How to Be a Good Ancestor: Living in Relationship with Creation

In our Sanctuary (no Zoom). Melody (Brook) Mackin of Atowi Group of Abenaki artists & activists and Jay Harrington helped us explore the Abenaki world view. Tim Guiles on piano. We shared our plate with New Community Project.

About Melody Mackin: Melody Mackin is an artist, educator, and mother. She has been an adjunct professor for over 14 years and taught previously for Northern Virginia Community College, Johnson State College,  Champlain College, and has taught courses, such as Abenaki HIstory & Culture, Making Connections, and Native American History.

Mackin has previously served as the vice chair and chair of the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs. She received her master’s degree in history from the University of Vermont and within her community Melody has focused on cultural revitalization and concepts of personhood. She is also a member of the VT Abenaki Artists Association and is a beadworker, finger weaver, and historical consultant. Melody was named one of USA Today’s Most Influential Women of the Century as part of the centennial celebration of the Suffrage Movement. See here.  Her Tedx talk can be viewed here.

Order of Service

Bell: Land Acknowledgement  

Welcome & Pathways to Connection:  Jay Harrington, Worship Associate

Prelude: Calling in the Ancestors  Melody Mackin

Call to Worship: Giving Thanks by Medawas  Jay Harrington

Chalice Lighting: Great Sun by Bruchac  Jay Harrington

The sun gives us light to live and grow

In the language of hands we all used to know
to say you are happy raise one hand high
as if to bring down Sun from the sky

Then lower it to touch your chest,
show that sun is in your heart.

Time for All Ages: Foolish Old Man (Tsonakwa)  Jay Harrington

Offering:  We’ll share our collection with New Community Project. Please write all checks to CVUUS. All cash and checks not otherwise specified will be split between CVUUS and our donee. You can give online at

Offering Music: Tim Guiles

Receiving the Offering:   From You I Receive (Gray #402)

Milestones & Passages: Jay Harrington


Music:  Mother Earth Beloved Garden (Teal #1067)  Tim Guiles

Reading: Allegiance to Gratitude (excerpt from Braiding Sweet Grass, by Kimmerer)  Melody Mackin

Reflection: How to Be a Good Ancestor Melody Mackin

Hymn: Evening Breeze (Teal #1072)  Tim Guiles

Closing Words:  Now Are Minds Are One (Stokes and Kanawahientun)  Melody Mackin

Postlude: Tim Guiles

Credits: Thanks to our guest speaker Melody Mackin; Abi Sessions for helping with sound; Revell Allen for helping with music selection; Flower Co-op for seasonal arrangements; Mike Greenwood for overseeing safety and social hour and Avi Freund and others who helped set up, usher, and greet.

Thank you for joining us for worship!

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