In Memoriam: Laurie Emery

Laurie may have been born 71 years ago in Long Island, but she told me on several laurieoccasions, that she had two lives and the life she found after discovering this church and its loving congregation was the richer one and made all the difference.  As someone said, upon hearing about Laurie’s death (Tuesday, April 11) we’ll miss her being in the back pew and holding down the fort.

And she held down the fort with a smile and a hug and an indomitable optimism.  Within a week or so of her diagnosis I was sitting on the front porch of her house chatting with her not only about the things you’d normally talk about after the diagnosis of a fairly aggressive cancer, but about everything else too, her childhood on Long Island, her life long love of sailing, her work (from which she’d been retired for a few months, but which continued to occupy a near and dear place to her heart), about her husband Dan, and about her plans for the winter and for this summer coming.

Laurie has so faithfully served this church as clerk for so long that the first annual report she wrote as clerk is filed in storage.  Turns out this year was her 15th annual report!  Without fail, on the Monday following a church council meeting I’d get some kind of message from her along with the minutes she’d so quickly and diligently transcribed from her shorthand.  Here’s an example of one of those emails  from November 2009:

Peter:  I signed the minutes and scanned the signed in as a pdf in case you needed them signed to mail with the eligibility verification sheet.   Wasn’t it chilly this morning walking to school?  It’s so nice to see Dad taking his children to school; very sweet!  Laurie

Talk about sweet. . . . Also on a regular basis Laurie would leave a box of homemade chocolates on my desk and the desk of our administrator, be it Denise Doz, Susie Perkins, Lesley Clark or Polly Sabin.  She claimed that she liked to bake, but couldn’t eat them so she had to give them to us.  But in reality, she was just being the kind of positive, lovely, genuine human being she was.

And for that, we are diminished by her passing, but forever grateful for her gifts to us.

People Helping People by Walking on Good Friday

A member of our congregation, Cathy Shires, has been walking on Good Friday for the past 28 years, to raise money for organization called Sharing , Inc.  She walks 20 miles and appreciates sponsors for the walk, as well as companions along the way.  The walk was started by Kay Doherty 46 years ago after she read an article about the racism and poverty problems in the Mississippi delta area in the poorest counties in the country.

Cathy plans to start walking around 7 am (which is the start time for the Hingham, MA walk, where she used to walk).

The following link directs one to the online sponsor link.   I’m also happy to take checks.   They should be made out to: Sharing, Inc with “Good Friday Walk in the subject line.”

Chili Contest Winner

Tom Stevens, our creative CE Director is also a creative chili cook.  Drawing inspiration from his refrigerator full of odds and ends, he grabbed a little of this (bacon pieces) a little of that (over-cooked maple syrup) and added it to some hamburger and a mix of spices too numerous to name and viola!  a winner.  He one by one half vote over Carla Lawrence, the runner up.

It was a fun little event after worship last week.  With five pots of chili, we had plenty of food for the 30 or so who stayed to eat.  Glad you did.  Let’s do it again next year!

Church World Service Bucket Project Ending!

Bucket supplies due back.  We have several items outstanding still and we need to the buckets on the truck Tuesday, May 9.  Please bring your supplies to church this Sunday, May 7.  Thank you.

These buckets, along with all of the other kits that were delivered to our doors this week, will be transferred by tractor-trailer truck to Maryland where they will be stored in a warehouse to be parceled out to places around the world where people are struggling to rebuild after disaster, both natural and human-caused.


Vermont Conference Survey

In preparation for the upcoming “listening sessions” hosted by the Vermont Conference around the state this spring, (see Washington Association Annual Meeting below) clergy and lay leaders are asked to complete an anonymous survey.  Here’s the invitation from the Vermont Conference Staff.

As a companion piece to Listening Sessions taking place in each Association this Spring we are inviting you to take this brief survey. It will take only 5-10 minutes of your time and will provide your Conference Board of Directors and Conference Staff valuable information so we can better support our churches in their mission and ministry.

Questions may be directed either to the Conference Minister, Lynn Bujnak ( or our Chair of the Board of Directors, Andy Nage Benson (

Thanks in advance for your participation!

The survey may be taken by following this link.


Call to Artists

Meeting House Arts is organizing a community art show in tandem with the Waterbury Arts Fest as a way to highlight the variety of our homegrown arts talents.  This year’s theme is “SOMETHING NEW” — to be interpreted, used, responded to or connected with in any way with your work.  What feeling, image, memory, or desire does the word evoke?    Have you tried something new recently?  New media, new experience, new subject, new project?

