2018-19 Scott Center Events

Reunion 2019 Scott Center Events

Friday, June 7
Islamic Prayer Services/Friday Jumma
1:00-2:00 pm
Islamic Center, Forest Hall Lower Level
Meet Saifa Hussain, our new Muslim Advisor and Associate Chaplain

Friday, June 7
Hillel Friday Evening Shabbat Service
5:30-6:30 pm
Jewish Center, Freeman International Center
Associate Chaplain Rabbi Danielle Stillman will lead a brief Shabbat service. All are invited.

Saturday, June 8
Snapshot of Spiritual & Religious Life on Campus
2-3 pm
Mitchell Green Lounge
Join the staff of the Charles P. Scott Center for Spiritual & Religious Life to discuss how the Center supports and guides students.

Sunday, June 9
Sunday Morning Christian Worship with Reunion Choir
10-11 am
Mead Memorial Chapel
The Rev. Mark R. Orten, Dean of Spiritual & Religious Life and Director of the Charles P. Scott Center, with the Alumni Choir conducted by Jeff G. Buettner, Professor of Music.

Sunday, June 9
Hillel Bagel Brunch
10:30 am-12:30 pm
Jewish Center at the Freeman International Center


Sacred Harp Singing Group

1:00-3:00 pm
Mitchell Green Lounge
First Sundays of the month:
October 7, 2018
November 4, 2018
December 2, 2018
January 6, 2019
February 3, 2019
March 3, 2019
April 7, 2019
May 5, 2019
June 2, 2019

Middlebury Shape-Note Singers sing America’s oldest music, now sung around the world. Sacred Harp singing is a traditional style of four-part, a cappella, social and spiritual, community-based, shape-note singing. The music is powerful, moving, sublime and raucous, ancient and haunting.  Loaner songbooks are available. First Sunday of every month, 1:00–3:00 pm.  All are welcome!

Sponsored by the Scott Center for Religious and Spiritual Life and the MusicFor more information, please contact David Rosenberg, rosenber@middlebury.edu.


Recent Events

Tuesday Tea Time with the Chaplains


4:30-5:30 pm
The Scott Center in Hathaway House

Come enjoy some delicious teas from Stone Leaf Tea House, along with various nibbles and casual conversation.  Totally unprogrammed social time — and Ellen will be available to solve your knitting problems as well!


Wisdom Wednesdays

Wednesdays, 12:15-12:45 pm
Mead Chapel

A half-hour midweek gathering for sharing poetry and literature, music and silence.  Led by Dean of Spiritual and Religious Life Mark R. Orten.


Yom Hashoah Gathering

Thursday, May 2, 2019
5-6 pm
Mead Chapel

We gather to remember the victims of the Holocaust through poetry, music, personal story and ritual.


Building a Grassroots Movement

May 2, 2019
7:00-8:30 pm
Robert A. Jones conference room

After a stranger aggressively tried to remove her hijab, the 16-year-old Rana Abdelhamid ‘15 (who happens to be a first-degree black belt) began teaching self-defense to women and girls in a community center basement. But she realized that she didn’t want the class to focus on fear — instead, she wanted her students to experience the class as an exercise in mental and physical well-being. That one class has evolved into Malikah, a grassroots organization spanning 17 cities in 12 countries that offers security and self-defense training that’s specific to wherever a person may live and how they walk through the world. During this session Rana will be sharing her experience in building a grassroots movement and why you should start one too.

Self Defense Class

May 2, 12:00-1:30 pm

Rana Abdelhamid ’15, an internationally recognized human rights advocate with a black belt in karate, returns to Middlebury where she earned her bachelor’s degree in international politics and economics. She then earned a master’s degree in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School public. Currently, Abdelhamid works for Google’s central brand team for Google Cloud. While a student, she founded the nonprofit Malikah, which is aimed at supporting women’s empowerment through self-defense, entrepreneurship, and organized trainings.

