October 22: The Why of Restorative Circles

10 AM ~ led by the Restorative Circles group

Last May, a group of eight from the UUCUV attended an all-weekend training event in the skills and methods of the Restorative Circle method of conflict resolution.  Communities in conflict join in a circle to speak and be heard.  The powerful question “Did I hear you right?” makes this format an exercise in mutual respect and understanding.

The Restorative Circle Facilitators Group, which meets monthly to practice their skills, will lead a service on the history of Restorative Justice, the plan behind the circles, and what we see as a method of conflict resolution which honors the inherent worth and dignity of all persons.

Come hear about multi-partiality and practice reflective listening with us!

Simultaneous children’s religious education

September 24: Beyond Categorical Thinking

This program includes the 10 AM Sunday morning service, Jacqui Williams speaking, AND a BCT workshop from noon to 4 PM.  Lunch will be provided.

“Will the new minister hear me? Will my concerns and needs be met?  Will the minister understand what I’m living with? How will the community respond to our minister?”

In answering these questions, often an image of the “ideal minister” comes to mind, which image can fall into categories (age, gender, gender identity, nationality, physical ability, race, and sexual orientation).  With this image in place, it can be easy to unintentionally exclude ministers who fall into other categories. At times, as we get caught up in comparing candidates to our image, we can even forget what it is we hoped for in a minister.

On the weekend of September 24, the UUCUV will participate in the Beyond Categorical Thinking workshop offered by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) for congregations involved in the search for a new minister.  The Search Committee invites all members and friends.  It is very important that as many as possible participate.

The Beyond Categorical Thinking program is designed to promote inclusive thinking and help prevent unfair discrimination in the search process for a new minister. This program includes the Sunday morning service, AND a BCT workshop from noon to 4 PM.  Lunch will be provided.  In the workshop, UUCUV members and friends will:

Consider the hopes, expectations, and concerns they have for a new minister
Learn more about the ministerial search process, and
Explore how thinking categorically about people sometimes interferes with choosing the best candidate.

The Beyond Categorical Thinking workshop is another opportunity for everyone in our congregation to be a part of the Search process. This experience will provide guidance for the search committee in our work.

Also, importantly, this workshop will further the conversation which we committed to at the Annual Meeting, about diversity and how to represent our congregational views on such things as Black Lives Matter.

August 27: Where Do We Go from Here?

10 AM with Rev. Patience Stoddard and Lori Fortini

Self-proclaimed Facists are marching in our streets; black men and women are afraid of the very police who are meant to protect them; and Unitarian Universalist are once again being reminded of our failure to change or even recognize the racism and economic inequality that pervades our society.  So where do we go from here?   What next steps should we take as individuals, as a congregation and as a UU Association?  This service hopes to begin what I hope will be an on-going conversation with Lori Fortini’s experience at this year’s UU national assembly in New Orleans, some thoughts by your minister, and an opportunity for dialogue.

Simultaneous children’s religious ed

August 20: All-UU Gathering in Barnard, VT

10:30 AM Service at the First Universalist Church and Society of Barnard, 6211 Route 12, Barnard, VT, with picnic at Silver Lake State Park to follow.

DIRECTIONS from the Lebanon/Hanover/Norwich/Enfield area:    Take route 4 west into Woodstock (or hop on 89 north and take exit one which will put you on route 4).  As you approach the center of Woodstock there will be a “Y” intersection.  There will be a sign ROUTE 4 west bear to the left, Route 12 north bear to the right.  Take route 12 North and stay on route 12 until you get to Barnard (about 8 or 10 miles).  As you come into Barnard, the general store will be on your right and on your left will be the Universalist Church of Barnard.

DIRECTIONS from points north:     Take route 89 south to exit 3 (Bethel).  Turn right at the exit onto route 107.  You’ll stay on route 107 for about 2 or 3 miles and then there will be a left hand turn to take route 12 south.  Stay on 12 south until you come into Barnard.  As you come to the intersection you will see Silver Lake and the General Store.  The Universalist Church will be on your right just before route 12 makes a sharp right hand turn.  (If you are familiar with the area, instead of taking route 12 all the way to Barnard, you can take the North Road off of route 12 that will take you right into Barnard.)

Hope to see you there!

Please note, the Barnard church is not fully accessible and the bathrooms are in another building.