2017-18 Scott Center Events

Tuesday Tea Time with the Chaplains

4:00-5:00 pm
The Scott Center in Hathaway House

Come enjoy some delicious teas from Stone Leaf Tea House, along with various nibbles and casual conversation.  We'll have a fire in the fireplace, and Ellen will be helping solve knitting problems as well!

Climate Change: Communicating Across Divides  

Tuesday, March 20, 2018
4:30 pm
Davis Family Library 105 A&B

A virtual presentation by Dr. Katharine Hayhoe, professor and director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University, with Bill McKibben, Schumann Distinguished Scholar.
Climate scientist and evangelical Christian Katharine Hayhoe and author Bill McKibben will discuss how today’s most important conversation isn’t about why climate change matters; it’s about reaching people from different perspectives. It’s about how to connect the dots between climate and what people already care about, to move this issue to the front of people’s minds and political agendas.   

Alumni, Monterey and local Interfaith Climate Action Network will be invited to join the event and participate virtually via livestream.

Presented by the Franklin Environmental Center, and co-sponsored by the Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life and the Environmental Studies Program.

Wednesday Loving-Kindness Meditation Group

4:30-5:15 pm
McCullough Reflection Space

Join us in practicing loving-kindness meditations, both sitting and walking. Beginning and experienced meditators alike welcome! Drop-in occasionally or come to them all. Brief instruction offered by Associate Chaplain Danielle Stillman and sponsored by Prajna.

Judaism Lunch & Learn

Every Friday
12:45-1:30 pm
Ross Fireplace Lounge

Are you curious about why Cain killed Abel? Or about the women who made the exodus from Egypt possible?

Join Rabbi Danielle for a weekly lunch discussion on the Torah portion of the week. No preparation or prior knowledge is necessary; all are welcome. Bring your lunch from the dining hall. Come to all or just drop in.

All-Campus Mindfulness: Weekly Meditation in Mead Chapel

Wednesdays, 12:15-12:45 pm

In light of the seemingly constant news regarding natural disasters, violence and political unrest around the world, we are instituting a weekly quiet half-hour for anyone in the campus community to come together for lightly guided meditation or quiet reflection during this time.  Led by the Dean of Spiritual and Religious Life and invited guests.

No experience is necessary. Please enter quietly. All are welcome.

May we be together in both the tumult and in quietness, committing ourselves to the change that the world needs.

Reunion Events hosted by The Scott Center

Friday, June 8
Hillel Friday Evening Shabbat Service
5:30-6:30 pm
Associate Chaplain Rabbi Danielle Stillman will lead a brief Shabbat service. All are invited.
Jewish Center, Freeman International Center
Saturday, June 9
Snapshot of Spiritual and Religious Life on Campus
2:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Come learn about spiritual life and the diversity of religious attitudes and practices on campus in the 21st century.
Mitchell Green Lounge, McCullough Student Center

Sunday, June 10
10:00-11:00 am
Sunday Morning Christian Worship with Reunion Choir
Laurel Macaulay Jordan ’79, chaplain of the College, is joined by Jeff G. Buettner, associate professor of music and director of choral activities.
Mead Memorial Chapel

10:30-11:30 am
Hillel Bagel Brunch
Jewish Center, Freeman International Center,
A chance to meet Middlebury’s new rabbi, Danielle Stillman, enjoy a bagel breakfast and hear some updates on Hillel.

Recent Events

Emerging Leaders Retreat

Saturday and Sunday, March 10-11, 2018

Emerging leaders of student spiritual and religious life organizations will travel to beautiful Silver Bay YMCA on Lake George for an overnight retreat. Scott Center staff will facilitate conversations centered around leadership development, multi-faith programming, and best practices.  We'll get to know one another over shared meals, shoreline exploration, and conversations about our traditions.
Lodging is dorm style; all meals and transportation will be provided.
Please RSVP by February 22 to Ellen McKay, emckay@middlebury.edu.  Please let us know if you prefer vegetarian meals.

Ash Wednesday Service

Wednesday, February 14, 2018
5:00-5:45 pm
Mead Chapel

Chaplain Laurie Jordan will lead an ecumenical Christian service, holy communion, and imposition of ashes.

Religious Life Council Hosts the Middlebury Community Supper

Friday, January 26, 2018
Middlebury Congregational Church

Lend a hand serving Martin Luther King's "beloved community."  The Religious Life Council (RLC) is a group of students active in our various campus religious organizations.  Every year we commit to cooking and serving a full, from-scratch dinner for as many as 250 of our Addison County neighbors at the Middlebury Transitional Care Coalition's Community Suppers program at the Middlebury Congregational Church. 

