Judy Albright - Designer and Publisher
Elizabeth Davis - Editor
Judy Albright - Designer and Publisher
Elizabeth Davis - Editor
Next time you’re walking up the stairs from Seymour Street, heading toward the sanctuary, look up: “Room at the Table,” the framed sign says. It’s written in rainbow colors with an abstract circle on top of the words. Room at the Table is our theme for the church year. From now until June, we will explore the meaning of this phrase together as a church. Pull up a chair. All are welcome here. No reservations needed!
Room at the Table describes our beloved community at its best. At the Congregational Church of Middlebury, we strive to be a place where all are welcome to participate in the life and leadership of our church. More specifically, we welcome all to our Communion Table. In this community of faith, we don’t have restrictions to participation in the sacrament of Holy Communion. As we say during the Communion liturgy, “this is a meal that Christ hosts.” As a part of exploring the meaning of Room at the Table this year, Pastor Andy and I will preach sermons on the meaning of communion on the first Sunday of every month.
As Christians, we believe that Holy Communion is a special moment to meet the Body of Christ and be transformed into the Body of Christ. It’s where we are fed; it’s where we feed others. It’s a mysterious and beautiful sacrament. From the Communion Table, we go out to sit and gather around many other tables at church: Board meetings, Church Council meetings, staff meetings. Potluck lunches and picnics, community suppers. Sunday School and adult study classes. We do so much of the business, educational, and fellowship parts of our church around tables. And at MiddUCC, there is Room at the Table and our many tables.
Beyond our monthly sermon series on Communion, there will be other opportunities for reflection and engagement around this theme. On the second Sunday of each month after worship, we will gather in Fellowship Hall for a potluck lunch. On the third Sunday of the month, we will hold a New Light service, which includes the celebration of Communion. Also on the third Sunday of the month, our Senior Youth Group will make and eat dinner together at 5:00 p.m.
If we know anything about Jesus, it’s that he loved a good meal--on the beach, on a boat, in the homes of tax collectors, on the hillside with bread and fish. It’s where he met and called his followers. It’s where his followers felt that tug to follow him. Let us follow Christ by meeting at the Table where there is room for all. Join us!
Both Pastor Andy and Pastor Elizabeth gave detailed reports on activities in the church since our last meeting. Andy reported on the Senior High Youth Group, which will be starting to meet on September 18, and on the progress being made toward the start of the annual stewardship campaign. Staff evaluations have started and should be ready for review at our October meeting. They have started a handbook for all things concerning finances, which will be a good resource for current Boards as well as for the future. Elizabeth reported on the Confirmation Class for the coming year, and on the adult education that is planned for this fall. Eliana's job description is almost finalized.
Pastor Elizabeth and Ellen Whelan-Wuest gave a brief report on the new childcare center. They are working on a number of areas for this project but cannot set a timeline for when it will open until they have contractors to make the necessary building modifications.
We heard reports from all the Board Chairs. A few of the main items that came up include:
1. The need for additional funds for the Board of Pastoral Care;
2. A report on Welcome Sunday which was well attended;
3. A report on the Nursery;
4. New Member Sunday will be November 13, and the monthly potluck lunches will start on the second Sunday in October;
5. Mission and Social Concerns Board is in need of new Members;
6. The columbarium unit should be arriving soon;
7. Our current property insurance company is no longer going to be issuing policies in the Northeast, and preliminary quotes for new insurance policies are much higher than our current costs;
8. The Deacons are looking for additional people to assist with sound and recording for Sunday services.
Mal Chase reported on the progress he is making on archiving church records. Stephanie Mitchell was elected to fill the remainder of Eliana's term on the Board of Membership and Communications.
Pastor Andy proposed that the church host (pay for) a speaking engagement for Gareth Higgins on November 11. He would do a large public event that evening and lead a smaller event for church members the next morning. Andy said that Gareth Higgins is a brilliant storyteller, and his book How Not To Be Afraid is excellent and very relevant to all the problems of our current time. Church Council voted to fund this event.
We had a discussion of the dates for November and December meetings. They will be as follows:
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.
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.
