An Antidote to the Hustle and Bustle of the Season

How do we cope with the additional activities and obligations that arise during the busy holiday season? There is a story about a popular teacher who meditated for an hour every day. When asked how he fits it into his busy schedule, he indicates that when he gets extra busy, he meditates for two hours a day. Extra time on the meditation cushion was his antidote to stress. While it took more time, the time spent helped him to be better able to cope with the busyness.

How can we squeeze in a bit of time in our lives for stillness and reflection in the midst of this busy season of year? Here are a few ideas:

1) Express Gratitude – This can be done individually or as a family. I write 4 or 5 items in a gratitude journal each day but families could go around a dinner table (or in the car) and share something they are grateful for in any given day. I find it opens and shifts my perspective.

2) Say Grace – Take a moment before eating to express gratitude for your food. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • For bread, for friends, for joy and sorrow, for the comfort of quietness, let us ever be grateful and caring. (Rudolph W. Nemser)
  • May we hold hands quietly for a moment, feeling love flow around us and through us, knowing that as we give love away there is always more within. (anonymous)
  • Bedtime Prayer: Thank you, God, for all life brings, for health and play and all good things, and help me use my heart and mind to make me strong and keep me kind. Amen. (Robert and Polly Cooper)

3) Practice Mindfulness – Trying to be aware and pay attention to whatever you are doing is an invaluable practice at all times. It is also helpful to take some time apart from your daily activities to stop and just notice your breath. I do this daily meditation that is appropriate for all ages of adults and kids. Anyone can take a few moments each day alone or as a family to practice this simple breathing exercise.

Breathing in, I know I am breathing in.
Breathing out, I know I am breathing out.
Breathing in, I feel my breath grow deep.
Breathing out, I feel by breath grow slow.
Breathing in, I dwell in the present moment.
Breathing out, I know that this is a wonderful moment.

~By Thich Nhat Hanh

Blessed Be, Diane Melvin, Religious Education Director


Young Adult CON

All 18-35 year olds are invited to participate in the fun weekend gathering of UU young adults from around the region! Sliding fee of $25-60 for the weekend, which includes meals and workshops. Register HERE and check out the Facebook event at KalamazUU CON.


OWL Parent Orientation

Sunday Jan. 3rd – 12:30 – 3:30 Room 19

We are offering Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education for 9-12th graders this winter. This 12 week class will begin on January 10th and take place from 10:30-12:30 in room 19.

All parents and guardians of 9-12th grade youth are invited to participate in this parent orientation workshop which is needed before your high school aged youth can participate in the class.

Please RSVP for the Potluck Lunch and indicate whether childcare is needed or not to Diane Melvin at


CONGRATULATIONS KIERNAN DEAN-HALL for recently being chosen as a member of the Heartland Area UU Youth Council! You are Amazing!


RE Teacher Appreciation Breakfasts

January 24th and 31st – 9:30 –10:15 AM

All Religious Education Teachers and their families are invited to come to church early for a wonderful breakfast and to bask in the appreciation RE Committee members are expressing for your time and dedication to our children and youth in the religious education program at People’s. Mark your calendars for the date which works best for you and look for an invitation to come soon.


Young Adult Group

First and third Tuesdays, 7:00 pm in room L-2 at People’s Church. All those 18-35 years old are invited to gather together for meaningful discussions, sharing, activities and deepening connections. Childcare available upon request. Contact group coordinator, Mackenzie Hatfield-Johnson, for more information at 269-779-2111 or


Stay in the loop, join our new Facebook group: People’s Church Religious Education Parents.

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