2009-2010 Scott Center Events

Reunion Weekend Chapel Service

Sunday, June 6, 2010

9:30 a.m., Mead Memorial Chapel

  Ecumenical Christian service led by Chaplain Laurel Macaulay Jordan ‘79.


Hillel Reunion Shabbat Services, Coffee and Danish

Shabbat services will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, June 4, at the Jewish Center, Freeman International Center.  Please join us.

On Sunday, June 6, please join Hillel students past and present for coffee and danish at the Jewish Center at Freeman International Center.


Dartmouth Gospel Choir

Saturday, May 1, 2010

5:00 p.m.

Mead Memorial Chapel

The Dartmouth Gospel Choir, a 50-person ensemble with 10 live musicians will enrich the Middlebury Campus with an hour of uplifting sensational sound. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted for the Vermont Food Pantry and for Haiti relief efforts. Enjoy Mediterranean delights and beverages at the post-concert reception, which will take place in Carr Hall.

Brown-Bag Panel Discussion: The History of Gospel Music and its Far-Reaching Effects on Secular Music
April 30 at 12:00 p.m., Carr Hall
Facilitated by: François Clemmons, Mary Kay Cavazos, Larry Hamberlin, and Reilly Steel ’11

Sponsored by Brainerd Commons, The Dean of the College, The African American Alliance, the CCSRE, The Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life, PALANA, Prayz, The Queer Studies House, and the Student Government Association.


Faisal Alam, “Hidden Voices: The Lives of Gay Muslims”

Thursday, April 29, 2010, 7:00 p.m.

Franklin Environmental Center 103 - (Hillcrest)

Faisal is a queer-identified Muslim activist of Pakistani descent and the founder and former director of Al-Fatiha, an organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex & questioning (LGBTIQ) Muslims, and their allies. The mission of Al-Fatiha is to support and empower LGBTIQ Muslims seeking ways to integrate their faith and their sexual orientation or gender identity. His work has been featured in queer and mainstream media including The New York Times, BBC World News, Al-Hayat, and The Washington Post.

Sponsored by Middlebury Open Queer Alliance (MOQA), Middlebury College Activities Board (MCAB), The Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life, Wonnacott Commons, Ross Commons, and the Islamic Society of Middlebury College.


Charlotte Gordon, “Why Myth Matters: A Personal and Literary Look at the Story of Abraham, Sarah and Hagar”

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

7:00 p.m., 229 Axinn

Charlotte Gordon is a writer of poetry, non-fiction and fiction. She began her writing life as a poet and has published two books of poetry, When the Grateful Dead Came to St. Louis and Two Girls on a Raft. Her biography of the 17th century poet, Anne Bradstreet, Mistress Bradstreet: The Untold Life of America’s First Poet, (Little, Brown, 2005) won a New England Book Award for non-fiction.

Her latest book, The Woman Who Named God: Abraham’s Dilemma and the Birth of Three Faiths (Little Brown, 2009), retells the famous Biblical story of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar.

Charlotte has been featured on NPR’s “Weekend Edition” with Scott Simon. Her poetry has won many prizes, including a Robert Penn Warren Award. She has been invited to read her work at various colleges, schools, and cultural institutions, including Radcliffe College, University of New Hampshire, Salem State College, University of Massachusetts and The Salem Atheneum. She has also given presentations to historical societies, churches, temples, and book clubs, from Georgia to Wyoming.

Charlotte received an undergraduate degree in English and American Literature from Harvard University and a PhD from Boston University. A post-doctoral fellow at Boston University, she taught Religion and Literature in the Department of Theology and from 1999-2002 was a lecturer in Elie Wiesel’s seminars, The Literature of Memory.

Since 1986, Charlotte has taught creative writing, history, literature, religion, and theater at both the college and secondary school level. From 1992-2002 she was the Director of the Writing Program at The Waring School in Beverly, MA. She currently teaches at Endicott College in Beverly, MA and conducts writing workshops for adults from her home in Gloucester, MA.

Co-sponsored by Hillel, Women and Gender Studies, Brainerd Commons, Jewish Studies, and The Chaplain’s Office.


The Twenty-Second Annual Hannah A. Quint Lectureship in Jewish Studies

James Kugel, “How to Read the Bible”

Sunday, April 18, 7:30 p.m.

216 Bicentennial Hall


James L. Kugel, from 1982 to 2003 the Starr Professor of Hebrew Literature, at Harvard University and now the Director of the Institute for the History of the Jewish Bible at Bar Ilan University, will deliver the 23rd Annual Hannah A. Quint Lecture in Jewish Studies. Professor Kugel is the author of 11 books in Biblical studies and the history of its interpretation in Western religious traditions, most recently of How to Read the Bible: A Guide to Scripture, Then and Now (Free Press, 2007).