I’ve recently had the opportunity to take a look at some statistics for use of Negro Spirituals by our church, some of which reflect use since we reopened 14 months ago in July 2021. If I could have quickly figured out a clever way to turn these statistics into a church-wide quiz, I would have! But since time is of the essence, here are the numbers, straight up, with special thanks to our Music Administrator Elizabeth Davis for doing the research.
Did you know?
Why does this matter?
UCC churches across the nation are beginning to have open conversations about royalties for Spirituals—namely, that they don’t exist. A very clear avenue exists for paying royalties to white composers and arrangers through our church licensure organizations, and to modern day BIPOC composers, too. However, there is not, nor has there ever been a clear avenue for paying Black musicians, particularly enslaved people whose work was often published as “anonymous,” yet to whom we owe a debt of use for their art, their melodies, their words, their pain.
As a church that seeks to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God, how should we take a step in the direction of reparations for this systematic racism? Yes, I am getting right to the core of it. In this case, it is not what we have done, but what we have left undone.
What some UCC churches have begun to do in the way of racial reparations is to identify a Black-led organization that supports Black artists and to become a financial supporter of their work. This is approached as paying a debt owed, not as a charitable donation.
I appreciated the words of panelist Dr. Emmett G. Price III during a February 2022 webinar on the subject. He didn’t know whether this was the right way for churches to do reparations for Spirituals or not; but what he did know was that Black people have been waiting and waiting for white people to do something.
In September, I put together a proposal to add a Racial Reparations budget line to our church budget for 2023. I am currently working to identity a Black-led organization in Vermont that we can pay from this budget line as one small step toward racial rehabilitation, reparation, restoration, and reconciliation. Will you join me in support of this effort?
Jessica Allen, Director of Music
It has been a busy couple of weeks here. Good kind of busy! It has been wonderful stepping into this role, and I want to thank all of you for giving me such a warm welcome.
Sunday School is off to a great start, with about 30 children registered and attendance averaging 15 to 18. I’m grateful for such a dedicated team of teachers (Stacia Greene, May Poduschnick, Melissa Bartley, and Jenny Orten) making this program possible.
Junior Youth Group has started as well. We had a great first meeting in which we focused on setting the tone for the year by reviewing our Covenant, having fun, and getting to know each other. I want to thank Judy Albright and Robin Bentley for their leadership and support. As I’m writing, we are looking forward to having magician and activist Tom Verner as a guest at our next meeting on Sept 27. He will be telling us about his organization, Magicians Without Borders, and the work that they do around the world.
This month, the youth are getting ready for their annual participation in Crop Walk; and we are starting to think about how to support the Bazaar. Stay tuned!
I thank God for the prayers and support from all of you during this time of new beginnings. I’m blessed to be here!
Writer and storyteller Gareth Higgins will give a talk based on his book How Not To Be Afraid on Friday, November 11. The event will begin at 7:00 p.m. in the sanctuary. It is free and open to the public. Copies of How Not to be Afraid will be available for purchase.
Gareth Higgins was born in Belfast in 1975, grew up during the northern Ireland Troubles, and now lives in the US. He writes and speaks about the power of storytelling to shape our lives and world. He has been involved in peace-building and violence reduction in northern Ireland and helping address the legacy of conflict. Higgins received a Ph.D. in Sociology from Queen’s University Belfast, and helped teach the world’s first graduate course in Reconciliation Studies at Trinity College Dublin.
An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ since 2000, early in her career Nancy Wood pastored two traditional churches and one new church start. For the past thirteen years, she has worked as a chaplain in hospital and hospice settings. She trained to be an ACPE Certified Educator at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, NH, and, in 2018, was certified to do the work she loves: teaching spiritual care (and facilitating its required growth in self-awareness) to aspiring ministers, rabbis, priests, imams, and chaplains. Before coming to the UVM Medical Center in October 2020 to serve as the Manager of Spiritual Care and the Director of Clinical Pastoral Education, Nancy spent eight months as the ACPE Certified Educator for Northwest Network of PeaceHealth, in Bellingham, WA. (The pandemic complicated her family’s plans to permanently relocate to Western Washington.) Nancy loves to write and has co-authored two books and several articles. She is co-editor of the journal Reflective Practice: Formation and Supervision in Ministry.
