I was visiting my daughter in New York city one spring and while she was in rehearsal I walked the city. Well, not the whole city, but I entered central park across from The Dakota. (Some of you of a certain age range will know where this is going.)
As I entered the park, on the ground in front of me was the mosaic. I was standing in Strawberry Fields. The Imagine Circle was lined in flowers with a peace sign, placed there by one gentleman everyday for the past 19 years.
I have always been a fan of John Lennon, but I hadn’t planned this. Sure I had heard about this place, and wondered about it, and then there it was. I sat for a bit, took this photo, and added a dollar to the tip basket for the flowers.
I felt then, and still feel a deep gratitude for this person who comes everyday to hold this space for peace—in this small part of a very large park, in the middle of this huge city….you get the idea.
I find it reassuring that there are others who imagine peace.
You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.
I hope someday you’ll join us and the world will live as one.
– John Lennon
So let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me.
De Anna Hoyle
Director of Lifespan Religious Exploration
Imagining this final month of RE activities for this season is a little hard to grasp as I prepare for our Earth Day service and social justice project, Soles4Souls. Thanks to the many shoe donors and extra help from parents, teachers and friends of the RE program. As they say, it takes a village.
Upcoming events include the following:
(watch for email announcements as we move towards the summer schedule)
May 6 — Regular RE classes
May 13 — RE Teacher Appreciation Sunday and a special Intergenerational Forum by Story Corps (see Forum description)
May 20 — Final RE classes & multi-generational Flower Communion & YRUU Bridging Service
May 27 — No RE, one service begins at 10 a.m. Volunteers will be needed to cover some Sundays during the service hour this summer. Check your calendars and sign up for a Sunday or two.
Our Whole Lives or OWL is being planned for 7-9 grade youth. The UUA website describes OWL: “A sexuality education program for youth that models and teaches caring, compassion, respect, and justice. A holistic program that moves beyond the intellect to address the attitudes, values, and feelings that youth have about themselves and the world.”
We need a core group of both girls and boys to run this program in the Fall. If you have a youth in this age range and are interested in the OWL program, please let me know as soon as possible. I will send out a registration form and doodle poll for preferred meeting times. More details to follow.
Registration for fall RE is now available on the uulosalamos website. Click on the Religious Exploration link, then on Children’s RE then RE registration. The RE Committee will have a table set up Sunday, May 6 and 13 for registration, summer camp information and volunteer recruitment.
Speaking of Summer Day Camp — SAVE THE DATES: August 6-10 from 9 a.m.–1 p.m. This is for ages 5–14, with older youth serving as Leaders in Training (LIT)
As we make plans for the coming RE year we find it necessary to be flexible with class configurations and room assignments. The numbers of children and youth in each grade varies from year to year and making adjustments in these areas helps us serve our children in the best way possible.
We are in need of a few more RE Teachers for the fall. We’d like to have 2-3 people in each class and rotate teaching duties, so it lightens the load on one person. Please speak with me if you have questions or are ready to commit. It is a wonderful ministry to our children, a spiritual practice for some, and do I have to mention how fun and rewarding it can be? Think about it.
Again I will mention the Teacher Recognition on May 13, during both services. If you are teaching this year, please plan on attending. The Children’s Choir will make your heart sing, and we want to acknowledge each of you.
Here is a list of our current teachers:
Pre-K — Kay Ulrich, Christy Niezgoda
1 & 2 — Rebecca Howard, Mary Hrbek
3 &4 — Amy Pickett, Kimberly Petersen
5 & 6 — Robyn Schultz, Mike Adams, Theresa Cull
7 & 8 Uniteens — Steve Niezgoda, Tara Adams
9–12 YRUU — Kristine Coblentz, Larry Schultz
A special thanks also to Gordon Keating and Susie Schillaci who taught earlier this year.
The RE online Forum on UU Identity continues this month. Check it out on the members/friends section of the website, sign up to post, or just stop in to read and reflect.
A BIG thank you to the REC for their continued support. I feel honored to be a part of this amazing team!