I am thinking of all of you as you live in the uncertainty of what the school year brings. Please know that UUCWC is here to help you through this challenging time with support, intention and grace.
Whatever happens in the coming months, we are facing it together with the love and support of everyone in our community. As Kim says, when we worship together virtually, we are both creating a sanctuary and we are a sanctuary. Together we will mourn and ritualize our losses both large and small and offer gratitude where we can. Knowing that we are not alone in this pandemic and that we are with people ready to help if we need, is a comfort and a gift that UUCWC offers us.
The Family Ministry team, Kim and I are considering many options for families to engage with UUCWC in the fall, knowing that our kids are zoomed out and parents are juggling partial or all virtual school and work all week. We hope that these new ways to engage will offer meaning, connection and support for all ages.
Religious Education will not look the same as when we met physically. Children will not be divided by grade in to classes with curriculum. Rather, we will use this time, while we are meeting virtually, to strengthen connections between families and to give parents simple ways to intentionally bring Unitarian Universalism into the home. Parents are the primary religious educators of their children. To raise a UU child, it is critical to integrate UU practices and values in to home life. This fall we will have a 3-month pilot program designed to support parents in bringing Unitarian Universalism in to their homes together with other families. More information about this new program will be available in September.
I hope that you will meet this coming church year with intention. Intention to keep your connection and relationship with UUCWC alive. Kids need to have regular contact with one another or their connections fade, and sometimes when connections fade, it’s hard to get them started again. Come to worship as a family on Sunday mornings. Bring a candle so you can light the chalice with us, and sign up to have your family light the candles of fellowship during the worship service. It will nourish you and your family in ways that no other place can.
I also offer you grace. There is not going to be one answer to what church looks like for UUCWC families in the coming year. I hope you will try some of the new opportunities we are creating for families this fall and at the same time, I offer you grace, not guilt. If participation at church feels like just one more thing, it is okay to not participate. We are juggling a lot right now.
Whatever comes in the months ahead, I am glad to be facing it together with all of you.