Forming Faith (Page 3)

Forming Faith (Page 3)

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

Chalice Camp: Identity and Justice

I’m excited to share news of our 2020 RE Summer Program, Chalice Camp: Identity and Justice. So relevant for our time, we will talk about integrity and courage. Our Sunday morning camp will cover self-identity, difference, the historical and recent background of racism and resistance movements that fought and continue to work to dismantle oppression. What would camp be without arts and crafts? Decorate your own tee shirt, assemble your own identity mosaic, make your own Femo beads and embellish…

Compassion

Compassion is our theme this month. I learned the distinction between empathy and compassion from reading our Soul Matters materials. “Compassion (to suffer with) is an innate part of human response to suffering, which is comprised of a three-part experience of noticing another’s pain, feeling with another (empathy), and responding in some way.” So, compassion is feeling with and then acting on alleviating suffering. It’s the action part that makes compassion different. When I read that it made me even…

Exploring Thresholds

This month we will explore Thresholds in all our Religious Education classes. PreK-7th will focus on Thresholds as the boundaries between our place of shelter and the outside in session one. What do we welcome in? What are thresholds good at keeping out? Take a look at the first hymn in our gray hymnal, Singing the Living Tradition— “May Nothing Evil Cross this Door”—this hymn talks about shelter from the storm, making our space sacred, peaceful and joyful. In session…

We are Liberated Together

Our monthly theme for April is Liberation. Wow, has that taken on a whole new meaning for us in these days of “shelter in place?” Our worlds have shrunk to the size of essential services and there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight. I don’t know about you, but I suspect we may have some feelings in common. I’m cycling through feeling fine, to anger at the way our Federal government is handling this crisis, to fear about…

Awakening and Wisdom

I served as Minister-in-Residence at Elementary/Family Winter Camp at de Benneville Pines over Presidents’ Day weekend. Did you know that there were more opportunities to get up to camp as a family in addition to our October weekend? Children in grades 2 through 6 can come up as independent campers—and we had one from our congregation, Elise Kaufel. I took my great nephew and niece, Rowan and Leyla. One extended family came up with grandparents, parents and children for a…

Feelings Count

Resilience is our theme this month. From Soul Matters, “Resilience is the ability to bounce back from stress, challenge, tragedy, trauma or adversity. When children are resilient, they are braver, more curious, more adaptable, and more able to extend their reach into the world.” The person I’ve read the most on the combined topics of resilience and parenting is Brene Brown. You may have seen her TED Talks. Here is an exercise the recommends as a family activity. It has…

Vision for RE in 2020

Happy New Year! The day after Christmas I look out my window to see squirrels frolicking in the trees munching on pine cones. The night rain has washed everything clean. The trees are well watered. I love these trees and the squirrels who live in them. I feel kin to them and to the humming birds that hover above the red and orange flowers. The world blesses me, fills my heart with gratitude and I do my best to bless…

Offering Gratitude

Our youth raised $264.01 to buy the supplies we needed to make 100 First Aid kits for the Hearts and Hands interfaith day of service. I’m so proud of them!!! And, grateful to you, congregation, who supported them! Thank you, Judith Stamper for organizing us and buying the supplies. Five youth and eight adults, including myself, spent much of the day assembling our kits and then branching out to other projects like making wooden toy cars and flannel heating pads…

The Holidays are Upon Us

It is time to dive into the holidays! We will start with a Dia de los Muertos celebration. This has been a big topic of conversation. Can we engage in a cultural celebration that does not have Unitarian Universalist roots? It is a good question. And, I’m not finding any easy answers. After colonizing a culture can the dominant culture then celebrate the festivals of the indigenous one? It doesn’t seem right. On the other hand, does celebrating the holiday…

LET’S MAKE OUR PRESENCE FELT

News. Young people are making it! I went to the Climate Strike on Friday, September 20 at the Huntington Beach Pier. I have been to countless protests in my life. They all felt urgent, compelling as did this one. I had been to a protest at the Pier before. To release children from detention camps and reunited them with their families. There were maybe 50 people there and, no doubt about it, it was a grim affair. The 200 or…

Religious Education News

I’m full of expectation as our new program year begins! I expect great things. I anticipate that we will have classrooms full and bustling with eager teachers and learners of all ages. That we will touch, explore and act on our deep spiritual source. That we will have fun together and laugh together That we will be honest with one another, support, encourage and care for each other. That we will bring our best selves into our church community and…

Random Kindness

“a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” begins the movie Star Wars. This summer, children will be welcomed as padawans—new initiates—into Jedi Master training in the Jedi Temple. They will learn, as Master Obiwan Kenobi once said that, “The Force is what gives a Jedi his (her) power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.” Our multi-age summer Jedi Temple school will teach children…