She will teach a self-defense class focused on gender and race-based violence. Register at go/selfdefensewithrana

Co-sponsored by The Scott Center for Spiritual & Religious Life, Political Science, Gender Sexuality and Feminism Studies, The Innovation Hub, Health and Wellness Education, Sociology, and Anthropology.


Easter Sunrise Service

Sunday, April 21, 2019
6:00-6:45 am (note time correction)
Alumni Stadium (Kirk Alumni Center in case of bad weather)

Ecumenical Christian service sponsored by the Scott Center for Spiritual & Religious Life, the United Methodist Churches of Middlebury and East Middlebury, and the Congregational Churches of Middlebury, Cornwall, Bridport, and Weybridge. All are welcome at the service, and at the post-service breakfast at the Weybridge Congregational Church (at which donations will be gratefully accepted). Dress warmly and enjoy the sunrise!

Rainsite: Kirk Alumni Center


Passover Seder

Friday, April 19, 2019
6:00-9:00 pm
Atwater Dining Hall

You are warmly invited to celebrate the Festival of Spring, Matzah and Freedom!  We will hold the first seder together at Atwater Dining Hall beginning at 6:00 pm on Friday, April 19th.  To ensure that we have enough food, it is very important to rsvp with this form no later than Sunday, April 14th.

Our Passover Seder is generously supported by an endowment from Catherine Talerman P’16 and Henri Talerman P’16 in honor of Rabbi Ira Schiffer.


“Impacting Social Policy in Changing Times”

Spring Break Trip Slideshow

Wednesday, April 10, 2019
4:30-5:30 pm
Chateau Grand Salon

Come hear about the Scott Center’s alternative spring break trip to Washington DC, “Impacting Social Policy in Changing Times.”  

We’ll have a slide show, reflections from students on the trip, and refreshments.


Jewish Refugees in Israeli Camps: Iraqi Jews in the 1950s

Thursday, April 4, 2019
4:30-6:00 pm
Axinn Center 229

In this talk, Professor Orit Bashkin (the University of Chicago) will discuss her new book Impossible Exodus: Iraqi Jews in Israel (Stanford University Press, 2017). Professor Bashkin’s book is the co-winner of the 2018 Nikki Keddie Book Award from the Middle East Studies Association.

The lecture will relate the experience of tens of thousands of Arabic-speaking Iraqi Jews who migrated to Israel between 1949 and 1951, and will survey their struggle for resettlement and civil rights during the 1950s, as well as the discrimination they faced from the Israeli government and Ashkenazi Jews.

This talk is sponsored by the History, Arabic, and Religion Departments, the Jewish Studies Program (the Aquinnah Fund), and the Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life.


2019 Scott Center Alternative Spring Break Trip to Washington DC: Impacting Social Policy in Changing Times

March 23-30, 2019

See full description and application here.


Ash Wednesday Service

Wednesday, March 6, 2019
12:15-1:00 pm
Mead Chapel

Dean of Spiritual & Religious Life Mark R. Orten will lead an ecumenical Christian service and imposition of ashes.


Religious Life Council Hosts the Middlebury Community Supper

Friday, January 18, 2019
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. 18.  We need cooks, servers, and dishwashers.  Questions?  Contact lead organizer Ellen McKay, emckay@middlebury.edu.


Healing the Earth: Permaculture & Islam

Thursday, January 10, 2019
7:00pm – 8:30pm
Dana Auditorium

We are in a planetary state of emergency: pollution, climate change, loss of biodiversity, deforestation, and ocean acidification are among the many symptoms of an Earth in crisis. Living in harmony with the earth is a core concept within the Islamic tradition. The Arabic term fitrah is used to describe the primordial nature and pure disposition with which human beings are born. According to Islamic sages and scholars, the crises of the physical world around us are direct results of human beings becoming “denatured” or stepping away from fitrah. Rhamis Kent, co-director of the Permaculture Research Institute, draws from his Islamic faith to address pressing environmental concerns, and find ways for human beings to be renatured. In this lecture, Rhamis Kent will discuss these questions: What does the Islamic tradition say about our relationship to the environment? What is the historical reality of Islamic cultures living in harmony with the earth? What is permaculture, and how has it taken root in Muslim communities today?

