Family Ministries – Religious Education

Family Ministries – Religious Education

From Judith Hogan, Director of Religious Education

The past is malleable and flexible, changing as our recollection interprets and re-explains what has happened.” —Peter L. Berger

Greetings Everyone! Happy November!

This month we look to Soul Matters as we explore the ways in which our times call us to “Hold History.”  There are four ways we can use to “tease apart the idea of holding history with our children (and ourselves). Here they are: 

#1:  People Die, Love Doesn’t – On holding on to the memory of loved ones and the imprint they’ve left on us.

#2: Standing on the Shoulders of Those Who Come Before – On honoring the work that’s been passed to us and holding on to the responsibility of moving the work forward. 

#3: Freeing Healing and Beauty with Truthful Telling – On holding up the hidden, painful, and shameful parts of history as a means of healing and repair.

#4:  Seven Generations – Looking Back and Looking Forward with Responsibility – On honoring our responsibility to those who come after us and being aware that we hold their futures in our hands.”

When I read this outline of how to Hold History, I cannot help but think of oral traditions and of family rituals that are passed down generationally. My own family is very multi-cultural so our traditions and rituals often change from year to year.  One certainty within that changing landscape is engaging in oral history and storytelling shared with us by the elders of our family.  

We gather as a family to break our fasts and connect to each other socially. These get-togethers are always lively and fun, and ultimately bring up recollections of gatherings and events long past.  Memories of loved ones and the impact they have and have had on each of us are shared and sometimes reenacted, but always done with respect and the responsibility of including younger generations in all of the fun so they can, in turn, one day host their own events laden with the retelling of truths and adventures of life’s journey.  Invariably, some parts of the oral history may bring the need for healing and repair, best done in these instances surrounded by the adults who are foundational to the future generations.

As we move forward into this next phase of Religious Education (RE) at UUCM, I think about how we are “Holding History” for our RE kids by recalling the goals and mission established by the Founding Mothers of UUCM’s Congregation and RE.  It is a great responsibility to honor their work and move it forward in a relevant and meaningful way – a task that I take pride in and I am honored to have been awarded the privilege of doing my best to take the baton on this leg of UUCM’s Religious Education future history.  

There is no going back, the only way is forward!