Rest and Rejuvenation as Resistance

I recently took a week of study leave during which I stayed at a cabin at GilChrist retreat center in Three Rivers. I spent the first three days in deep spiritual retreat mode. With no cell phone reception or internet connection, I spent my time reading, writing, hiking, sleeping, doing art and meditating two hours a day while fasting. It was a rich and rewarding experience which included deep rest, inner healing work and spiritual renewal.

The last half of the week, I wrote RE curriculum. We now have 28 Keepers of the Earth curriculum lessons. I wrote the original 9 lessons in 2007 and they have been much used and loved by teachers and kids alike, as well as in other regional UU settings. I revised and updated the originals to blend with the new lessons that come from Keepers of the Animals and Keepers of the Plants.

I do not yet know what RE will look like next year, but I am hopeful these lessons will provide the flexibility necessary to be adaptable to whatever we decide to offer.

Interestingly enough, I have been wanting to write these lessons for many years now. What I have lacked is the focused time away from my weekly responsibilities to delve deeply into the process.

I was amazed at how smoothly the writing flowed. I believe that it was because I started from a place of feeling rested and rejuvenated. I spend so much of my time feeling rushed and overwhelmed trying to manage everything, that it can be a struggle to access my creative energy. After experiencing the creative flow that comes when I feel rested and renewed, I am reminded of the importance of not over-extending myself when trying to do ‘all the things’.

I have been learning so much from following “The Nap Ministry” on social media. I highly recommend checking out these messages about the importance of rest as “a meticulous love practice” to help dismantle white supremacy and the grind culture that keeps us functioning as cogs in the industrial machine. Founder Tricia Hersey states, “We are deeply committed to dismantling white supremacy and capitalism by using rest as the foundation for this disruption. We believe rest is a spiritual practice, a racial justice issue and a social justice issue.”

May we all find ways to get the rest and renewal we need to be the change we wish to see in the world.

Blessed Be, Diane Melvin, Religious Education Director

Video and Zoom RE Classes
Weekly on Sundays

  • RE Class for Ages 5-12 – 9:45-10:30 AM
  • Middle and High School Youth – 8:00-9:00 PM
  • Cultivating Spiritual Resilience through Mindfulness for Adults – 1:00-2:30 PM at this link:

Register for RE to receive the weekly emails for children and youth with video and Zoom links here:

Contact Laura at with questions.

Rev. Rachel’s Drive-By Good-Bye & Card Shower
Sunday, February 14 @ 1:30 PM

Check your RE boxes for items to decorate for Rev. Rachel as we send her on her sabbatical with well wishes! We hope you can all come to the Drive-By Good-Bye Parade. Feel free to make home made signs and banners for her to enjoy from your car windows!

Upcoming Events

Winter Story Hike and Scavenger Hunt
Saturday, February 20th
Campfire kickoff 4-6:00 PM

This fun self-guided experience will continue through February for all ages to follow the story as it is spread along the short trail through the woods behind the church. The trail begins to the right of the shed off the back parking lot.

Religious Education Box Delivery – Feb 6 & 7th

Our final supply box deliveries for the church year will go to all of the children and youth registered in our program. Volunteers delivered 135 boxes in December which were well received by recipients. We miss seeing our children, youth and families during this most unusual year. We hope these boxes can foster some connection with church as well as provide enjoyment and enrichment for kids and their families.

Mark your calendars for the spring Stuffie Sleepover drop-off on Friday, March 12th from 6:00 – 7:00 PM!

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