Watch the full lecture here.

Rhamis Kent serves as a co-director of the Permaculture Research Institute (PRI), is a member of Permaculture Sustainable Consulting Pty Ltd (PSC), and is on the Supervisory Board of The Netherlands-registered non-profit Ecosystem Restoration Camps. He also serves as founder & director of Agroecological Natural Technology Systems Ltd. Rhamis has taught Permaculture Design and consulted on permaculture projects around the world.

Co-sponsored with the generous support of the Franklin Environmental Program and the Global Food and Farms Programs.


First Fire Party

Tuesday, Dec. 11
5:00-6:00 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 during finals with warmth and snacks! Hot cocoa, chai, & S’mores.


Interfaith Reading Group

Thursdays, 7:00-8:00 pm
Scott Center Living Room
Nov. 8, 15, 29, and Dec. 6

What do we mean when we use the word “interfaith”? How is interfaith different from multi-religion?  How may genuine interfaith dialogues help us bridge the divide and misunderstanding in our current world?  If you have questions like these, or if you enjoy discussing thoughtful books with other people, or both, join our student-led interfaith reading group.
We are starting by reading Krista Tippett’s Becoming Wise, An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living, a book based on the author’s interviews with people from various religious traditions and worldviews.  Complimentary copies of the books are available at the Scott Center. 

If you would like to join us, or have any questions (alternative meeting times, books you would like to recommend, any suggestions, etc.), please get in touch! We hope to see you.


Lessons and Carols for Advent and Christmas

Sunday, December 9, 2018
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. 9, in Middlebury College’s Mead Memorial Chapel.  Dean of Spiritual & Religious Life Mark R. Orten 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.


Interfaith Retreat

Saturday, December 1, 2018
9:00 am-2:00 pm
Kirk Alumni Center

Are you interested in learning more about interfaith engagement? The Scott Center wants to provide different levels of interfaith engagement as our community grows. Our first interfaith retreat is open to any student interested in engaging interfaith theory, dialogue, and community-building.

After our morning schedule, we will host you for a delicious lunch at Taste of India.

Co-facilitators: Mark Orten (Dean of Spiritual & Religious Life), and Saifa Hussain (Associate Chaplain and Muslim Advisor).

If you would like to join us, please RSVP here: https://goo.gl/forms/ylQ9tMmoe4r8hgz13


Traversing the Sacred: Islamic Pilgrimage and Art Walk

Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018
7:15 pm
Middlebury Museum of Art Lobby
Presentation by Associate Chaplain and Muslim Advisor Saifa Hussain, “Ritual and Meaning in the Hajj Pilgrimage”

8:00 pm
Group walk-through  of the exhibit “Wondrous Worlds: Art and Islam through Time and Place,” featuring Quran recitation by Youssef El Berrichi, Teaching Assistant in the Arabic Department.


Howard University Gospel Choir

Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018
2:00 and 7:00 pm
Town Hall Theater, Middlebury

Special pricing for Middlebury College ID holders; see below **

Formed on the campus of Howard University in 1968, the Howard Gospel Choir (HGC) is a body of students, alumni and community members dedicated to using the gift of music to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. As the first college choir of its kind in the world, HGC is a trailblazer for all gospel music ministries on collegiate campuses across the globe.

With a legacy of over four decades committed to excellence in music ministry, this musical aggregation has bred and shared with many of the most prolific people of this century. The choir also travels extensively throughout the United States and most recently has headlined numerous tours to the European countries of Denmark, Italy, Montenego, Slovakia and Sweden.

