2019-20 Scott Center Events

Chaplain’s Moment

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at noon

We at the Scott Center offer spiritual and religious support for our community members across the globe, and invite you to join us as we gather regularly, now virtually.

Are you missing Tea Time, Wisdom Wednesdays, and Chaplain’s Table?  We know we are!

Every noontime on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the foreseeable future, we chaplains will be hosting a Chaplain’s Moment. It’s a quick 15 minutes for you to ZOOM in and join our reflection on what is happening around us and within our spirits.  Rabbi Danielle, Chaplain Saifa, and Dean Mark will take turns leading a brief meditation on some piece of literature, poetry or world wisdom. There will be room for silence and reflection, and a bit of interaction to conclude. Ellen and our affiliate chaplains will join us too, sometimes!

Here’s the ZOOM meeting space link:  https://middlebury.zoom.us/j/8101629085

We at the Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life have been listening and watching with many of you, ever since the reality of a hasty departure and an extended spring break began to dawn upon us nearly three weeks ago.  We are now scattered for an unknown amount of time. It all happened so fast. It was dramatic and upending for our lives as we had been living them.

Now we are attempting to adjust. All of us are settling into the realities of our vastly different communities of origin, or safe refuges, without the comfort of campus life. We are working from a distance. We are teaching and learning in virtual space instead of actual; often through asynchronous rather than real-time interactions.

We feel how abrupt and disorienting this has been.

And yet we continue to believe that being together is important. It’s vital. We believe that checking in with ourselves and checking up on one another is essential to survival and to thriving. Many of the programs from our office that are now discontinued, things like Tea Time on Tuesdays, Wisdom Wednesdays and Chaplain’s Table, are no longer possible at the time they would be most appreciated.

Bookmark the link and put it in your calendars!


Family & Friends on the Front Line During COVID-19

April 15th, 2020 – May 6th, 2020
Wednesdays at 2 pm Eastern Time

Four-week live zoom discussion series and space for students with family and friends who are on the “front line” during COVID-19.  “Front line” can refer to medical workers, grocers, postal service/ delivery, and beyond.  Anyone who continues to be out in the community for essential work. 

Middlebury College Counseling and the Scott Center are collaborating to offer space for students to come together as a community and support for one another through this shared experience.

For access to the zoom links each week, sign up by contacting Michelle Kaczynski atmkaczynski@middlebury.edu or Danielle Stillman at dastillman@middlebury.edu.


Emerging Leaders Retreat — CANCELLED

March 14-15, 2020

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 11 to Ellen McKay, emckay@middlebury.edu.  Please let us know if you if you have any dietary restrictions.


Reflection Fridays:  What Matters to Me and Why

12:30-1:30 pm
Abernethy Room, Axinn Center
February 21 and March 13, 2020

In each lunchtime meeting of the “Reflection Fridays” series, hosted by the Innovation Hub and the Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life, a member of the Middlebury community is invited to reflect on the question “What matters to you, and why?” For these informal gatherings, the interviewers are selected by the speakers themselves, enhancing the connectivity and intimacy of the conversations. Bring your lunch, if you wish, and enjoy.

Feb. 21:  Varsha Vijayakumar ‘20, SGA President, interviewed by John Schurer ‘21, SGA Junior Senator.

March 13:  CANCELLED — Damascus Kafumbe, Associate Professor of Music, interviewed by Mark Orten, Dean of Spiritual and Religious Life.


Tea Time at The Scott Center

Every Tuesday (during the academic year)
4:00-5:00 pm
The Scott Center in Hathaway House, 135 South Main St.

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!


Chaplains Table

1:00-2:00 during spring term
Ross Dining Hall

Students are invited to join Scott Center staff for weekly vegetarian lunch and conversation in the Ross Dining Hall.


Wisdom Wednesdays

Every Wednesday during the academic year

12:15-12:45 pm during spring semester
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.


Shape Note Singing

First Sunday of the month:

Spring semester:
February 2
March 1

Fall semester:
September 1
October 6
November 3
December 1
January 5

1:00-3:00 pm
Mitchell Green Lounge, McCullough Student Center

Shape Note singing is a traditional American style of social and spiritual, community-based music. We sing a capella in 4-part harmony from The Sacred Harp Song Book. Loaner books are available. No experience is required. No rehearsals, no performances. We simply love to sing together. All are welcome.


