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
In the early hours of one morning in 1986, my mother woke my four younger siblings and me to try to catch a glimpse of the briefly passing Halley’s Comet. Seeing the blurry comet, in a sky turning from dark to light, opened a new part of my connection to the universe and my place in it. That personal discovery in wonder, connected with people close to me, was a significant formative experience. In addition to the awe, there was the unspoken lesson that there were things for which it was worth disrupting a normal night’s sleep, something more important than putting lunch bags together and hustling out to make the bus. It was noticing in wonder the greater world around you and your connection to it. It highlighted the importance of discovering your deepest orientation to the world, your faith.
As we were leaving All Souls after the Sanctuary 101 meeting, Denise Davies, Lillith, and Estlin mentioned that the International Space Station was going to be visible in the darkening sky at 8:34 p.m. My wife, Barbara, three-year-old daughter, Nora, and I were sure to be outside looking up at the heavens precisely then. In the blink of an eye, the light of the space station appeared and moved steadily but seemingly slowly across the late evening hues above. Nora was struck by how small it looked, knowing that a space rocket must be big. She insisted that the aliens on the station must toss toys down to her from the moon, the celestial body that she has been attuned to since her earliest days. I thought about the Davies-Smith family looking up in that same moment, all with their own thoughts and feelings, yet connected in wonder and awe. Estlin was no doubt thinking about all of the other space knowledge he had been accumulating recently and how this space station fit into that picture, one that is an accomplice to the formation of his own sense of self. Lillith let me know later that there was indeed a vision but, unfortunately, no aliens.
Whether the mystery of celestial beings or the amazing discoveries of science spark your inner light and inspire revelation about the world around you, it is the continuing growth of your understanding and your soul’s orientation toward it that is the heart of faith formation. Congregational life provides us with the opportunities for this type of wonder with the space to thoughtfully reflect on them. We help each other grow and affirm each other in ways that allow our true selves to take form. It is a continuous unfolding, regardless of age.
I feel honored to be called back to All Souls to accompany you on that journey and be a presence in whatever way will serve each of you and the evolution of the community as a whole. In paying attention to our faith formation, we are not only internally inspired, but increase our capability to connect with those beyond our walls and best orient ourselves to the betterment of the world. I am grateful that my orbit has brought me back to All Souls at this time to travel with you into whatever future we form together in faith.
Sept. 2, 10 a.m. - Last Summer Fun & Games: Obstacle Course!
Sept. 9, 10 a.m. - Multi-generational Water Communion
Sept. 16, 9:30 a.m. - First day of Religious Education Classes! Youth Group meets 11:15 a.m.
...all of our Summer Fun & Games volunteers: Carlos Domene, Jennifer Burns, Addison Hummel, Danielle Gutowski, Maya Desai, Katie Heard, Amye Stoddard, Maria Bareiss, Gabe Parent, Ben Parent, Nancy Parent, Alex Clancey, Royce James-Carnes, Emmy Franklin, Clara Franklin, Heidi Veltheim, Hans Veltheim, Callan Veltheim, Linda Sargent and John Sargent
...Devin Weaver for creating and updating our online RE registration page.