Here’s What’s Happening at ASC
Sometimes our cupboards are bare! You can help stock them with crackers, cookies, snacks, and juice. Also donating sliced cheese, washed grapes and apples will round out our offerings for Sunday Coffee hour. Then get your hands wet, helping washing the dishes and putting things away. Coffee Hour is such an important UU Sunday morning mission for getting to know each other a bit more, please help out any way you can. And big big thanks to those who are always helping out in the kitchen and may others join in that fun.
A Yearlong Study of White Power and Privilege Concluded
in 2020 we studied White Power and Privilege. Our hope is that by understanding it more deeply, we may be part of the effort to dismantle it. The Social and Environmental Action Committee, the Religious Exploration Committee, and the Worship Committee took the lead as we learned about and discussed this topic in a variety of ways. A film series, reading and discussion groups, and worship services were also included in our study
All Souls Book Group
The ASC Book Group is a friendly, informal group of members and friends who meet to discuss eclectic and challenging titles in categories such as ecology, health, history of religion, and local fiction. We look for books that challenge our minds and nourish our UU spirits. One title often leads to another. Click the link above to learn more and/or sign up.
Church Family Breakfasts
All are welcome! Start your day off right and join us at 9:00 AM on specific Sundays before the service for yummy waffles with a variety of toppings, juice, and beverages for all ages. You will have a chance to get to know more of those who have recently joined us including a charming group of children! Check the calendar for the date of the next breakfast.
An ongoing All Souls activity, our Crafting group, during the holiday season, becomes the sole creators of our uniquely crafted wreaths and greens made from all natural materials and have been the most successful source of fundraising for our church community. Off season you may find us felting, quilting, refurbishing clothing, knitting/crocheting, and all manner of handcrafts.
Small Group Ministry
Small Group Ministry (SMG) is a potent community-building program composed of lay-led small groups (6-10 people). It is a chance to deepen your own spiritual journey, connect with others in the church, and engage in the practices of reflection and deep listening. It provides opportunities for deeper relationships and deeper spiritual exploration. Our current All Souls program began in Fall of 2015 and has one group that meets every other Monday at 4:00 PM. Click the link above for more information.
We gather the third Saturday of each month from 9:30-11:15am. Our time together is rich in discussion, mutual support, connection, and laughter. Our meetings are open and welcoming and we encourage more women to come and experience this gathering. Come join us even if you have not been before! Each time we meet is different and a little like a “stand alone” time. We encourage all new women newcomers to ASC to gather for simple refreshment and conversation. Bring your questions and share in our search for answers to Life’s Great Mysteries. You will find good company, warm hearts, and collective wisdom. Our gathering uses a modified Small Group model of check-in and discussion. Come a few minutes early so you can prepare yourself a cup of tea or coffee. Take a break from your busy life and gather with All Souls women. You deserve it!
The mission of the Communications Committee is to provide a variety of communication avenues for members of the congregation and staff to exchange information. That includes a website, a newsletter, and a weekly email news update.
The Compassionate Friends of Brattleboro
The Compassionate Friends of Brattleboro, a local chapter of the national self-help organization for families that have had a child die, holds its meetings twice a month on Sundays, once a month in person at the church and once a month online via Zoom. Check the link above or the calendar for more information. Bereaved families that have experienced the death of a child now have an opportunity to meet with others on a regular basis for peer support and comfort.
Beverly Miller, All Souls Church Office Administrator, facilitates a bi-monthly writing group meeting on the second and fourth Thursday of every month online via Zoom from 4:30 to 5:30 PM. This group is dedicated to the shared expression of bereavement and the grieving process. New members are welcome. Contact Beverly for more information.
The West Village Meetinghouse/All Souls Church serves as host to the following organizations:
Theatre Adventure NEYT Program Book 2019
Here I am, out from the shadows,
it’s my day to bask in the sun.
Fifteen years ago a ten-year old child with spunk and a deep desire to express self inspired the creation of Theatre Adventure. At that time, there were no opportunities in our tri-state region for inclusive theater—theater that honors the creative spirit and artistry of individuals with developmental challenges. Elijah has now been part of more than thirty theatrical productions that highlight his amazing capabilities.
