Cultivating Wisdom & Skillfulness

I write this in the midst of some time off in July where I am dedicating time to home improvement projects and gardening. A couple of camping trips are providing precious family times as well as some much needed R&R.

Widespread social uprisings and the pandemic continue to spread globally. As COVID cases continue to increase in the U.S., our church plans remain uncertain. It is difficult to discern the best ways to proceed with RE offerings while keeping health and safety at the forefront

The Religious Education Committee is meeting August 23rd to determine how we will proceed this fall. If you or your family has specific needs, please communicate them with me so we can add them into the mix of our discussion.

Sitting Together: A Family Centered Curriculum on Mindfulness, Meditation,and Buddhist Teachings is the curriculum we are engaging with our preschool through 6th graders this fall. You can check it out at mindfulfamilies.net

In addition to weekly lessons for kids, there’s a corresponding class for parents and guardians. The authors emphasize the importance of parents learning the concepts and skills along with their children. Parents and guardians are kids primary religious educators, since children are foundationally influenced by the families in which they are raised.

Of course the adult class is open to everyone and not limited to parents and guardians. The five units offered are ethics, kindness, character, nature and meditation. Gaining the wisdom and skills to calm ourselves and to release that over which we have no control is invaluable to help cope in these uncertain times for all ages.

With lessons on mindfulness, difficult people, patience and healthy choices, I see the potential for so much benefit for everyone who chooses to participate.  How the lessons will be transmitted is yet to be determined. Ultimately, we may disseminate the lessons through a variety of means so we can benefit as many as possible given everyone’s differing situations.

Right now we are looking at these possibilities: Zoom, a video of me leading the lessons and telling the stories, emailing lessons to families to do together, Google classroom, as well as all of the above. Only time will tell.

Blessed Be,
Diane Melvin, Religious Education Director


Books and Resources

Have you found yourself wondering how to effectively work for racial justice? Would you like to help dismantle systems of oppression? Have you experienced any confusion about language or terms being used these days?

Though written for ages 10-17, This Book is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on how to wake up, take action and do the work by Tiffany Jewell is an excellent read for All ages. Written in accessible language with a great glossary, I highly recommend this book for Everyone!

In addition to reflective questions and journaling prompts at the end of each section, she also includes helpful action steps to create the inclusive world in which we want to live in right relations with all.


Widening the Circle

Hot off of the press, after three years of research, the team completed their report with recommendations for systemic changes to promote racial justice and dismantle systems of white supremacy in the UUA, in our congregations and our communities.

You can read it online for a limited amount of time here: Widening the Circle of Concern: Report of the UUA Commission on Institutional Change June 2020

I’m wondering about the possibilities of having an adult education class (on Zoom) as we read and contemplate this report together? Would folks be interested in co-leading and/or participating in this? If so, let me know at re@peopleschurch.net.

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