2022-2023 Scott Center Events

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Scott Center Reunion Events  

class parade up Storrs Walk, led by President Patton and bagpiper

10:00 am — Reunion Chapel Service, with Alumni Choir directed by Emory Fanning, Emeritus Professor of Music.

10:00-11:30 — Hillel Bagel Brunch at the Jewish Center in Freeman International Center, hosted by current Hillel students.

Tuesday, May 16

Scott Center Year-End Celebration Dinner!  

46 South St.

various dishes and hands around a wooden table

Join us for an all-vegetarian catered dinner to celebrate the year in spiritual and religious life at Middlebury.  We will encourage graduating seniors to share some words of wisdom, and enjoy our beautiful back yard with lawn games and outside dining if the weather is nice.  No RSVP required.

Funded by a generous Interfaith Excellence grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation.

Saturday, May 13

Spring Silent Retreat  

46 South Street

photo of bamboo with rock cairn

Join us for a morning of silent togetherness, led by Professor Emliy Proctor, at the Scott Center.  This retreat, which will be held in silence, will consist of a series of meditation sits interspersed with breaks for rest or walking meditation.  This simple structure, carried out together, allows for a collective quieting of mind and body, from which can emerge a subtle but deep sense of community.  If you are new to meditation and curious about the retreat experience or if you are an experienced practitioner and would like a quiet morning to settle into your practice, this retreat is for you. 
The retreat is open to all students, staff, and faculty.  A brief, optional instruction period will be offered 8:30-9am, immediately preceding the retreat. Warm drinks and nourishing snacks will be provided during the break periods throughout the morning.

Register by May 10 at go/silentretreat/

Wednesday, May 3

Saving Truth and Beauty: The Destruction of Nature and the Islamic Solution  

BiHall 216

two black and white portraits of smiling Black men

(Click here for a full video recording of this talk, and here for a list of resources related to the speakers and their work.)  Join us for a discussion on the role of Islam in promoting environmental stewardship and how it can inspire individuals to take action towards a more sustainable future.  Meet the speakers at a pre-talk reception at 4:00 pm at the Scott Center (46 South St.).

With special guest speakers: Rhamis Kent  (author of “Saving Truth and Beauty), and Ibrahim Abdul Matin (author of “Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet”).  Read more here.

Co-sponsored by the Climate Action Capacity Project, The Scott Center and the Muslim Students Association.

Thursday, May 4, 2023

David Abram Dinner and Conversation -- The More Than Human World  

46 South St.

smiling man with mussed hair with his hand on bamboo plant

Join us at the Scott Center for a dinner dialogue with cultural ecologist and geophilosopher David Abram, author of The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World, and Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology.

He is currently the Visiting Scholar in Ecology and Natural Philosophy at Harvard Divinity School (and the father of the joyfully unhinged Middlebury senior Hannah Laga Abram ‘23). 

Part 3 of the Interfaith Dialogue Series.  Space is limited and RSVP’s are required; go/abramdinner/

Funded by a generous Interfaith Excellence grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation.

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Midd Humanists: Happiness & Enthusiasm in Times Like These  

23 Adirondack View (Prof. Vitek's office)

text agains blue watercolor abstract shapes

Join Humanist Chaplain Bill Vitek for a discussion and walkabout to consider how enthusiasm in all its forms can nourish happiness, even in times of uncertainty and anxiety. Snacks will be served.

Please access and read a short essay by Arthur Brooks beforehand.

Midd Humanists is a community gathering sponsored by the Scott Center for Spiritual & Religious Life for non-theistic, inquiry-based, and action-centered conversation and celebration. All are welcome!

Funded by a generous Interfaith Excellence grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation.

Monday, May 8

Emergent Improvisation: Part III of the Interfaith Dialogue Series  

MAC Plaza (MAC lower lobby in case of rain)

pink background poster with body in movement

Inspired by adrienne maree brown’s book Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds, this collaboration between the Dance Department and the Scott Center’s Interfaith Fellows explores the principles of emergence, interdependence, resilience, collaboration and communication through movement in the context of interfaith dialogue. Through improvisational practices, we will learn how small, adaptive changes can connect us across our differences and evolve over time. Together we will investigate how our actions have an impact on others and how our bodies can be instruments for social and political transformation. 