With such a rich legacy of excellence, the Howard Gospel Choir, a beacon light in the Howard University community, will continue to fulfill its calling to the world using Christ centered music as a means of healing, restoration and empowerment.

*** The Scott Center has reserved a limited number of subsidized tickets for Middlebury College ID holders — just $10!  Please call the THT Box Office at (802) 382-9222.


Pittsburgh Tragedy Responses

Responses to the Pittsburgh killings at the Tree of Life Synagogue:

  • All-Middlebury message from Dean of Spiritual & Religious Life Mark Orten sent on the day after the shooting
  • Special Hillel havdalah prayers at The Knoll on Sat., Oct. 27
  • Vigil in Remembrance of victims at local Havurah on Sunday, Oct. 28, attended also by students, faculty and staff of the college
  • Joey Weisenberg community-building event on Nov. 1, “The Wordless Melody: An Evening of Spiritual Singing”
  • Solidarity Shabbat at Jewish Center on Nov. 2
  • Interactive art display commemorating victims hanging in the Davis Family Library from Nov. 5-12.  


The Wordless Melody: An Evening of Spiritual Singing

Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018
5:00-6:00 pm
Freeman International Center Annex

Join renowned song leader and Jewish community builder Joey Weisenberg as he leads and teaches us in the art of the niggun, or wordless melody. Through the experience of singing niggun together we will deepen our listening to each other and to ourselves. All are encouraged to attend regardless of background or tradition. For more about Joey and his music, see and listen to his website, joeyweisenberg.com.


Nurturing Resilience and Healing for Ourselves, Society and Earth: An Evening of The Work That Reconnects

Wednesday October 10
5:15-7:30 pm
The Knoll, Rte. 125
Dinner will be provided. RSVP Here

Join us at The Knoll for a 2½-hour workshop of interactive and meditative activities based on the Work That Reconnects, pioneered by change-activist Joanna Macy. Experiencing and embodying our deep connection to and interdependence with Earth, all humans, and our whole selves is an essential act for the healing of our societies, ourselves, and sacred, living Earth. With expressions of gratitude, sorrow, and new ways of seeing, the Work That Reconnects leads us through practices to feel our true condition as fully interconnected in beautiful, complex life; to allow us to speak our personal truths, and to invigorate us to act together to help humans move toward more just and life-sustaining ways of being.

Connect. Invigorate. Act.

The workshop will engage participants in several of the practices that have been developed and honed by social justice and environmental activists for 40 years. Thousands of people on numerous continents have experienced and contributed to this powerful work.

Co-sponsored by The Knoll, Wellness Committee and The Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life.


Hajj Presentation by Saifa Hussain

Sunday, Oct. 14, 2018
9:00-10:00 am
St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church
3 Main St., Middlebury

Associate Chaplain and Muslim Advisor Saifa Hussain will share tales of her recent Hajj, the religious pilgrimage to Makkah (Mecca) made each year by thousands of Muslims from around the world.

The Hajj pilgrimage has a singular goal for the pilgrim: to get closer to the Divine. Unbeknownst to many, the Hajj rituals involve re-enacting the ways of Prophet Abraham and Hagar, the patriarch and matriarch of the Abrahamic religions. In essence, millions of pilgrims are put in a state of humility in dress, speech, and action and are called to connect with the origins of their tradition. Black, white, rich, poor, royalty, and laymen all come together with austerity and sincerity before their Creator. The raw expressions of humanity experienced during the Hajj inevitably is life-changing and a profound reminder of one’s true purpose in life.

Discussions to follow the presentation.


Scott Center Fall Family Weekend Events

Friday, October 5, 2018
Jumma Prayers
1:00 pm
Islamic Center, Lower Level Forest Hall
All are welcome to join members of the Muslim Student Association and new Associate Chaplain and Muslim Advisor Saifa Hussain for Friday prayers.

Walking Meditation at the Labyrinth
3:30-4:00 pm
Join Dean of Spiritual and Religious Life Mark Orten for walking meditation at the labyrinth at The Knoll, a 2017 collaboration between the Scott Center and The Knoll to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the organic garden at Middlebury.

