ABOUT US

We are a progressive, socially engaged, Open and Affirming, prayerful, community of Christians who strive as one body to live in service to God's creation.  We are on a journey to be in the presence of God and to follow Jesus in all aspects of our lives. Come and see what God is doing here. Come see how we love God and why we love church!

A MESSAGE FROM OUR PASTOR

“Autumn Dawn”

by Jenepher Lingelbach of East Barnard, VT

 

Wooded dawn-blue hills

Cushioned by soft fog

Stage the brilliant pirouette

of orange leaves

Against the rising Sun.

 

There is time

To Savor moments in the dawn

Before life hurries on.

—————————————

Dear friends,

 

 A while back, I received a blessed disruption in the middle of a workday.   Answering a knock at the church door revealed a traveling angel.  He was a homeless man looking for some food and a tip on where to find shelter for the night.  But before asking me for help finding these things ,he asked me if I would pray for him.  I told him I would indeed and asked in turn if he would pray for me.  We prayed the Lord’s Prayer at his request followed by my asking God to make God’s presence known to him in all his suffering and joy.  This man had plenty of both.  He then prayed for me that I would come to know that I was a good person but that I needed to relax a bit, live more in the present and that I would remember to take the time to just be quiet with God each day.  Now, of course he said all this knowing virtually nothing about me.  And I was struck at how apt his prescription was for my own current spiritual condition. 

 

Like most of the angels I have met in my life, this angel was complicated and more than a bit troubled.  Many people might describe him primarily by mannerisms indicating some sort of severe mental illness.  He was truly struggling in his mind and in his soul.  But despite this…no…along side of this, I saw a person of exemplary faith.   For him, faith in God was everything and the only thing he really had or needed.  He told me of his suffering at the hands of police, abusive parents, and the foster care system in Tennessee.  But he also told me that with God’s help, he was able to use these experiences to understand what was truly important—the ability to slow down his troubled mind, breathe, meditate in silence, pray the Lord’s prayer and thank God for the beauty of the day and the blessing of the present.  He would then ask how he could be like Jesus to those he encountered for the rest of the day. I watched him do this in front of me to quell an intense angry mood swing.   Then he offered to teach me his meditation method he uses before prayer.  He drew a sketch of Jesus for me that now hangs on my office wall.  Before we parted, I had bought him a meal and secured him a place to stay for the night.  However, his biggest request of me was not for help meeting his material needs.  It was, rather, that I remember to be quiet with God everyday for just a few minutes so I would know the joy God had in store for me.

 

What this traveling angel and Jenepher’s poem above reminds me is that anytime we are feeling anxious, fearful or overcommitted, sitting still with God—savoring the present and being open to receiving God’s continuous reaching out towards us—will always yield some degree of peace and direction for our souls.  The first step of discipleship is simple though most of us do it infrequently: to just sit still, breathe, and listen for God’s presence, love and call for just a little while each day before life hurries on.

 

May we continue forward in this autumn season and  the many projects we are undertaking with the foundation of just a little prayer and meditation each day.

 

Peace be with you all,

Pastor Jeremy

 

WHO IS THE UCC

The United Church of Christ (UCC) is a distinct and diverse community of Christians that come together as one church to join faith and action.  With over 5,000 churches and nearly one million members across the U.S., the UCC serves God in the co-creation of a just and sustainable world.  The UCC is a church of firsts, a church of extravagant welcome, and a church where "…they may all be one" (John 17:21).


The Church of Firsts

Since 1957, the United Church of Christ has been the church of firsts, weaving God’s message of hope and extravagant welcome with action for justice and peace. Together, we live out our faith in ways that effect change in our communities.  The UCC's many "firsts" mean that we have inherited a tradition of acting upon the demands of our faith.  When we read in Galatians: "There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus"—a demand is made upon us. And so we were the first historically white denomination to ordain an African-American, the first to ordain a woman, the first to ordain an openly gay man, and the first Christian church to affirm the right of same-gender couples to marry. We were in the forefront of the anti-slavery movement and the Civil Rights movement.  Our response to the demands of our faith is woven into the history of our country.


A Church of Extravagant Welcome

Today, we continue to change lives throughout the world. We work alongside more than 200 mission partners. We labor ceaselessly to fight injustice, in the United States and abroad. We instill our vision into our youth and young adults, forging leaders who will imagine new dreams. And we sustain and develop church leaders, pastors, and our local churches to live their faith in exciting new ways.  We believe in a God that is still speaking​, a God that is all-loving and inclusive.  We are a church that welcomes and accepts everyone as they are, where your mind is nourished as much as your soul.


We are a church where Jesus the healer meets Jesus the revolutionary, and where together, we grow a just and peaceful world.

MEET OUR STAFF & LAY LEADERS

JEREMY KIRK

Settled Pastor and Teacher

 

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BARBARA HYDE

Church Moderator

 

CHRISTOPER BAKRIGES

Music Director


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