Message From Rev. Telos Whitfield

Message From Rev. Telos Whitfield

Dear ones, 


We are in the precious few weeks of summer in Vermont, may we have time to appreciate the greening abundance all around us. I hope that each of us might have time for reunions with friends and family, sitting by a lake or stream, eating together, sipping iced tea or lemonade. Our own All Souls Picnic is on Saturday, July 27th! We might relish in the incredible green that surrounds us, we might taste the sweetness of fresh strawberries, crunch of corn on the cob, smooth ice cream! Oh, there might be time to re-read a favorite book or listen to an outdoor concert. We have lifted our storm windows and let the breezes blow through our homes, our minds and bodies. Just as this season can offer times of celebration and reunion, we know that there are people experiencing personal challenges, so let us offer care and healing thoughts. Summer is a time of abundance all around us, magnificent green living, and it can be a time of reflection, resting with the green beauty. When I lived in California, this was the driest time of year where the hills were yellow and brown, and there was no rain from May until October; a haze from the city hung over the bay. So, I am continually grateful to live here.

The life, writings, visual artworks of Hildegard of Bingen have always been an inspiration to me – her depth of faith and intellect, science and theology, healing and music. I have  recently re-discovered her incredible knowledge of healing plants and herbs that she shared in her writings, her belief in the power we possess, and our deep interconnectedness to the natural world, living plants, and the earth. She was a radical thinker for her time but somehow was able to navigate her relationship with the Catholic church so that she was allowed to pursue her vision, grow her community, and share her wisdom. “In much of her work, viriditas was ‘the greening power of God.’  It was in everything, including humans. This ‘greenness’ was an expression of heaven, the creative power of life, which can be witnessed in the gardens, forests, and farmland all around us. And like those lands, she saw viriditas as something to be cultivated in both our bodies and our souls.” ( 

We will travel on a journey back almost a thousand years in our service on August 18th to explore her timeless and valuable teachings. Imagine her designing a window or creating a tapestry, sitting at a desk writing or leading her sisters in prayer. May the greening power of this summer season touch and move each of us all toward what we might need, whether it be healing, rest, rejuvenation, or connection. Please take gentle care of yourselves and each other and may our paths cross at one of our summer events. 

Much Gratitude to everyone who has led, participated in or supported recent events – Our Interfaith Pride Service last Sunday with members of our choir singing, Ian H. and Mia J.-M. who shared moving personal experiences, and all those who were able to attend. It was an honor to help in leading this service of celebration. Thank you to Becky C. who coordinated the reception for Charles H. memorial service, and all who donated food and helped with setting up; and gratitude to those who helped with our service reception in honor of Turner L. We honored and remembered two men who led inspiring lives. Thank you to the Arts Committee for coordinating and hosting a wonderful Cycles Artists Reception, and we look to the summer months for upcoming workshops and opportunities to view and engage with this exhibit and Inclusive Arts VT. Thank you for your support and efforts to raise my ministry to 3/4 time that begins on July 1st! I look forward to working with you, who are leaders, serving the members and friends of All Souls, and am grateful to serve as your minister. 

I will be taking Leave/ Vacation time during the summer: July 22 – August 5. There may be additional days that I’m away… (Even though these events fall during this time, I hope to attend our Picnic and Richard Marshall’s Birthday Celebration!)  If you have a pastoral need, please contact a member of our Caring Circle.      

Blessings, Rev. Telos