Nancy is happily married to David Lein. She is the proud mother of Meg (25) and Rye (21) and the grateful stepmother of Gabe (38) and Avi (28). She loves to sing, knit, sew, bike, hike, backpack, and read. She is a huge fan of musicals and knows the words to just about every show tune out there. She is smitten by her chickens. She chose to join our church because of the worship, generally, and the Lenten More Light services, in particular. She hopes to contribute to the church community by helping to again make the Sunday afternoon Communion services part of the ongoing life of the congregation.
Nancy has spent most of her life in New England — New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Northern New England's mountains, lakes, and trees (even the snow) feel like home to her. Still, it has been hard to move to a new place at mid-life during a pandemic. She needs friends! Now that her work life feels a little less chaotic, and she and David have begun to make their place in Monkton feel like home, she’s ready to make connections and hopes to have a chance to meet you all.
—Interviewed by Board of Membership and Communications
Join us for a Potluck Lunch after worship on Sunday, Oct. 9th - all are welcome. Please bring a dish to pass. Food that needs to be refrigerated or kept warm can be dropped off in the Fellowship Hall kitchen before church and the Kitchen Crew will follow your instructions. Looking forward to seeing everyone for a great meal and some fun activities.
A thank-you note has been received from the Knit for Kids organization in Sewickley, PA, thanking the knitters of our church for their contribution this year. I also thank everyone who has contributed their skills to create warm sweaters, hats, and blankets for children in need all around the world. Since January of this year, items have been sent to Armenia, Hartford, Malawi, New York, Texas, Somalia, Swaziland, and Zambia.
When we first began to ship our knit creations in 2007, the request was only for sweaters. Since then, knit hats and blankets were requested. Now fleece blankets (size 36”x42”) for children are also requested. You do not need to be a knitter to be included in creating an offering that will keep a child warm somewhere in the world.
Our creations are usually sent in the spring. Since we began, the knitters in this church have shipped 263 sweaters, 29 blankets, and 61 hats. Please think about adding your creation to our shipment next spring. If you have any questions, please call me, Maureen Williams, at 802-388-0866.
Middlebury Town Green
Hunger is one of the greatest injustices facing our world, but it doesn’t have to be
this way. Ending hunger is possible, and it is possible in our lifetime. You can help
make it happen. Register for CROP Hunger Walk, raise funds, and take us one step
closer to ending hunger once and for all. Join the movement!
Envelopes can be picked up at Fellowship Hour.
Read more on the Adult Study page of the website.
Rooms for Habitat
For many years, Habitat has managed a “matching” program that connects college visitors with local homeowners who are willing to rent out a room for a night or two. The homeowners act as hosts for a night or two, and the guests donate a flat fee of $150 per night to Habitat!
Everybody ends up with a place to stay, including the local families that Habitat helps find news homes of their own!
Contact Robin Bentley with questions or Steve Ingram to volunteer firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Nominating Committee will soon meet to nominate church members to fill positions on our six Boards (Deacons, Christian Development, Pastoral Care, Mission and Social Concerns, Membership and Communications, and Trustees). The Nominating Committee is composed of one member from each Board plus two at-large members. Each person elected to a Board will serve a three-year term; and each year, one-third of the members are elected at the Annual Meeting in January.
We are a hybrid church! Members can serve the church in person or online. You can be a member of a Board and participate in meetings via Zoom; you do not have to be in person at meetings. We welcome your participation!
Here is a synopsis of each Board:
If you are interested in serving on any of these Boards, or would like more information about any of these Boards, please contact Michele Brown (Chair of the Nominating Committee) at 802-349-9843 or at email@example.com.
Saturday November 5, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
It’s with gratitude and appreciation that we are thrilled to be continuing our church’s traditional “All Church” bazaar fundraiser. After last year’s success, when face masks were required, our Church Bazaar Committee is excited to offer a very similar shopping experience—this time with masks optional. And we will offer as many items for sale as our members and friends are able to donate! Details below.