Please click here to sign up for shifts any time between 1:00 and 7:00 on Friday, Jan. 26.  We need cooks, servers, and dishwashers.  Questions?  Contact lead organizer Ellen McKay, emckay@middlebury.edu.

Middlebury College Residency with Lama Rod Owens

January 21-23, 2018

Lama Rod Owens is an author, activist, and Lama (Buddhist Teacher) in the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism. He is the Guiding Teacher for the Radical Dharma Boston Collective, a teacher at Inward Bound Mindfulness Education (iBme), and a visiting teacher with Natural Dharma Fellowship, the Brooklyn Zen Center, and Against the Stream Boston. He completed his graduate studies at Harvard Divinity School and is the co-author of Radical Dharma. He focuses his work on the intersection of social change, identity and spiritual practice.

Rest for the Weary: Working through Anger, Apathy, and Exhaustion towards Radical Love
Sunday 1/21 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. Axinn 229
Students: sign up for this workshop at go/lamarod.
Join Lama Rod Owens for this workshop with students. Stevie Wonder once sang, “Love’s in need of love today.” His words couldn’t be more true as we face a global community struggling with war, poverty, illness, climate instability, and the rise of political authorities and governments who do not seem to be grounded in compassion or kindness. We speak about love and attempt to practice love but some of us are losing faith in the transformative power of the wish for ourselves and others to be happy. Our practice of love is in need of our renewed faith in love. We will be exploring the question of how practicing love can become a strategy that resists and undoes our experiences fear, apathy, and numbness as we attempt to live and love in a challenging world

Love, Grief, and Activism: Mindfulness in Times of Crisis
Monday January 22
4:30 – 6:00 p.m. Dana Auditorium, Sunderland Language Center
So many of us are grieving and in deep mourning for the suffering that we are perceiving in the world as well in our own situations. We do not live in a society that is comfortable with our open grieving. Community based grieving is healing and transformative. When we combine community grieving with our deep aspirations to love, then we are able to better transform our grief into wisdom and joy. This is a radical vision of bringing our full selves into the complexity of living.
Prajna's Weekly Meditation led by Lama Rod
Monday January 22
8:00 p.m. Abernethy Room, Axinn

Sponsors: Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life, Anderson Freeman Resource Center, Center for Community Engagement, Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity, Office of the Provost.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Events

Meditation vs. Detention: Empowering Youth with Mindfulness, with the Holistic Life Foundation

Sunday, January 14, 2018
4:30 pm
Wilson Hall, McCullough Student Center

For a full videorecording of the talk on Jan. 14, please click here. 

In light of Martin Luther King Jr.’s commitment to nonviolence, Holistic Life Foundation founders Ali Smith, Atman Smith, and Andy Gonzalez discuss how their work teaching contemplative practice in underserved schools in the Baltimore area is reducing disciplinary problems among students.  “The Holistic Life Foundation is doing some of the most positively transformative work happening in our country’s inner cities. While delivering an assortment of after school, mentoring, environmental education, and leadership training programs, HLF is changing the lives of the youth in their Baltimore neighborhood using a combination of yoga, mindfulness, and pure love. And their work doesn’t stop when the young people leave school, as HLF’s teacher training prepares graduates to deliver the HLF programs to other schools and neighborhoods. Andy, Atman, and Ali’s work should be a model for communities across the country.” James Gimian, Publisher, Mindful Magazine.

Recommended reading from Ali, Atman and Andy:

1. Science of Breath by Yogi Ramacharaka
2. Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda
3. The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga by Swami Vishnu-devananda
4. Johnathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
5. Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield
6. Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff
7. Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff
8. Life and Teachings of the Masters of the Far East by Baird T. Spalding
9. Discourses by Meher Baba
10. Holy Science by Sri Yukteswar
11. Path of Fire and Light Vol 1&2 by Swami Rama
12. Tao Te Ching

MLK Day Community Breakfast

Monday, January 15, 2018
8:00-9:30 am
Atwater Dining Hall

Dr. King spent his life fighting for change through community action and nonviolent protest.  In that spirit, students, faculty and staff are invited to join us in reflection and conversations about our commitments and convictions.   RSVP's are required; please sign up at go/mlk-breakfast.

