Tuesday, January 4, 2011

First U Playgroup meets Saturday, Jan. 8

The inaugural meeting of our First Unitarian Church Playgroup for infants and toddlers will be this Saturday, Jan. 8 at 9:30 am. We will meet for an hour of play and conversation in the first floor classrooms (Note: please enter through the front of the church on Franklin Street!) All children four and under are welcome, as are their older siblings. Bring a favorite toy to share if you like and anything to make your little ones more comfortable.

Parents, come play and hang out with your kids and other First U parents this Saturday! Snacks are still needed! If you plan to come and would like to bring a snack or if you have any questions, contact Director of Lifespan Religious Education, Becky Brooks.

See you at church!

"Rise Up and Call her Name" Adult Religious Education course begins Jan. 22

Rise Up and Call Her Name: A Woman-honoring Journey into Global Earth-based Spiritualities, by Elizabeth Fisher

This Adult Religious Education Class will led by Dorothy Critcher and Janice Zimmerman Saturday mornings, Jan. 22 - Mar. 5 (9:30 am to 12:00 noon.)

Rise Up and Call Her Name provides a unique format for learning about goddesses from a variety of traditions.

This course is for the person looking to regain the “whole” of humankind’s spiritual roots. It presents aspects common to many cultural traditions around the globe which are not frequently highlighted. These important roots include honoring the earth, revering the sacred feminine and valuing women.

Sessions will include creative ritual, chants and songs, artistic adventures, group dialogues, journal writing, storytelling, dancing, meditations and mask making. The curriculum also includes sensitively narrated ten-minute video segments of dramatically filmed images of women-honoring sacred art, both ancient and contemporary.

You can register for this class online or contact Director of Lifespan Religious Education, Becky Brooks if you have any questions.

Every Day

This is a reprint of the Director of Lifespan Religious Education's column from the January issue of The Beacon newsletter

Almost ten years ago I began to write in a journal. I decided I was going to try to write every single day. I failed. About eight years ago I decided to try again. I failed. About six years ago I decided to try again and this time, for whatever reason, something clicked and *nearly* every day since, I carved out a small, precious bit of time to write in my journal. But then something changed. There is no entry in my journal for the day our twins were born. There is no entry for the day after. No entries for the days of recovery in the hospital. No entries for the eight days our son was in the NICU. No joyful entry when all five of us were home at last. No "milestones of the first month" entry, no entries detailing the insanity of sleep deprivation or the ecstasy of first smiles. The spiritual practice of journalling that I had built up over years is broken. Like a once-prized roadster on blocks in the front yard, it sits waiting for me to patch it up and turn the engine over to see if I can still coax it to life. There is, and always will be, something more pressing, more exciting, more fun or more important to do than to sit down and write in my journal. But as the babies settle into something resembling a schedule (gasp!) I am remembering the pull of having a practice.

But to create (or re-create) a practice, we must change. Not only do I have to remember how helpful the practice of journaling was, not only do I have to muscle that chunk of time into the schedule of my life, I have to write. In order to return to journaling every day, I have to journal every day. Simple? Yes. Easy? No. When we make time in our lives to contain something we desire it doesn't stop the rest of our lives from continuing to crash back in. In my days of thwarted attempts to try journalling again I've done laundry instead, shopped for baby clothes online, caught up with email for work and made myself some very nice sandwiches. I wrote successfully today. I wrote for thirty minutes, uninterrupted, and it was lovely. But unless I do it tomorrow too, it's not a practice. And what I want, even more than a record of my day or a way to process the day's thoughts, is a practice.

It's the same with church. If you come to church occasionally, you might hear a good sermon, meet some nice people, enjoy the conversation and the coffee. And maybe that's all you want. Maybe you want a little food for your brain and a smile at coffee hour and you're a happy camper. But if you want a community, if you want a place for your children to grow into a sense of their own spirituality and explore the wisdom of the traditions of the world, if your want to be heard, if you want to listen, if you want to belong, that's work you have to do every week. Every Sunday morning First Unitarian saves a place for you. I hope to see you there.

First U's Got Talent Redux!

Because of snowmageddon last year we were forced to cancel the intergenerational talent show.  In hopes of a kinder, gentler winter we are rescheduling for Sunday, February 6 after the service at 1 p.m..  There will be lunch for purchase.

Start planning now for your contribution! Search out a talented young person and form a team; show off your family's gifts - you have the dark nights of January to practice.  All acts must include one or more children, and wacky prizes will be awarded in three categories:  child/children/youth, family (children performing with related adult(s)), and children/adult (children performing with unrelated adult(s)).  Michael Preston will direct. Sign up at the Welcome Table in Enoch Pratt Parish Hall after services or contact Michael.

Don't want to show off?  Just plan to attend and cheer on our talented tots, tweens, teens!