, send him an email at jfreitag7 at hotmail.com

Window Update

The last of the stained glass windows at the Universalist Church are now in the process of being rebuilt.  This should guarantee their beauty graces the church for at least another 100 years.  At the 2021 annual meeting it was decided to replace the Jesus figure in the window behind the pulpit with a UU chalice.  The old window will be saved and mounted on the wall in the back of the church along with pictures of past ministers who have served here.

Staying Connected

On other Sundays there are many options for connecting with the UU community. Here are a few of them:

Close to home-

First Universalist Society of Hartland VT – Worship service every Sunday at 10 via Zoom or telephone

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Upper Valley – Worship service every Sunday at 10 via Zoom. Other activities also available via Zoom during the week.

North Universalist Chapel Society in Woodstock – Worship service every Sunday at 10 via Facebook Live.

Another easy to connect with congregation who has welcomed our members who wish to use this time to branch out a bit more-

Arlington Street Church – Worship service every Sunday at 11 via Zoom or telephone. Other activities also available during the week.

There are many more to check out in this list provided by the UUA.

For those who would like to use this time for quiet individual reflection, the UU website offers many resources to explore such as this searchable on-line library.

Guest at Your Table

Consider putting another type of cup or dish on your table to collect your change to support the important work of the UU Service Committee around the world. Our help is needed more now than ever with fires, floods, droughts and the pandemic.
Here is how to send in your donations:
For more information about Guest at Your Table including a downloadable template for making a box: