2011-2012 Scott Center Events

Reunion Chapel Service

Sunday, June 10, 2012

10:00 a.m.

Mead Memorial Chapel

Ecumenical Christian service led by Chaplain Laurie Jordan ‘79.


Recent Events

Bread for the Journey Christian Prayer Services

Jan. 17 and 31, Feb. 28, March 13, April 3 and 17

5:30-7:00 p.m

Freeman International Center Annex

We will begin in candlelight with a brief service of evening prayer in the Christian tradition, led by Chaplain Laurie Jordan.  We will share a simple family-style meal together following the service.  No RSVP necessary.


Israel’s Strategic Position in a Volatile Middle East

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

4:30 p.m., Robert A. Jones House

Daniel Kurtzer is Professor in Middle Eastern Policy Studies at Princeton University, and former Ambassador of the United States to Israel (2001-2005) and Egypt (1997-2001).

Sponsored by Rohatyn Center for International Affairs, the Department of Political Science, the Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life, and the Jewish Studies Program.


Holocaust Heroism and Remembrance Day Commemoration

Sunday, April 22, 2012

4:00-5:00 p.m.

Mead Memorial Chapel

Join us in Mead Chapel for a service of commemoration of Yom HaShoah, Holocaust and Heroism Remembrance Day.

Co-sponsored by Middlebury College Hillel, The Addison County Jewish Congregation: Havurah, The Middlebury Area Clergy Association, and the Chaplain’s Office.


Easter Sunrise Service

Sunday, April 8, 2012

6:00-6:30 a.m.

Alumni Stadium (Kirk Alumni Center in case of rain)

Ecumenical Christian service led by Chaplain Laurie Jordan.  All are welcome.


Passover Seder

Friday, April 6, 2012

6:00-9:00 p.m.

Atwater Dining Hall

RSVP’s are required; please call Ellen McKay at 802-443-5626, or email emckay@middlebury.edu.

Presented by Middlebury College Hillel, The Chaplain’s Office, and

Havurah—The Jewish Community of Middlebury.


Musing at the Museum: Alexandria’s Library and the Legacy of its Bible

Larry Yarbrough, Department of Religion

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

4:30-6:00 p.m.

Franklin Environmental Center, The Orchard-Hillcrest 103

Professor Yarbrough, Tillinghast Professor of Religion, teaches biblical studies (both Jewish and Christian scriptures), the origins of Christianity, and religion and literature. He is the author of Not Like the Gentiles: Marriage Rules in the Letters of Paul and co-editor of The Social World of the Earliest Christians. Professor Yarbrough has been at Middlebury College since 1983.

Part of the Carol Rifelj Faculty Lecture Series.  Contact mprice@middlebury.edu for more information.


Ash Wednesday Services

February 22, 2012

5:00-5:45 p.m.

Mead Memorial Chapel

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


Scott Center Film Series

7:00 p.m.

Axinn 232

Join us on Wednesday evenings during J-term for three great films.

January 11:  The Dhamma Brothers

(USA, 2008, 76 min.)

An overcrowded maximum-security prison — the end of the line in Alabama’s correctional system — is dramatically changed by the influence of an ancient meditation program.

January 18:  Father G and The Home Boys

(John Bohm, USA, 2007)

Documentary film about Jesuit priest Father Greg Boyle and his Homeboy Industries in battle-scarred Boyle Heights, Los Angeles — working for over twenty years to help kids prone to gang violence prepare for a future free of deadly turf wars and premature funerals.

January 25: Arranged

(USA, Diane Crespo/Stefan Schaefer, 2007, 89 min.)

Centers on the friendship between an Orthodox Jewish woman and a Muslim woman who meet as first-year teachers at a public school in Brooklyn. Over the course of the year they learn they share much in common — not least of which is that they are both going through the process of arranged marriages.


Lessons and Carols for Advent and Christmas

Sunday, December 11, 2011, 4:00 and 7:00 pm

Mead Memorial Chapel

40th Anniversary Celebration!

Lessons and Carols for Advent and Christmas has been a special Addison County tradition for 40 years. It is celebrated in historic Mead Chapel on the Middlebury College campus on the first Sunday in December. People come from all over the county and state to participate in this joyous community event, filling the chapel for both the 4 o’clock and 7 o’clock services. It offers an opportunity for the entire community to sing traditional Christmas music, enjoy the beautiful voices of the Middlebury College Choir and remember the original meaning of the holiday season.

There is no admission fee, but each year generous donations are collected for HOPE, Elderly Services, and Addison County Home Health and Hospice.

This year, the Lessons and Carols service will be held on Sunday, December 11th. Scriptural readings — or lessons — are read by Middlebury College students, staff, and faculty. Interspersed between the lessons, Advent and Christmas music is performed by the Middlebury College Chapel Choir, under the direction of Jeff Buettner, or sung by the congregation. College Organist and Professor of Music Emeritus Emory Fanning provides the accompaniment as well as music before and after the service. The carillon atop the chapel welcomes people with the sound of bells ringing down the hillside. Middlebury College Chaplain Laurie Jordan leads the service.

The service is based on the Advent Service of Nine Lessons and Carols that has been celebrated every year at King’s College, Cambridge, England since 1918 and is broadcast to millions worldwide on Christmas morning through BBC World Service Radio. It was originally planned by Eric Milner-White, the Dean of King’s College Chapel. He had been a World War I British army chaplain, and became a liturgical pioneer who was convinced that the Church of England needed more imaginative worship. Though the music changes each year, the backbone of the service – the prayers and lessons – has remained virtually unchanged since those days.

The first Middlebury service took place in 1971, under the direction of Emory Fanning and Chaplain Charles P. Scott. They were convinced that the college’s music department was up to the challenge and that the community would welcome this colorful and moving celebration. One of the readers that first year was a Middlebury College senior named James H. Douglas (later Vermont Governor), who read the Nativity lesson from the second chapter of Luke. Jim will read again on this 40th anniversary.

Middlebury’s Lessons and Carols was made famous by two public television specials.  Christmas in Vermont: A Celebration of Lessons and Carols was filmed in 1984. And in 1988, A Vermont Christmas, narrated by actor Burgess Meredith and filmed on location in Middlebury and on the College’s Bread Loaf campus, was produced by Vermont Public Television.  The productions were rebroadcast, over several years, by over 200 public television stations nationally.

Please call the Middlebury College Chaplain’s Office at 443-5626 with any questions.


Tibetan Buddhist Meditation

Friday, December 2, 2011

3:30-4:30 p.m.

Abernethy Room, Axinn Center

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

Lama Tenzin will talk about Tibetan Buddhism and meditation and how they can lead to deep inner happiness.

Co-sponsored by the Chaplain’s Office, the Religious Life Council, and Prajna Student Meditation group.


Bread for the Journey Christian Prayer Services

Tuesday evenings: Sept. 20, Oct. 4 and 18, Nov. 1, 15 and 29

5:30-7:00 p.m

Freeman International Center Annex

We will begin in candlelight with a brief service of evening prayer in the Christian tradition, led by Chaplain Laurie Jordan.  We will share a simple family-style meal together following the service.


Hillel Academic Forum Series Lecture

Tamar Mayer, Professor of Geography

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

7:30 p.m.

104 McCardell Bicentennial Hall

Professor Mayer will be discussing her experiences as an Israeli professor and the influence of her background on her work in geography.


Film Screening: “For the Bible Tells Me So”

Thursday, October 27, 2011

7:00 p.m.

Axinn 232

Through the experiences of five very normal, Christian, American families – including those of former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt and Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson – we discover how people of faith handle the realization of having a gay child or family member.

Offering healing, clarity and understanding to anyone caught in the crosshairs of scripture and sexual identity, this landmark film “boldly takes on a loaded topic and examines it both intellectually and emotionally; the result may well leave you blinking away a few tears.” (Seattle Times)

“Confronts, with whimsy and hellfire, the clash between religion and homosexuality. (New York Magazine)

“An incredibly powerful film everybody should see.  It restores your faith in people.”  (National Public Radio)

Co-sponsored by MOQA (Middlebury Open Queer Alliance), the Religious Life Council, and The Chaplain’s Office.


Diwali Celebration

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Atwater Dining Hall

Pooja at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:00 p.m.  Dinner by reservation only; please RSVP to hsa@middlebury.edu.


The Promise and Practice of Mindfulness

lecture by Florence Meleo-Meyer

Friday, October 21, 2011

4:30 p.m. lecture

229 Axinn

Mindfulness is an innate human capacity to pay wise attention to what is happening in one’s life.  It leads to a deeper, more compassionate and skillful connection with one’s gifts, challenges and choices.  Mindfulness might best be described as our capacity for moment-to-moment, non-judgmental awareness.  In its most fundamental dimensions, mindfulness is a highly developed form of attention training – an instrumental method for learning to focus, sustain, deploy and refine attention.

Florence Meleo-Meyer, M.S., M.A., is a senior teacher at the world-renowned Stress Reduction Program at the Center for Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts Medical School.  She directs Oasis, the Institute for Professional Training, as well as the Mindfulness in Education Project.  With depth, clarity, humor and warmth, she has taught mindfulness to students, educators and professionals in medicine, psychology and business in the U.S. and abroad. 

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workshop participants will leave these Saturday workshops (one for faculty and staff, and one for students) with mindfulness practices which can immediately be incorporated into busy days.  Guided-practice CDs to deepen practice will be provided to all Saturday workshop participants.  We will cultivate the following:


Mental stability



Responding rather than reacting


Additionally, we will  learn and practice:

Basic mindfulness meditation skills and theory;

Current information on stress psychology and physiology experienced directly;

How “being awake” in the moment can impact our experience with stress, self-esteem and social interactions.