Taizé Candlelight Prayer

Saturday, April 17, 2010

5:00 p.m., Mead Memorial Chapel

A candlelight service of prayer in the tradition of the Taizé Community led by Chaplain Laurie Jordan and featuring several harpists from across Vermont. 

During any given week in the summer as many as 7,000 young adults from across the globe make a pilgrimage to the village of Taizé in the Burgundy region of France to worship and learn with the brothers of the Community of Taizé. 

Founded in France during World War II by the Swiss Reformed pastor Roger Schütz, later known simply as Brother Roger, the Taizé Community now consists of a little over a hundred brothers, from Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant traditions.

Over the years, the brothers have developed a distinctive style of prayer that employs repeated chant verses in many languages, interspersed with readings from scripture and a significant period of silence.
The monastic order has a strong devotion to peace and justice through prayer and meditation.  Dedicated to Christ and the Gospel, they seek ways to go with others to the wellsprings of trust and hope.

Co-sponsored by the Chaplain’s Office, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Newman Catholic Student Association, and the Christian Orthodox Association.


“Consciousness, Computation, and Animal Minds”

Lecture by Charles Taliaferro

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

4:30 p.m., Axinn 229

This talk will explore how studying animal minds can teach us something important about consciousness and computers. Taliaferro will present critical objections to current materialist accounts of consciousness, and defend the merits of integrative dualism. 

Charles Taliaferro is the author of Consciousness and the Mind of God (Cambridge University Press), Contemporary Philosophy of Religion (Blackwell), Evidence and Faith: Philosophy and Religion Since the Seventeenth Century (Cambridge University Press), Dialogues About God (Rowman and Littlefield), Philosophy of Religion (One World, forthcoming), and The Golden Cord; A Short Book on Eternity (University of Notre Dame Press, forthcoming). Taliaferro is Professor of Philosophy at St. Olaf’s College in Northfield, Minnesota.

Co-sponsored by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Brainerd Commons, the Computer Science department, The Department of Religion, The Department of Philosophy, and The Chaplain’s Office.



Holocaust Remembrance Service

Sunday, April 11, 2010

4:00 p.m.

Mead Memorial Chapel

A service commemorating the 65th anniversary of the liberation of the camps and the end of World War II.  Co-sponsored by Middlebury College Hillel, The Addison County Jewish Community — Havurah, The Middlebury Area Clergy Association, and the Chaplain’s Office.


Easter Sunrise Service

Sunday, April 4, 2010

6:00 a.m.

Alumni Stadium

Sponsored by the Chaplain’s Office, the United Methodist Churches of Middlebury, East Middlebury and Ripton, and the Congregational Churches of Middlebury and Weybridge. 

If the weather is really frigid or if it’s snowing, we will meet at Kirk Alumni Center.


Passover Seder
Monday, March 29, 2010
6:00 p.m.
Atwater Dining Hall

RSVP’s required; please call Ellen McKay at 802-443-5626. Presented by Middlebury College Hillel, The Chaplain’s Office, and Havurah—The Jewish Community of Middlebury.


The Chichester Psalms, by Leonard Bernstein

Performance: Sunday, March 7, 2010, Mead Memorial Chapel

Discussion: Thursday, March 4, 2010, Chateau Grand Salon

College choirs from Middlebury College, St. Michael’s College and Castleton State College join to present this masterwork by Leonard Bernstein in his orchestration for for chorus, soloists, harp, organ and percussion.  Sung in Hebrew, the piece is challenging vocally and instrumentally with vivid and intensely dramatic interpretation of the highly emotional Psalm texts. The concert also features each collaborating choir in solo performances. Concerts are also given at Grace Church in Rutland (Friday March 5, 7:30 PM), and the Chapel of St. Michael’s College in Colchester (Saturday March 6, 3:00 PM).  Admission is free.

Join Choral Director Jeff Buettner and Rabbi Ira Schiffer in a conversation about the piece on Thursday, March 4 at 12:30 p.m. in the Chateau Grand Salon.  Cookies and coffee will be served.

Ira and Jeff will present musical and textual connections in this fascinating and exciting piece, which was commissioned with an expressed interest that it contain “a hint of ‘West Side Story’ in the music.” A discussion of the Psalms will be accompanied by selections of the music, including audio and video recordings and a brief performance by members of the College Choir.


