As a religious educator, faith development is at the heart of my professional and personal spiritual life. In our Unitarian Universalist faith, we must continually develop as people and be in relationships with others that push us to uphold the values of our Faith. This charge toward faith development is seen particularly in our 3rd principle (we help each other learn and grow spiritually) and it is reinforced in our other principles and 6 sources of wisdom.
Every interaction we have with one another is an opportunity to learn, to grow, to be held, and to be held accountable as we unlearn ways that hurt others and learn how to be in relationship, better – working to build the Beloved Community.
We’ve been in a pandemic for nearly a year now. Some of us, both kids and adults, are barely holding it together. Some of us have a mix of good days and “please not one more thing” days. What we have in common is our UU faith and the Allen Avenue community.
We are continuously working to create opportunities to be together that create space for those who are just hanging on, those who are thriving, and all the normal and varied emotional states ever present in this community.
I am part of a collaborative group of many folks at A2U2 creating free subscription boxes for those who would like to receive tangible items that encourage engagement with our monthly themes. These are curated boxes (or bags) for everyone in our congregation.
There are also youth-centered activities and meetings happening!
Senior Youth began meeting for role playing adventure games via Zoom in January! Kassidy Helfant and I are both facilitating, with me leading opening and closing rituals and Kassidy taking the role of amazing gamemaster! This group meets every other Thursday at 7:05!
Junior Youth will begin meeting for role playing games in the same format, on the same day beginning Feb 11 at 6pm, the hour before the Senior Youth Group!
Anyone can join Rev. Donna and Emily for interactive Children’s Stories live on Zoom on Tuesdays at 4pm beginning Feb 23! The first book in this 4 week pilot is called Not Quite Narwhal. A celebration of those who have ever felt like they didn’t quite fit in, this book is a fun exploration of authentic self. Feel free to dress in rainbow clothing, have a favorite stuffy join you or bring any accessories that make you feel like your true self!
Other online gatherings aimed at our upper elementary kids are in the works! If you’d like to facilitate a single session or many sessions with kids that emphasizes activity and connection, please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
As I have since I began serving Allen Avenue in the fall, I will continue to be part of worship and coffee hour on most Sundays. If you would like to see some of my original worship pieces created for A2U2, here are a few: Listen, The Neutrality of Imagination, Faith in the Time of Plague, Still, How to Catch a Firefly, and Cover Your Heart.
It is a pleasure to serve as your DRE!
Emily C. Jones