Reverend Don Chatfield

All Souls Interfaith Gathering Lead Pastor

Welcome to All Souls Interfaith Gathering!  We are an inclusive spiritual community where all are welcome.
 

Perhaps you’ve heard about the meaningful spiritual offerings at All Souls.  Or, you might have heard of the inspiring music we offer.  You may know people who are deeply connected to our spiritual community.  Of course, our meeting place speaks to our deep connection to the environment.  Whatever has drawn you to All Souls, we’d love to have you come for a visit.  What can you expect when you arrive?
 

All of our members first attended All Souls as a visitor, so we want to make you feel at home.  Most of us were not raised in an interfaith setting, and we come from many spiritual perspectives.  You’ll be received with a warm personal welcome.

 

Whether you’re attending a meditation session, a Music and Spirit Service, or a class, you’ll notice that we’re individuals with diverse tastes.  Feel free to wear what makes you comfortable.
 

Your children are welcome to stay with you throughout a Music and Spirit service.  We love having little ones with us during the service.  Feel free to ask a greeter for coloring sheets or a Buddha board to entertain your children during service.
 

We take an offering at most of our meetings to support the work at All Souls.  We do not expect visitors to contribute, although gifts are always welcome.


We understand that being a visitor in a new spiritual community can feel overwhelming.  We will not single you out or ask you to introduce yourself.  You’ll simply be welcomed to our community as we explore finding deeper meaning.  If you wish, you can sign up to receive our email newsletter to receive information about upcoming services and programs.


Handicap parking is available directly in front of the All Souls building on the asphalt parking area.  For the time being, we are holding all meetings and services on the back lawn overlooking Lake Champlain.  Simply walk around the south end of the building where you will be greeted in the Staff Parking Lot.


At All Souls, we focus on the perennial wisdom found in the teachings of the world’s faiths.  Our spirituality and practice is based on our personal experiences and shared values instead of dogma or creeds.  We highly value contemplation as a pathway to deeper spirituality.  Our Sunday Morning Meditation includes a 30-minute silent sit and our Music and Spirit Services include a time of meditation and prayer.


Many have asked what it means to be “interfaith.”  Interfaith means many things to different members of our congregation.  For some it means remaining rooted in your traditional spiritual path while learning from other teachings.  For others, it means adopting teachings and practices from diverse paths to meet individual needs.  Whatever you’re seeking, we hope you’ll come to visit us at All Souls sometime soon.


With peace and blessings,


Rev. Don Chatfield, Ph.D.

Lead Pastor

Reverend Don Chatfield (right), Karen Chatfield (left), and Lily (center).

Rev. Don Chatfield

Progressive Biography: Part One of Five

Don was born in Phoenix, Arizona where his father served in the Air Force.  Both his parents were from Kansas City, Missouri where the family returned.  Don’s early years were spent surrounded by grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins.  He has fond memories of live jazz concerts at the Nelson Atkins Gallery and his first baseball game (Kansas City A’s vs. Boston Red Sox).  He remembers helping his grandfather prepare communion at church and watching his mother practice organ for Sunday services.  Don loved fishing with his dad and uncles in the lakes and streams of Missouri.  When Don was nine years old, his father’s job was transferred to Ponca City, Oklahoma.  His parents were dismayed by the lack of opera, ballet, and sports, but Don loved the newfound freedom of riding his bicycle to the movies and countryside.

Rev. Don Chatfield

Progressive Biography: Part Two of Five

On a retreat at 14 years old, Don sensed a strong call to ministry.  He told his pastor, “It’s a call to something non-traditional.”  Don signed up for the high school debate team to develop research and public speaking skills for ministry.  He made it to the state speech tournament, held right before the senior prom.  Don went on to collegiate debating while he majored in rhetoric and persuasion, reaching the semifinals of the national debate tournament.  During his senior year in college, he served as a student pastor in Oklahoma City, preparing him to serve two churches in Kansas City, Missouri as a staff minister during his Master of Divinity studies.  It was during this time that Don fell in love with skiing while leading a youth retreat at Welch Village, Minnesota.

Rev. Don Chatfield

Progressive Biography: Part Three of Five

Don’s studies led him to Drew University where he met a lovely pastor’s daughter, Karen Bender, and they fell in love on a weekend ski trip to Killington.  While dating, Don served as staff minister at a Methodist Church in New York and Karen worked as a book editor in Manhattan.  Don wanted to engage faith with public policy, so he applied for environmental studies at the University of Arizona. Don and Karen were married at his church in New York and, after a Bahamas honeymoon, they moved to Tucson where Don finished another master’s degree.  Karen became a technical editor and Don became a consultant with a firm that assisted communities in the Southwest develop policy visions for the future. Don then accepted a position in community development with a rapidly growing suburb of Tucson, where he wrote environmental and public arts ordinances.  He continued to provide pastoral counseling and to fill-in at area pulpits.

Rev. Don Chatfield

Progressive Biography: Part Four of Five

Don completed his Ph.D. in Santa Barbara and was recruited to serve as executive director of a Tucson nonprofit serving the homeless and working poor. There he developed programs to train the homeless in construction skills while building 30 affordable homes each year. Karen joined a regional behavioral health agency as proposal manager and began developing cultural competence training. Don then joined a west-wide nonprofit organization focused on collaborative conservation. Don also served as Associate Pastor at a Methodist Church in Tucson, where he led the contemporary worship service with a rock band and video boards. Feeling called to a larger vision of spirituality, he began studies for interfaith ministry. Once ordained as an interfaith minister, Don and Karen opened La Cholla Center for Integrative Spirituality, offering meditation classes, retreats, and study series.

Rev. Don Chatfield

Progressive Biography: Final Part

Don completed a master’s degree in professional counseling and became a therapist providing addiction treatment services.  Karen became a board member of the Coalition on African American  Health and Wellness and planned a statewide mental health conference for the LGBTQ+ population.  Don and Karen continued to offer meditation, spiritual studies, and retreats through La Cholla Center.  They enjoyed vacations to western ski resorts and Mexican beaches.  Don accepted the position as executive director at Osage Forest of Peace, a contemplative interspiritual retreat center near Tulsa.  There they founded the School of Spiritual Direction to train spiritual companions.  Don built an annual calendar of workshops and retreats and coordinated weekly services.  Last December Don received an email about the Lead Pastor position at All Souls and immediately felt drawn to apply.  Don and Karen arrived in Vermont on July 8 and were welcomed at a community picnic on July 14.  They both love Vermont and being part of the All Souls Community.