Nothing gives me more hope than the turning of wheel from winter into spring. The return of blue skies and sunshine mixed with warmer temps and birdsongs lifts my spirits immensely.

As we rejoice in the renewal found in the natural word in spring, Pagans and Christians alike are rejoicing in the rebirth of the son/sun and the prolific renewal of life often represented by chicks and bunnies as winters dormancy gives way to the buds and blooms of new life.

As the Pagans among us are celebrating Eostara, honoring the ancient European goddess of spring, the Christians are celebrating Easter this month.

Have you ever wondered how Unitarian Universalists regard Easter? Have your kids inquired as to what this holiday is all about? Celebrating with bunnies and eggs dates back to ancient pagan festivals celebrating the fertility and renewal of new life common in the spring.

Christians celebrate Easter as the time when Jesus was crucified on the cross by the Romans and came back to life three days later. It is believed that he died to erase the sins of those who believe in him as their saviour

Many Unitarian Christians believe that Jesus was a great teacher and healer. While they may not believe the story of the resurrection literally, it is still a story that often invokes hope, forgiveness and the renewal of new life.

On 4/14, our K-7th graders will learn about the Christian and UU ideas around the Easter stories to help them form their own ideas and beliefs.

On 4/28, prayer and meditation is the focus of the RE classes. While introducing a few prayers from the Christian, we also want our children to experience spiritual practices they may find meaningful including guided meditation, zen tangling and walking our church labyrinth as well as writing their own prayers and learning to listen within to their own hearts and spirits.

We would love to have families share their own spiritual practices with their children to extend the conversation begun in their RE classes.

Blessed Be, Diane Melvin, Religious Education Director

DATE CHANGE For 2019 Peace and Nature Camp NEW DATE: June 24-28

Camp will now be moved back one week.  Peace and Nature Camp is a one-week day-camp at People’s Church that runs M-F, June 24-28, 9am – 4pm and is open to all children ages 7-12 years old.   This week includes an all day field trip to the Kalamazoo Nature Center on Thursday of that week.

Camp is a way for children to be outdoors together and interact peacefully and cooperatively with each other and nature through hands on activities.  It gives children a chance to relax in a safe environment and learn how to be comfortable in the woods and with their peers.

Camp seeks to strengthen each child’s connection with the natural world and the wisdom it contains. These experiences in turn allow them to shape their own values regarding peace and nature.  Look for a short presentation about camp during the April 28th Earth Day Service.

Registration begins April 28th.  Registration forms will be available in the foyer at the camp display board and online starting April 28th.  The cost of camp is $120 per camper.   Registration ends June 2nd.  Scholarships are available if registered by May 26th.   Camp tends to fill quickly, be sure and register early.

If you have any questions, are interested in helping with camp or would like to make a donation to the scholarship fund please contact me at 269-623-2932 or birdman@mei.net.

~ Jeff Kirkwood, Peace and Nature Camp Director

Church Visits Wrapped Up

Our teens had the opportunity to visit two Jewish temples, St. Joseph Catholic Church, First Congregational Church and Galilee Baptist Church. Hopefully they have more insights into those with different faiths and beliefs.

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