We are especially looking for artists and craftspeople in the area that may not show their work regularly but would enjoy the chance to share it with the community.  Consider applying if you work in ANY media, from paint, pottery and photography to textiles, wood, assemblage, drawings, jewelry, music, poetry… We hope to show 1 or 2 pieces of each artist’s work.  Work may be available for sale, or not, as preferred by the artist.

Participation is open to residents of Waterbury, Duxbury, Middlesex, Moretown, and Bolton.  For visual art, your application consists of  images of up to two pieces of your work for the exhibit along with title, media and dimensions, as well as contact information (including full name, phone and address).  For spoken word or music, provide details in the application including what you want to do, how long you would like to perform, etc. There is a $10 application fee (scholarships available).


Fill out this form and mail or deliver it (along with printed images of your work and $10 application fee) to Torrey Smith, Meeting House Arts c/o WUCC, 8 North Main Street, Waterbury, VT 05676. Applications due by May 15.  If you have any questions, please email Torrey or call 802-244-8581.  If you are unable to print at home, there are also copies available at the White Meeting House (8 North Main Street), just inside the side door.


  • May 15th– applications due
  • June 1st, 5-7PM — Work will need to be dropped off at the White Meeting House. It must be display ready – that is, strung with wire or other hanging or stabilizing material as necessary.  We will also have horizontal surfaces for displaying 3-D work.
  • June 4th — An Artists’ Social for the exhibiting artists will be held 1:00 PM, followed by  a public Opening Reception at 2:00.  This is a really fun, friendly event and we hope all participating artists will come.
  • July 15th — The exhibition will be open and staffed by participating artists on the day of the Waterbury Arts Fest, between 10:00 and 4:00.
  • July 23rd, 4 to 6PM — Please plan on picking up your work on the last day of the show.


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.

Carolyn Enz Hack showing landscapes, sculpture through May 7

We have a beautiful new exhibit of paintings and sculpture by Thetford artist Carolyn Enz Hack.  The show, called “Town by Town,” explores how traditional landscape paintings might be able to incorporate history and time into their imagery.  The show is open through May 7th from Tuesdays through Fridays, 8:30AM to 4:30PM, and admission is free.

Shadow of the Winooski - smallerShadow of the Winooski — Waterbury, Vermont
by Carolyn Enz Hack.  Acrylic on linen, 28″ x 30″

   “The works are colorful and somewhat abstracted, but you can always find clear references in them — the quarries in Barre, a view of Camel’s Hump, the ferris wheel in Tunbridge,” says Torrey Smith, the show’s organizer.  “When I saw the work for the first time, I had that crazy feeling that it was something new but, at the same time, it was something I already knew.”

Enz Hack had made traditional landscape paintings for more than a decade, “but then, in 2011, I also began to make sculptures and they were abstract,” she explains.  “Working in three dimensions got me wondering if I might be able to represent how places change over time.”

Each of the towns portrayed in the series has personal significance to the artist.  “I chose towns in which I have spent time and then I researched historic photos, maps and documents to get a sense of how the towns had developed.”

The result is that, in addition to structures and landmarks typical in landscape painting, each piece also incorporates other elements like a bird’s eye view, or traces of maps that allow the artist to show multiple perspectives and stories.

In addition to showing her paintings, Enz Hack will be offering two opportunities for community members to learn more about her work and explore their own creativity.  On Friday, May 5th at 6:30PM, she will offer a talk about the paintings and sculpture on display — the history of the towns and the artistic process of developing a new painting language, as well as some reflections on her more abstract sculptures.

On Saturday, May 6th, Enz Hack will offer a two-hour workshop from 10AM to noon on expanding the boundaries of creative practice and developing one’s own artistic style.  Area residents are invited to spend a couple of hours devoted to questioning the limits of their art through discussion about methods, materials, and practice.  Artists, craftsmen, or anyone interested in boosting their creative capacity is welcome.  Please contact the artist directly to reserve a spot.  Suggested donation of $15 to participate.

The exhibit, talk and workshop are hosted by Meeting House Arts, a collaborative project hosted by the White Meeting House at 8 North Main Street in Waterbury.  Its goal is to provide more opportunities for local artists to show their work, and for local residents to enjoy more art. It’s always a good idea to call 244-6606 and confirm the building is open if you’re making a special trip!  If you have additional questions, email Torrey.  More about Carolyn’s work here.

Food Shelf — Dogs vs. Cats

Dogs are just simple happy creatures, taking pleasure in just about everything.  Cats have dogcatto finesse everything and are critical about their conditions, their owners, dogs, etc — or so the stereotype goes.

Deb Utton, who is the food shelf coordinator volunteer, is having a contest to see who can bring in more food for the Food Shelf — dog lovers or cat lovers.

Have fun!

Woof, woof.