The new year 2018 is a time for fresh beginnings and for looking back. An intention is different from a resolution. An intention pulls us into who we truly are. An intention comes from an inner voice and is connected to your true self in a spiritual way (as suggested by Doug Taylor, Tahoma UU in Tacoma, WA).
As a community of all ages, we know that our children are watching, listening, and learning from how we live, what we intend to do, and, more important, the impact we make. Our ministry to children and youth is important and must include relevant life issues, relationship building. and ways to transform our own lives and a waiting world.
This winter, the Spiritual Pathways (aka Religious Education) Committee will continue to reflect on innovative programming, review goals, and evaluate curricula and safety practices, as well as stretch our creative energy toward fresh opportunities for a full-week UU faith. I am looking forward to a day with Rev. Dr. Thandeka, scholar, theologian, ordained minister, journalist, author, and television producer. The day will focus on her initiative “Love Beyond Belief” and will include young people’s worship, a special conversation with Coming of Age and senior high youth, and a teacher lunch program.
January young people’s worship will balance messages of intention and justice.
In reviewing the past, it is important to appreciate and affirm current accomplishments, while embracing challenge and change. A sampling of first semester good news in the congregational lives of our children, youth and adults:
• Monthly family messages have been shared with parents.
• We hosted a lively, warm Family Joyful Noise Sing-along. There will be another in the spring.
• Marcia Taylor’s Joyful Noise Singing Group graced us with music at the Thanksgiving service and on Christmas Eve.
• Senior high youth are leading a gift card drive and fostering an ongoing relationship with and for Dorcas International Institute. They are connected to Standing on the Side of Love (SSL) projects and many areas of congregational life. Sadie Swayze is the Youth Representative to SSL. Jack Killilea is the Youth Representative on the Deacons. Kiera Roche is the Youth Representative on the PruComm.
• Eighth-grade Coming of Agers and their mentors have been building connections as they shepherd the UUSC “Guest at Your Table” effort and plan for their “Taco Fiesta” later this month.
• Sixth/seventh-graders did a wonderful job selling UUSC cards and are excellent chapel worship associates.
• Over 50 teacher, advisor and RE Committee volunteers share their time and loving energy with our children and youth.
May 2018 be full of opportunities for intention with impact that insists on justice.
Director of Religious Education