Monthly Religious Education News

December 2018

Lifespan Religious Education

All Souls Unitarian Universalist religious education
nurtures liberal religious discovery and the spiritual development of children, youth, and adults.


Religious Education News from Perry Montrose,
Director of Faith Formation



Perry's Ponderings

We began this season of giving at the Bread Communion Service with an offering for OIC to support job training and employment and a canned soup collection for the New London Food Pantry. Before the offering, we all “reached down to gather the bounty of the earth” and “reached up to the sky for inspiration” before doing the “wave of generosity” during our Stretch for Giving. Physical stretching wakes up our senses, but stretching our capacity for giving is also rejuvenating. It wakes up our sense of power to make a difference. In biblical stories, “stretching out the hand” precedes miracles. In Unitarian Universalism, we create miracles from our good works. By stretching out the hand of giving, we embody the spirit of compassion that is core to our faith.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, several All Souls youth and their families joined with families from Mystic Congregational Church to clean up the grounds of Habitat for Humanity. There was confusion in the event organizing, so no staff person was there when everyone showed up. Nevertheless, a leaf blower appeared out of someone’s car and rakes arrived from down the street. When staff arrived, the miracle of perfectly groomed grounds had unfolded through the generosity of hard work. There was a great sense of comradery among those who raked together in order to allow Habitat to focus on their important community work.

The knitting of warmth in Project Warm Refugees and the gifts collected in Adopt-a-Family are two more ways All Souls is giving to the community that is beyond our walls. Later in December, we will also be collecting men’s gloves, blankets, and backpacks for the Homeless Hospitality Center. Our giving in this season is also focused on the community within All Souls. Children and youth are making gifts, cookies, and cards for homebound Souls. These gift packages will be delivered by families so our homebound congregants know we are thinking of them. They remain part of our fabric even when they cannot join us physically. If your family would like to make a delivery, please contact me.

We give to one another with our presence during this busy, joyful, and often complicated time of the year. In all of the calls for giving, it is important to hear your own voice. Sometimes you are called to do something for others and, in moments, it is most important to listen to what you need. It is a gift to be able to ask for help and open your heart to receive it. The vulnerability of receiving care can be difficult but, in allowing it, we are giving someone else the opportunity to be the giver. I wish you the gift of stretching in your giving and receiving this holiday season.

Adult Faith Formation Brainstorming

Sunday, Dec. 2 at 11 a.m.
What is our vision for Adult Faith Formation?
What programs do we want to create?
What do we want to experience together?
Be a part of the conversation.


Sunday, Dec. 2, 9:30 a.m.: Faith Formation classes; 11:15: Youth Group (last classes of 2018)

Sunday, Dec. 2, 11 a.m.: Adult Faith Formation brainstorming

Sunday, Dec. 16, 10 a.m.: Paper Bag Pageant Service

Monday, Dec. 24, 4:30 and 7 p.m.: Christmas Eve Services

Sunday, January 6, 9:30 and 11:15 a.m.: Classes/Youth Group resume

Thank you to...

Clara Franklin for substitute teaching in our Nov. 11 5th-6th grade class.

Gabby Martin for assisting with childcare for our Congregational Meeting on Nov. 18.

Gillian Beebe and Glennys Ulschak for donating some supplies, toys and games to our Children & Youth Faith Formation Program.