Judy Albright - Designer and Publisher

Elizabeth Davis - Editor

December 2022...

Faithful Patience

Rev. Andy Nagy-Benson

Dear Church,
The hope, peace, joy and love of Advent be with you all.
I am grateful for the countercultural pace of Advent. From week to week, the candlelight grows alongside a slow crescendo of anticipation. At a time of year that can be laden with lists of things to do and to buy, Advent’s invitation to be still and to consider the meaning of this season is not only welcome, it’s revolutionary.

The late Rev. Peter Gomes, the long-time minister at Harvard’s Memorial Church, reflects on the challenge and opportunity of Advent. He writes, “The world is welcome to Christmas; we Christians hardly have any claim on it anymore; but Advent and its expectations, its call for patience, its earnest waiting—that belongs to us, and how we reconcile the patience of Advent with the impatience of human, modern living is the problem and the opportunity of the moment (“The Art of Impatient Living”). Faithful patience. Expectant waiting. These are virtues of this season.

In an age when cell phones quickly appear in hand to fill the time between this activity and that, Advent calls us to travel by another road. The pang of all that needs to be done in the coming weeks is real. And yet, this season will pass us by if we don’t stop and look and allow ourselves to feel Christmas. These are days for the spiritual nourishment of quiet reflection and prayerful meditation, even as we strive daily to divide another’s sorrow and multiply their joy.

Perhaps you will find such a pocket of peace in the Advent discussion group on Tuesdays at noon. Perhaps you will step inside our sanctuary to be with others in prayer and song come Sunday. Perhaps you will take time each day—five minutes? twenty minutes?—to simply listen, to be with God.

From these still points, we rise and reach out with love to those in our lives and in the congregation who feel broken by illness and grief. There are many for whom “Merry Christmas” feels far away, and together we say: we are with you. And God is with you. In the coming of Christ, “God with us” is with us all.

May God bless these Advent days and our Christmas celebrations.

Grace and Peace,
Andy

HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE November 2022

CHURCH COUNCIL MEETING

Church Council met on November 9, 2022. Some of the highlights from the reports we listened to are as follows.


  • Cathy Chase, Treasurer, reported that the National Bank of Middlebury loan for constructing the addition is now paid in full. 
  • Both pastors reported on study groups and special events in our church. 
  • The Trustee report included the good news that they have a new property insurance carrier that will provide property insurance in the same price range we have been paying. 
  • November is the month for the Neighbors in Need collection, as well as when we do the special food drive for HOPE. 
  • We had a good discussion of our Safe Church Policy in regard to volunteers and staff who work with children. We concluded that we need to make a few changes, and we will be sure we consistently follow the policy. 
  • There was a discussion of several bylaws changes that will need to be warned for our Annual Meeting. We will have the exact wording next meeting. 

We spent about an hour and 20 minutes in Executive Session reviewing the annual performance assessments of all staff employees and our two pastors. We concluded that we are blessed with highly effective and dedicated staff and pastors!


Respectfully submitted,

Nancy Foster, Clerk


  • Between annual meetings, the Church Council meets once a month to fulfill its responsibility to coordinate the church's programs and business. Council has the powers generally ascribed to a corporation's board of directors.


    The Church Council is composed of the following Church members:  Moderator, Clerk, Treasurer, Senior Pastor, Associate Pastor, and the chairpersons of the six church boards. Also, there are three at-large members. One is elected every year and serves a 3 year term.

  • The basic life and work of the church is under the direction and supervision of church boards, which meet monthly at the All Boards Meeting and report to the Church Council. Members of these boards are elected from the membership of the church. 

Living our faith

Eliana Cañas parra, Director of Children and Youth Ministries

There has been a lot of activity in the children and youth programs lately. The Junior Youth Group had a busy month volunteering at different tables at the church’s Bazaar, making holiday cards, and spending some cold hours outside of Shaw’s asking for donations for HOPE. It was a great opportunity for service, but it was also a chance to spend some time together and have fun. I like to think that their noticeable enthusiasm contributed to people's willingness to donate. Way to go, Youth Group!

In Sunday School, all grades are focusing on the meaning of Advent. We kicked off the season by having grades 3–5 light the candle of Hope during worship on the first Sunday in Advent. In addition, each class has their own Advent wreath in their classroom, and they are lighting the candles as a class, accompanied by a liturgy on the meaning of each Sunday.

