Vermont Italian Opera Intensive

The Vermont Italian Opera Intensive is a two week program where singers come to maskstudy, learn, and sing Italian opera. Modeled after the Ezio Pinza Council for American Singers of Opera (EPCASO) program in Oderzo, Italy (founded by his daughter, Claudia Pinza), this program offers coaching in Italian opera style, Italian vocal technique instruction, and Italian language classes.  Vocal coach Mary Jane Austin and opera singer Erik Kroncke, both faculty of EPCASO, run this intensive.  They have over twenty years of experience in Italian opera and have worked with some of the greatest conductors, singers, and directors of the Italian opera tradition.  All of the participating singers are of advanced study or professional level.  The program will culminate with two concerts on July 21st and 23rd.  The concert on the 21st will be a house concert in East Montpelier of Italian arias and songs and limited to 20 people.  Please call 802 310 9802 for more information and to reserve a place.  The concert on the 23rd will be a semi-staged concert of arias and scenes at the Waterbury Congregational Church in Waterbury, Vermont at 4pm.  Both concerts are free, with donations gratefully accepted.

Laundry Love Update

Last night the Waterbury Laundromat was chock full.  There was not a machine that Laundry Love_800wasn’t spinning or tumbling or churning.  About half of those were guests invited there by our Laundry Love initiative.  Deb Utton and I were pleased with how smooth it ran and are looking forward to inviting the rest of you to partake.

Right now, we are running this on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month.  They bring their laundry to the laundromat and load the appropriate machine.  We take their name and make sure that if they are using the free detergent that they are not allergic to it.  Then we put the detergent and the quarters in the machine and sit back while the machines do their thing.  Some of the guests like to chat, others will leave.  Bring a book in case.  Eventually, we envision that 2 volunteers would be at the laundromat at 5pm and that one would leave at 6pm and the other remain until 7:00pm, the latest point at which the last load can go in.

We’re off and running!

Tag Sale

Our annual tag sale is now fast approaching!  This year it will be on Friday and Saturday, August 4 – 5. We’ve done this so many times that we know how it works and that it works. Here’s what you need to know to help.

  1. Drop off will begin on tag saleSunday, July 16.  This is an opportunity to clean house a bit and get rid of the things you no longer need or use, but which are still in fairly decent condition.  Think of it as a spiritual exercise!  We can easily become too attached to things — this is exercise in divesting ourselves of such attachments. (PS — if you have large items that you need to move now, please call us at the church and we’ll try to accommodate.)
  2. Please mark your items with a suggested price.
  3. A signup sheet will go around, starting this week, for the jobs which include setting up the tents, moving the tag sale outdoors on Friday morning, cashiers and attendants.
  4. Did I mention we need your gently used stuff?!

Combined Worship Service

Once again this summer, the Rev. Sam Newton of the Wesley United Methodist Church and I are planning a combined worship service at our church on Sunday, July 9.  The purpose of this joint worship is quite simply to remind ourselves that we share a common heritage, that our differences, while real, and in some cases profound, do not keep us from singing and praying together to the God without whom, we together equally confess, we would be as nothing.

I hope you’ll be able to join us!

Church Council Meeting 6/18

The regularly schedule meeting of the Waterbury Congregational Church Council will happen this Sunday, June 18, following worship in the third floor general purpose room.  If you are a regular council member, please plan to attend, though, as always, the meeting is open to anyone interested!

Strawberry Festival Volunteers Needed

On June 23rd, our congregation will welcome friends and neighbors to the 44th Annual 384px-Chandler_strawberriesStrawberry Festival at the White Meeting House. As you know, it takes many hands to make this fundraiser a success. While clipboards for potluck dishes and festival duties will be passed in church this Sunday, again, we encourage you to use our online SIGN-UP GENIUS to let us know how you are going to help. If you do use the sign-up genius, no need to add your name to the clipboards! We will make sure that names from the clipboards are added to the online tool so things remain as streamlined as possible and so we don’t end up with 20 lasagnas.

You will note that we have decided not to pick our strawberries this year. The local farm we have worked with in the past does not have a crop this year and other farms’ prices are high. Instead, we will focus our fellowship efforts on hulling! We’ll have music going, fun treats and the hullers out.

This year, we are adding “apprenticeships” to the roster of duties. Have you ever wanted to sign up to run the dishwasher but are afraid of that giant, silver contraption? No worries. You can work with Marty to learn the ins and outs of dishwasher operation. Always wondered how those biscuits are made? Sign up to work with Harriet in the kitchen on Thursday morning and we promise, you’ll be a pro my mid-day.

Thanks in advance for your time and effort and we look forward to a super Strawberry Festival.

PB&J Summer Food Shelf Challenge

School is almost out and with that comes increased need in many family pantries for peanut butter, jelly and bread!  Deb Utton, our food shelf coordinator is challenging us to fill our collection baskets with jars of Peanut Butter and Jelly, all kinds!  You can bring in bread too, though that never seems to be a big issue down at the food shelf.

Thanks for your continued support of the food shelf.  Over one hundred families from the area use it on a regular basis to help supplement their budget.



Community Art Show

The annual Community Art Show is being hung today.  It is a wonderful collection of sculpture and painting and multi-media artwork showcasing the extraordinary talent right here in our own community.

Many thanks, as always, to Torrey Smith for spearheading this project.  It brings life to our sanctuary walls each time!


Laundry Love

laundry love

Laundry Love began as a church group working with the homeless in California after a conversation with a homeless man revealed that if he had clean clothes people might treat him like a human.  Big problem.  Simple solution: offer to do his laundry.

This has become a movement.  I heard about it from the Barre Congregational Church who offers laundry love services and finds the need as great as you might imagine.  Shortly after I heard about it from Barre, I received a call for help from a woman in Duxbury who was desperate to get her laundry done, but with all of the other demands on her limited income, had been unable to do it.  Now her children were being made fun of at school for smelling.  Could we help.

We did.  But that story led me to challenge you to join forces with Laundry Love.Org and try it out in Waterbury.  Well, several of you offered money on the spot and Deb Utton volunteered to help get it from dream to reality.  We are having success and are ready to make it happen!

We have received the support from the Waterbury Laundromat, who will be providing detergent to us free of charge.  The Waterbury Good Neighbor Fund will be providing the quarters, and we are advertising around town.

All we need from you are 2 volunteers each session.  Laundry sessions will be on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month, from 5 pm –  7:30  pm through the summer. That will be our trial balloon period.  We’ll reassess at the end of summer.

Here’s a link you can follow to go to the sign up for volunteering.

NB — Nothing about this work is difficult!  We do not touch people’s laundry.  Our only job is to welcome people who have a laundry voucher, put the money in the machines when they are ready, and tidy up a bit when we’re done.  There will be written instructions and information available.