[printprofilepic]IMAGINATION AND INVITATIONS
By Shel Silverstein
Once I spoke the language of the flowers,
Once I understood each word the caterpillar said,
Once I smiled in secret at the gossip of the starlings,
And shared a conversation with the housefly in my bed.
Once I heard and answered all the questions of the crickets,
And joined the crying of each falling dying flake of snow,
Once I spoke the languages of the flowers……
How did it go? How did it go?
Shel Silverstein’s poetry is remarkably fanciful, imaginative, and inviting. His poems invite us to a place that is full of comedy, pathos, naughtiness, and beauty. I have a secret desire for the religious exploration (RE) teachers and youth advisors, and certainly for myself, to demonstrate some of Silverstein’s talents of imagination. Unitarian Univeralist roots are in the Jewish and Christian religions and as such, we have repeated a didactic approach in our RE programs—that is, we have a body of knowledge we want to transfer to others. This can, but doesn’t need to, belie a more interactive, experiential, imaginative, and emotional style of learning.
As we start another ‘church year’ in September we will once again use Tapestry of Faith curricula for children. The names of these curricula, Moral Tales, Toolbox of Faith, Riddle and Mystery, and Creating Home imply fancy storytelling, practical experience, and creativity. How wonderful to explore Unitarian Universalism and one’s ongoing experiences with life in these ways! There are possibilities in art, movement, writing, telling stories, serving others, and more in these curricula.
The middle school class of 7-8th graders will use The Questing Year, which sounds like an adventure in self-discovery. The high school class will use a variety of resources to focus on UU identity, ethical identity, spiritual identity, and faith development. These can be realized through retreats, games, curricula, service, role-plays, and discussions.
As the RE committee and I develop a broadened adult RE program we will consider how adults can continue to grow in imagination and wisdom while having fun and making new friends. We hope to finalize a schedule of 2-3 new groups/activities/programs by September with the official adult RE program starting in mid-September or early October.
Imagination, comedy, pathos, and beauty are fine and important ingredients in an RE program. Here, on the following page, is an invitation to you:
I look forward to seeing you and your children once again.
RE PROGRAM DATES/NEWS
|August 9-12||Children’s summer camp from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (registration is closed unless there are cancellations)|
|August 15||OWL parent meeting 6-8 p.m.|
|August 20 and 21||OWL program starts|
|August 28||RE teacher orientation from 9-11:30 a.m. (tentative)|
|September 12||RE START UP (This is also the switch to two services and the ingathering water communion.)
Preschool-8th grade from 10-11 a.m.; 9-12th grades from 11 a.m.-noon
All children and youth need to have registrations on file with the DRE office by September 12. Registration forms are on the church website or you can email the DRE for a copy.
OWL program: Deadline for OWL sign up (7th-high school) is August 17.