Our church celebrates freedom of belief and welcomes individuals and families of all backgounds 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. Though the society was dormant for several years in the 1980s and 1990s, we are now growing again, meeting in the “new” church built in 1833 in South Strafford.We hope you will join us.
A Message from our Moderator
On May 4th, we will meet for our final session in Barrett Hall. We will welcome Rev. Gregory Wilson who will be our part time consulting minister for the next 5 months. Please plan to stay after the service to get to know him, and bring your thoughts and aspirations for our community. Contributions towards a potluck lunch would be appreciated; all are welcome to stay and socialize. We will be back at our church sanctuary-- after a clean up --on May 18th for our third Sunday program and then throughout the summer.
May 4: The Nature of Community
by Rev. Gregory Wilson
From Rev. Wilson-: The topic of the first sermon, on Sunday, May 4, will be the nature of community, and the relationship between individual life and community life. In fact looking through the lens of earth spirituality, there really is no truly isolated individual life. I am born having a relationship with oxygen, being held and fed, and having a great need to see many smiles in the community into which I first entered. For me it was my mother who first held me, then my grandmother, and soon after that my father and then aunts and uncles. From then on, we are always interacting with our physical environment, and connecting with other people and the other beings of this earth in many interdependent relationships.
There are several perspectives one can use to understand community: the genuine needs of the individual, the relational needs of people, the needs and interests of the local community, the larger connectedness to other communities, and the context in which we find ourselves. Often we may focus on one or two of these, however physical, psychological, and spiritual health moves us to be aware of all these perspectives. We focus on all these perspectives as we ask the question, What does a person and a community need to flourish? I consider it one of the primary tasks of a church community to help facilitate the flourishing of individuals, relationships, families, and communities.
May 18: Does a Church have
a True Self?
Rev. Gregory Wilson
From Rev. Wilson- The discussion on the third Sunday of the month will be on the topic, Does a Church have a True Self? In the world of psychology and counseling, discovering and attending to the “true self” is a central theme. It has also been called the Inner Child, Authentic Self. (While I don't always like Wikipedia as a reference, the article on “True Self and False Self” is a good introduction to the history and writings on the topic - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/True_self_and_false_self
) But can a church have a true self, considering its location, the nature of persons attending, and the historical context in which it exists? If so, what relationship would this have to planning and organizing how a church would carry out its mission and vision?
News from the Northern New England District
Northern New England District leaders have announced the decision to merge the staff with that of the other New England Districts for greater efficiency. Read more about the change at www.strafforduuchurch.org/NNEDBoardLetter.pdf.
Learn more about the Northern New England District of the UUA at www.nned.uua.org.
Messages from the Conference on Climate, Faith, and Our Children's Future
I was involved from early on in the planning for the "Children Faith Climate Conference." As we discussed the program it began to take on a life of its own. As we spread the word and began to ask folks to be speakers the program became more and more alive. In the end we hosted a symposium that was so very moving and inspirational that it has a heart of its own and will live on for a long time. The social justice side of climate change and the need for people of faith to step to the plate and take action is now. We must all move out of our own comfort zone and start to do and act for the good of all – particularly the generation of our kids and grandkids. The two days of the Symposium were emotionally draining for me. I have never in my 83 years fels so emotionally moved, inspired and motivated. Each speaker, each keynote wound me up even more. Two teenagers literally brought me to tears and brought the audience to their feet in a standing ovation, so powerful was their message. You and the World will be hearing more about the Symposium that was held in Strafford, Vt. in 2013. - Fred Wolfe
The Symposium was the most awe-inspiring gathering I have ever attended. The energy that was raised in our little town of Strafford was enormous, but, most importantly it is growing...it is traveling to the far reaches of our Planet. I am so glad I was there, continue to be there, and plan to be a part of the energy the rest of my life. - Lorry Wolfe
Please join us to continue the conversation and the work on this important issue by visiting www.faithclimateconference.org, and from there you can access the Facebook page from the conference. More photos, videos and other material from the conference will be posted as it becomes available.