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the historic 1739 town meeting house


people of all faiths and children!

Served by ministers Albert Ciarcia and Steve Wilson

music coordinator, Beverly Phelps

visit for updates and minister notes

Regular Services are Sunday mornings at 11:30am - coffee hour at 11 am

Thank you to Caryl Dyer for her donation toward the beautiful new sign being built with our program and Wayside Pulpit. Bob Eddy has been contracted to build the sign which is in the permitting process at this moment.

Also, donations have been received from church members to remember

Ada Miner with some additional new memorial hymnals. We remember Ada's long life as a Bernardston Unitarian, a spirited member of our Congregation for a very long time!

Upcoming Sunday Services

April 2nd Earth Daze : Steve Wilson

Steve, in his infinite creativity has renamed this sermon Learning the New Math, Another Bloody Earth Day Sermon: We want to care, think and know the environment is important. Come explore what is behind our difficulty getting green. Earth Day is used as a platform to explore how and why change is difficult.

April 9th “ Other Dimensions” : Rev. Albert Ciarcia

The sermon will center on a subject of extreme interest to Unitarian Universalists and others who may wish to broaden their view of our religion.

April 16 Easter Sunday 0030 : Steve Wilson

This service is designed as a step back in time to the Sunday in Passover Jerusalem when Jesus is discovered missing. In it we listen, again, to the diversity of the gospel accounts of the tomb scene and asks with all our critical faculty intact, “just what happened?”

April 23: Arts & Activism 4th Sunday ~ this Sunday: MUSIC!

Special Pioneer Valley Institute Historical Music Program at 4:00 pm featuring The Fall Town String Band. Come enjoy the toe tapping traditional music of Ed Phelps and friends in the first meeting house, an antique treasure in Bernardston.


Don't miss.....

  • 10am Sat. April 8th : Special guest Ted Thornton, Northfield Mt. Hermon faculty member, specialist in the history and religions of the Middle East, and just returning from a trip there, will join us to share his insights.

  • 10 am Sat. April 22nd: Video and lively opinions on: Turkey

  • 10 am Sat. May 13th: Video and more lively opinions on: Pandemics and security

Minister's Corner:

Message from Steve Wilson this month, Bernardston Minister on 1st and 3rd Sundays:


(read it as if it were somewhere between prose and poetry)

I am always and I mean always struck by the beautifully archaic and

contemporary quality of church. So this note may feel already struck by me.

It is worth repeating.

We are at once old fashioned and cutting edge.

Think about it,

church takes place in buildings, - like ours- behemoths from another era

and costly.

Think about it, we service by service, come to share significant parts of our

non-work lives together.

How dare an institution run mostly on un-coerced volunteer labor

How dare us behave in a way in line with our souls.

Institutions that love their kids as they were a part of their own.

In a way that emulates very notion of our inner lives,

Lives that require continued attention, patience, nurturing, and pay off in ways

impossible to quantify.

So what are we to do. We are to rage on. Keep doing the spiritual work of building community. Take the kernels of joy and remember that not everyone has a place to share my worries about their families, and

get to hear the poignant, well, joys and concerns of us all.

In those moments, and there are a lot, I fire my inner bean counter. And all the miles of driving slip away, and all the ways our work of growing and sustaining waft up into the big inefficient ceiling and, well

I pity those who don't have what we do. Rage on!


Sat. April 1st, the Clara Barton District, is hosting it's annual gathering. All welcome. Steve, Mark and Annette are representing the Bernardston UU s. It's at Al Ciarcia's former church in Stratford, CT – but we're happy to report that Al and Jane will be at Disneyworld!

Things to consider:

Ferry Beach: OK, mini summer dreamy moment here. Imagine ... Big old house three hours due East: simple quality food made for you; difficult decisions that involve the debate between the interesting workshop in the house next door or the beach 50 yards to the right; a place where going formal means sandals not flip flops. Check out the brochures at church on Sunday for program info......

Keeping Darfur on the Radar Screen: Sliding under the radar screen is the human rights atrocity going on in Africa. The Pres. Of the Sudan is at best turning a blind eye to an atrocity right under his nose. We have seen this before, and we as humans almost always say we should have done something. Let's do something. The Darfur Coalition is collecting one million postcards intended to be delivered to Bush, who has made gestures that such genocide not be tolerated by him or his administration.

*Fight your human nature to overlook an event that will not touch you directly.

*Call Congress (202)224-3121 and tell them that the American people care about the ongoing human rights nightmare and genocide in Darfur.

*Call/email your comments to the Pres. (202)456-1111 or comments

*Check the websites: or www.Save

From your newsletter editor:

Some important community dates follow:

Sat. April 8th (after meeting with Ted Thornton 10am-12noon over coffee at the church...) come to the Green Fair at Indoor Action until 5pm. After you have learned all you can from Ted about the middle east, figure out what wonderful green strategies you can adopt at home – from cars to composting, from reaction (the NUKE) to pro-action!!

An alternative on April 8th is the Bennington Meeting House dedication open house 2-4 and Service at 2:30. Call Steve for a ride. 617-852-2292

April 15th United Way of Franklin County sponsors an A Capella Festival at 7:30 at Greenfield High School. I'm bringing one of the singing groups from NMH. If you want to join us call Annette or Mark.


Sincerely,your newsletter editor,

Annette Mackin Wadleigh ~