Enter, Rejoice, and Come In

A Religious Education message from Gina

Dear Friends,

When is the last time you played? I mean really played. I’m talking whole-hearted, fully invested, put all your worries aside PLAY. Chances are it’s been a while. Even parents of young children probably aren’t spending a whole lot of time playing, since kids themselves spend significantly less time at play than their parents did as kids. Despite the known benefits, play is quickly becoming an endangered activity in our society. And play is important not just for children, but for adults, as well. Play adds joy to life, boosts creativity, relieves stress, promotes empathy, and offers opportunities for establishing and strengthening relationships.

What about rest and downtime? Do you get enough of it? If your answer to that is no, you’re not alone. Most of us don’t. Nor do most kids. In a society that places a great deal of value on being busy all the time, families often find themselves over-scheduled and feeling anxious, irritable, and just plain exhausted.

Time to play and time to rest are among the most valuable gifts we can give to our children—and to ourselves. But this is easier said than done, especially when constant busy-ness has become the norm. And sometimes we just don’t have a choice. My hope is that Unitarian Universalist Society: East can help provide you with opportunities for both. I hope that UUS:E may be a place where you can be playful and silly, as well as a place where you can take refuge, where your mind, body, and spirit can rest and be nourished. Our Religious Education and faith formation programming for both children and adults are intentionally designed to offer both.

Looking for opportunities to play?

Volunteer once a month in the nursery, chaperone a junior youth group party, join the spiritual art play group, check out one of our monthly coffee houses, attend the all congregation picnic, or join us for an afternoon of games and ice cream on February 9.

Looking for opportunities that are restful and restorative?

Try one of our weekly yoga classes, join the women’s sacred singing circle, experience a Kirtan, breathe, pray, and meditate at worship services on Sundays, or attend a poetry walk in the fall or spring.

And sometimes just spending a day at home in your pajamas with a cup of tea and a good book, or sitting in a blanket fort with your kids playing Candy Land are the very best opportunities for rest and play. I hope you’ll make time for that, too!
Gina Campellone, Director of Religious Education

With love,

Gina