Enter, Rejoice, and Come In

Dear Friends,

Have you heard about Cooking for a Cause? Once a month, generally on the 2nd Sunday, children in grades 1 – 8 work together with adult volunteers to bake or prepare a tasty treat. Following the second service, the congregation is invited down to the Garden Level to sample these culinary creations in exchange for a small (or large) donation. Each month’s proceeds are donated to a charitable organization selected by the children.

Thanks to a team of enthusiastic volunteers, the program is off to a great start. In October we discussed mental illness and why it’s important to challenge the stigma that surrounds it. The children learned about several organizations in our community that provide support for folks with mental illness and voted to donate the proceeds of our first cooking project to the Free at Last Players, a not-for-profit theater group dedicated to dispelling the myths and misconceptions that surround mental illness. After deciding on the recipient, over thirty children and eight adults spent the next 45 minutes slicing bagels, spreading sauce, shredding cheese, and chopping veggies to make over one hundred bagel pizzas. Following the service, the Garden Level was filled to capacity with hungry congregants, enticed by the delicious aroma of freshly baked pizza. Thanks to the hard work of our chefs and the generosity of our congregation, our Religious Education program raised over $200 for the Free at Last Players.

Future Cooking for a Cause projects include mason jar soups and cookies to be sold at the holiday fair, potato pancakes, chocolate dipped pretzels, fruit smoothies, and more.

So why exactly do we dedicate one Sunday morning a month to cooking? Sure cooking is fun, but does it have anything to do with religious education? You bet! If we truly want to foster a strong Unitarian Universalist identity among our children, simply learning to recite the Seven Principles is not nearly enough. We need to provide them with opportunities to embrace, embody, and practice the principles in a very real, concrete way. Cooking for a Cause offers just this. When we come together as to cook as a community and to raise funds to help those who need our support, we are living out our first, second, third, fifth, and sixth

Wishing you an abundance of blessings this fall!Gina Campellone, Director of Religious Education

Be well & be loved,

Gina