Strawberry Festival Needs Your Help!

“Nothing says summer like strawberries shared with neighbors and friends.”

Well, this year summer “officially” begins on June 29 with our 45th annual Strawberry Festival! strawberry shortcake

Your Strawberry Festival Committee is Harriet Grenier, Cindy Senning, Deb Utton and Dave MacGowan.  They are now seeking volunteers for the various jobs that need to be done on both Thursday and Friday.  There is an online sign-up which streamlines this process immeasurably. On that form, you will also find a list of food we need to have made at home and brought to church on Thursday or Friday.

If you need help, or simply would prefer to sign up another way, let us know . . .  as usual, we’ll also have clipboards!

The link to this year’s online sign-up form is here.

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2018 Community Art Show

The 4th annual community art show at the White Meeting House in Waterbury is right around the corner. This year’s theme is “Art & Remembering” and applications are due June 15th for the show which will run all of July. There is also an opening and artists social on Sunday July 1st.

For whom? Participation is open to creatives, artists and makers of all ages — from hobby to professional — in Bolton, Duxbury, Middlesex, Moretown and Waterbury. We love to have work in any medium — from photography to poetry, crafts to collage, painting to pottery, textiles to television (okay, video but I needed another T), and anything else you are willing to share with the community! Application fee is $10, scholarships are available. The show will run from July 1 to August 1 and is a collaborative effort — aiming to provide more opportunities for local artists to show their work, and for local residents to enjoy more art.

What’s with the theme? Art shows often use themes as an organizing principle; part of the fun is seeing how different people can connect to or interpret a theme in such different ways. A few notions about this year’s theme of Art & Remembering to stimulate your thinking might include: How does art connect with remembering for you? Perhaps you work in a traditional form that connects to the past? Do you make things to keep your memories alive? Maybe you blend the old and new through your materials or your methods or your subjects? Or perhaps you have another inspiration or connection that moves you. We would love to share your work and your ideas in this group show.

Here’s a link to the application. If you have questions or need a little encouragement to join, please contact Torrey at 244-8581 or torreycsmith@yahoo.com. 

Heating System

At the Special Congregational Meeting last Sunday (6/3), the congregation voted to approve the expenditure of up to $25000 for the installation of a new primary heating system for the church.

Here is what you might want to know about why and what.

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1991 Jackson and Church furnace on Left, 2008 Thermopride on Right.

1) The oil fired furnace that heats the sanctuary was installed in 1991.  We have a second furnace that was installed in 2008, after the failure of the heat exchanger on the other 1991 furnace.  Twenty years of operation is the normal design life of a hot air furnace.

2) Not only are the furnaces old, but so is our oil storage and delivery system.  Several times per winter, on the coldest nights, when the oil draw is highest, I have to come down to the church to reset the furnaces because the pump cannot keep up. We have that system examined and tinkered with over the years, which has lessened the severity of the problem, but not eliminated it.

The oil tank is the same age as the old furnace.  At about 20 years of use, the risk of leaks becomes significant. At some point, our fuel provider would require us to replace the tank.

Given these issues with the heating part of the system and the storage/deliver part of the system, we decided to update everything at once and switch to propane.

Switching to propane will save us about $1000 per year on our heating. The reason for that is that propane is only 60 percent as expensive (1.80/gal for Propane and 3.05/gal for oil) and our old furnaces operate at about 80% efficiency, while the new furnaces operate at about 95.5%. Given there are fewer BTUs per gallon in propane than in oil, we’ll need slightly more gallons of fuel at a lower cost.  We’ll need approx 4200 gallons of propane versus the current approx 1400 gallons of propane and 2200 gallons of oil.

The cost of replacing both furnaces, the 27 year old furnace and the 10 year old, was only $40 more than the price quoted for for two furnaces in 2007. ($11,420). Church’s Plumbing and Heating, out of Williston, has been contracted to do the heating system work (removal of old and installation of new).

The cost of excavating and removing the old oil tank will be approximately $3500, depending on what they find underground. Ross Environmental has been contracted to do that work.

The money that the congregation voted to release last week, was realized gains off of our endowment from 2017.

Two great opportunities for photography lovers

Montpelier photographers John Snell and Rob Spring are currently exhibiting a beautiful collection of black and white portraits at the White Meeting House in Waterbury Village. The project, called “Big Pictures,” was inspired by the internationally known photographer and activist JR. In 2016, Snell and Spring set up a temporary studio at the Montpelier Farmers Market and made spontaneous portraits of over one hundred groups and individuals. From there, they created a series of very large portraits (about 30” x 48” each), many of which were installed temporarily in downtown Montpelier, and about 20 of which are currently on display in Waterbury.

The large size of the portraits is extraordinarily captivating — the viewer is drawn to the faces and it feels almost like a personal interaction. The photos capture something magical about the relationships and connections between people. Even though we don’t know all the individuals in the photos, the feelings and experiences expressed in their body language are universal. 

So, the first great opportunity is to stop by and see the show! The White Meeting House at 8 North Main Street is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 8:30 to 12:30, or by special appointment (call 244-6606). The show will be up through June 24th and is free, and appropriate for all ages.