Here I am – nothing can hold me,
back from my dreams;
sometimes it seems, I’ve only just begun.
And now, NEYT can boast that annually up to forty of their students have found an inclusive theater home that they can call their own—Theatre Adventure. There is so much more to celebrate! NEYT has the only year-round theater program serving youth and adults with developmental challenges in the state of Vermont.
Here I am, ready and willing
to claim my place
out in the world.
Theatre Adventure actors help to create and present thought provoking and dynamic theater. More than fifty productions have been created over the past fifteen years. As dedicated seasoned actors, they create a commanding stage presence.
Here I am – I won’t surrender
to doubt and fear; I’ll persevere.
My victory flag unfurled.
Come join us! Visit a class or come to a show. Witness the power of theater to transform lives—both onstage and off. Audience members tell us how experiencing a Theatre Adventure show was change-making in their own lives regarding disabilities, inclusion, and diversity thinking. We welcome visitors, volunteers and new students. We invite you to come experience inclusive theater-in-the-making!
Here we are, rising up together – we are fearless,
yes, we are strong.
We’ll make it through all kinds of weather.
Here we stand, hand in hand – Listen to our song.*
*Lyrics for our original musical, “Raising Our Voices Together”
-Written by Rich Nethercott
For more information:
All of our classes, rehearsals, and productions:
West Village Meeting House
29 South Street
The Brattleboro Women’s Chorus
We are a non-profit chorus based in Southern Vermont. We perform
concerts in November and May of spirited harmonies from music of various traditions with professional local guest musicians. Join us for a concert, or to sing for yourself!
The first two rehearsals are open to anyone who would like to come and check out chorus for the first time with no obligation to join. Be sure to spread the word and bring your friends!
Can’t make the first rehearsals? No problem! We accept new members through our second week of rehearsals. Singers may attend either or both the Wednesday night and Thursday morning rehearsals.
Are you looking for healthful ways to feel good? Singing has been shown to do just that! And the Brattleboro Women’s Chorus offers any woman or girl age 10 and over the opportunity to create music in a community of other singers.
All women and girls over 10 are welcome, and there are no auditions. Reading music is optional since music is taught by rote and by ear with part recordings available. The intent is to make singing accessible to anyone regardless of experience.
Music is an eclectic mix from around the world that is spirited and spiritual. Founder/director Becky Graber traveled with 18 chorus members to the Sister Singers Festival in Grand Rapids, MI in June, where they not only performed but also heard lots of wonderful music by other women’s choruses. Some of these songs will be included in the fall repertoire.
To get a sense of the varied music we sing, here is a list of all the songs we’ve sung in our concerts or you can listen to a few sample tracks from our CD!
While many singers enjoy performing, some prefer to sing weekly and not participate in the concert at the end of the session (Mother’s Day weekend. The fee is $120 for adults, family pairs are $190 and students are $70. Financial aid is available so that chorus can be affordable to all. Our Financial Aid application can be found on our website.and can be submitted with a $20 deposit by the date listed on the application.
Registration information will be posted here for our spring session. For more information, contact director Becky Graber at 254-8994, or via email at: .
High Holy Days of the Brattleboro Area Jewish Community (BAJC)
BAJC welcomes all to attend high holy day services at The West Village Meetinghouse, 29 South Street, West Brattleboro bro, VT. The prayer books, in Hebrew, contain full translation into English and interpretative study texts. All the Hebrew prayers are transliterated so that people who don’t read Hebrew can follow and participate. BAJC does not require tickets or reservations, but it is hoped that guests will help to cover the expenses of making the services available to all. If you can, consider mailing donations for seats to BAJC, PO Box 2353, Brattleboro 05303, in advance so people can be welcomed at the door from a guest list and so that no one has to deal with money or record-keeping on the holy days. Donations from guests will be applied toward membership if the donor decides to become a member of the congregation at any time during the year. Click here or call 802-257-1959 for more information.
Social and Environmental Action Team
Mission: The All Souls Social & Environmental Action Team seeks to provide “encouragement for putting our beliefs and values into action and service” as called for by our Church Mission Statement: We are a spiritual community of seekers engaging UU principles for the good of all.