Panel discussion: “Unveiling the Mystery of the Hijab”

Thursday, February 25, 2010

7:00 p.m., Robert A. Jones Conference Room

Three young Middlebury women, Hafsa Ahmad (‘12), Mahnaz Razaie (‘13) and Mariam Boxwala (‘13), will discuss their experiences wearing hijab, the veil worn by Muslim women. Professors Justin Stearns and Febe Armanios will be speaking about the historical and religious backgrounds of the hijab and Muslim women. The students will be discussing how it is to wear hijab in America post-9/11, their experiences as “hijabis” abroad and in Middlebury, and dealing with misconceptions of Muslim women. After the panel discussion, there will be an open question and answer session for the panelists and professors. Sponsored by the Middlebury Islamic Society of Middlebury College, Chellis House Women’s Resource Center, and The Chaplain’s Office.


Gershom Gorenberg, “Accidental Empire: Israel’s Settlement Dilemma”
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Dana Auditorium
8:00 p.m.

Gershom Gorenberg is an American-born Israeli historian, journalist specializing in Middle Eastern politics and the interaction of religion and politics. He is currently a senior correspondent for The American Prospect, which is a monthly American political magazine. He self-identifies as “a left-wing, skeptical Orthodox Zionist Jew.” Some of his books include: The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount, and Seventy Facets: A Commentary on the Torah from the Pages of the Jerusalem Report.

Co-sponsored by J Street U (“The voice of pro-Israel, pro-peace activism and education on campus”), MCAB Speakers Committee, Atwater Commons, International Student Organisation, Middle Eastern Studies Department, the Department of Religion, and the Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life.


Winter Term Book Discussion:
Saving Darwin:  How to Be a Christian and Believe in Evolution, by Karl Giberson

Wednesday evenings, January 6, 13 and 20
5:30-7:00 p.m. (dinner arrangements and locations TBA)

Facilitated by Stephen Oster, Associate in Science Instruction for Chemistry/Biochemistry, with Chaplain Laurie Jordan and Gus Jordan, Dean of Students.

Although the book is aimed at Christians, the discussion is open to anyone with an interest in learning more about the dialogue between science and religion.  This book provides a very readable cultural history of American Christianity, in particular in relation to Darwin’s contributions to science.

If you want to sign up for this discussion or you have questions about the format or the book, contact Chaplain Jordan at ljordan@middlebury.edu.  The books will be available at $5 each and will arrive early the week of December 7th for people who would like to take it home for the break.

This sensitively written and convincingly argued book succeeds in respecting both religious beliefs and scientific facts in discussing theories surrounding the creation of the world … A truly courageous work. Library Journal


Lessons and Carols for Advent and Christmas

Sunday, December 6, 2009
4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Mead Memorial Chapel

Laurel Macaulay Jordan ‘79, College Chaplain, presiding
Middlebury College Choir, Jeff Buettner, conductor
Emory Fanning, organ

This traditional program combines choral music, congregational singing, and biblical texts of the season. Free. Donations collected for local charities.



Interreligious Dialogue as a Tool for Peace-Building in Israel-Palestine lecture

by Ophir Yarden

Thursday, November 12, 2009

12:30 p.m.

216 Bicentennial Hall

Ophir Yarden was born in the United States and immigrated to Israel in 1978. He is a specialist in non-formal Jewish education and the use of Israel as an educational resource, and is director of the Center for Interreligious Encounter with Israel at the Interreligious Coordinating Council in Israel (ICCI) in Jerusalem. He serves as Secretary-General of IJCIR, the Israel Jewish Council for Interreligious Relations.

Mr. Yarden is professor of Jewish and Israel studies at Brigham Young University’s Jerusalem center and lectures widely elsewhere. He has taught at several other Jerusalem institutions including Hebrew University and the Hebrew Union College. He conducts seminars in Israel for Jewish professionals from the Diaspora and teaches in Israel’s national tour guides courses, and lectures regularly at Christian seminaries.

His research interests center on Jewish identity and its changes over history, and he has published several articles on civil religion in Israel. He recently returned from three semesters in Stockholm where he served as the Scholar-in-Residence of PAIDEIA: The European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden.



2009 Charles P. Scott Lecture:

The Enduring Significance of the U.N. Declaration on Human Rights, with Special Attention to the Problem of the ‘Defamation of Religion’

Professor David Little, Dunphy Professor of the Practice in Religion, Ethnicity, and International Conflict at Harvard University

Monday, October 26, 2009
4:30 p.m.
Dana Auditorium

David Little is an expert on comparative religious ethics, human rights, and international affairs. He worked for years at the United States Institute of Peace, where he participated in a long-range study of religion, nationalism, and global intolerance. During his time at the USIP, he authored two volumes on religious intolerance and global violence, including one that looked specifically at the situation in Sri Lanka. More recently he has been involved in intellectual apologies for the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights against both philosophical skeptics and criticism from non-western, traditionally religious societies.

Sponsored by the Department of History.  Please contact cmbarret@middlebury.edu for more information.




