The Art of Gathering: Ritual & Ceremony

Rev. Mark Orten, Middlebury College’s Dean of Religious Life, shared insights. Assisted by Karl Lindholm. We donated to Hungarian Unitarian Church efforts to aid Ukrainian Refugees.

About Rev. Orten: Mark works to make spiritual and religious life relevant, central and visible on the campus. He has experience and various certifications working with intentional community among people of vast differences, employing interpersonal and inter-group dialogue models, implementing restorative practices for mediation and healing, as well as leading contemplative practices in several modalities (yoga, labyrinth, mindfulness meditation). Mark lives in Middlebury with his spouse and four children and enjoys meditation, reading, walking conversations, cooking, board games and keeping up with politics.

Watch a recording of the service here:

Order of Service

Bell: Land Acknowledgement   

Welcome and Pathways to Connection: Karl Lindholm

Prelude: Ronnie Romano, Music Dir.

Call to Worship: Rev Mark R. Orten

Chalice Lighting:

Come we now out of the darkness of our unknowing and the dusk of our dreaming;

Come we now into the twilight of our awakening and the reflection of our gathering.

Come we now all together.

May the sparks of our joining kindle our resolve,

brighten our spirits, reflect our love,

and unshadow our days.

Come we now; enter the dawning.

-Annie Foerster

Hymn:  Gathered Here  (Gray #389)      Ronnie Romano

Time for All Ages:  Director of Religious Exploration Poppy Rees

Offering: For most of May, we’ll share our collection with Hungarian Unitarian Church Ukrainian Relief Efforts referred to us by Neil Chippendale.  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  You can also contribute directly to this UUA-supported project online here.

Offering Music: Ronnie Romano

Receiving the Offering What Gift Can We Bring (Gray #404)

Milestones & Passages: Karl Lindholm


Hymn.       Touch the Earth, Reach the Sky         (Gray #301)

Readings 1 & 2   The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker, read by Carol Harden  and Brett Millier

Reading #3  The Art of Community by Charles H. Vogl,  read by Tracey Harrington

Reflection  Rev. Mark R. Orten

Hymn: Hineh Mah Tov (Gray #392)   Ronnie Romano

Benediction:  Rev Mark R Orten

Postlude: Ronnie Romano

Credits:  Worship leader Rev. Mark Orten; worship associate Karl Lindholm; music director Ronnie Romano; director of religious exploration Poppy Rees; tech support Rich Wolfson and Margy Young; our Flower Co-op for seasonal arrangements; Jean Terwilliger and Mike Greenwood and all who helped set up, usher, and greet; Alan Moore for overseeing safety, sound, and social hour.