From John Laney, Religious Education Administrator
“We shall not cease from exploration. And the end of all our exploring, we’ll arrive where we started … and know the place for the first time.” – T.S. Eliot
As I was assisting with my mother-in-law’s new home search this past December, my attention was diverted in one house by a large, unfinished jigsaw puzzle that dominated a table. Surely the sellers would not mind if I attached a few individual pieces to some yawning gaps in the puzzle of the Paris skyline? Maybe they would lower the listing price if I filled in some significant empty spots. While connecting several pieces, I became mindful of how each one was important to the whole image. The puzzle seemed to represent both a personal quest and community wholeness as I quietly assisted those strangers.
“Wholeness,” the congregational theme for April, provides an opportunity to better examine our personal and community faith journeys in the framework of Unitarian Universalism. “We are part of this living tradition. Through it we become whole, and through us it becomes whole,” is a well known phrase for UUs. This sense of interdependence contains a key context in our spiritual lives. Another broad theme of “wholeness” derives from how our UU “outsides” match our Unitarian Universalist “insides.” This potential match comes from understanding, sharing, and living our faith. As Rev. Anya and Rev. Scott highlighted in the service on March 24, “the journey inward is a cyclical journey, and we take it many times throughout our lives.” This is an ongoing exploration, similar to what T.S. Eliot describes in the above quote.
Parker Palmer, a Quaker educator and spiritual activist, wrote “A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward An Undivided Life” about 15 years ago. In this book he uses the metaphor of the Mobius strip to help show how people can better live in the world. A Mobius strip is another type of puzzle and can serve as an interesting teaching tool because the inside of it continually moves to the outside and vice versa. In terms of “wholeness,” our inward beliefs can have a positive effect on outside life. The movement of the Mobius has an aspect of mystery, but a definite message is delivered: to attain “wholeness,” we should give more focus to intertwining our inner and outer beings.
Middle School Youth Con April 6
Join middle school youth in 6th, 7th or 8th grades from UU congregations in the MetroNY for this spectacular event. Twice a year (early autumn and spring) the Metro NY region of the UUA hosts a 24 hour retreat or CON, filled with games, sports, music, worship and much more. This event will take place at the Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation in White Plains, NY from 9 am on Saturday, April 6,and ends 8 am on Sunday April 7. For more information. To learn more about Junior Youth Cons, please email Anneliese Scherfen at email@example.com
Calling all Campers
Unirondack is a nurturing UU camp in the northern Adirondacks, where campers enjoy nature and a community where we live our shared values. If your family would like experience Unirondack, then consider joining a small group of UUCM members who will be attending Friends and Family Weekend from May 24-27. We are also coordinating summer camp dates to share the long (but scenic) drive to bring our children to camp this summer. For more details, contact Sarah Scalet at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming in Religious Education
April 6 Junior High Youth Con – offsite
April 14 Children’s Chapel – Easter/Passover
April 28 Blue Jean Sunday
May 5 Coming of Age Service