Day of Service

Tuesday, January 16, 2018
1:00-5:00 pm
Middlebury High School

Hosted by the Center for Community Engagement, this Day of Service is an opportunity to reflect on what the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., means for our Middlebury community in this challenging historical moment.  All are invited to join a collaborative mural project with artist Will Kasso.  For more information and to sign up, visit go/mlkdayofservice

Kate Braestrup: Life In Words

Sunday, January 14, 2018
7:00 pm
Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society, 2 Duane Court (near Middlebury High School)

Kate Braestrup is author of the New York Times bestselling memoir, Here If You Need Me, as well as Marriage and Other Acts of Charity and Beginner's Grace: Bringing Prayer to Life, and is the Chaplain of the Maine State Game Warden Service.

Braestrup is a writer and thinker for our time. Because of her multiple identities — writer, cop, preacher, mother, spouse, community activist -- she bridges with compassion and understanding the divisions which define our world, the fracturing of our national community into absolutist, armed camps.

This event is free and open to the public. Books will be available for purchase at the event.

Her talk is sponsored by Champlain Valley Unitarian-Universalists, the Charles Scott Center for Religious and Spiritual Life, the Center for Community Engagement, the Vermont Book Shop, Middlebury Area Clergy Association, and the Living and Dying Partnership.

Parking is available at the high school.

"The Western Star"

Saturday, January 13, 2018
4:30 pm
Abernethy Reading Room, Axinn Center

An epic poem with songs celebrating the season of Epiphany and the return of the light, written and performed by Jack DesBois '15.5.  Come join in the living Biblical storytelling tradition through this transportive and uplifting retelling of the Three Kings' journey to Bethlehem. 

Refreshments will be served, and free-will donations will be collected for The Charter House Coalition's programs offering free meals and shelter in Middlebury.

Double Transition: A Conversation with Abby Stein

Thursday, January 11, 2018
4:30 – 5:30pm
McCardell Bicentennial Hall 216

Abby Stein is a Jewish educator, writer, speaker, and activist. She was born and raised in a Hasidic family in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and is a descendent of Rabbi Baal Shem Tov, the founder of Hasidic Judaism. In that world, Abby attended Yeshiva, and became a rabbi in 2011. She left the Hasidic world the following year, and came out as a trans-woman in 2015. Since then, Abby has been working to raise support and awareness for trans rights and those leaving Ultra-Orthodoxy. Her story has been covered in publications such as the New York Times, New York Post, WSJ, New York Magazine, Jewish Daily Forward, Daily Mail, The Daily Dot, Haaretz, Refinery29. She also appeared on NBC, Fox News, CNN, Huffington Post Live, ShowTime, and more. In 2016 Abby was named by The Jewish Week as one of their "36 Under 36" emerging Jewish leaders. She is currently studying gender studies and political science at Columbia University.

Co-sponsored by Hillel, the Program in Jewish Studies, MCAB Speakers Committee, Chellis House Women's Resource Center, and the Scott Center.

Lessons and Carols for Advent and Christmas

Sunday, December 10, 2017
Mead Memorial Chapel

Lessons & Carols for Advent and Christmas, an annual traditional program combining choral music, congregational singing and the biblical texts of the season, takes place on Sunday, Dec. 10, in Middlebury College's Mead Memorial Chapel.  Chaplain Laurel Macaulay Jordan '79 will officiate at this celebratory community service.  George Matthew Jr. will ring in the service with selections on the chapel carillon; and the Middlebury College Choir will perform under the direction of Jeff Buettner, Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities.

There will be two services, at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Both are free and open to the public.  Donations collected for local charities.

First Fire Party

Monday, December 11, 2017 (reading day)
4:30-6:00 pm
Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life in
Hathaway House (next to Admissions)

Take a study break and warm up by our fireplace! You are invited to a “First Fire” party in honor of the upcoming solstice and to rejuvenate before finals with warmth and snacks! Hot cocoa, chai, & S’mores.

The Howard University Gospel Choir

Sunday, November 12, 2017
2:00 pm
Town Hall Theater

Co-sponsored by the Scott Center, St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, and the Middlebury College Department of Music.

Scott Center Fall Family Weekend Events

Friday, October 13

Jumma Prayers
1:00 pm
Islamic Center, Lower Level Forest Hall
Please join members of the Muslim Student Association for their Friday prayers

Hillel Shabbat Services
5:30 pm
Everyone is welcome at the Jewish Center for a student-led Shabbat service.

Sunday, October 15

Ecumenical Christian “Double Bonus” Coffee Hour
10:00 am-noon
Stop by the Scott Center for hot and cold beverages, and a variety of scrumptious treats.  Meet Chaplain Laurie Jordan, Dean Mark Orten, and a spectrum of Christian students to learn about religious life on campus.  Why “double bonus”? Because you can come to Coffee Hour for any length of time during 2 hours and we will have way more than just coffee!

