Unitarian Universalists don’t have the strong liturgical calendar that other traditions use to order their years. And, while I don’t want to anchor the whole religious experience of a year in the story of the life of Jesus, as other traditions do, I do have a bit of liturgical calendar envy.
It would be nice to have a steady and familiar rhythm to follow.
But wait – there is a rhythm already! It’s the rhythm of the seasons, which so many faith traditions, especially indigenous and earth-based traditions, have been inspired by. We can follow this natural rhythm as well, even though so many of us no longer live lives that are intimately connected to the outdoors or to agricultural cycles.
In the religious education program, this can look like it did this last Sunday, when we made fall wreaths and apple pomanders to welcome a new season after the equinox and to make our doorways welcoming to guests.
If you are interested in making connection to the seasons part of your family practice, I recommend the book The Rhythm of Family: Discovering a Sense of Wonder Through the Seasons by Amanda and Stephen Soule
Our High School group had a lovely kick-off to the new program year. Youth gathered to start creating a collaborative work of art on the group’s Chalice for the year, creating a covenant, and making some preliminary plans for the year.
Ideas for activities that the youth came up with:
- Serving dinner at the community kitchen in town
- going to the Painted Plate to paint pottery together
- working on LGBT rights issues
- working on climate change issues
- going on a hike or doing trail work on a trail
- volunteering with Native Plant Salvage or other habitat project
- Laser Tag
- beginning planning and fundraising for a group trip in 2 years
That’s just the start of our plans for the year! Let’s see how it actually takes form, but for sure it’s going to be fun!
This evening we had a first for us, as these wonderful folks gathered to brainstorm and dig into ideas for how our monthly themes can become classroom stories and activities for the kids.
The idea for this came out of what I learned about white supremacy cultural characteristics at this year’s Unitarian Universalist General Assembly. I came home to the congregation inspired to try and be more collaborative, and invite more perspectives and voices to the table.
So here they are, the folks who chose to spend their time thinking about what we could do with these themes. I really appreciate everything they brought to the table. We came up with some wonderful ideas! I think we’re going to have a great time with these lessons.
Our themes will be:
- September — Welcome
- October — Courage
- November — Healing
- December — Hope