Arts Festival Church Open House

This Saturday, in conjunction with the Stowe Street Arts Festival, our church sanctuary will be open and staffed by members of the community arts show committee.  We have, as many of you know, a great show of local artists’ works and we are hoping that some of the crowds from Stowe Street will see their way around the corner to visit us.

Stop by anytime between 10 – 4 pm!


Peter’s August Schedule

Our last Sunday before the August recess is July 29 and I’m going on vacation after that! Yay!  I’ll be in the Cape for a week from July 29 to August 6.  After that I’ve got lots of work to do on my house, you’re welcome to swing by for a chat.  I’ll give you a paintbrush or a glass of lemonade depending on your desire!

The Rev. Nancy McHugh from Waitsfield had graciously agreed to respond to any pastoral emergencies.  Her phone is 496-3065.  Please also call the church. Polly will be here and will get in touch with me if need be.


Summer Worship Services


July 1 — Worship at the Wesley United Methodist Church — 10:30 am

July 15 — Laity Sunday, Wynne Plagge speaking about her trip to Rwanda this past spring. Julia Loewer will be providing special music.

July 22 — Special music by Steve Lotspeich

July 29 — Our last Sunday before August recess.  Bill Beard will be singing Anton Dvorak’s “God is My Shepherd.”

September 2 — Worship starts up again at 10 am.

September 9 — Welcome back Sunday.

Church Construction

Construction on the various projects we approved at our annual meeting back in January will begin straight away in August.

First up will be the removal of the Underground Storage Tanks.  The tanks are located between the church and the driveway on the west side of the building.  Ross Environmental, from Stowe will be doing the work starting Wednesday, August 1.  They will be working with Bourne’s energy to remove the propane tank (also buried).  Bourne’s will replace with a larger underground propane tank.  This work should be finished by Friday.

Next up is work on the rotting corner spires. img_20180706_111123 The spires are rotting because of improper water drainage from the roof.  We have contracted with Steve James to fix the rotten bits, and to correct the drainage so that the problem does not happen again.  We have contracted with Steve several times over the past few years to build the deck on the front of the church and to rebuild the choir and organ loft.  Steve hopes to begin work on the 13th of August.

As of today, the work for removing the old heating system and installing the new gas furnaces has not been scheduled.  We’ll keep you posted.

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.


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.

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!

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.

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.


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.


Barbara Paulson and the puppets and Ella Cisz?