Cultivating Spiritual Resilience
Have you noticed a constant undercurrent of stress that runs through everything these days? How do we best cope with these surreal times?

As we cautiously proceed into autumn where many of us begin new routines and schedules, may we remember to offer as much grace as possible to ourselves and others. This time may go down in history as one of the most challenging and we are living through the heart of it.

The COVID pandemic continues to effect so much of our lives. The buzz of the upcoming presidential election is palpable in this extremely divisive political climate. The increased intensity of storms, fires, & floods exacerbated by climate change is ongoing. The continued murder of black Americans by police combined with Black Lives Matter uprisings, are constantly raising the stakes for changing the status quo.

When I find myself feeling overwhelmed with the woes of the world as well as the challenges of trying to make RE plans in the midst of so many unknowns, I have to frequently remind myself to maintain perspective so I don’t become overcome by fear and anxiety. To help me respond from love rather than fear, I find the following idea comforting.

When asked, “Aren’t you afraid about the state of the world?” Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh allowed himself a deep breath and then replied, “What is most important is not to allow your anxiety about what happens in the world fill your heart. If your heart is filled with anxiety, you will get sick, and you will not be able to help.”

This helps me remember to keep taking deep breaths and walking in nature to remain grounded and centered in my truth and focused on the areas where I can make a positive difference in this world.

May your responses and daily actions also stem from a grounded place of lovingkindness and compassion for all beings in these most unusual and challenging times!

Blessed Be, Diane Melvin,
Religious Education Director

RE Plans October Start Up
To give families a chance to get the school year off the ground and establish new rhythms, we have decided to postpone the beginning of our RE offerings until October this year.

The lifespan religious education theme for this year is: Cultivating Spiritual Resilience

Using meditation and mindfulness as the tools, we aim to help children, youth and adults cultivate the skills necessary to successfully navigate challenging times.

Research has shown that children who grow up with a spiritually grounded childhood not only survived crisis better but also personally grew from crisis. Faith formation provides the essential foundation for resilience, character, identity formation and healthy relationship building.

Skills such as self-reflection, finding meaning and purpose, clarifying values and living with wisdom and compassion increase the quality of our lives. That’s why we are offering opportunities to cultivate these invaluable skill sets for all ages.

To accomplish this, we are using curriculum entitled Sitting Together: A Family-centered Curriculum on Mindfulness, Meditation, and Buddhist Teachings by Sumi Loundon Kim for elementary and adult classes.

At this time, we plan to offer:

  • Weekly video lessons for preschool, K-2 & 3-6th for families to use at their convenience. (Including regular supply boxes)
  • Weekly Zoom class for elementary aged children
  • Weekly Zoom class for Adults
    (All the above using Sitting Together)
  • Weekly Zoom class for 7-12th grades using A Still Quiet Place for Teens and The Mindfulness Journal for Teens.

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