The second great opportunity is that the photographers, John and Rob, will be offering a workshop/discussion about their work. The story of how the project was conceived and executed — in terms of technical as well as human issues — is really part of what makes the show so special, and so accessible. On Monday, June 18th from 7 to 9PM, also at the White Meeting House, community members are invited to come meet the photographers (who are super friendly and easygoing people) and learn more about the artist, JR, who originally inspired them; how they set up their temporary studio and recruited participants; and some of the ways they have enjoyed sharing the portraits — including adhering them to buildings along Langdon Street in Montpelier. You will be inspired for sure! The workshop is free and open to people of all ages. 

Please contact Torrey Smith at 244-8581 or torreycsmith@yahoo.com with any questions.

Brush Removal

After our spring clean up earlier this month, we’ve got some brush and leaf debris leftover.  This is material that the garbage service will not pick up, so if you can help us by taking some or all of it to your brush pile, we would appreciate it!

There is a pile of brush and two garbage cans of twigs and sticks near the driveway before the drive-thru and there are 3 or 4 black plastic bags of leaf debris under the drive thru next to the regular garbage barrels.

Thank you!

HS Senior Graduation Celebration

It’s celebration time!  Five of the six pictured below (confirmation, 2013) have graduated.  They are from left to right (Kyle Roche, Erin Magill, Nicole Cutler (who graduates next year), Wynne Plagge, Bridgett Nagdeman (who graduated from a high school in Tennesee) and Julia Loewer.)

We do hope you’ll join us this week, as we reflect on the journeys of our graduates over the years. Here are a few photos I’ve collected.

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Erin Magill, Left and Wynne Plagge, right, peeling apples.

Christian Education Celebration Sunday

On June 3, our Church School will present during worship a masterpiece puppet theater!  For most of the year, our children, on Sunday mornings while we’ve been in the sanctuary, have read stories from and talked about The Book of Exodus.  They know it pretty well!  And now they’re telling the story through puppets with a little help from Barbara Paulson of No Strings Marionette.  It will be a big show (it’s a big story!).

We really hope you can join us for this grand day of celebration.

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Barbara Paulson and the puppets and Ella Cisz?

Special Meeting

We are called as a congregation, by the Church Council to gather as a body on June 3, 2018 in the sanctuary, following worship to consider releasing funds of up to $25,000 for the purchase and installation of a new primary heating system for the church.

Details:  There are four issues at play.  1) The furnace that heats the sanctuary is almost 30 years old (installed in 1990).  We have been advised by two different companies that it is likely to fail sometime in the very near future — it is well past its life expectancy.  2) We also have a 30 year old underground oil tank.  It too, is past its prime and we (and, apparently, our fuel company) are concerned about the increasing possibility of it leaking.  3) On very cold nights when the draw on the furnaces are high, we experience oil flow problems that require me to come down to the church in the middle of the night to reset the furnaces and get things running again, this despite several years of many different mechanics attempting to solve this problem.  4) Finally, at the Annual Meeting in January, we set aside realized gains from the endowment to the firm foundation in anticipation of this need.

Instead of replacing the oil tank, we have contracted with Ross Environmental out of Stowe, to remove it, test the soil around it, and fill in the hole.  Because we do have a propane tank, also buried, we will replace the oil furnaces with two high efficiency Lennox gas furnaces attached to our existing duct-work.

We hope that you will be able to attend this important congregational meeting as we look to continuing to provide a safe and comfortable space for our worship life and for the community.

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Both oil furnaces will be replaced with gas units about half the size of each.

Wallace Farm Fundraiser Dinner

Sunday April 29th there will be a pasta dinner at the fire station to raise money for Rosina and Kay Wallace. Some area churches are pitching in making dessert. If you’d like to donate baked goods, please contact Jill Chase at 244-1455 or oicha@comcast.net. At the moment, we’re not sure exactly what or how much is needed, but information will be shared as it comes in. Thank you!

2018 Call to Artists

     We are excited to host our 4th annual Community Art Show this July! Amateur and professional artists, artisans and crafters are encouraged to participate in this fun, friendly show, which celebrates the wide range of creativity in our community. All media are welcome — from painting to photography to ceramics to jewelry to textile to … whatever you are making and willing to share with the community!
       This year’s theme is “Art & Remembering.” How does art connect with remembering for you? Perhaps you work in a traditional form that connects to the past? Do you make things to keep your memories alive? Maybe you blend the old and new through your materials or your methods or your subjects? You as the artist decide how the theme connects to your work.
       The show will run from July 1st through August 1st, and will be open during the Waterbury Arts Fest. Participation is open to residents of Bolton, Duxbury, Middlesex, Moretown and Waterbury. Applications are available here (paper copies are available at the White Meeting House, 8 N. Main St., Waterbury). Applications are due June 15th. A donation of $10 is suggested to support publicity efforts.
      On Sunday, July 1st, we will host an artists’ social and opening reception. The show will also be open on Saturday, July 14th for the Waterbury Arts Fest.
     Meeting House Arts is a collaborative project hosted by the White Meeting House.  Its goal is to provide more opportunities for local artists to show their work, and for local residents to enjoy more art.  Questions can be addressed to Torrey at 244-8581 or torreycsmith@yahoo.com.