Hillel Bagel Brunch
11:00 am-12:30 pm
Jewish Center at Freeman International Center
Join students and parents for delicious food and schmoozing, and take the opportunity to meet Rabbi Danielle Stillman, our new Jewish chaplain.

40th Annual Addison County CROP Hunger Walk

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Registration begins at noon; walk begins at 1:00 p.m.
Middlebury Town Green

CROP stands for Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty.

Join hundreds of Addison County residents in a fun 2-mile walk to raise money for seven local food shelves and for hunger and sustainability projects around the world.

Call Patty Hallam at 388-1561 for a walker packet, or click here to go straight to our page online to start raising money by emailing your friends and family, or sharing via social media.

Last year, our little Addison County walk raised over $24,200 and was the highest-grossing CROP Hunger Walk in all of Vermont.  And in the top 10 out of the 84 walks in all of New England!

Note:  total amount raised as of Nov. 15 is $27,848.90, our highest total ever!

The money we raise goes to Church World Service disaster relief, education, and agricultural sustainability projects around the world, and also benefits seven Addison County food shelves:    

  • The John Graham Shelter in Vergennes
  • H.O.P.E. (Helping Overcome Poverty’s Effects)
  • Middlebury Summer Lunch Program
  • The Have-A-Heart Food Shelf in Bristol
  • Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity
  • The Vergennes Community Food Shelf
  • The Charter House Coalition (Middlebury Community Suppers)

High Holidays 5778 Schedule

Wednesday, September 20
7:00 p.m.    Evening Service at Mead Chapel
      Babysitting space in Hepburn Lounge*
Following services:  “Apples and Honey” Reception Forest East Lounge

Thursday, September 21
9:30 a.m.    Shacharit – Morning services at Mead Chapel
       Babysitting space in Hepburn Lounge*
5:00 p.m.   Tashlich Service at Otter Creek Footbridge, Marble Works side

Friday, September 22
9:30 a.m.    Shacharit – Morning Services and babysitting space at Havurah House*

Friday, September 29
6:30 p.m.    Kol Nidre at Mead Chapel
      Babysitting space in Hepburn Lounge*

Saturday, September 30
9:30 a.m.    Shacharit – Morning Service at Mead Chapel
                    Babysitting space in Hepburn Lounge*
11:15 a.m.  Yizkor – Memorial Service at Mead Chapel
5:00 p.m.    Minchah – Afternoon Service and Ne’ilah – Concluding Services at Mead Chapel
7:00 p.m.    Shofar Blowing and Havdalah at Mead Chapel
       Break-the-Fast to follow. Reservations required; contact emckay@middlebury.edu

*Babysitting space is provided, but Havurah does not provide babysitters.

Student Services/Student Activities Fair

Friday, September 22, 2017
4:30-6:00 pm
Main Quad (outside McCullough Student Center)

Look for us at the Scott Center table at the Student Services/Student Activities Fair on Sept. 22! 

Labyrinths: An Open Source Archetype for Creating Sacred Space

Thursday, September 14, 2017
7:00 pm
Axinn 229

Click here to see a short video of our beautiful new labyrinth being created!

A walking labyrinth is being constructed Sept. 14-16 at the organic garden (now known as The Knoll). Please join friends of The Knoll, the Scott Center, and the Mindfulness Initiative to welcome renowned master labyrinth designer and builder Lars Howlett for an inspiring and insightful artist's talk reflecting on ten years of experiments and explorations along life's winding path. Learn the principles for creating sacred space and how intention, design, materials, site, and alignment benefit the labyrinth and those who walk it. Lars will share stories and a slideshow from his personal projects and pilgrimages to sacred sites around the world.

If you are interested in volunteering to help build on Friday or Saturday, please click here or contact Ellen McKay, emckay@middlebury.edu

Then, on Saturday, September 16, please join us at The Knoll more events in honor of the Middlebury College Garden's 15th anniversary!

  • 10 am-noon: Labyrinth construction workshop with artist-in residence Lars Howlett
  • 7:30 pm:  Havdallah (Jewish evening prayers) and bonfire

Scott Center Open House

Monday, September 4, 2017
1:00-3:00 pm

Scott Center staff welcomes new students to Hathaway House for tours and conversation.

Charles P. Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life

135 So. Main Street
Hathaway House
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT  05753
(802) 443-5626