Savor the Moments

Adding all the extra activities involved in the holiday sea- son on top of our already busy lives can often feel espe- cially hectic in December.

The holidays offer us extra opportunities to connect with family and friends which often can be a blessing. And yet, I know when I pack too many things into my life, even when they are all wonderful activities, it doesn’t take long before I feel stretched too thin.

A couple of the ways I attempt to achieve a balance is to employ both mindfulness and gratitude. In the midst of any given activity or gathering, I try to take a moment to pause, look around me and savor the beauty of the precious present.

In that moment or at other times, I find value in express- ing gratitude for the richness of my many blessings such as good food to eat, a home with heat, my health and family and friends with whom to gather.

When I stay rooted in gratitude and mindfulness it helps me to notice when I’m feeling exhausted and overextended so I can respond with curiosity and maintain perspective.

Our world is a dichotomy filled with tremendous joy and also such suffering. How we respond to the circum- stances is what determines the nature of our lives. I try tochoosemindfulnessandgratitudetemperedwithcuri- osity and humility as much as possible.

May you each find precious moments to savor and enjoy this month.

Blessed Be, Diane Melvin, Religious Education Director

The Trees of the Dancing Goats

An Intergenerational Holiday Service – December 3rd Experience how families of different religions come together this holiday season to help and support each oth- er in this fun adaptation of the book of the same name. Dancing snowflakes, giant germs, dipping candles and frolicking animal ornaments will keep all ages engaged during this sweet and meaningful worship service.

Please have your K-6th graders to church by 9:45 AM to rehearse the songs they will be performing.

High School Youth Group – December 10th

All 9-12 graders are invited to join in on the fun the 2nd Sunday of each month after church from 12:30-2:30. Join us for lunch in the kitchen after the service and fun games, worship and activities downstairs in Room L2.

InCONsistent: A High School CON
January 26-28 at People’s Church

Our high school youth group is hosting a district youth conference for all 9-12 graders. Register now to enjoy a weekend of excellent youth worship, workshops, good food, coffee house, and small groups. Register here: d/12waveGkKhYh9IO0j1A4hYV78O-C15VNW7Elmvnegk1s/edit

Young Adult UU CONference
January 12-14 at People’s Church

All young adults between 18 and 35 are invited to participate in this engaging weekend filled with fellowship, worship, workshops and fun together. Would you like to lead a workshop or help plan the event? Contact Diane Melvin at Register here:

World Religions Update

Our K-6 and 11/12th grade classes continue to learn about World Religions this fall. So far we have covered Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.

Our 11th and 12th grade class enjoyed a field trip to the Grand Rapids Zen Center and Buddhist Temple in Nov. The Dharma talk that day was on parts of the Eight Fold Path and the service included chanting and meditation. We rounded out our visit with lunch at a nearby Vietnamese restaurant with the newly elected Abbot of the Temple.

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