Committee on Ministry
The overall purpose of the Committee on Ministry (CoM) is to strengthen the quality of the ministry of the entire church as embodied in the work of the minister, congregational committees and lay leadership. The CoM oversees the quality of relationships within the congregation and works to enhance communication and ways of working together as a community.
Members are appointed by the Board from candidates suggested by the minister. There shall be no less than three nor more than five members. No member may serve contemporaneously on the Board and the Committee. If there is no minister then serving, the Board may appoint members of the Committee. The members of the committee serve overlapping three-year terms and meet monthly with the minister.
ASC Arts Team
The main mission of the ASC Arts Team is to fill gallery spaces in the church building with work by local and regional artists, each exhibit usually on display for two months. Art sales generate commissions to support the building and All Souls programs. (Commission rates are 20% for members and 25% for non-members.)
New members of the committee are always welcome. Their assistance is helpful with hanging and otherwise displaying the exhibits, as well as working on artist receptions as hosts or providers of refreshments.
The annual Members & Friends Art Show offers artists and craftspeople in the congregation — whether official ASC members and their extended family, or occasional Sunday attendees — a chance to display and sell their work. In the past, these shows have included paintings, drawings, prints, and calligraphy as well as items from the realm of fiber arts that have been knit, quilted, sewn, felted, and/or painted on fabric. Others work in pottery, wood, sculpture, and collage. Poems and books published by members are also welcome.
Click this link to view our current Art Show: Art Show
The Caring Circle
The Caring Circle’s mission is to provide and facilitate support and care for members of the All Souls Community. The Board of Trustees approved this revised Mission Statement.
We act on requests from the minister, individuals and their families, and respond only when we have been given permission. The support is provided not just by the committee, but the entire church community. For this purpose we maintain a roster of volunteers who have offered their skills for the mission of providing temporary help. We also share information through the e-news about members who have given permission to encourage congregational involvement.
The mission of the Membership Committee is to greet members and friends and to help them become comfortable with the Church Community. This ranges from welcoming them to Sunday services, sponsoring social events such as circle dinners (and lunches), shepherding through the process of becoming a member, and keeping the membership rolls in good order.
All Souls Choir
For many who attend services at All Souls the quality of the music is very special. Our pianist, Eva Greene, plays a variety of music from classical to jazz for our preludes and offertories. On occasion there will be instrumentalists from the congregation or wider community playing with her. The choir, led by Tom Baehr, continues a tradition of excellence in performing a variety of anthems, including a wide range of songs from many traditions, including some Tom himself has composed.
Religious Exploration Committee
The work of the Religious Exploration (RE) Committee is to provide members of the congregation of all ages an opportunity to learn more about Unitarian Universalism, to enjoy the process of learning with other members of the congregation, and to support families as they bring up their children to be part of the church family. This exploration is carried out in a variety of formats. The committee works with other groups within the church to integrate a variety of programs answering the needs of people with different interests preferred ways of learning, and ability to commit time. Kathy Squires convenes this committee and may be contacted through the church office.
The Worship Team is responsible for Sunday services whenever the minister is not in the pulpit. Presently our minister is contracted for two Sundays a month. Other Sundays may see a guest preacher or speaker, or a lay leader providing the service. Worship associates provide assistance to both the minister and other speakers. They may be asked to take part in the chalice lighting, readings, the collection, leading songs, as well as Setting up the sanctuary for worship.
Overflow Shelter Meal Preparation
Before the pandemic, preparing and serving meals for Brattleboro’s Winter Overflow Shelter for the Homeless had been a long term service project of All Souls Church as well as other faith communities in the area. Meals were prepared in our church kitchen once a month and served at the shelter by various members of our congregation. But the shelter was closed during the pandemic.
We are also active in The Gleaning Program of the Vermont Food Bank. Various local groups as well as individuals go into the fields of local farms after the main crops are harvested to pick what is left for distribution to local food banks. When volunteers are needed our Social and Environmental Action Committee lets the congregation know and helps pull together a group to send into the fields.