Alan Dershowitz vs. Dennis Prager:

The Left, the Right and Judaism in America

Wednesday October 8, 2009
8:00 p.m.
Axinn 220

Live-streamed webcast of the debate held at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, broadcast around the country.  “Two of the nation’s most provocative voices on issues surrounding Judaism and the Middle East conflict come together for a can’t-miss event. Students can watch as they debate Zionism, democracy, torture, social justice, the current administration and other pressing issues.”

Sponsored by Middlebury College Hillel.



Fall Family Weekend Chapel Service

Sunday, October 4, 2009
10:00 a.m.
Mead Memorial Chapel
Ecumenical Christian worship service led by Chaplain Laurel Macaulay Jordan ‘79

Fall Family Weekend Bagel Brunch

Sunday, October 4, 2009
11:00 a.m.
Jewish Center at Freeman International Center



War and Torture Aren’t Working:

Thinking About Alternatives

Tom Driver and Anne Barstow

Monday, November 9, 2009

4:30 p.m.

216 Bicentennial Hall

Anne L. Barstow is Professor of European History (retired) at the Old Westbury campus of the State University of New York. Her books include War’s Dirty Secret: Rape, Prostitution, and other Crimes Against Women and Witchcraze: A New History of the European Witch Hunts and Joan of Arc: Heretic, Mystic, Shaman; She is the founder and director of the (unarmed) Accompaniment Program for endangered leaders of the Presbyterian Church of Colombia. She has twice served as Chairperson of the Board of Witness for Peace (WFP). She has led many delegations to Colombia, Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, Chiapas (Mexico), and Haiti. Both she and Tom Driver serve on the National Committee of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship. They take part in the annual protests against the School of the Americas at Ft. Benning, Georgia.

Tom F. Driver is Professor of Theology and Culture Emeritus at Union Theological Seminary in New York. He has also been a theater critic, author, and filmmaker. In retirement he has devoted himself to volunteer work with Witness for Peace, the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, and the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. He has photographed and edited two videos about the United States’ contribution to the violence in Colombia in South America, scripting and narrating these together with Anne Barstow. His books include Liberating Rites: Understanding the Transformative Power of Ritual and Romantic Quest and Modern Query: A History of the Modern Theater; and Christ in a Changing World: Toward an Ethical Christology.

Co-sponsored by the Quaker Student Group.



Homecoming Weekend Chapel Service

Sunday, October 18, 2009
10:00 a.m.
Mead Memorial Chapel

Ecumenical Christian worship service led by Chaplain Laurel Macaulay Jordan ‘79.



Addison County CROP Hunger Walk

Sunday, October 4, 2009
Middlebury Town Green
Registrations begins at 11:30 a.m.
Walk begins at 1:00 p.m.

Join Weybridge author and professor Julia Alvarez, this year’s Honorary CROP Hunger Walk Chair, in a fun 2.4-mile walk to raise money for seven Addison County food shelves and for hunger and sustainability projects around the world. 

Call Patty Hallam at 802-388-1561 for a walker packet, or go online at churchworldservice.org to start raising money on the web.

Update:  as of December 1, we have raised over $22,000!



High Holidays 5770 Schedule
September 2009

Rosh Hashanah

Friday, September 18
7:00 p.m. Evening Service at Mead Chapel
Babysitting space in Hepburn Lounge*
8:30 p.m. “Apples and Honey” Reception in Forest East Lounge

Saturday, September 19
9:30 a.m. Shacharit – Morning services at Mead Chapel Babysitting space in Hepburn Lounge *

Sunday, September 20
9:30 a.m. Shacharit – Morning Services and babysitting space at Havurah House*

5:00 p.m. Tashlich Service at Otter Creek Footbridge, Marble Works side

Yom Kippur

Sunday, September 27
6:30 p.m. Kol Nidre at Mead Chapel
Babysitting space in Forest West Lounge *

Monday, September 28
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
6:45 p.m. Shofar Blowing and Havdalah at Mead Chapel
7:00 p.m. Break-the-Fast in McCullough Social Space

* Babysitting space is being offered. Please check specific location for each service. If interested in sharing a babysitter, please call Karen Lefkoe at 388-3105. Havurah is not providing babysitters.




Tibetan Buddhist Philosophy and Meditation, with Lama Tenzin Dhonden, Peace Emissary for His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Friday, September 18, 2009
3:00 p.m.
Abernathy Reading Room, Axinn Center

Lama Tenzin will talk about Tibetan Buddhism and meditation and how they can lead to deep inner happiness.  He will discuss the Six Paramitas — generosity, ethics, patience, wisdom, effort and meditation — and how they enhance daily living

Co-sponsored by the Office of the Chaplain, Prajna Student Meditation Group, the Religious Life Council, The Department of Religion, and meditation instructor Chessy Kelley.


Charles P. Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life
46 South Street
Middlebury, VT 05753