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

Sunday, October 7
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 Jewish chaplain.


41st Annual Addison County CROP Hunger Walk

Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018
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.  College President Laurie Patton is our honorary chair this year and will speak just before the walk begins at 1:00 pm.

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 $27,800 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!

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:    

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


Sacred Text Burial and Talk with Torah Scribe Kevin Hale at The Knoll

Thursday, Sept. 27
4:45 pm
The Knoll, Route 125

What happens to sacred text when it has reached the end of its useful life?  Come find out how some traditions retire their sacred texts as we are led in a Jewish version of this ceremony by visiting Torah scribe Rabbi Kevin Hale, and in a multi-faith ceremony by the Middlebury College Chaplains.  After the texts are buried you are invited to remain at The Knoll to hear from Rabbi Hale about the work of a scribe and how sacred texts are handled in the Jewish tradition.  In the event of rain, the burial will still take place at the Knoll, but the talk will be in Bi-Hall 219 from 5:30-6:00 pm.  Please dress for the weather.  Co-sponsored by Special Collections and Archives, Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life, Department of Religion, and Jewish Studies.


Hussain: Love & Justice, An Ashura Talk

Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018
5:30 pm
Islamic Center, Forest Hall basement

Associate Chaplain and Muslim Advisor Saifa Hussain will give a short talk on the lessons of Imam Hussain’s life in preparation for Ashura on Sept. 19. If you are committed to social justice, the legacy of Imam Hussain is ever more pertinent to understand. Saifa invites you to have an honest and thoughtful discussion with us. Snacks provided.
Please note, Sept. 19 is also an important day of fasting to commemorate the exodus of Prophet Musa (Moses) and Bani Israel (The Israelites). According to the Sunni tradition, the Prophet ﷺ used to be very keen to make sure he fasted on the day of Ashura because of its great status.


High Holidays 5779 Schedule

Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018
5:45-6:45 pm    Rosh Hashanah Student Dinner, Redfield Proctor Dining Room.  Please RSVP here.  We will walk to services together following dinner.
7:00 p.m.    Evening Service at Mead Chapel
      Babysitting space in Hepburn Lounge*
Following services:  “Apples and Honey” Reception Forest East Lounge

Monday, Sept. 10
9:30 a.m.    Shacharit – Morning services at Mead Chapel
       Babysitting space in Hepburn Lounge*
10:00-11:00 am    Interactive Family service, Hepburn Lounge
5:00 p.m.   Tashlich Service at Otter Creek Footbridge, Marble Works side

Tuesday, Sept. 11
9:30 a.m.    Shacharit – Morning Services and babysitting space at Havurah House*

Tuesday, Sept. 18
6:30 p.m.    Kol Nidre at Mead Chapel
      Babysitting space in Hepburn Lounge*

Wednesday, Sept. 19
9:30 am   Shacharit – Morning Service at Mead Chapel
                    Babysitting space in Hepburn Lounge*
10:00-11:00 am    Interactive Family Service, Hepburn Lounge
12:00 pm  Yizkor – Memorial Service at Mead Chapel
5:30 p.m.    Minchah – Afternoon Service and Ne’ilah – Concluding Services at Mead Chapel
7:30 p.m.    Shofar Blowing and Havdalah at Mead Chapel
       Break-the-Fast to follow. Reservations required; please RSVP by Friday, Sept. 14, here.

Questions? email hillel@middlebury.edu or Rabbi Danielle at dastillman@middlebury.edu

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


Scott Center Open House

Monday, September 3, 2018
1:00-3:00 pm

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


Meditation and Tea

Monday, Sept. 10, 2018
4:00 pm

Join Dean of Spiritual Life Mark Orten for afternoon tea and a brief (10-minute) meditation sit at the Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life in Hathaway House (next door to Admissions).

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