or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Talk Amongst Ourselves › Spirituality › Unitarian Universalist 2014
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Unitarian Universalist 2014

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hello, UU's!

 

A search turned up a handful of UU threads, but with conversations going back several months, sometimes years; I'm hoping this can be a catch-all/chat/get-to-know-you/deepen-our-spirituality-together thread for 2014. Any takers? :o

 

Maybe we can start with a little roll call and intro with some umph: if you're so moved, tell a bit about yourself, tell what brought you to UU, and tell what keeps you here. Newcomers can feel free to add this any time, even as the year progresses. 

 

>(~      <------ That's supposed to be a lit chalice! Welcome, all, and thank you for sharing your light here and in the world. 

post #2 of 17
Thread Starter 

MarieHoney's intro:

 

I'm a homeschooling mom to two sons, 5 and 8. I work part-time religious educator and OWL (Our Whole Lives) Sexuality Education instructor at a small UU congregation. My favorite things in the world include reading great chapterbook bedtime stories, doing yoga, walking in the woods, swimming in freshwater, writing poems, growing veggies, d.i.y.'ing, and geeking-out over any number of new interests/obsessions. 

 

I came to UU first through a community knitting group that met at the UU church in Tallahassee, Florida, where I was then living, and then through OWL, a curriculum I fell in love with while teaching at a small, private middle school, and that linked healthy, life-affirming sexuality and spirituality in a way that I never knew possible. 

 

What keeps me a UU is the the culture of learning--a constant focus on growing one's edges, spiritual, intellectual, and interpersonal, especially. I am challenged daily to love deeper, welcome more radically, search with more discerning eyes, and understand myself, others, and the world more fully. That, and I'm a sucker for a chalice! I love gathering with others in love and intention around a flame, holding sacred space, and sharing the journey.

 

Thanks for reading. I'm really looking forward to talking with more of you, especially where parenting/to-be parenting and UU meet.

post #3 of 17
My husband and i had a little one in September. We live in northern California with our dog and my chickens. My husband stays home and i work in a funeral home.
I've been a uu since i was 20, over 10 years. I went to seminary as well but am discerning whether I want to be a minister. I have taught re, owl, and led small group ministry. I recently started attending a different congregation. My LO and I attend every week. My husband stays home. I wish he'd go with me but he was burnt by a conservative Christian church when he was younger. I was raised Lutheran but in high school realized i didn't need jesus to save me. I was drawn toward uuism for its social justice stance and the ability to remain in the church as my beliefs change and grow.
post #4 of 17

I was a revolting Catholic in my late teens. I was raised by parents who were quite active in church (dad was an ex-priest--oh the scandal, mom!) thus it was a big part of life and sort-of awful for me when I said "hold on. Wait a minute. What about these guys over here?" We were only one generation away from folks telling their kids "don't play with any of the non-Catholics at school", so you can only imagine the feedback I got when I wanted to discuss other religions with my mom or other churchy folk. Ironically, it was Dad who encouraged me to explore the others, but of course for him Catholicism has always made the most sense.

 

So, when a bouncy dreadlocked kid came up to me and said "you look like a really openminded and cool person" and sat down chatting me up about school and such, right outside the uni student center, we became instantly friendly. She had a brochure, would you believe it, one that I've not seen since, but it had the UU principles on it. One thing really struck me. "This isn't for everyone". Bingo. Sold. I never saw that girl again. As the years passed, I found myself quite content with a philosophy about the world that probably fell right into UU ideas, but wasn't interested in community. I was on a roll, moving every few months. It was just too hard to keep saying goodbye so I didn't begin connections with people often. I said "some day if I have kids this will be the type of group I would want them exposed to."

 

When dd was gestating, I joined the local UU congregation, sat on the board, connected finally with people. She bfed through every Sunday, hung out in the backpack while I made coffee and such, and then when she was 2 we moved out of state. We tried again, but at the time she was old enough for RE, but a little too squirrely to be with me. Problem--she was spending all week in daycare and was just.not.interested in hanging out in another similar environment on Sundays. Alas, someday perhaps we'll get back to a congregation. She's in virtual Girl Scouts and when there's a faith-oriented thing we stick to UU stuff, and we have the UU curriculum for RE with us, but only loosely run along with it. Since we live a nomadic life, now and again I'll see there's a UU around on the road, and once in a while we stop in, have a coffee, get momma's brain stimulated. (I often say the big draw for me is that church is coffee-infused brain-candy...always some very interesting intellectual thing being discussed with compassion, and I love that.)

 

Anyway, great idea to start a thread! 