Passover Seder — CANCELLED

Wednesday, April 8, 2020
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 Wednesday, April 8.  To ensure that we have enough food, it is very important to rsvp with this form no later than WEdnesday, April 1.

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


Recent Events

Ash Wednesday Service

Wednesday, February 26, 2020
5:00-5:45 pm
Mead Chapel

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


Religious Perspectives on Social Justice: A Roundtable Discussion Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Monday, January 20,2020
6:00-7:30 pm
Coltrane Lounge

Join the Dean of Religious Life Mark Orten, Rabbi Danielle Stillman and Muslim Advisor Saifa Hussain, along with others, in a discussion honoring the legacy of civil rights activist, The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Pizza and beverages provided.  Please RSVP at go/MLKdinner.


Religious Life Council Hosts the Middlebury Community Supper

Friday, January 17, 2020
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. 17.  We need cooks, servers, and dishwashers.  Questions?  Contact lead organizer Ellen McKay, emckay@middlebury.edu.


Lessons and Carols for Advent and Christmas

Sunday, December 8, 2019
4:00 and 7:00 pm
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. 8, in Middlebury College’s Mead Memorial Chapel.  Dean of Spiritual & Religious Life Mark R. Orten will officiate at this celebratory community service. 

There will be large-print programs available, and the 7:00 service will have ASL interpretation.

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, Director of Choral Activities/Christian A. Johnson Professor of Music.

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.

Image: “The Divine Journey - Companions of Love and Hope” copyright 2017 Janet McKenzie www.janetmckenzie.com. Collection of Memorial Church, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA


First Fire Party

Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019
4:00-5:00 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.


Sacred Texts in Conversation with Contemporary Issues

Every third Thursday:  Sept. 19, Oct. 17, Nov. 21, 2019
1:00-2:00 pm

Nov. 21 — The Afterlife and Death, Ross Fireplace Lounge
Oct. 17 — Love and Intimacy, Forest East Lounge
Sept. 19 — Welcoming the Stranger, Forest East Lounge

Join Dean of Spiritual & Religious Life Mark Orten, Rabbi Danielle Stillman and Muslim Advisor Saifa Hussain once a month for a lively study and discussion of what texts from religious traditions have to say about some of our most pressing contemporary questions. In conversation with each other and the group, each chaplain will offer texts and insights from their own traditions to illuminate such topics as refugees and immigration, work and rest, grief and sadness, friendship, and others. Open to all students, staff and faculty with any or no background in religious texts or religion.

Please feel free to bring your lunch!


Reflection Fridays: What Matters to Me and Why

Sept. 27, Oct. 25, and Nov. 8, 2019 (Nov. 8 discussion will be rescheduled for a date in the future, TBD)
12:30-1:30 pm
Le Chateau Grand Salon

The Scott Center is pleased to co-sponsor, with The Innovation Hub, a series of lunchtime discussions with three campus community members:

  • Sept. 27:  Alyssa Brown ‘20, Environmental Studies/Policy major
  • Oct. 25:  David J. Gibson, Vice President for Communications and Marketing
  • Nov. 8:  Nan Jenks-Jay, Dean of Environmental Affairs and Director of the Franklin Environmental Center

Please feel free to bring your lunch!


Imagining a More Beautiful World with Mona Haydar: A Creative Workshop for Students of Color and Allies

Friday, November 1, 2019
4:30-6:00 pm
Mitchell Green Lounge, McCullough Student Center

Join artist and activist Mona Haydar for a transformational workshop on poetry, healing, and identity work. Dive deep into the healing power of art as a medium to explore complex identity - not as a point of scrutiny, but as a tool for creating a more beautiful world.

Vegetarian hors d’oeuvres will be served.

