Scroll down for updates from Director of Religious Education Beth Moss. Beth can be reached at dre.firstu@gmail.com.

As usual, childcare for the little ones is available in the nursery from 9 am to 1 pm.

This Month’s Schedule

September 30

  • Regularly scheduled RE classes
  • Coming of Age, first meeting – 10 am to noon

October 7

  • Regularly scheduled RE classes

October 14

  • Regularly scheduled RE classes

October 20 (Saturday)

  • Coming of Age retreat – 9 am to 1 pm, Homewood IL

October 21

  • Regularly scheduled RE classes

October 27 (Saturday)

October 28

Update from our Director of Religious Education

This month’s theme is sanctuary. Most people think of sanctuaries as places we gather to worship. This is true, but sanctuary can sometimes also be used to describe a sense of relief we feel from the grind of daily life when we share spaces with people who comfort us. Sanctuary can also be the intentional taking of quiet time. Our sanctuaries within can sometimes be the hardest to get to, especially for kids.

This is because our inner lives often reflect our outer lives. Unfortunately youth are often exposed to the unfiltered cruelty people are capable of spewing on social media and across the web, on the radio, in magazines, and on TV. Kids hear negative things about body image, race ,color, religion, national origin, gender, sexuality, age, disabilities, and more. It can be tempting to internalize this real-world negativity as there are many, many opportunities for us to believe the negative versions of reality. These thoughts can break down a youth’s inherent sense of worth and dignity…. but Unitarians are supposed to believe in the inherent dignity and worth of every person, including themselves!

How can one offer this value to others if the world leaves our youth so blinded they cannot see the value in themselves? We can’t stop every bully, so instead we have a duty to help youth build positive self-worth. At church, we can help by being part of a community that validates youth’s perspectives. They may be young people, but they are valuable and whole people none the less. We validate youth by giving them spaces to be heard, seen, and cherished for who they are. We want their inner voices to have a chance to drown out the negative voices of society. As part of a means to that end, you may have noticed the “take what you need” space on the RE bulletin board. This space is filled with positivity. See the photo below.

Did you see something even you didn’t know you needed to hear today? Take it home with you when you are at church next. Put it on your mirror. Say it every day. The more we can focus on the positive, the better. In fact, science says to build a positive environment for children, we should be offering four positives for every one negative. Want to add to the available positivity? Come by the board, take what you need, and leave what you want. The words you offer might just make someone’s day,and help them to find the inner sanctuary they need to get by.

In peace,

Beth Moss