All bodies, backgrounds, and abilities welcome!  Led by Lida Winfield of the Dance Dept.  Light refreshments and discussion to follow the workshop.

Funded by a generous Interfaith Excellence grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation.

every Monday afternoon, starting Feb. 13

Here and Now: A Stress Reduction and Mindfulness Practice  

McCullough Reflection Room (above the Crest Room)

Facilitated by Leila McVeigh ‘98 (Counseling Service staff), Here and Now is a mindfulness resource that will focus on how we relate to the stress in our lives. We will explore mindfulness concepts that include cultivating a sense of ease, being present, staying with what is difficult, and working with thoughts and emotions. We will practice brief guided mindfulness exercises to encourage calm awareness.

There is no need to register or attend every session. Students may drop in when they are able. Questions can be directed to Leila at lmcveigh@middlebury.edu.

January 25, March 9, April 6, May 4

Grief and Loss Workshop Series  

46 South Street

dandelion seeds blowing away from flower head agains a black background

Join the Counseling Center and the Scott Center for a workshop series on grief.  We will be journaling, working on art projects and sharing our experiences around grief. 

Thursday, March 9 — collaging
Thursday, April 6 — journaling
Thursday, May 4 — coloring (location tbd)

Come to one or come to all!  Led by Nick Parrish, LICSW, and Rabbi Yitz Nates.  Please RSVP to nparrish@middlebury.edu

Monday-Friday when classes are in session

Weekday Morning Meditation Sits  

McCullough Reflection Room (3rd floor)

sunrise above green hills with pond

Every weekday morning at 8:30 am in the McCullough Reflection Space (take a left after leaving the door to The Grille, and then up the stairs).  Come as you are!  No experience necessary.

Every Tuesday when classes are in session

The SlowDown  

46 South St.

purple and green blocks of text with mosaic watercolors

Take a breath, slow it down, and use your creative mind!
Each week we’ll have materials for different projects — beading, embroidery floss for making bracelets, collaging on notebook covers and containers, origami, watercolors for illustrating poetry, etc.
We’ll be serving hot homemade chai and homemade cookies. 

Every Wednesday when classes are in session

Wakeful Wednesdays  

Middlebury Chapel

white dish with grey stones on sand

Join Spiritual and Religious Life Dean Mark R. Orten for 20 minutes of quiet contemplation with reading and music for our times. Intentional silence and guided meditation will be interspersed with music and readings from secular worldviews and sacred traditions to open our awareness and to find strength and perspective for living during personal, political, racial, ecological and other upheavals.

Every second Sunday of the month (when classes are in session)

Shape Note Singing  

Mitchell Green Lounge, McCullough Student Center

snippet of old-fashioned musical notation

Described as spiritual, joyful, powerful, and raucous, Shape Note (or Sacred Harp) singing is a traditional American style of four-part, a capella, community singing popular in the United States before the Civil War. This style still thrives across the US and in the UK, with strongholds in the American South and New England. It is called Shape-Note because the notes of the scale are indicated by distinctive shapes and names: Fa – triangle, Sol – circle, La – square, and Mi – diamond. 

No training or musical ability is necessary; the tradition emphasizes participation, not performance.  Led by Professor Emeritus David Rosenberg of the Middlebury Shape Note Singers.


Recent Events

Monday, April 17

Holocaust Remembrance Day Ceremony  

HIllcrest 103

many candles stretching away into the distance

We gather to remember the victims of the Holocaust through poetry, music, personal story and ritual.  We will be joined, via Zoom, by former World War II child refugee Lore Segal. Ms. Segal is an American novelist, translator, children’s author, and teacher. Other People’s Houses (1958) was the first of her five novels. She has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and is a regular contributor to the New Yorker, the New York Times Book Review and the New Republic. Her most recent book, Ladies’ Lunch, was published on her 95th birthday, March 8, 2023.

