This Week in Religious Education: November 27-December 4, 2019

Unitarian Universalism is a living faith, calling us to live into our values and Principles, calling us to shape the world in an image of love and justice, calling us to undo systems and a culture of racial oppression and violence, calling us into right relations and accountability. This week especially, we deepen our faith and our commitment to fully living into that faith by listening to and centering the voices of Indigenous Peoples.

In a 2018 presentation to UU Religious Educators, Julica Hermann de la Fuente reminded us that we each need to start where we are and take the next step that is ours to take. She drew a circle, then delineated a small area that looked like cutting a single slice of cake. That small area represented what we know we know. The remainder of the circle outside that slice represented what we don't know we don't know. This week, I invite you to take a step across into the area of what you don't know you don't know. Seek out indigenous perspectives and sit with what they need us to know about the holiday we call Thanksgiving. Learn about your local indigenous history and whose land we occupy. Allow this to expand what you now know. Then, around the meal table with family and friends, remember that we need to make room for each person to take their next step. As Julica taught, if we push them to the far side of their circle of understanding, we shut down communication and learning. Educate yourself. Encourage others to step across their line of understanding. Offer resources so yours is not the only voice. Advance the work of justice while remembering we are all on a journey. Below are some resources shared by the Center for Racial Justice in Education.

Native American Perspectives, Contributions and Celebrations
Historical Resources
  Resources for Families
Book Lists

As the holidays approach, some will find themselves at dinner tables and family gatherings where discussions can be challenging, reflecting a range of positions and understanding about history and its legacy. Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) offers this Holiday Placemat for Indigenous Justice with suggestions for navigating the season.

Additional resources:
- Teaching Tolerance, Teaching Thanksgiving in a Socially Responsible Way
- PBS, A Fresh Look at Thanksgiving
- Zinn Education Project, Native American
- Westchester Magazine, Hudson Valley's Tribal History
National Museum of the American Indian in NYC
- Native Lands Map

While many of us are celebrating the holidays, many others are struggling with families who make it difficult to share their full selves or celebrate their loves, or who have rejected them for doing so.

To our LGBTPQIA+ family of all ages and stages: You are whole and holy, and you are loved. PFLAG offers these suggestions for taking care of yourself and navigating gatherings. Know you are not alone. Click here for links to hotlines and other support. If you need a message of unconditional love and affirmation, read this fierce message of support from S. Bear Bergman and know you can call or text Rev. Kimberley (518-423-1964) and Tracy (914-434-7539).

PFLAG also offers suggestions for friends and family. The Ossining LGBTQ Alliance shares this guide for being a LGBTQ Ally during the holiday season.

We begin every Sunday in the sanctuary at 10:00am. Music Director, Adam Kent, invites children and youth to find a nook under the piano where they can enjoy the centering music he plays before worship, 10:00-10:10am.

Following the Time for All Ages, children and youth leave for RE classes and activities:
  • K-1st Grade Our Whole Lives - David Bowen is leading a lesson about our wonderful bodies, building on children's prior knowledge about bodies. Joni Erlich is the assistant. Pick-up is 11:30am in room 33.
  • 8th-9th Grade Coming of Age - Kate Colson is leading class about spirituality and Transcendentalism. Erin Foster is the assistant. Class meets in room 11. 
  • PreK, 2nd-3rd, 4th-5th, 6th-7th, 10th-12th Grades - Deck the Halls craft making in the Fellowship Hall with Janice Silverman, Monica Bentley, Laura Goodspeed and Tracy Breneman. 
This week, there is one Religious Education newsletter. Click here to read it. If you would like to receive one or more RE newsletters, sign up here.

  • Fri Dec 6 - Youth Group
  • Sun Dec 8 - 8:15am RE Council meeting. Begin in worship then leave for RE Classes and Youth Group. Craft Fair.
  • Fri Dec 13 - Faith Friday Journey Groups, Youth Group, Adult RE class.
  • Sat Dec 15 - Gingerbread House Decorating at the Rockland UU congregation in Pomona, NY (click here for the flyer)
I look forward to seeing you!
in fellowship, Tracy

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