You may have noticed that the bulletin board next to my office is also focused on Advent. I invite you to use one of the sticky notes there to write something that brings Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love into your life, and stick it on the board. Let’s spread those words and moments of waiting for Jesus in gratitude, that gratitude that this season brings to our lives.


With love,
Eliana

seeking mentors at mary hogan

Everybody Wins! Vermont is a school-based mentoring program focusing on literacy. Reading mentors are matched one-on-one with a child for the school year. Each pair meets weekly for one hour to share books, conversation, and games. Mentors are not tutors: no teaching knowledge is necessary!

We hope to gain at least 25 new mentors this year to get us back to our pre-pandemic size and to provide a mentor to every student who wants one. Many children at Mary Hogan are eager to participate in our program!

Our reading days are Tuesdays and Thursdays (mentors select one of these) during the students' lunch/recess time. We are currently matching mentors with 3rd and 4th grade students.

Apply online.

If you have questions, please email Middlebury@everybodywinsvermont.org.

    2022 Holiday Bazaar Update

    With Gratitude and Love. . .


    To our amazing 2022 Holiday Bazaar chairpersons, volunteers, and work crew, our talented handcrafters and bakers, and all our generous donors and, of course, our wonderful shoppers—you all made the 2022 Holiday Bazaar a success!


    From the moment the doors opened at 9:00 a.m., we welcomed a steady stream of shoppers who enjoyed perusing the tables and room offerings and meandering both upstairs and down to see it all. The weather was wonderfully cooperative, and the comments from shoppers were overwhelmingly positive.


    To date, our 98th Bazaar has raised $11,884. This success was achieved by over 50 volunteers working throughout the week to transport, set up, organize, price, and sell the crafts, jewelry, books, theme baskets, plants, toys, puzzles and games, small home furnishings, homemade pies and soups and specialty items, and fine photography. At the conclusion of the Bazaar, our volunteers and work crew diligently reassembled the upstairs rooms for Sunday use, set up the Second Chance Sale in Fellowship Hall, and transported a myriad of book boxes for storing off site. This indeed was a team effort!

    Individual table/room sales to date are:

    • Books – $1,209
    • Crafts – $2,419
    • Food Tables – $2,834.50
    • Games, Puzzles, Toys – $1,344.25
    • Garden/Plants – $757
    • Jewelry/Scarves – $1,319.50
    • Theme Baskets – $1,277
    • Small Home Furnishings – $674
    • Fine Photography – $467.50

    Thank you all so much for making the 2022 Holiday Bazaar such a special church event!

    Ruth Penfield and Judy Jessup, 2022 Holiday Bazaar co-chairs


    Planned giving

    Did you know?

    You can provide for yourself and your family and be generous to your church, all at the same time! A charitable gift annuity (CGA) can:


    • Provide you with a steady income stream for the rest of your life,

    • Reduce what you will pay in income taxes, and

    • Provide a generous gift to our church after you die, which can support the church for years to follow.


    Sally Holland can assist you in learning about the details.

    —Planned Giving Committee

    Pull up a chair...

    Join us for a Potluck Lunch after worship on Sunday, December 11th - all are welcome. Since nine volunteers have signed-up to bring their favorite pots of vegetarian and meat Chilis (along with the recipe), we welcome various breads and salads. Attendees can bring a "dish to pass" to the Fellowship Hall kitchen before church where it can be heated or refrigerated until lunch.

    Advent Book Study

    Join Pastor Andy and Pastor Elizabeth in an Advent Adult Study each Tuesday at noon during the season of Advent. Together, you will read and discuss selections from "Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas." The class will meet at noon in the Russell C. Carpenter Room and/or on Zoom.  All are welcome! 


    You can buy the book at Vermont Book Shop or here on amazon.com

    calling all cooks!


     

    In times of need, the Board of Pastoral Care can provide meals for our church members. We invite anyone who would like to help in this meaningful way to please email Debbie Deering at deering_debbie@yahoo.com, and she will add you to our list.

     

    Signing up will just add your name to the email list. You are not obligated to help provide a meal unless you are available to do so.

     

    If you are on the list and would like your name removed, please let Debbie know.