Thursday, April 13

Film Screening: "Into the Arms of Strangers" (2000)  

Hillcrest 103

drawing of train tracks with distant town

Join us to screen this Academy Award-winning film (made in 2000) in commemoration of Holocaust RemembranceDay (Yom HaShoah).  For nine months prior to World War II, in an act of mercy unequalled anywhere else before the war, Britain conducted an extraordinary rescue mission, opening its doors to over 10,000 Jewish and other children from Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia. These children, or Kinder (sing. Kind), as they came to be known, were taken into foster homes and hostels in Britain, expecting eventually to be reunited with their parents. The majority of them never saw their families again. 

Q and A prior to the film with Vermont artist Klara Calitri (née Feiner), who escaped from Austria to the United States with her parents as a 16-year-old in February 1939. A life-long educator, she is eager to talk about her story with younger generations.

Sunday, April 9

Easter Sunrise Service  

Alumni Stadium

sunrise against dark mountains

All are welcome at this ecumenical Easter Sunrise Service at the football stadium. Local clergy will share the leadership of the service. Coffee and baked goods to follow at the Weybridge Congregational Church.  In case of inclement weather, the service will be moved to Kirk Alumni Center. 

Thursday, April 6

Hanuman Jayanthi Prayers and Celebration  

Scott Center, 46 South St.

sculpture of the god Hanuman

Join us to celebrate the birth of the Hindu god Hanuman with a prayer gathering and some Indian desserts! This event also marks the inauguration of a new Hindu altar at the Scott Center.

Wednesday, April 5

Passover Seder  

Atwater Dining Hall

seder plate image

Join us as we celebrate liberation from slavery in the annual Jewish ritual of the Passover Seder. We will eat ritual foods, ask and discuss questions, enjoy a festive meal together and feel as if we ourselves went out of Egypt. RSVP’s are required; please RSVP here by March 28.

March 23-26, 2023

Journey into Mindfulness Spring Break Trip  

beach scene with peach and grey tones

Click here to learn all about this journey into mindfulness over spring break!

Funded by a generous Interfaith Excellence grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation.

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Interfaith Dinner Series: Psychedelic Mysticism  

46 South St.

groovy graphic in pink, lime and orange with mushrooms and butterflies

Associate Muslim Chaplain Saifa Hussain will answer questions about their path to mysticism, shamanism, and psychedelic studies.  Taste of India dinner provided.  RSVP at go/psyched/ by Sunday, Feb. 26.

Funded by a generous Interfaith Excellence grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation.

Dec. 15, Jan. 5 and 19 and every other Thursday through March 2

Queer Mystic  

46 South St.

celebratory Sufi dancer with flowing skirts

Queer Mystic is a space for the LGBTQIA+ community and allies to cultivate personal spirituality through the arts, nature, ceremony, food, and mystical practice. Moving beyond intellectualizing identity, our intention is to embody the fullness of our being with sovereignty and magic. Queer Mystic occurs bi-monthly (every other week) on Thursdays from 4pm–6pm.  If you resonate with this gathering, you are welcome to join no matter how you identify!

Please fill out our interest form via go/QueerMystic/

Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2023

Ash Wednesday Observances  

Downtown congregations

cros drawn in ashes, "Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent"

There are several congregations within walking distance that will hold Ash Wednesday services:

7:00-8:15 pm, The Congregational Church of Middlebury, 2 Main St.
12:15 and 7:00 pm, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 3 Main St.
7:00-7:45 pm, Memorial Baptist Church, 97 So. Pleasant St.
7:00 am and 12:05 pm, St. Mary’s Church, 326 College St.

January 29, 2023

Midd Humanists -- Awe Walk  

23 Adirondack View (Prof. Vitek's office)

text against blue watercolor abstract

Join Affiliate Humanist Chaplain Bill Vitek for a conversation about the importance of cultivating awe in our everyday lives, and how we can start with one of most natural of human activities: walking. After a brief discussion of a short article (best read ahead of time), there will be time to practice awe walking. Dress for cold, snowy weather. Hot chocolate and cookies to follow. Please RSVP here.

