How do we hold both the suffering and the joy we experience in this world? I spent last weekend at church with 65 other UUs from around the Midwest at the middle school con People’s Church hosted. On Saturday night the youth were having their Coffee House—singing, acting, telling UU jokes, laughing and playing; unbeknownst to us, simultaneously a gunman was randomly shooting and killing people in Kalamazoo.
When I discovered what was unfolding in our community, I was horrified and afraid. I made sure all the doors to the church were locked and everyone was safely inside. The irony was that as I was trying to create an atmosphere of safety inside our church so our middle schoolers could allow their spirits to open up and be touched…. outside horror was unfolding in our
How do we make room in our hearts to hold the joy, laughter and love and yet experience and acknowledge great fear and suffering in our lives and world at the same time? How do we sit with this dichotomy and find some semblance of peace with it? It is not easy.
How do we make sense of such horrors and how do we talk with our children about them? From what do we try to shield them and about what aspects do we talk honestly and openly? Of course much of the answer depends on their age, maturity and sensitivity levels.
I appreciate Mr. Rogers’ wisdom on such tragedies when he says that his mom suggested he always notice the helpers. We can’t make sense of senseless acts of random violence, but we can acknowledge our fears and our sorrows and talk frankly about our feelings with our children.
I recommend being straight forward and honest with children—especially older ones. Tell them the facts, share your feelings and inquire about theirs. Kids these days are quite hooked up to what is going on in the world with social media and they get exposed to far more than previous generations. I think open honest dialog among families members is key to creating healthy coping mechanisms in regards to current events.
At church I hope we can support each other in love and courage as we work together to live in trying times as best as we can. May it be so.
Blessed Be, Diane Melvin, Religious Education Director
RE Teacher Orientation
March 6th – 12:30-2:00 pm
All K-6 teachers are needed to participate in this orientation as we are switching our curriculum focus from Tapestry of Faith to Keepers of the Earth for the rest of this church year.
Please let Diane Melvin know how many members of your family we should plan to feed after church and whether you will be childcare or not at firstname.lastname@example.org or 375-3262.
Youth Trip Fundraising Projects
- Can and Bottle Drive– Please leave your rinsed out returnables in the container by the front door.
- Bake Sale – March 6th in the foyer after church.
- Yard Work/Heavy Lifting Jobs – Our youth are willing to come to your house to help with your projects in exchange for a donation to the Youth Trip Fund. Contact Diane Melvin to coordinate.
- Stock Certificates – Make a check out to People’s Church with “Youth Trip Fund” in the memo line to buy stock in our youth!
- 2nd Sunday Lunches – Plan to stay for lunch and enjoy fellowship on 2nd Sundays. The youth are cleaning up all the lunches this year in exchange for the net proceeds from the donation baskets.
- Westnedge Hill Garage Sale – Have anything you would be willing to donate for us to sell at River Artz-Iffland’s House the first Saturday in May? Let Diane Melvin know.
- People’s Church T-Shirts & Bumper Stickers – We may also have these items for sale in the foyer this spring.
- Faithify – Similar to “Go Fund Me,” Faithify is a crowdfunding website devoted to Unitarian Universalist projects. Our youth project will only be funded if at least $1,000 is pledged by April 3, 2016. Click on the link to make your online pledge.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY!