Opening Sundays of worship and classes have been full of positive energy, with feelings of connection and opportunity. We will continue to welcome new families and greet those who are returning. I am pleased to be able to spend time serving the generous adults who guide children and youth in our congregation and glad to report that we have at least 50 volunteers on teacher teams this fall. I thank everyone for their patience and flexibility in these early weeks as we adjust rooms, add to supplies, support volunteer staff, and attend to individual needs.
Throughout the year, worship messages and group curricula will be theme-based and cross the generations. In October we will explore what it means to be a people of Courage. A programming priority is to be relevant in the daily lives of young people and families.
These can be challenging times for people of all ages. Parents certainly deal with busy schedules, their work; both inside and outside of the home, daunting current events, relentless social media, as well as hopes and dreams for their children and youth. I’d like to hold up four daily communication times when there might be openings for parents to share faith- related ideas with their families. I have taken them from “Think Orange,” adapted by Tim Atkins. Many already do this. It’s a reminder.
- Meal Time – teaching core values through sharing stories from your day
- Drive Time – chatting with light-hearted dialogue about real-life issues
- Bed Time – practicing rituals to deeply listen to struggles, fears, and hopes; a time for calm processing
- Morning – coaching with encouragement to have faith in having a good day
Our living UU tradition can be with us as we move through our days, impacting our own families and the broader community. My work here at First Unitarian and for our UUA has been inspired by the reading below, reflecting on the concept of “brave space.”
Together we will create brave space
Because there is no such thing as a “safe space”
We exist in the real world
We all carry scars and we have all caused wounds.
In this space
We seek to turn down the volume of the outside world,
We amplify voices that fight to be heard elsewhere,
We call each other to more truth and love
We have the right to start somewhere and continue to grow.
We have the responsibility to examine what we think we know,
We will not be perfect.
This space will not be perfect.
It will not always be what we wish it to be
It will be our brave space together,
We will work in it side by side.
– Micky ScottBey Jones, inspired by an unknown author’s poem
I look forward to being with your family,
Director of Religious Education