Funded by a generous Interfaith Excellence grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Winter Mindfulness Retreat: Attention and Awareness  

46 South St.

rock cairn against bamboo stalks

Come take part in a half-day mindfulness retreat for students, led by Professor Emily Proctor.  We will learn and practice a variety of mindfulness activities tuned toward cultivating attention and awareness, all the with intention of helping to deepen a sense of connection, relationship, and playful kindness with the people and world around us.
An optional light lunch will be provided at the end of the retreat.  Registration is required.  Please register by January 19 at go/mindfulnessretreat/  Questions?  Please contact eproctor@middlebury.edu.  

Friday, January 20, 2023

MLK Service Opportunity at Middlebury Community Supper  

Scott Center and Middlebury Congregational Church

rainbox handprints interconnecting

Come help pack up 325 meals for Middlebury neighbors in need; food is donated by local restaurants. A crew of nine is needed at the church on Friday afternoon.

We’ll also be baking earlier that day from 12:00-3:00 pm at the Scott Center to donate to the supper.  A crew of up to 4 is needed. 

Please sign up here if you can help with either or both projects!

Friday, January 13, 2023

Food & Fellowship: A Celebration of MLK Jr.'s Legacy  

Kirk Alumni Center

African American woman against pale blue background

In celebration of MLK Dr. Day on Monday, January 16, the Center for Community Engagement — in collaboration with the Anderson Freeman Center and the Scott Center for Spiritual and Religious Life — invite you to join us on January 13 from 5:30-7 pm for Food and Fellowship: A Celebration of MLK Jr.’s Legacy. This event will be held at Kirk Alumni Center, 217 Golf Course Rd, Middlebury, VT 05753. Visit go/MLKdinner to RSVP.

Esther Charlestin, Dean of Climate and Culture at Middlebury Union Middle School, will be our keynote speaker, followed by delicious food and engaging conversation. Participants will celebrate Black culture, learn about various Civil Rights heroes, and engage in discussion around MLK Jr.’s legacy. This is a welcome and open event to everyone, with participants from both the Middlebury College and the greater Addison County communities.

Transportation to Kirk will be provided from ADK Circle. Please reach out to Justice Elijah, AmeriCorps VISTA member, at ejustice@middlebury.edu with any questions.

Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022

Lessons & Carols for Advent and Christmas  

College Chapel

mosaic art of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

This annual traditional program combines choral music, congregational singing, and the Biblical texts of the season. The celebratory community service (held at both 4:00 and 7:00 pm) features the Middlebury College Choir, performing under the direction of Ronnie Romano, and readings by students, faculty, and staff.

There will be large-print programs available, and the 4:00 service will have ASL interpretation.  George Matthew Jr. rings in the service with selections on the chapel carillon. Donations (cash and checks) are collected for local charities.  Vaccinations are required, and masking is encouraged.

Thursdays, Nov. 10-Dec. 8

Revolving Reflections  

McCullough Reflection Space (above the Crest Room)

quarter moon image reflecting off water

Join us every Thursday afternoon for 5 separate 10-minute guided meditations with a few minutes of space between each reflection for people to come and go.  In the McCullough Reflection Space, above the Crest Room.  Led by Mindfulness Fellow Emma Cortina ‘24.5.

every other Monday: Oct. 31, Nov. 14 and 28, Dec. 12

Grief and Loss Group  

contact Nick Parrish for location, nparrish@middlebury.edu

red and orange fall leaves background with text

Join with others to discuss the lifelong process of navigating grief and loss.  New students are welcome at any time.  Questions?  Email Nick Parrish, nparrish@midd.

Tuesday, Nov. 15

Midd Humanists Dinner & Discussion: Of God and Machines  

46 South Street

blue watercolor back ground with blue text

This month’s Table Talk discussion will feature an essay by Stephen Marche exploring the parallels between theistic language and concepts, and the rise of artificial intelligence, particularly NLP (Natural Language Processing). The article can be accessed here. 

Midd Humanists is a community gathering space led by Affiliate Humanist Chaplain Professor Bill Vitek at the Scott Center for Spiritual & Religious Life. Join us for non-theistic, inquiry-based, and action-centered conversation and celebration.

