Religious Education Director’s Column


“All Belong”

I have been cleaning up and clearing out my office, files, and computer in preparation for leaving. I have come across quite a few things from the past which bear repeating. The meaning and message have not changed and I think these should be kept in mind as you move forward in creating an intentional multigenera­tional community.

The following goals are adapted from Sally Patton, facilitator of a diversity training I participated in several years ago.

  • When children are safe and loved, everyone is safe and loved.
  • We can be a church community that sees children as gifts.
  • We can encompass a ministry to children.
  • We can be a place that weaves children into the overall fabric of the church community.
  • We can create moments of transcendence for every child and adult.
  • We can be charismatic and supporting adults in children’s lives.

The following, adapted from Mary Marsh, DRE in Edmonds, Washington, sums up how we should be with our children and with each other in creating our community.

  • Every week, when each child walks out our door, they should be at least a little glad they came.
  • An adult who is not a child’s parent should ask how he is and how his week has been.
  • Each child should be asked to have a little something to eat with a friend.
  • Each child who comes should leave with one little spark of thought she didn’t have when she came in.
  • Each child should be called by their own name by someone outside of their immediate family.
  • They should hear the words “Unitarian Universalist” at least once.
  • Each should see at least one candle lit and hear at least one song sung.

There are many more ways to become a community that welcomes our children but these might be a good place to start. Let’s work on it.

In faith, Vicki Merriam, Director of Religious Education