This Sunday we will gather the Spirit Play and UU Explorers classes together for a special look at homelessness as we think about our call to help one another. We’ll learn about what the experience is like from someone who works with the homeless, and hear about a girl who participates with Unitarian Universalists from across the Central Midwest District in No More Turning Away, a program to raise awareness about homelessness and assist homeless people in their local communities. We’ll brainstorm about things we can do to help and discuss participating in the Walk to End Homelessness through Family Promise on April 8th . Will you join us in this family friendly event?
We’ll also do several experiential, cooperative activities that explore what it means to help one another, and embody the “tied together” theme as we navigate a course while all tied to one another.
Breakfast Club will still be available in the library.
Nursery Care will be provided.
We are all dependent on one another, every soul of us on earth. — George Bernard Shaw
Spirit Play learned the wonderful story of the Yin and Yang and the Dwarf P’an Ku last Sunday: Before the beginning of day—before the earth or the sky was formed—there was Tao, the Great Original Cause. All things came from Tao and on Tao all depend. Tao reached everywhere. Tao was smaller than the smallest and greater than the greatest. In Tao was the power to change all things. So it came about that Tao brought into being the two great elements, the Yang and the Yin, each the opposite of the other. As the Yin and Yang flowed round and round and mingled together the specks of life in each of them joined and became one life and this new life began to grow. A shell like the shell of an egg formed around the life. After ages of time, so long, no one can imagine how long it was, this kernel of life grew and grew within the world egg until it became strong. Then the sound of hammering inside the great shell began.
As a young chick pecks its way through its shell, P’an Ku, a shaggy dwarf, began breaking his way through the shell of the world egg. He had two horns on his head and two tusks bent outward from his bearded jaws. His body was covered with fur like a bear. In his left hand was a hammer and in his right hand he held a chisel. P’an Ku began arranging Yin and Yang in many forms to form the earth and sky and everything in it. And that is how the world was made. This week the class will continue to learn Creation Stories from around the world.
UU Explorers: This Sunday the class will turn to the phrase in the Blake covenant which encourages us to “help one another.” Through the story of 19th-century Unitarian Elizabeth Blackwell, who became a physician in order to help others heal, we will discover our faith heritage of perseverance, hope, and giving. Blackwell became the first woman doctor in the United States—one of the pioneering Unitarians and Universalists who heeded a calling to help others despite societal obstacles and personal hardships.
This Sunday the Religious Education Committee is hosting an open lunch meeting from 11:45am – 1pm in the Brackett Room. This is a wonderful opportunity for members and friends of First Parish to learn how they can help out behind the scenes to run our wonderful religious education program. Lunch will be provided and all are welcome to attend! Childcare will also be provided upon request to Chris () by Thursday (Feb 9th).
Among other things, we’ll be discussing what to include in a survey to the congregation about RE goals, ie. what we want our children to be learning in Religious Education and any evaluation of the program as it is going now. Another question for the meeting is whether we’d like to all do the walk-a-thon for Family Promise this year together, which is April 8th, as a multigenerational “living our faith” activity: http://walk.familypromisemetrowest.org/
We’d also like to plan another multigenerational (family oriented) living-our-faith activity to do together before the end of the church year — and would love your input and ideas. Hope you can join us!
By Pawyi Lee – Phra That Phanom chedi, Amphoe That Phanom, Nakhon Phanom Province, Thailand., Public Domain, Wikimedia
Last week we gathered all our classes together again for a special lesson exploring the theme of searching for truth with love. While the week previous was more on “standing up for” truth, this week was more about the “searching” and the different perspectives that people have. Participants were told the story of the blind men and the elephant (which the picture depicts here) — in which a number of blind men came to an elephant. Somebody told them that it was an elephant. The blind men asked, ‘What is the elephant like?’ and they began to touch its body. One of them said: ‘It is like a pillar.’ This blind man had only touched its leg. Another man said, ‘The elephant is like a husking basket.’ This person had only touched its ears. Similarly, he who touched its trunk or its belly talked of it differently.
We talked about how Reality looks different to different people, especially when it comes to matters of religion, and it is good to keep in mind that while it is important to honor our perspective, it is also important to honor that of others. Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, Jains, Pagans, Jews, Christians….they all see part of the Truth, like the blind men and the elephant. Let us not limit our understanding of the Great Mystery, and let us not be too quick to judge others.
This week we’ll go back to our regular classrooms. Spirit Play will continue learning about Creation stories from around the world. UU Explorers will continue with the Blake Covenant, this week learning about our heritage of service through the story of 19th-century Unitarian Elizabeth Blackwell, who became a physician in order to help others heal. We will discover our faith heritage of perseverance, hope, and giving. Blackwell became the first woman doctor in the United States—one of the pioneering Unitarians and Universalists who heeded a calling to help others despite societal obstacles and personal hardships.
Last week we gathered all the RE classes together to talk about the Women’s Marches and how seeking and standing up for truth with love can translate into non-violent social change work. I was really impressed with how many of the kids knew people that had marched and some of the reasons for why they were marching. We talked about what truth means and how it is important to stand up for the truth.
We talked about one of the most important truths in Unitarian Universalism, which is our first principle of the inherent worth and dignity of every person. We connected the Women’s Marches to the work of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. in that it is part of our faith to stand up for the rights and dignity of every person in a non-violent way, regardless of where they were born, how they identify, the color of their skin, or their beliefs. It was really a great conversation. Then we made “ojos de dios” to symbolize truth and true seeing, and we played “two truths and a lie” to practice being detectives for when someone is not telling the truth (an important skill these days).
We are First Parish of Sudbury, a diverse and welcoming community of spiritual seekers; we strive to learn together and support one another as we celebrate life's important moments and serve the larger community.