A message from Dave Cicero, Director of Lifespan Religious Education
I love this word. Casual and slang-y (and sometimes a bit trite), but profoundly descriptive of that which is beyond our understanding. Which, when you think of it, applies to just about everything in life that we encounter…life, nature, people, accomplishment, beauty, sadness, fear, creativity, convenience, wealth, hardship. Experiencing awe, however, usually requires mindfulness. A careful payment of attention to that which we might otherwise take for granted. And so this month especially, I invite you to express gratitude for all things, big and little — for even the seemingly small things in life embody some form of the miraculous.
It’s incredible (isn’t it?) how many ways we humans have invented to worship that which we find sacred. Last month our 5th- and 6th-graders and their teachers visited the Lutheran Church of the Reformation in Milwaukee and the Islamic Society of Milwaukee’s Brookfield mosque. This month they are scheduled to visit Congregation Emanu-el in Waukesha. After the New Year, there will be more opportunities for them to experience other ways that our community neighbors are religious.
We do not currently have a group of adults organized to make these types of “field trips”, but if you are interested in joining our Neighboring Faiths class on theirs please ask me for the schedule. Families of those students are already invited to attend, and I welcome you, too, to learn from our youth while experiencing another faith tradition with them.
This time of year is a traditional one for giving to others…which can be an inspiring gift of oneself. This month at UUCW our young families (mostly, although everyone is invited to participate) will be submitting their Guest at Your Table contributions, supporting the work of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC). This year’s UUSC partner groups are led by women who are bravely and boldly creating social change in their communities. Details can be found in the Guest at Your Table materials in the church foyer, and we ask for contributions to be submitted on December 15.
Our youth will also be preparing a Giving Tree this holiday season, which will benefit the Food Pantries of Waukesha County – this month’s designated beneficiary. Monetary and food donations will be accepted throughout December. Specific needs/wishes of the Food Pantries that you may fulfill will be listed on tree ornaments you’ll find on the tree itself. Please stop there in the foyer this month to see if there’s some wondrous effect you can have on reducing food scarcity for people in Waukesha County.
I just can’t say enough about how remarkable the teachers and advisors of our children and youth are! They continue to amaze me with the creativity, thoughtfulness and caring they bring to their work here at UUCW. From establishing meaning in craft projects to sharing ideas about the divine, from educating about UU history to chaperoning overnight youth conferences…our RE volunteers do some pretty incredible work. I continue to be delighted by their energy and gifts of love.
And I conclude without once, after my initial paragraph, saying “That’s awesome!” But we are….
Contact Dave Cicero, Director of Lifespan Religious Education.