    Holiday Tips from the Green Team

    As the holidays approach, the Green Team wanted to share with you some climate-friendly holiday tips:


    1. Always turn off your holiday lights before you go to bed.

    Consider putting them on a timer if you have trouble remembering. When you take them down, store them with care so you won’t have to buy new ones next year. And when you do need to replace your lights, choose LEDs, which use up to 70 percent less energy than the old-school incandescent ones. Not only do Christmas lights in the U.S. require a lot of energy—more than the national electricity consumption of many developing countries —but the light pollution they produce at night can harm wildlife.


    2. Consider second-hand gifting.

    We’re not talking garage sale leftovers here, but things like vintage clothing and jewelry, antiques, and gorgeous old books. If you feel odd about it, ask the recipient ahead of time if they’re open to receiving used items as gifts. Also, be sure to put “used preferred” on your own Christmas list if you’re so inclined. There are a number of wonderful resale shops in Addison County including HOPE, Neat Repeats, Round Robin, Buy Again Alley, Junebug, and Sweet Charity. Check them out!


    3. Swear off wrapping paper this season.

    Instead of using gift wrap, use material you already have around your home, such as newspaper comics, old road maps, or scraps of leftover fabric. Have kids? Task them with decorating all those paper shopping bags you have hanging around. If you must use commercial gift wrap, opt for a gift bag and include a note asking the recipient to reuse it. Here’s why it’s so important: A large portion of the estimated 25 percent extra trash tossed out between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is composed of gift wrap, since a large percentage of wrapping paper (including anything decorated with foil or glitter) can’t be recycled.



    4. Donate to a nonprofit rather than buying more stuff.

    For the person who has everything, consider making a donation in their name to a local nonprofit. Many worthy organizations in our area are concerned with the conservation and stewardship of our natural landscapes, and some promote environmental justice and a shift from a carbon-based economy. Through the Board of Mission and Social Concerns, our church has supported several such organizations in the past, including Vermont Interfaith Power and Light and 350Vermont. The Green Team has promoted Green Up Vermont events for the past few years. As an added benefit, a donation will never need to be recycled or landfilled!


    Christmas Season Calendar

    Potluck Lunch             December 11     11:15 a.m. 


    Christmas Pageant      December 18    10:00 a.m. 

    Messiah Sing                                         2:00 p.m. 

    New Light                                              4:00 p.m. 


    Christmas Eve             December 24     4:00 p.m. 

                                                                  7:30 p.m. 


    Christmas Day             December 25    10:00 a.m.


    Blue Christmas Service

    Join us on Monday, Dec 5, 3pm ET for a virtual worship service with Team Global HOPE at UCC National Ministries for a Blue Christmas worship service. Blue Christmas services traditionally provide space for those who don’t feel so “merry and bright” during the holiday season.


    This service seeks to recognize and stand in solidarity with the experiences of those aggrieved or displaced by disaster or forced migration in 2022, from Kentucky, to Ukraine, and beyond. We remember that we are called to stand in solidarity with the captive and the oppressed, and work together with God’s guidance to create a just world for all. UCC Clergy and choirs engaged in humanitarian ministries across the denomination will be providing reflective liturgy, music, and preaching during this event.


    Register here

    Alternative Gift & Christmas Card Sale

    Habitat for Humanity of Addison County Christmas card sale is back on!

     

    Habitat will once again hold their alternative gift fair and Christmas card sale during coffee hour after church on December 18. This is a chance to give your friends or relatives a gift that will help Habitat for Humanity of Addison County build their next home. Gifts are priced so that children can also participate.


    Shop the alternative gift fair!

    IMPORTANT DATES FOR YEAR-END GIVING

    Many thanks to all the individuals and families who support our church. Without your gifts of time and dollars, there would be no church!


    As the end of the year approaches, donors who itemize their taxes may find it helpful to know when certain types of financial gifts should be initiated in order to be completed no later than December 31. (Please note that the church does not give tax advice; donors should contact their own financial advisors.) Details can be found on the website at midducc.org/giving or by calling the church office at (802) 388-7634 to request this information.


    Deadlines for Initiating Year-End Gifts:

    • First week of November — real estate
    • Second week of December — stocks, bonds, and mutual funds; IRA Required Minimum Distribution (RMD); charitable gift annuity
    • December 25, 10:00 a.m. worship service — cash
    • December 31 — check (postmarked by 12/31/2022)

    Other Important Information:


    Please include what the gift is to be used for to ensure proper allocation. Our church’s name is the Congregational Church, UCC of Middlebury, Vermont, and our EIN is 03-0238445.


