True confession…I am a somewhat frequent user of facebook. I really enjoy sharing the joyful events in my life and seeing pictures of my friend’s adventures, vacations and throwback Thursday reminiscences. Since I have recently become a grandma I have become one of those annoying people who posts baby pictures. But lately, things are getting downright depressing out there in cyberland. The ugliness and angry rhetoric from all sides has made me feel frightened, sad and sometimes a little hopeless. I am sure that like me, you are longing for the election cycle to be over already!
I have also asked myself, what can I do, as a liberal religious person, to help shine a light in this deeply troubled world? That is when I find myself feeling grateful to serve Foothills Unitarian Church, because I believe that we, as a liberal religious community, are uniquely positioned to make a difference, to be a light in dark places (I couldn’t resist another Lord of the Rings reference after Gretchen’s Gollum sermon last Sunday.) We can speak up and tell our children that it is not OK to use angry, violent, divisive words against people who believe differently than we do. We can help them to process their pain and confusion when they see it happening in the media or in their school or neighborhood. We can learn about the experiences of oppressed and marginalized people within and beyond our church and how we can be allies. We can learn and develop spiritual tools to sustain us and ground us and then we can keep working to help create a world where every soul is worthy and we are all connected. We can do this at all ages and stages of life. Our Foothills community can be a place of great support and comfort in these troubled times.
Some things coming up for families with children –
Join us for our next Parent Coffee Chat on Sunday April 20th at 10:10 in RE Room 13 to talk about how we can take Unitarian Universalism Home. We will hear a few ideas for bringing the theology of Unitarian Universalism into our families lives on a daily basis.
In June we will offer our annual Kids Summer Day Camp. Our June church theme will be “Simplicity” and our camp theme is “Simple Gifts.” Our camp will be held June 6th -10th from 9:00 – 3:30 for kids ages 5-12. We will spend a week enjoying the simple gifts of time in nature, games, music and art. It will be a chance to return to a simpler way of living in harmony with or environment and each other. Camp tuition is $130 for the full week. REGISTER HERE. Some scholarships are available. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about scholarships. And we are looking for several youth counselors to help with camp! It is a great opportunity for youth in 8th-12th grades to gain work experience as leaders and spend a week with awesome Foothills kids and youth. APPLY HERE to be a youth counselor.
During our camp training last year we had a guest presenter who asked the youth why they wanted to serve as counselors. Almost every youth answered that they wanted to provide the same wonderful camp experience that they had at Foothills when they were young for this new generation of kids! That warmed my heart and it gives me hope that we are making a difference in small and big ways. We can be a light in dark places.
In faith & service
Eleanor Van Deusen – Director of Religious Exploration