Warren United Church Newsletter
Warren, Vermont 05674
Worship and Church School: Sundays at 10:00 a.m.
Church Office: (802) 496-2713
Rev. Susan McKnight, Pastor
“…if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has come!”
2 Corinthians 5:17
Many of us are heading into a new year dragging old stuff. It is true that the events and attitudes and
conditions of the present often have their roots in the past. It is also true that we cannot change what
happened in the past. What is NOT true is that we need to continue to be chained to former hurts and
happenings in the same way we have been until now. For, here is the good news: those who belong to
God are not destined to be limited by the past, by what our rational minds can see. When we are “in
Christ”, we become a new creation. Because we live within God’s grace, even the worst events of our past
can be denied power over us. By seeing painful events in the company of Christ, with his redeeming love
shining on all those involved, we—even WE-- can experience healing of old wounds and be freed to live
lovingly, joyfully, serenely.
We who trust in the love and power of Christ are rooted not only in the past, but in grace. And because of
that, we can become what God dreams us to be. In this new year, we are free to respond to God’s call.
We are free to see ourselves as God sees us. We are free to bear fruits of righteousness rather than fruits
of revenge and regret. We are free to be fully a part of the new things God wants to do. The following
prayer expresses well what I am trying to say. It is from Celtic Daily Prayer: Prayers and Readings from the
O God, I cannot undo the past, or make it never have happened!
--neither can you.
There are some things that are not possible even for You
--but not many.
I ask You, humbly, and from the bottom of my heart:
Please, God, would You write straight with my crooked lines?
Out of the serious mistakes of my life will You make something beautiful for You?
Teach me to live at peace with You, to make peace with others
and even with myself.
Give me fresh vision. Let me experience Your love so deeply
that I am free to face the future with a steady eye,
forgiven, and strong in hope.
Yours in love and in the spirit of new beginnings that is the promise of our faith—Susan
SATURDAY SABBATH SERVICES IN WAITSFIELD
The Waitsfield UCC will once again offer a Saturday worship option for those who have
other Sunday morning activities or obligations during the winter months. Beginning at
5:00 from January 9th through the 13th of March, these services are for those seeking
contemporary family- oriented worship with upbeat music and the sharing of the sacred
stories of faith. Come as you are off the mountain, hanging out at home, or from work.
Be prepared to sing and participate in a worship experience that is uplifting and
meaningful. While our church is not officially co-sponsoring this worship series this
year, we are all welcome to come.
WELCOME, NEW MEMBERS!
On December 13th, we joyfully welcomed 10 new members into our faith community.
They are (in alphabetical order): Michael Bransfield; Kate Crosby; Joe and Jane
Goldstein; Rob and Sandy Grant; Roger and Lois Maple; Doug and Susan Stoehr.
They are a splendid group for sure; if you haven’t yet done so, make a point of getting to
know these new members of the church family!
CONFIRMATION PROGRAM UNDERWAY
Our denomination, like many others, practices infant baptism. When a baby is baptized,
others—usually parents-- make promises on behalf of the child. When
children are older, we offer information and experiences that invite, encourage and
equip young people to make the decision to claim and confirm those promises for
themselves. Because we in our church believe that faith is “caught” as well as “taught”,
we include in the confirmation process the opportunity for mentoring—pairing young
people with someone seasoned in life and in faith. Students and mentors, with the
pastor, work their way through a book and through a variety of worship and outreach
experiences to get a sense of what it means to be a person of faith, specifically a
person of the Christian faith. Those students who complete the program and make the
choice to confirm the promises made for them at their baptism will do so on Pentecost
Sunday, May 23rd. Please do what you can to affirm and support these young people--
Megan Meany, Connor Barker, Mackenzie Munro and Brin Schoellkopf—as well as their
mentors—Peggy Johnson, Jada Munro, Laurie Jones and Beth Schoellkopf.
IS THIS A NEED THAT MEETS YOUR TALENTS?
Our church family photo board is in need of an up-date! This process would require
organizing some picture-taking, some name-affixing, and some arranging (artistic or
not) on corkboard. This board is an excellent tool for helping us to connect with one
another and to learn (and remember) names. If you are able to take on this project
yourself or with a team, please contact Rev. Susan.
MANY THANKS TO…
...all who enriched Michael and Susan’s Christmas Open House with your cheerful
presence [you too, Santa!], victuals and gifts…all who contributed to such a lovely and
joyous Advent and Christmas, including Judy and John Phelon [heading up the
sanctuary decorating and flowers], Ginny, Carey and our Choir for such beautiful music,
the Blairs, Bennetts and wagonload of enthusiastic carolers, those who reached out in
any way to families in crisis or need, those who cleaned and shoveled and baked and
paid the bills…God bless you, every ONE!
JUSTICE AND THE CHURCH
Back in November, a forthright and challenging conversation unfolded around the presence of a
controversial speaker in our church. Judge Ed Cashman’s talk on Dismas House occasioned some
concern and great discussion regarding our criminal justice system, especially as it deals with sex
offenses and other violent crimes. The discussion has been not only honest and respectful, but also
fruitful. A small group has met to begin organizing a workshop series on Justice and the Church. It will
be an opportunity for all of us to learn more about the justice system in this country and to examine
different theories and approaches to administering justice. While more details will be available in the
February / March newsletter, suffice it to say now that we will be looking at 3 types of justice: retributive,
restorative and parallel. Our own Susan Russell is a treasure trove of information and resources on this
subject and has generously agreed to give us an introduction to the third type, as she did last month on
the second one. And so, without further ado, we give you…Parallel Justice
Parallel justice is a relatively new concept envisioned by Susan Herman, former
Executive Director for the National Center for Victims of Crime. Parallel Justice is a framework
for responding to crime with two separate parallel paths to justice-one for victims and one for
offenders. The Parallel Justice framework involves both a governmental and a community
response. Parallel justice is needed for a variety of reasons; many victims are not involved in
the criminal justice system because their offender is not arrested. Many crime victims never
step foot inside a courtroom. Our current criminal justice system is offender-oriented, so the
criminal justice system is not intended to meet their needs. Parallel justice can offer much more
than the criminal justice system can provide. It is a victim-centered process. It involves
offenders, communities, and society at large in helping victims rebuild their lives and reintegrate
into a productive community life.