All are welcome!  All-vegetarian dinner from Taste of India. Please RSVP at go/humanistsdinner by Monday, Nov. 14, at noon.

Please park on South Street as there is no parking on Chipman Park.

Funded by a generous Interfaith Excellence grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation.

Thursday, November 3

Healing Space for Processing Climate Change  

46 South St.

cartoon-style drawing of a person on a small iceberg with red sky

A collaboration between the Climate Action Capacity Project’s Climate Action Fellowship and The Scott Center for Spiritual & Religious Life as a way to hold space for the intense and sometimes overwhelming emotions that come with climate change.

Tea and light snacks will be provided, as well as a journal and pen which will be used for one of the voluntary activities.

Please note that if you drive, you should park on South Street, not along Chipman Park.

Also, if you have any accessibility or other needs, please feel free to reach out to hfatima@middlebury.edu.

October 7-9, 2022

Fall Family Weekend Activities  

mom and three kids on green grass

Friday, Oct. 7
1:30-2:15 pm 
Islamic Jumma Prayer Services
Forest Hall, Islamic Prayer Space, Lower Level
 Join the Muslim Students Association for Friday prayer services!

Friday, Oct. 7
5:30-6:30 pm Shabbat Services 
6:30-7:30 pm Shabbat Dinner
Jewish Center at Freeman International Center
Sunday, Oct. 9
10:00-11:30 am
Hillel Bagel Brunch
Jewish Center at Freeman International Center
Join Hillel for a bagel brunch with all the trimmings!

September 25-27, and Oct. 4-5

High Holidays  

colorful wreath with apples, pomegranates and honey

Please use go/highholidays to see a full schedule of High Holidays events

Sunday, Oct. 2

Addison County CROP Hunger Walk  

Middlebury Town Green

ten college hocket players beneath CROP Walk finish line banner

Update:  as of November 30, we have raised over $20,700!

Addison County residents and Middlebury College students come together in this annual event to raise funds for our local food shelves and for Church World Services sustainability, disaster relief, and hunger-fighting projects worldwide.  This year we are happy to welcome Jeanne Montross, Executrive Director of HOPE (Helping Overcome Poverty’s Effects) as our Honorary Chair.

Visit our CROP Hunger Walk page where you can learn more, register to start raising money either individually or as a team, and make an online donation.  

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

Tuesday, Sept. 27

Dinner and Conversation: Happiness -- A Humanist's Perspective  

46 South St.

abstract blue watercolor

Join us at 46 South Street for a delicious all-vegetarian Taste of India dinner and conversation, facilitated by Affiliate Humanist Chaplain Prof. Bill Vitek.
Questions about happiness are central to how we live and organize our lives, and it has been studied by philosophers, theologians, psychologists, and all manner of social sciences. Our conversation will be focused on a letter that Roman philosopher and statesman Lucius Annaeus Seneca wrote to his brother Gallio around A.D. 58, and discussed recently in an essay in The Atlantic by Arthur Brooks. Seneca was a bit of a happiness expert, having written about it throughout his life, and despite having chronic pain for decades and being ordered by the Emperor to take his own life. Are there lessons in this ancient document for our own times? Brooks thinks so.  Here’s a link to Brook’s article and to Seneca’s letter. 

Please RSVP here if you can come! 

Made possible with a generous Interfaith Excellence grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation.

September 13, 2022

Welcome Back Dinner!  

46 South St.

colorful vegetarian food in stoneware dish

Leaders and members of spiritual & religious life student orgs, MOSAIC Interfaith House residents, and friends are invited to join us for an all-vegetarian dinner on Tuesday, Sept. 13, from 5:30-7:00 pm at the Scott Center, 46 South Street. Catered by the fantastic local Lebanese chef Baba, it’s a celebration of the vibrancy of spiritual and religious life at Middlebury! Please contact Ellen McKay Jewett at emckay@middlebury.edu if you have questions. We look forward to seeing you!

Funded by a generous Interfaith Excellence grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation.

September 6-10, 2022

Scott Center Orientation Events  

Check our Welcome New Students page for a full schedule of Scott Center events for first-years and their families.

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