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.
The Sound of Silence
Has moved to Thursdays at 7 at the Parish Hall of the United Church of Strafford for the winter.
Many of us appreciate times of silence in this turbulent world of ours. Whether walking in the woods, working in the garden or sitting in contemplation, it can be renewing. Many of us have also discovered there is healing, comfort and strength gained in sitting in silence with others.
This is not a guided meditation or any type of formal practice, but an invitation to gather to share a bit of silence together together with others. Many people have some past experience with meditation and can bring what works for you. If you have not, sitting quietly, while a bit of a discipline, is not that difficult, as bird watchers, photographers, and hunters know. And the insights that can be gained beneficial.
How it works is like this: people will gather at 7. A candle will be lit and a chime rung to signal the start of silence. After 20 minutes of sitting in silence a chime will again be rung to signal the end of the silence. There will be a chance for sharing and then 5 minutes of mediation at the end.
Some Highlights of the Past Year
Celebration and Rededication
Many years ago Fred Wolfe connected with Greg Gorman to explore an ambitious project to clean, restore, and repair the stained glass windows in the church. The first step was to identify which windows were in the worst repair and what efforts would need to be taken to ensure their beauty would last for future generations. Over the past decade plus, the members of our church have fundraised and shepherded this project to fruition. We have even replaced the “Jesus” window at the front of the sanctuary with a new flaming chalice that speaks to our spiritual tradition and values. On July 16, 2023 Upper Valley UUs gathered with us for a celebration and rededication service for our sanctuary and its marvelous windows led by Re. Paul Sawyer.
Book Discussion – Braiding Sweetgrass
An Evening with Jim Rooney – Full Set
An Evening with Gus Speth – A Life of Service
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
There are many on-line 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
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.
Read more news from the Unitarian Universalist Community here: