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2019-06-19

Religious Education: Sun Jun 23

Am I at the Mardi Gras? I’m positive I heard a band playing “When the Saints Come Marching In.” There appears to be a parade filing in the hallway with banners and streamers. Maybe this is a celebration for Father’s Day, but of course it’s not. The Religious Education classes from nursery to 12th grade march into the sanctuary, led by the CUUC Multigen Band playing “When the Kids Go Marching In.” What was I thinking? It’s none other than the annual RE Sunday service! What a special moment, when the children and youth marched proudly in with the banners, I might add, made by them. So much was about to unfold that one wouldn’t know where to start. The scholarship award was most meaningful, with our youth and seniors honored in front of the congregation. Aine Hunt, a graduating senior, was presented with a $250 scholarship and validated that award with her reading about her faith as a UU and how much the RE program has meant to her as well as gave to her. Her words were eloquent and moving and served as a testimony of all she has accomplished and the covenant that she lives every day. Passing of the Peace was another exercise in tolerance, understanding, and kindness as the 4–5 and 6–7 grade students distributed name tag ribbons for our Preferred Pronoun Project. The classes also presented a skit about recycling that demonstrated what they had learned through our Social Justice Sunday programs. Surveys that were completed by students expressed what their favorite things were in RE. The answers were simple, truthful, funny, and ran the gamut from snacks, being with friends, not wanting to get up on Sundays, and well, you get the picture. Out of the mouths of babes, as the saying goes. The Bridging Ceremony was particularly impactful and our high school youth were well represented. Each student had the opportunity to express their gratitude and appreciation for being part of the CUUC RE program as they now move forward in life. This farewell was beautifully expressed in the reading of the Dr. Seuss book Oh, The Places You’ll Go! The Reflection and Appreciation segment of the service provided both Perry and me with an opportunity to not only say goodbye but, more importantly, to publicly recognize and honor our teachers. Perry in five years and me in only one have been honored and privileged to support a team of exceptional individuals. On that note, I applaud Perry for executing this service without any detail overlooked, as he done so well all these years. His ability to assimilate so many crucial responsibilities – faith formation leader, RE director, youth liaison, pastoral counselor, trainer, and mentor – speaks volumes of his lifelong fervor and sensitivity. Living the life of a Unitarian Universalist in all he does, personally and professionally, is as natural as the air he breathes. Thank you doesn’t seem adequate enough for all you have accomplished. There are also special words of gratitude to the RE chairs, Laura Goodspeed and Christine Haran. They have time and time again extended themselves in this experimental year, if you will, assuring the continuation and ongoing success of the RE program. They are shining examples of those who put their beliefs and dedication above even their personal needs. What a pleasure it has been to work with you.
Well, now I come to the part of my monologue that sadly is my last weekly RE synopsis. Through this writing vehicle I have been given the liberty of recapping all the RE and CUUC events, celebrations, successes, and more. Moreover, I was able to speak to everyone as though I was speaking to each of you individually. Perhaps that is why my weekly discourses have felt so personal and intimate as I shared my feelings and thoughts.
As I mentioned at the service, my tenure here has been a remarkable journey. It would not have been such if not for the support, faith, and confidence you have so generously bequeathed me. For this I am most humbled and grateful. My sincerest thanks to the Board of Trustees, Rev. Garmon, Pam Parker, RE Council, teachers, and entire congregation.
I have always held dear the belief that in leaving any professional position or even contemplating leaving this planet, I would not wish people to remember me by what I said or did, but how I made them feel. You in turn, have done that for me. I am in possession of my very own wonder box and every time I open it, I will feel special. Thank you!

Michele Rinaldi
RE Coordinator

Looking ahead...

Summer Services at CUUC
Summer Services start this Sun Jun 23. Families may attend worship together. Our nursery is staffed for young children. Regular services and religious education classes resume Sun Sep 8.

“Breakfast” Run, Sun Jun 30, 2019, 7:00am, First Unitarian Society, Hastings
Families welcome! Breakfast Runs are the perfect time to introduce kids to the practice of service to others. Join us as we prepare food, pack clothes, and distribute and interact with people who are homeless in NYC. Donations appreciated. Contact: Art Lowenstein (arthur.lowenstein@gmail.com, 914-844-4189).

NYC Pride March, Sun Jun 30, New York City
UUCHV, the UU congregation in Croton, will be leading the contingent of Westchester UUs in the Pride March. They invite us to join them! Meet up is at 31st St between Mad and Park by 12:30pm.

$500 Voucher toward UU Camp
Sophia Fahs RE Summer Camp, Sun Aug 18 - Sat Aug 24, Camp Echo, Burlingham, NY
After 38 years on Shelter Island, the Sophia Fahs Camp has moved to Camp Echo in Burlingham, NY. Thanks to a special grant, a limited number of $500 VOUCHERS are available to NEW CAMPERS. Vouchers are first come/first served. Deadline Jul 1 2019. To request a voucher, email ​sophiafahs@gmail.com or contact the CUUC office.

UU Summer Camps & Retreat Centers for Children, Youth, and Families
Unitarian Universalist retreat centers offer the opportunity to connect with UUs from around the country in fun and fellowship. Whether you are looking for a place to go as a family or somewhere for your kids to experience a fun camp, there are many amazing Unitarian Universalist summer destinations:

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