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

OceanSolitude, my husband stays home, too. Or, he'll come to church, but to take our kids out on the lawn or up into the memorial garden to play during service. We're not quite at the "true multigenerational services" point yet, so my boys don't get a lot out of the worship hour. But, we like doing UU our way, at home, and that works well for us now.

 

Lana, I totally hear you on the daycare/classroom vibe of RE; that turns my kids off, too. I read something recently about one congregation's "playground ministry," a nice-weather outdoor playgroup where conversation was loose and open to being interrupted by games of tags and pleas to tie shoes, but focused more or less on spiritual, ethical, and justice topics. As soon as I get the go-ahead to get a playground built at this church, I want to start one of those!

post #6 of 17

Hello, we have been attending our local UU since ds was a baby.    Most recently, ds has been participating in the OWL program and really likes it.  He is totally willing to attend on OWL nights, but rarely on a Sunday.   I have a hard time keeping the kids going with it and I think it is because dh has no interest in it.  We do like the OWL program from the parents as well as the kids perspective.

post #7 of 17
We started going to our local UU church last spring, went sporadically over the summer, and pretty regularly since school started. We are really happy there and I'm thinking about becoming a member and signing the book. My kids really like their RE classes. They don't have a school-y feel at all and are very interactive. They also spend a lot of time outdoors. We have a multigenerational service once a month. Our interim minister is terrific and does a great multiage service. The prior minister's were boring for the kids, and mine never wanted to be there.

My first grader is starting the OWL program next week. We had the orientation the other day and I was pretty impressed. One of the teachers is an AP mom, and overall, our church is pretty AP friendly.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 

I love the OWL program. I'm certified to teach 7-12, but I'd love to go back and pick up the K-1 and 4-6 certifications, too. Honestly, I think it's one of the most important things UU R.E. does. My own kids missed the K-1 class, and I've wondered why there isn't a 2-3 version...

 

Our elementary-aged classes participated in a "Flat Francis" project with a handful of other RE classes across the country (and in the Philippines!). It was based on the "Flat Stanley" projects popular in many elementary schools, but with the character being Francis David, the 16th century Universalist monk. They had the best time touring Flat Francis all around "their" church, and it made me so happy to see so much ownership, confidence, and joy.

 

Do any of you have UU practices or rituals at home? We have a simple homemade chalice that we light whenever we have sit-down dinners (maybe three or four nights a week). And if the mood is right, we go around sharing "thankfuls" at that time. But I'd love to hear what others do.

 

post #9 of 17
I was raised in the small town Methodist church that my mother had gone to as a child. They were lovely and warm, and truly good people, and I was pretty involved in the church as a kid, but, somehow, they accidently raised an agnostic. I left college realizing that my basic philosophy boiled down to "if there's a [christian] god, we should take care of each other because that's what he says to do; if there's no god, we should take care of each other because we're all we've got." Believing or not believing seemed fairly unimportant, given that I came to the same conclusion as to how to live my life either way, and I settled into being a happily areligious agnostic for a few years, finding my community in other ways, although when asked about my religious beliefs, I identified as "probably pretty much a Unitarian Universalist."

I had encountered the OWL curriculum in the context of better sex ed while living in the abstinence-education-only hellscape that is Texas (for grad school), and was really entranced by the idea of whole life sexuality education (and as a queer woman, especially by its inclusiveness around sexual orientation and gender identity). It meshes really strongly not only with the way I want to raise my own child(ren), but with my personal sense of social justice.

So, fast forward to two years ago: I had just turned 34 and moved across the country to a fairly small community, one I hope to be in for some time to come. Also, I had started thinking seriously about trying to have a baby on my own, so, I was really aware that I needed to build a community, sooner rather than later. I thought I might meet some likeminded types at the UU Church. Little did I know!

My first time attending the church, I was telling the very friendly welcome table guy that I loved kids and really loved the idea of OWL, and he said, "Oh, you have to talk to S [RE Director], we're about to do an OWL training here at the church." Well, I'm now trained as an instructor for K-1/4-6 OWL, taught my first K-1 OWL class last year, have been running the church's nursery for the past year and half, and have been doing small group ministry for the past year. Oh, and I'm signed up for the Adult OWL training at our church in March; I'm super-excited for that! Since I run the nursery, I've been to max four services in almost two years as part of this church, and I love it that way. I've found the connection and community I was looking for by getting involved and pitching in in ways that fulfill me. I've made good friends and feel like I'm building the support network that I want, and that I will need as a single mom. And, I hope I'm building a community where my kids can grow and thrive, the way that I grew and thrived in a spiritual community when I was a kid, but with more room for their individual beliefs.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 

Do any of y'all ever check out the online Church of the Larger Fellowship services? The one this week really connected with me, as a UU parent. It's on Sundays at 8 p.m. and Mondays at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. (all EST). My kids sometimes sit and watch parts with me, sometimes not. Kind of depends on what they're doing and how catchy the music is! But I like having the words and music swirling around the house for those 30-40 minutes. I always get something out of it!

post #11 of 17
Thanks for the link! I was raised UU, as was my father, and my mom was a survivor of the catholic school system. I attended when I lived at home, and not much since. We've gone to our local church, but I'm having trouble figuring out DD-management during that time- she's 2.5 and she won't stay with the babysitters there. This might be just what I needed to get back into it.
post #12 of 17

Joining this thread so I will be more inclined to follow it.