Sale Tables & Rooms
Food is always popular. As an alternative to a sit-down luncheon, last year we sold all your popular homemade and delicious soups and pies by 11:00! Once again this year, we will ask members and friends to make as many of their favorite homemade soups and whole pies for take-out as possible. Pie pans and packaging will be provided for these and all other specialty homemade foods at our traditional Food Table. During Bazaar week, food items will be accepted on Friday and early Saturday (before 8:45 a.m.).
Donate jewelry any time before November. Bring your fashion and finer jewelry to church during the month of October so that the Jewelry Table chairpersons can price items early. Place them in a collection basket on the wall next to the large planter near the church sanctuary door.
Trying a new thing! Small Household Furnishings. Due to space limitations, Attic Treasures and Finer Things Rooms will no longer be part of the Bazaar. However, we may accept a limited number of small household furnishings such as small tables, lamps, framed paintings, bookshelves, and holiday items. (Excluded: large items, electronics, kitchen items, linens, dishes, and glassware.)
Donations will be gratefully accepted during the three days prior to the Bazaar (November 2–4) for jewelry, scarves, silk ties, books (in good condition; no reference or textbooks please), games, puzzles and toys for all ages, and Garden Table plants.
• We encourage you to find answers on our 2022 Bazaar page on midducc.org.
• Watch for weekly email updates (Together in Community).
• Contact the volunteers (listed below) who manage rooms and tables.
• Still have a question? Feel free to contact Judy Jessup or Ruth Penfield.
2022 Table and Room Managers:
• Jewelry, Scarves, Ties (Unity Hall): Glenna Emilo and Pat Zeliff
• Hand Crafts Tables (Unity Hall): Polly Birdsall
• Theme Baskets (hallway near sanctuary door): Gail Hietzker
• Book Room (Russell C. Carpenter Room): Sally Holland and Janet Franklin
• Garden and Plant Table (Fellowship Hall): Candy McLaughlin
• Food Table (Fellowship Hall): Maureen Williams and Alice Munson
• Specialty Soups & Whole Pies (Fellowship Hall): Nancy Foster and Kay Bussiere
• Toys, Games, Puzzles (Nursery Room): Robyn Stattel and Michaela Kubacki
• Small Household Furnishings (Fellowship Hall): Ruth Penfield and Judy Jessup
Please know that we very much appreciate and are grateful for your patience and support as you volunteer to be a part for another successful community Bazaar.
2022 Bazaar Co-chairs: Ruth Penfield (firstname.lastname@example.org)
and Judy Jessup (email@example.com)
The Rev. Walker Taft Hawley served the Congregational Church of Middlebury 1947–1967. He came to Middlebury from a pastorate at the Congregational Church in Manchester, VT. In 1967 he resigned from the Middlebury church to accept a position with the Board of Pastoral Supply UCC in Boston. Walker was one of three pastors who served in Middlebury for 20 years or more (Thomas A. Merrill, Walker T. Hawley, and David Andrews).
Walker Taft Hawley graduated from Holden High School, attended Deerfield Academy, graduated in 1931 from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (’31), and received a Master of Divinity from Andover Newton (’34). He served Congregational churches in Dummerston (June 1932 to May 1936), Greensboro (May 1936 to Nov 1939), Manchester (Nov 1939 to 1947), and Middlebury (1947 to 1967). He also served as executive secretary of the Board of Pastoral Supply, United Church of Christ, with offices in Boston. He retired from this position in January 1974. Walker and Ruth lived permanently in their home in Dummerston, VT, until his death in March 1974.
Ruth Janet Hawley graduated from Hillside School, Norwalk, and Mount Holyoke College (’30). She also received a Master of Arts Degree in music education from Columbia University (’31) and for three years was supervisor of music at the State Normal School in Plymouth, NH. She was the organist and choir director at all the churches she and her husband served. She also taught music in the Mary Hogan Elementary School (Middlebury) during the early 1960s. Several years after the death of her husband, she returned to Middlebury and once again served as choir director and organist.
