Growing Souls

plant-growing-in-egg-shellMy husband and I recently realized that this will be the sixteenth year that our family has attended the Foothills Buckhorn Retreat. That means that our daughter, who will be a senior in high school this year, has attended the retreat every year, not missing a single year, since she was two years old! I can’t help but get a bit sentimental knowing that she has a lifetime of Buckhorn memories that she shares with her friends and their families in our Foothills community. And I know that she will have so many other wonderful memories of her life in our church community to carry with her – Pumpkin Carving Nights, Family Fridays, youth overnights, Religious Education classes, All Church Sundays and serving as a nursery care giver to name a few. It brings to mind our Unitarian Universalist child naming and dedication ceremony, and how we ask the entire gathered community to promise to support the child being named as they grow. I am so grateful for all that this community has given my family, especially my child – a rich network of friends that she has known her entire life, trusted adults that have taken the time to talk to her and really listen, people who have challenged her to reach out to help others and to look inside and reflect, a caring community of people that have helped her to strive to become the best human being she can be – a church family.

At its best, that is what a church community can be – a place for “growing souls.” We offer many ways that you can engage and connect with other families and members of all ages here at Foothills as you grow in spirit together.

All Church Sundays will be on the first Sunday of each month this year. Children and Youth join their parents in the Sanctuary for the first portion of the church service for music, stories and rituals that will introduce our monthly church worship and learning themes.

The Buckhorn Retreat, coming up on Labor Day weekend is a wonderful opportunity to meet other families and begin to make connections or deepen existing ones in a beautiful mountain setting. And did I mention how much fun it is! We still have space – for more information and to register Click Here.

Teaching in our Religious Exploration Program is a wonderful way to get to know other children and families, to provide a vital community of support and a place for our children to learn about our Unitarian Universalist traditions, world religions, and ethical living. We still have several openings for teachers of younger grades. Please consider volunteering. Our children need you! To learn more and volunteer Click Here.

“Parent Coffee Chats” are a new program this fall. These monthly gatherings for parents will be held on the second Sunday of each month, between our church services at 10:10 am with childcare provided. Topics will include “Why choose a UU Religious Exploration Program for my child?”, “How do I answer my child’s big questions?”, “Cultivating kindness,” “Creating family rituals” and more. Our Coffee Chats will be informal with a brief presentation followed by time to share our questions and experiences.

Family Nights will be held on the first Friday in October, and November. We gather for dinner followed by a fun family activity like board games, or a family dance party. On December 18th we will join the Foothills choir for a chili supper and caroling around the neighborhood.

Pumpkin Carving Night will be on Sunday, October 25th and is a favorite Foothills Unitarian fall tradition. Bring your pumpkin, your costume and some ice cream or a topping to share. We will carve pumpkins, tour the spook house created by our kids and cap off the evening with a sing-a-long and lighting the Pumpkins.

I hope that you will join us this fall for the great adventure of “growing souls”. My deep wish for you is that you may also discover the community of care and compassion that my family has found at Foothills.

In faith and service,

Eleanor VanDeusen – Director of Religious Exploration

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