Kindness and Grace

We are living in the midst of such uncertain times. Uncertainty tends to stir up anxiety and fear in many people. It makes it harder to navigate the difficult decisions we face with skillfulness and compassion.

Do we go out or stay home? In what situations should we mask or not? Do we send our kids to school or not? How we mitigate safety risks and still live our lives? How do we manage anxiety and fear without letting it consume us?

As Gandalf wisely said to Frodo in the mines of Moria when he lamented that he wished none of this had happened, “So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for [us] to decide; all we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

I am setting the intention to notice my reactions to the fear and uncertainty with curiosity and compassion. As I try to make plans for our children and youth this year with so many unknowns, I am striving to transform this challenge into opportunities to deepen into my spiritual practice of dancing lightly with uncertainty.

So far I’ve decided on three plans for our teens, all of which have changed for various reasons. For someone who always has curriculum plans set six to eight months in advance, this is definitely providing opportunities to repeatedly practice letting go of all my plans. It’s also helping me examine my attachments and increase my capacity for flexibility. I’m trying to shift my perspective so I can seize it as an opportunity to stretch and grow.

Meanwhile as we approach September, we still haven’t finalized plans for our high school youth other than that there will be many opportunities for connections and community and it will most certainly be fabulous!

Our hope is that all those over the age of 12 who are able will be vaccinated for COVID to mitigate the risks of gathering together. And we plan to conduct everything we can outside to further mitigate the risks of virus transmission.

I think that the most important thing we can do in these difficult times is to be Kind to one another. Life is hard enough as it is. How can we offer grace to someone else today?

Blessed Be, Diane Melvin, Religious Education Director

Tentative Fall Plans

All ages intergenerational outdoor Sunday services will occur from September 12 through October 3rd.  Fun interactive stations for all ages will be available for individuals and family units to enjoy together while masked.

Our religious education curriculum for children and youth will begin on Sunday October 10th; at least that is our plan at this time. We plan to have all of our programming take place outdoors though kids can go inside, masked, to use the restroom when needed.

  • Nursery – After inquiring in various ways this summer, I am still unclear what to do about offering nursery care so that remains undecided at this point.
  • Preschool/Kindergarten – Natural Wonders nature explorations out of doors
  • 1st-6th Grades – Keepers of the Earth nature explorations with native American stories
  • 7-8th Grades – Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education
  • 9-12th Grades – Great class doing something fun!

Thank You to all the Amazing Volunteers who helped assemble our new outdoor equipment!

We now have a new Gaga pit, Ninja line, playground structure, recycled rubber playground mulch, basketball hoop and “Manta Ray” tent structure to gather under.

Our aspiration is to welcome our kids, youth and families back to church with new outdoor opportunities to gather together to renew connections while mitigating health risks! The RE Committee and I are grateful for all those who helped make our dreams a reality!

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