Walker Taft Hawley and Ruth Janet McGregor married 15 Sept 1934 in Norwalk CT: parents of Walker were Charles Taft Hawley (born in Taftville VT) and Mabel Freeman (born in East Dover VT); parents of Ruth were Ernest F. McGregor (born in NH) and Gertrude E. Jewett (born in MN). Walker, Ruth, Charles, and Mabel were buried in the Dummerston Center Cemetery (the Hawley lot). During their tenure in Middlebury, the Hawley family resided in the manse (the Monroe House at 42 Seminary Road).
Walker Taft Hawley: born 10 Jun 1908 in Gardner MA: died 20 Mar 1974 in Brattleboro VT
Ruth Janet McGregor: born 22 Oct 1909 in Clinton CT: died 19 Jun 1996 in Middlebury VT
 Betsey Louise Hawley: b 29 Jun 1939 Mary Fletcher Hospital in Burlington, VT
married 25 Aug 1962 John Starr Greenman at the Congregational Church in Middlebury; Betsey graduated from Middlebury Union High School, Middlebury College, attended Yale Divinity School, and graduated from Union Theological Seminary in NYC, with a Master’s of Religious Education
 Charles Richard Hawley: b 10 Jun 1941 Norwalk, CT
married 10 Jun 1967 Ann Louise Papincau at the Congregational Church in Middlebury; Richard graduated from Deerfield Academy and Middlebury College (’64)
 Robert McGregor Hawley: b 29 Oct 1946 Mary Fletcher Hospital in Burlington, VT
married 10 Jun 1967 Bonnie Lois Blittersdorf at the Congregational Church in Pittsford; Robert graduated from Deerfield Academy and Cornell University.
The Rev. Walker T. Hawley delivered a sermon on 24 Sept 1950, at the beginning of the 150th year celebration of Middlebury College. The sermon, titled “And They Came to Worship,” was based on Luke 4:8.
Betsy L. Hawley wrote “Children’s Story (Lavius, the church mouse),” 1960–1961.
Life magazine included pictures of the Congregational Church of Middlebury in its Christmas 1952 edition. The pictorial article attracted much attention nationwide and many letters were received, including two from relatives of Lavius Filmore. A Life executive shown with a slide projector in the story sent a new projector to the church.
As stated by Stephen A. Freeman, a farewell party was held for Ruth and Walker Hawley on 31 Dec 1968. In testimonials, gifts, and heartfelt conversations, everyone tried to express our gratitude for their twenty years of devoted, skillful, and successful service to our church. We are especially appreciative with his work to those who needed a “shepherd.”
Next month, the family of the Rev. Wallace Anderson Jr. will be summarized.
Malcolm W. Chase, Historian
Harper Smith October 1
Rich Carpenter October 3
Sara Kent October 4
Barbara Stiles October 4
Elizabeth Robinson October 6
Tiffany Sargent October 6
Dana Scribner October 6
Chris Giorgio October 7
Deb Karpak October 7
Steve Abbott October 8
Melissa Mae Bartley October 11
Lettie Kubacki October 11
Jane Campbell October 12
Rick Viens October 12
Al Zaccor October 12
Anna Hardway October 14
Aurelia Lyons October 14
Gail Miller October 14
Mark Orten October 14
Amy Emerson October 16
Mary Lou Webster October 16
Spencer Cadoret October 17
Evie Stinson October 17
Katherine Franklin October 18
Joe Smith October 19
Tara Affolter October 21
Michaela Kubacki October 22
Allison Swift October 23
Wendy Warren October 24
Saadi McDowell October 25
Chris Ketcham October 26
David Hallam October 27
Kaitlyn Evarts October 28
Helmut Hietzker October 28
Sherry Klinck October 28
Christina Hardman October 29
Dory Gorton October 30
Kay Bussiere October 31
Churchill Franklin October 31
Alexander Loomis October 31
Jennifer & Erik Bleich October 6
Jake & Brittany Dombrowski October 6
Churchill & Janet Franklin October 7
Jeff & Erika Garner October 9
Bob & Penny Campbell October 14
Mark & Nicole Foster October 17
Holly Puterbaugh & Lois Farnham October 20
Mary Lou Webster & Bruce Jensen October 22
Bob & Mary Jo Champlin October 24