Hoping to deepen my spirituality this year with y'all.

Love and Light!

fly-by-nursing1.gif  :hs   neg.gif   broc1.gif

post #13 of 17
My first grader is really enjoying her OWL classes. There's only a few weeks left.

I am going to take the plunge and become a member. It's a big leap for me, but I think it's right for our family.
post #14 of 17

My little one is still in the nursery, but she associates UUism, church, the flaming chalice, etc. with friends. One of her first really complex sentences was, "I like to go to church because I get to see all my friends there." I'm glad the whole "loving community" idea gets through to a three year old.

post #15 of 17

MarieHoney, thanks for the link to CLF. I need to check it out, because I honestly didn't know they had a website. I came to UUism, at my husband's urging, when my daughter was an infant. He discovered UUism in his late teens, but fell away for a while in his 20s. I'm still learning about some of the finer points of UUism. ;)

We have a homemade felt chalice hanging in our living room. We also light a chalice for family meals, before meditation, etc. Every night, we sing a few hymns as part of our bedtime ritual. We also have a few kid-friendly books on UU faith and traditions, and make a point to read those about once a week, and discuss things like the 7 principles, what loving community means, etc.

post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratchet View Post
We've gone to our local church, but I'm having trouble figuring out DD-management during that time- she's 2.5 and she won't stay with the babysitters there.

So glad you're here, Ratchet. My now-5 year old is *just* beginning to stay in the nursery happily. But he wants nothing to do with the classes yet. His brother, 8, was the same; about 6-7, he really got excited about being in a group of kids with a couple of friendly adult facilitators who weren't his parents. This year has been a really good experience for us, and I was glad to have waited until it felt right for him, even though that meant that my husband and my entree into church life was rather hit and miss for those few years.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by preemieprincess View Post
 

Joining this thread so I will be more inclined to follow it.

Hoping to deepen my spirituality this year with y'all.

Love and Light!

fly-by-nursing1.gif  :hs   neg.gif   broc1.gif

Preemieprincess, so glad you're here! A friend of mine who coordinates worship at the UU here recently passed along a website full of poems that she often draws opening and closing readings from. I would not have guessed that this would have been what most powerfully spoke to me in the past several months, but some of the poems here have really done it: http://www.bemindful.org/poemsb.htm

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polliwog View Post

My first grader is really enjoying her OWL classes. There's only a few weeks left.

I am going to take the plunge and become a member. It's a big leap for me, but I think it's right for our family.

YAY, Polliwog! Good for you! Does your congregation have a new member ceremony? If so, I'd love to hear about it!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by preemieprincess View Post
 

My little one is still in the nursery, but she associates UUism, church, the flaming chalice, etc. with friends. One of her first really complex sentences was, "I like to go to church because I get to see all my friends there." I'm glad the whole "loving community" idea gets through to a three year old.

I just finished reading the book "Fifteen Ways to Grow a Lifelong UU" by Kate Erslev Tweedie. I had mixed feelings about the title; my focus is 100% on growing happy, healthy, spiritually whole PEOPLE, whether they choose to be UU as adults or not. But that said, I found the ideas in here to be much more in line with that same goal, just a way to coach UU parents, churches, and religious educators on HOW to make that happen for kids withing the very inclusive and celebratory community of UUism. And the #1 thing that kept children in the UU church as young adults and adults? A sense of belonging and community. Hands down. Parties and pageants and camping trips and such were high up there, too, but that "loving community" piece was at the top of every list.

 

Are any of y'all participating in the "Practicing Lent 2014" project? It's a photo-a-day of different concepts each day: love, connection, struggle, today's is laughter... I've been participating and following along. Some of the entries are really cool! My boys aren't so into it this year, but I think next year, with a little more time to prepare for it, I could get them to give it a try:

http://practicinglent.tumblr.com/HowItWorks

post #17 of 17
Any recommendations for 7 principles kids books?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Spirituality
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Talk Amongst Ourselves › Spirituality › Unitarian Universalist 2014