    Again, thank you for your essential support of our church.

    Sally Holland, Chair, Gift Acceptance Committee


    Who is The Rev. Dr. Donald Fisher Campbell?

    The Rev Dr. Donald Fisher Campbell served the Congregational Church of Middlebury in 1981–82. He was appointed Acting Pastor of the Middlebury church, effective July 25, 1981. Donald Campbell shared the morning service with Rev. David Andrews (the incoming minister) on Sunday, May 2, 1982. The formal call for David Andrews was Aug 1, 1982.


    Before accepting the pastorate in Middlebury, Donald had recently retired as pastor emeritus after 30 years of service to the Stamford Presbyterian Church of Stamford, CT. He was a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and served as one of their trustees. He had an A.B. degree from the University of Missouri and a Doctor of Education from the University of Pittsburgh. He studied at Cambridge University in England for a year. He also held an honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity from Bloomfield College and was one of their trustees. He participated in numerous committees of the Presbyterian denomination.


    Donald Fisher Campbell married Charlotte Morris on 31 Aug 1934 in Winnipesaukee, Moultonboro, NH. The parents of Donald are William John Campbell and Jennie F. Bowers; the parents of Charlotte are Charles A. Morris and Emma Space. This couple had three children. Donald and Charlotte resided at 44 Meadow Lane in Weybridge VT; they also had a cottage on Lake Hortonia.


    Charlotte graduated from Toms River High School (’25), obtained her B.M.E. from the New Jersey College for Women (’29) - Douglas College of Rutgers University, taught music for several years in Orange NJ, and served as Secretary of the NYC Community Chest. She sang with Schola Cantorum and the New York Philharmonic with Arturo Toscanini. She served as a summer counselor a Camp Sloane, CT, where she met her husband. She sang in choirs at Shadyside Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh, PA; First Presbyterian Church, Stamford, CT; and the Congregational Church of Middlebury VT.


    Donald Fisher Campbell b 1 Jul 1909 Cranbury NJ d 15 Sept 2000 Middlebury VT

    Charlotte Emma Morris b 7 May 1908 Toms River NJ d 6 Oct 2007 Circleville OH

    1. William Morris Campbell b 10 Apr 1940 Pittsburgh d 2 Oct 2020 Middlebury. William (Presbyterian minister) married Carol Nancy Edge (special needs educator) on 17 Aug 1963 in Pittsburgh; three children (Catherine, Elizabeth, and Donald). Bill often preached at the Middlebury Church for a summer Sunday each year; at the same time, Carol often brought the Circleville Bell Choir.
    2. David Graham Campbell: born 2 Mar 1942 Pittsburgh. David (worked for Pan Am and Delta Airlines) married Thucuc Thi Tran on 14 Jul 1984 in Weybridge VT
    3. Donald Bruce Campbell: born 31 May 1945 Stamford CT and died 2 Mar 2001 Rutland, VT; single; attended King School (CT), New Canaan Country School (CT), Mount Herman School (MA), Monmouth College (IL). He was an excellent pianist and loved classical music.

    Next month the family of David Andrews will be studied.


    Malcolm W. Chase, Historian


    • December Birthdays

      Eryn Diehl                  December 1

      Stacie Baldwin          December 2

      Bob Granner              December 2

      Deb Evans                 December 5

      Julia Morrissey          December 5

      Penny Stattel             December 6

      Ed Williams                December 8

      Chas Lyons                December 9

      Betty Nuovo               December 10

      Kendra Tatkon-Kent   December 12

      David Deering            December 13

      Charles Swift              December 13

      Bill Fifield                    December 15

      Eva Phair                    December 15

      Oliver Poduschnick    December 15

      Ellie Hendy                 December 18

      Doreen Whitney         December 18

      Carol Campbell          December 21

      Steve Hoffman           December 24

      Mary Jane Washburn December 25

      Rebecca Orten           December 26

      Emma Morrissey        December 27

      Clem Sheffert             December 27

      Jim Donnelly              December 28

      Donna Carpenter       December 30

      Julie Tatkon                December 30



       

    • December Anniversaries

      Michael & Chris Giorgio           December 12

      Bill & Gail Miller                        December 12

      Jeff Buettner & Jessica Allen   December 15

      Polly Birdsall                            December 20

      John McLeod & Blair Kloman  December 22