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What’s going on in RE?

children and youth imageThis Sunday at First Parish Sudbury children aged 0 to 4 are invited to play in our nursery. Children 4-6 are invited to our Spirit Play class where they will be learning about the 6th UU Principle, the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.

7th and 8th graders are invited to join the Breakfast Club, where they will be considering a winter theme. The high school youth group is planning a winter outing this month and a time to serve a meal to the guests of Family Promise. Funds from their bakesale in December will be used to pay for the meal. The funds were also used to purchase gifts for a Family Promise family for Christmas. Thank you to everyone who contributed!

Older children still in grade school are invited to join our Sing to the Power class, where they have been exploring the powers of air this winter. They began with the curriculum in December with the power of stillness, of listening and openness and breathing. The story for this session brought together Henry David Thoreau at Walden Pond with Elijah of Hebrew scripture finding God in the “still, small, voice.” They experienced the power of stillness through meditation, and honored a spiritual tradition of air by creating prayer flags. Then last week they moved to exploring the power of openness, presence, and silent witness. Participants heard the story of a Unitarian Universalist who met public hatred by organizing a group to stand witness wearing giant angel wings that blocked the view of offensive signs. Although we tend to think of expressing power in terms of “doing”—pushing and acting—sometimes we express power most effectively by simply being present and bearing witness. Participants played a game in which they try to sense the presence of another, and talked about different ways to pray depending on your beliefs. They learned to “hold others in the presence of the light” — a practice from the Quaker tradition.

Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

This week? The power of air is also about the power of silence, of clearing away the buzz of constant distractions so that we can listen to what is truly important both inside us and around us. This week they will hear about acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton, who, in the process of recording the sounds of nature, has become an activist preserving silence — places where there are no human-made sounds. Through both practicing silence themselves and by listening intently to the sounds around them and sounds drawn from nature, participants learn about the cost of the incessant noise of our modern world and how we can create spaces of peaceful silence.

May we all create some spaces of peaceful silence this week!

Chris