Mona Haydar is a Syrian-American Muslim poet, performance artist, and activist, leading workshops and talks worldwide about art, Islam, feminism, hip hop, theology, and interfaith dialogue. She graduated with a masters degree in Christian Ethics, from Union Theological Seminary. She gained widespread press for the “Ask A Muslim” project - a booth that invited dialogue and questions in wake of the Paris and San Bernardino terrorist attacks. In 2017, she broke into the hip hop music scene with the viral music video, Hijabi (Wrap My Hijab). Billboard Magazine named Haydar’s track one of the top feminist anthems of all time. Her first EP, “Barbarican”, dropped in 2018 shedding light on patriarchy, orientalism, immigration policy, white supremacy, and suicide.

Co-sponsored by the Scott Center, The Anderson Freeman Resource Center, the Feminist Resource Center at Chellis House, and Raisins (Radical Asians).


High Holidays 2019

Sunday, Sept. 29, 2019
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. 30
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
5:30 p.m.   Tashlich Service at Otter Creek Footbridge, Marble Works side.  In case of heavy rain, meet at the same place Tuesday at 5:30 pm

Tuesday, Oct. 1
9:30 a.m.    Shacharit – Morning Services and babysitting space at Havurah House*  Potluck lunch at Havurah to follow

Tuesday, Oct. 8
6:30 p.m.  Kol Nidre at Mead Chapel
      Babysitting space in Hepburn Lounge*

Wednesday, Oct. 9
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 pm    Minchah – Afternoon Service and Ne’ilah – Concluding Services at Mead Chapel
7:00 pm   Shofar Blowing and Havdalah at Mead Chapel
       Break-the-Fast to follow. Reservations required; please RSVP here by October 1.

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

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


Carillon Concert for World Peace

Friday, October 4, 2019
2:00 pm
Mead Chapel environs

George Matthew Jr., Carillonneur for Middlebury College and Norwich University, plays “St. Francis’ Trial” by Belgian composer Jo Coenen on the Mead Chapel carillon.

The work tells the story of the wonderful encounter between Saint Francis of Assisi and the Sultan Malek al Kamil in 1219, in stark contrast to the violence of the Fifth Crusade.

This piece will be played on carillons throughout Belgium and Netherlands on this day to reflect the Ecumenical movement in Europe.

This is an interfaith event at 2 PM, following Muslim Jumma prayers (1:00 PM).

Music will be audible from anywhere on the main college campus, so come out at 2 p.m. and enjoy!

42nd Annual Addison County CROP Hunger Walk

Sunday, October 6, 2019
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 and Middlebury College students in a fun 2-mile walk to raise money for seven local food shelves and for hunger and sustainability projects around the world.  College Chaplain Emerita Laurie Jordan 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 webpage to start raising money by emailing your friends and family, or sharing via social media.

Last year, our little Addison County walk raised over $26,400 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.  25% of our total goes to these 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)

Please contact Ellen McKay, emckay@middlebury.edu, if you have questions.


Fall Family Weekend Scott Center Events

Friday, September 27, 2019

Jumma Prayers
1:00 pm
Islamic Center, Forest Hall lower level

Walking Meditation at the Labyrinth
3:30-4:00 pm
The Knoll, led by Muslim Chaplain Saifa Hussain

Hillel Shabbat Services
5:30 pm
Jewish Center, Freeman International Center

Sunday, Sept. 29

Hillel Bagel Brunch
10:30 am - 12:00 noon
Jewish Center, Freeman International Center

Reflection Fridays Series:  What Matters to Me and Why?

12:30-1:30 pm
Le Chateau Grand Salon

  • Sept.27:  Jon Isham Interviews Alyssa Brown ‘20, Environmental Studies/Policy student
  • October 25: David J. Gibson, Vice President for Comunications and Marketing
  • Nov. 8: Nan Jenks Jay, Dean of Environmental Affairs and Director of Franklin Environmental Center

Co-sponsored by the Scott Center and The Innovation Hub.

Feel free to bring your lunch!

Orientation Events

Scott Center Open House
Monday, Sept. 2, 2019
1:00-3:00 pm
Stop by Hathaway House (next door to Admissions), meet our staff, and learn about our events and programs.

Meditation and Tea
Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019
3:30-4:30 pm
Join Scott Center staff 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