The following are some of the guiding principles for implementing parallel justice
• First, when a crime is reported, in addition to our traditional criminal justice response, the safety of the
victim would be a high priority for police and other criminal justice agencies.
• Second, every victim of crime would be offered immediate support, compensation for their losses, and
• Third, victims would have an opportunity to explain what happened to them, what the impact on their lives
was, and what resources they might need to get their lives back on track. This opportunity would be
provided through forums which would be conducted by an administrator whose job it would be to
acknowledge the harm done and to develop appropriate service plans that would marshal government
responses to meet victims' needs. Victim services and long-term assistance would then be coordinated by
Using this concept and guiding principles the National Center for Victims of Crime
established The Parallel Justice Project. The National Center has been working with three
communities throughout the nation to test the feasibility of the Parallel Justice concept as a new
paradigm. Burlington, Vermont is one of them. The Parallel Justice Project is overseen by the
Vermont Center for Crime Victim Services, an independent state agency responsible for
overseeing victim assistance and compensation funding. The Burlington Parallel Justice Project
has had active support from the Burlington Police Department, Burlington Community Justice
Center, and various local social service agencies. Excerpts for this article and more information
regarding Parallel Justice can be found at the National Center For Victims of Crime
We will be examining Justice concepts and programs such as restorative and parallel justice in
March during our Justice and the Church workshop series. Stay tuned for more information
regarding these workshops. In next month’s newsletter article we will examine the similarities
and differences between restorative and parallel justice.
Susan S. Russell, M.A.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
8:30 am to 4:00 pm
Bethany United Church of Christ, Randolph, VT
The Healing Committee of the Vermont Conference of the United Church of Christ has invited
The Right Rev. Alex McCullough of Healing Joy Ministries to lead a healing retreat/workshop at
Bethany United Church of Christ in Randolph Jan. 30, 2010.
The Right Rev. Alex McCullough is a retired Bishop of the Evangelical Apostolic Church of
North America, an accomplished musician, and has been a member of the Board of Directors of
the International Order of Saint Luke the Physician. He has served on the circle of Camps
Farthest Out, and offers Healing Joy Ministries world wide. He spoke at Francis and Judith
MacNutt's Christian Healing Ministries Event at Mount Snow in southern Vermont last summer.
We look to the healing ministry of Jesus Christ through the teachings and music of the Right
Rev. Alex McCullough to bring us joyful hope in the midst of these depressing times and to help
us restore the joy of living in relation to our bodies ( I Cor. 3:16 ), our communities ( I Cor.
12:27 ) and the whole of creation ( Romans 8:21,22 ).
8:30 – Registration
9:00 – Opening Worship
9:15 - Introductions and hopes for this gathering
10:00 - Session 1
11:00 - Break
11:15 - Session 2
12:15 – Break for lunch
1:00 – Small Groups
1:30 - Report back
2:00 - Session 3
3:00 – Closing Worship – A Service of Healing
4:00 – End of retreat
Please Register me for the Healing Retreat/workshop January 30, 2010
at Bethany United Church of Christ in Randolph, Vermont
[ ] I will bring my own lunch.
[ ] I would like to sign up for the provided lunch.
[ ] I would like to be considered for a scholarship to cover the cost my registration fee.
Please mail this form along with a $25 registration fee to:
Rev. Robert Boutwell, 690 Town Line Rd, Rutland, VT 05701
Please make your check payable to: Vt. Conference UCC
January 1 Becky Robinson
January 4 Sophia Kwiatkowski
January 5 Abbie Barker
January 6 June Carpenter
January 10 Bob Meany, Peggy Johnson
January 11 Linda Tyler
January 12 Rebecca Peatman
January 17 Susan Brownson, Susi Pennington
January 19 Geraldine Cota, Jane Goldlstein
January 23 Michael Snyder
January 26 John Roth
January 28 Marcella Pierce
January 31 Eric Allen
Calendar of Events
January 1 6 pm Alanon 7 pm AA
January 3 Worship with Communion, Hear from college students
January 5 Memorial service for Lester Miller @ 11 am
January 6, 13, 20, 27 Susan’s Office Hours 10-12
January 7 Deacon’s mtg @ 7 pm
January 8, 15, 22, 29 Prayer Group @ 9 am., Susan’s Office hours 10-12,
6 pm Alanon, AA mtg @ 7 pm
January 10 Worship @ 10, 5-7 pm Intersections of Faith & Science
January 13 Interfaith Council in Moretown @ 2 pm
January 14 Synergy mtg @ 7 am
January 17 Worship @ 10 am
January 19 Stewardship & Mission mtg @ 7 pm
January 21 Church Council Mtg @ 7 pm
January 24 Worship @ 10 am
January 29 Wedding rehearsal @ 4:30 pm
January 30 Wedding @ 4 pm
January 31 Worship @ 10 am
Annual Meeting and potluck @ 11:15 am