July 2019   
Monthly Religious Education News

March 2019

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


Linda Sargent recently turned a Muslim story about Mohammad and Khadija from the 3rd-4th grade curriculum, Windows and Mirrors, into a skit for the children to act out. It is so much more fun to do a play, than to just hear a story. We have been bringing more dramatic play into Faith Formation and on March 24 the entire congregation will get to participate in a worship service done as a play, The Purim Play.

When I was previously Director of Religious Education at All Souls, thirteen years ago, Suzanne Wingrove-Haugland wrote a Purim Play script for us that was spectacular. If you were here at that time, you may even remember the enormous Carolyn puppet that functioned as Queen Vashti in the story, who was banished by King Ahasuerus for being disobedient. We appreciated her as the first strong woman in the story, although that may not have been the traditional biblical perspective. In telling these stories in our Unitarian Universalist congregation, we get to reinterpret messages and give our own perspective on the meaning of the story.

The heart of the Purim story is Queen Esther’s difficult decision to risk her own life and reveal her hidden Jewish identity to save her people. She is one of the female biblical heroines in a holy book filled with mostly male central figures. The story asks us to reflect on identity, courage, oppression, suffering, and redemption. This is all done in a really fun enactment of the story. I will be offering a reflection interspersed through the play.

Purim traditions are about joyous celebrations that include humorous skits and plays that often poke fun at the political establishment. During the play, the audience cheers and boos specific characters and sometimes groggers are used as noisemakers. It is also tradition to eat special pastries in the triangular shape of the evil henchman Haman’s hat, called hamantaschen, and we will have those for Coffee Hour.

The greatest part of this celebration service is being together and having all ages take part in the festivities, from the little ones to our elders. Please reach out to me if you would like a part in the play or to help behind the scenes. We will honor this Jewish holiday with a Unitarian Universalist sensibility.

March Calendar:

March 1: Faith Friday. You are invited to our first Faith Friday from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. We will have dinner, worship music and faith formation programming for all ages. RSVP to

March 3: Youth Group Field Trip to the Prudence Crandall Museum. Departing 11:15; returning at 2 PM.

March 24: Purim Play/Multi-generational service, 10 AM. Purim is a community celebration that includes the reading of the Book of Esther, done in the form of a play. If interested in playing a role or working behind the scenes, email Perry at

Thank you:

To the youth who participated in the Feb. 17 Story for All Ages.

To our music volunteers, Joyce Werden, Katie Ryan and Becky Noreen, who prepared the children for their performance on Music Sunday, and to the women of the choir who sang with them.

To Linda Sargent for converting a story into a play for our 3rd-4th grade class and creating the motions for the Feb. 17 story.