I have called my work in the month of May the “appreciation, recognition, transition, and visioning dance.” For some of us, the graduation, ceremony, and celebration season is upon us. At First Unitarian, it is also when we look ahead to next year’s themes, programming, and more. All of this as flowers bloom and days are warmer and longer. Many of us yearn for time to rest, regroup, and renew. Not quite yet, I say to myself. There’s a lot to do.
Our Senior High Youth service was an early gift to the congregation, more like salsa, complete with bridging of graduating seniors. Honorees received symbolic life tools: thorny roses, a UU Pocket Guide, and a chalice pendant. This month, the eighth-grade Coming of Age recognition service will showcase youth belief statements and a congregational celebration of the transition to the next stage of lifelong faith development.
In between Sundays, the Spiritual Pathways Team (aka Religious Education Committee) and I have been waltzing through curriculum, policies, practices, and support systems. We are determined to offer meaningful resources and innovative ways to serve our children, youth, and adults that encourage a “full-week faith.” And we are in the midst of harvesting next year’s teams of volunteer teachers. It is just the right time for you to enjoy this opportunity that begins in September. If you have an interest in participating on a teacher team, please let us know by contacting me or a committee member by email, phone, or in the church office. You will be supported in learning how to do that cha-cha.
This month our theme is What Does It Mean to be a People of Creativity and Transcendence? Seems appropriate for the season. I came upon an extraordinary new picture book celebrating the power of the imagination and the resilience of the human spirit! The creative young girl who narrates this story loves to write and draw, but one day she wonders: What would happen if her pencil disappeared? This question launches her on a journey of discovery where she explores the countless forms that creativity and self-expression can take. The book is What If?, by Samantha Berger.
So, I am asking myself and all of us, what if we consider our call to be “Love Beyond Belief,” Rev. Dr. Thandeka’s suggested way to describe Unitarian Universalist theology. What if we teach, envision, and make real that we are a faith community that truly lives its values, resist-ing, supporting, empowering ourselves and others toward justice and peace? And what if we understand and embrace the fact that it will be an uncomfortable dance? The tricky moves fluctuate between awkward, challenging, frustrating, and painful.
And what if we did it together?
Director of Religious Education