Forming Faith

Forming Faith

The regular column from Karen Magoon Pearson, Director of Religious Education. Karen may be reached by email at dre@ocuuc.org.

Truth Telling

Throughout November, we all shared in the theme of Holding History. In our Religious Education program, that involved a lot of “truthful telling” and honesty about some painful parts of our nation’s past. These truths can be very difficult for adults to share with children and youth, and doing so in a developmentally appropriate way can be a challenge. Nevertheless, my goal for our program is to push forward boldly, past our own hang ups as adults, and be honest…

Jingle Dancing

The PreK-7th graders read the picture book Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Letitch Smith during their time together on October 10th as part of exploring how listening helps build relationships. This book was also selected in honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day on October 11th. It’s a story about a group of Indigenous Women who are using the tradition of Jingle Dancing to help the world heal the fear caused by the pandemic. The dresses, also known as Prayer Dresses, mimic the sound of falling rain and…

Fall Programs

Here in Religious Education for Children and Youth, we kicked off fall by sharing a beautiful Water Ceremony created just for kids on September 12th. We had 19 children and youth with us, and it was a fantastic experience. I was so touched by the way the kids were eager to participate and showed reverence in their own ways. It was very special for me, and I hope it was for them, too. On Sunday, September 19th, we began our…

Let’s Keep it Up

We have fully settled into our Circle of Trees program, and it seems the children and youth are really enjoying our time together on Sunday mornings. The teachers are, too! We have had several new families join us this month, and we recently had a total of 17 children and youth with us on Sunday morning, which is the highest attendance we’ve had since the beginning of the pandemic! It has been wonderful to be together, and cohorts of new…

A Running Start

I am so thrilled to be returning as your Director of Religious Education here at OCUUC! Despite a challenging last year, Rev. Judy has left the program in terrific shape with the help of our dedicated volunteers and terrific families. Thanks to all of their support I am off to a running start, and we have kicked off our exciting new summer program, Circle of Trees. This is a multigenerational program that nurtures deep connection with trees, nature, and all…

Transitions

Transition is in the air. We are moving back to in-person church and Religious Education. We are shifting into summer mode with free and open days during the week and guests in our pulpit on Sundays. And we are changing over from one Director of Religious Education (DRE) to another. Transitions are always a bit tricky. Like passing a baton in a relay race, there is always the danger that someone might drop the stick. Karen Magoon Pearson, our incoming…

Play Connects Us

Exciting news! We will all begin to meet in-person for worship and Religious Education—just not in the same location. Back in April the Reopening Taskforce sent around a survey. On the basis of the information we received we got busy planning how to go about the reopening process. Parents told us that they didn’t want their children and youth to meet indoors so the RE Committee and I searched out a suitable outdoor location. We found Estancia Park at the…

We Write Our Own Story

I love a good story! I get so focused the world around me seems to disappear. I go to another dimension fully immersed in the author’s alternate reality. This month we explore Story from several angles. Unitarian Universalists believe that we are the authors of our own lives. We write our own story. And with the power to shape our own lives comes great responsibility. Can you write the story of your life, distilling it down to one sentence as…

Change and Re-Opening

Happy Spring! Passover! Easter! Nowruz! Lo, the earth awakes again! Back when the first vaccines were approved I began singing Easter songs in the faith that we would soon be together again. Now we have an OCUUC Task Force (in which I’m participating) working on re-opening plans. No, we won’t be meeting in-person by Easter Sunday. No, it won’t be as soon as we would like. But I do feel the sap rising and the buds forming that will surely…

Commitment

To what and to whom are you committed? This month we focus our attention on Commitment. I suppose if we put this in children’s language we would ask: What promises do you make? For me commitment is firmly linked with responsibility. I seem to have had a heavy dose of that in my life from an early age. Mostly, it has served me well, though stress is often responsibility’s close companion. Soul Matters, a UU religious professionals consortium, is the source…
People holding up peace signs with their fingers

Random Kindness

Beloved Community is a special kind of community. Here we honor Black, Indigenous, people of color. We love each other into healing and we stay in relationship, even when things get tough or messy. Not to mention a place where we use our creativity, offer our unique gifts, have fun and grow. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave depth and meaning to the phrase beloved community. For him it was about dignity and respect for every person, equality and justice…

Put Imagination to Work

Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand. Albert Einstein Happy New Year! Imagination is our Soul Matters theme for January. Here we are with 365 brand new days. We get to envision all that a new year could hold. We can feel in our bodies all the hope and love we can put into…