For Middlebury College Faculty and Staff: Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011

9:00 a.m.-12 noon, 229 Axinn Center

For Middlebury College students: Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011

1:00-4:00 p.m., 229 Axinn Center

Registration is required for the workshops, but not for the Friday lecture; please contact Ellen McKay to register, emckay@middlebury.edu. Refreshments will be served on Saturday.


Fall Family Weekend Events sponsored by the Chaplain’s Office

Fall Family Weekend Chapel Service

Sunday, October 16, 2011

10:00 a.m.

Mead Memorial Chapel

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

Fall Family Weekend Hillel Bagel Brunch

Sunday, October 16, 2011

11:00 a.m.

Jewish Center at Freeman International Center


Happiness, Work and Stress

Lecture by John de Graaf and Laura Musikanski

Monday, October 10, 2011

7:00 p.m.

220 Bicentennial Hall

Gallup’s international happiness surveys find the U.S. to be among the nations with the highest self-reported stress in the world and the lowest scores in “time balance.”  The Happiness Initiative (www.happycounts.org) seeks to find solutions to that problem and start a conversation about expanding our use of the Gross Domestic Product to wider measures of wellbeing.  John de Graaf, of Take Back Your Time and his colleague Laura Musikanski of Sustainable Seattle — co-leaders of The Happiness Initiative — will speak on their work to bring balance back to Americans’ lives.  They will also share some great concrete activities leading up to Pursuit of Happiness Day on April 13, 2012 (Thomas Jefferson’s birthday).

John de Graaf is an independent documentary filmmaker and is Editor of Take Back Your Time: Fighting Overwork and Time Poverty in America. He is the co-author of Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic (2001), now published in nine languages. His most recent book — What’s the Economy for Anyway? — is due out in November.

Sponsored by the Ad-Hoc Committee on Campus Stress and The Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life, with generous support from a Work/Life Mini-Grant from ACE/Sloan Advisory Committee on Faculty Career Flexibility.


2011 High Holidays


Wednesday, September 28

7:00 p.m.    Evening Service at Mead Chapel

Following services:  “Apples and Honey” Reception in Forest East Lounge

Thursday, September 29

9:30 a.m.    Shacharit – Morning services at Mead Chapel

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

Friday, September 30

9:30 a.m.    Shacharit – Morning Services and babysitting space at Havurah House


Friday, October 7

6:30 p.m.    Kol Nidre at Mead Chapel

Saturday, October 8

9:30 a.m.    Shacharit – Morning Service at Mead Chapel

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: Atwater Dining Hall.  RSVP required: please contact emckay@middlebury.edu


34th Annual Addison County CROP Hunger Walk

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Middlebury Town Green

Registration begins at 11:30 a.m.

Walk begins at 1:00 p.m.

CROP stands for Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty.

Join hundreds of Addison County residents in a fun 2.4-mile walk to raise money for seven local 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.

Fundraising update:  as of November 30, our total amount raised is a record-breaking $25,230!


Film Screening:

“Renewal: Stories from America’s Religious-Environmental Movement”

Monday, September 26, 2011

220 McCardell Bicentennial Hall

7:00 p.m.

Producers Marty Ostrow and Terry Kay Rockefeller’s documentary is inspired by the many Americans who are answering the spiritual call to confront the enormous challenges of environmental degradation. From within their Christian, Jewish, Buddhist and Muslim tradition, these men and women are finding ways to become caretakers of the earth. With great courage, they are re-examining what it means to be human and how we choose to live on this planet. The religious-environmental movement grows as people from diverse traditions work to build a sustainable future. “Renewal” is their story.

“The religious-environmental movement is potentially key to dealing with the greatest problem humans have ever faced, and it has never been captured with more breadth and force than in ‘Renewal.’  I hope this movie moves many more people off the fence and into action.”  Bill McKibben, environmentalist and author of The End of Nature.

Producer Marty Ostrow will be on hand following the film for discussion.


Commemoration of the Tenth Anniversary of the 9-11 Attacks

Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011

7:30 p.m. on the Middlebury Town Green.

Readings, prayers, and music to commemorate the events of Sept. 11, 2001.  Please call the Chaplain’s Office at 443-5626 for more information.  Sponsored by the Middlebury Area Clergy Association.


Staff Council Learning Lunch — Judaism

Led by Rabbi Ira Schiffer

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

12:00 noon, Warner Hemicycle

Starting about a year ago, Staff Council followed up on the recommendations of some staff members that Staff Council help employees further develop current interests or stimulate new ones by providing opportunities to benefit from the stellar learning resources available on campus and nearby. One of the ideas proposed was to have a series of talks that would each focus on a different religion.

Staff Council is very pleased that Rabbi Ira Schiffer has agreed to help us kick off this ongoing series by presenting an overview of Judaism.

Please BRING YOUR LUNCH, and join us at noon on July 27th in Warner Hemicycle.


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