Inspiring, educating and nurturing those who minister through music and the arts

We are Circling, Circling Together

October 01, 2023 8:00 AM | Treva Stose (Administrator)


Photo by Peter Stickney

Dear Kind and Gentle People,

Oh My Soul! Last week we celebrated the Fall Equinox and the first day of Autumn. In addition, the harvest moon was brilliant and at 2 a.m. the mill pond’s reflection was as radiant as the day. About 10 p.m., while I was observing the ritual of howling, there echoed a magnificent surprise response with high pitched howls coming back from the southwest. Perhaps the pack of coyotes that have been pestering the cattle? Nonetheless, it was wicked cool! (As we say in Maine.)

The season of fall brings many tasks! Pastor Phyllis, who will turn 81 shortly, has just stacked 11, yes eleven, cords of wood for the winter! The second cutting of hay is late this year; however, the quality is quite good. The quince bush is loaded and shortly the fruit will be transformed into prize-winning quince jelly. Yes, fall butchering is upon us, which is made much easier this year by a new band saw and a seal and wrap machine! I still use the family cleaver, kept razor sharp after 150 years. Windows are next, all 53 of them, UGH!

Today, the Newfield Community Church had an outstanding World Communion Sunday and has planned a fabulous Indigenous Peoples Sunday for next week with a land acknowledgment and beautiful music by First Nation musicians. Our opening hymn, “We are Circling,” by Buffy Sainte-Marie is taken from the sampler of Then Let us Sing, a new hymnal from the United Church of Canada that I have had the honor of working on for the last four years. Here is a YouTube clip to further inspire you! FYI, the complete hymnbook will be published for the 2025 centennial of the United Church of Canada, with new pieces added regularly in a digital form.

Worldwide Communion Sunday and Indigenous Peoples Sunday bequeath a golden opportunity to examine our community of faith and indeed the care of our soul.

Are the structures and strictures of the past keeping us captive?

How may we transform our positions of power and privilege?

What parts of our common life together need to be reevaluated?

Ask these questions from a place of discernment, joy and faithfulness and without anxiety, fear and shame. Let us be summoned to new depths of faith, to a new place of divine discovery, and a fresh relationship with the Universe.

As we circle together may your heart song be strong and may the sacred unity of the Divine be with you. Do sing!

“We are circling, circling together.”

As Always,

Gobs of Blessings and Heaps of Happiness.

Your Chaplain,


Rev. Dr. Peter Stickney

UCC Musicians Association

P.O. Box 370631

West Hartford, CT 06137

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