Where have you had what you would consider a spiritual or religious experience? Where have you felt your faith deepen, or felt connected to something larger than yourself?
I know that happened for me during my childhood in nature. Nothing fancy – just local parks, special bushes that formed natural forts, good climbing trees, birds at the birdfeeder in the backyard. We are part of a larger web of existence, and children need to experience that in hands-on ways.
Unfortunately, children are getting less and less time outdoors, and less and less chance to experience and connect to the natural world. As UU’s, this should be part of our Religious Education programs – to get kids outside and really experience the 7th Principle for ourselves: Respect for the interdependent web of life.
We are fortunate at OUUC to have a little slice of woods on our property, and this month we held two Nature Sundays that got the kids into the woods. We used all five of our senses: listening and smelling while blindfolded, looking closely, feeling mysterious objects in feely boxes, and even tasting (wild berry jam). The weather cooperated, and we had a wonderful time exploring.
Find your own place to explore. For more, read:
Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv, or his new book Vitamin N: The Essential Guide to a Nature Rich Life