Friday, December 31, 2010

Letter from Unirondack on Reunion in Albany January 8-9

Happy Holidays Unirondackers!

With 2011 just around the corner there is one thing on our minds (and hopefully yours as well)... Unirondack's Winter Reunion!

We know that winter without camp can seem long and we want to help bring the joy of camp to a winter weekend for you all. We hope you can join us for this year's reunion, which will be held in Albany, Jan 8-9th. If you have not already read about the details in our newsletter or on our website please check out

On the reunion retreat web page you'll find a registration form. Please fill this out and get it back to us by Jan 2nd.

We hope to see you in Albany for bug juice, games and a flameless campfire!

Take care- Darren and Dan

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Children's Advent Spiral: Saturday 5-7PM

We have decked the halls and made gifts to give.
We have made cookies to share and caroled.

Now, we can take some time to draw inward, to acknowledge our own inner light and guide our children in a ritual called the Advent Spiral. Families are invited to a potluck beginning at 5 PM this Saturday. We will all hear a story that relates to this season. Then children will be guided to walk the spiral and light a candle from it's center. Adults will share in the awe and reverence by "holding the sacred space" for the children as the children journey in the spiral. We'll be done by 7PM. All this magic happens in the dining room.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Turning Inward and Turning Outward without getting dizzy

Ah December! I have such mixed emotions about this month. I want to turn my attention and focus inward and acknowledge the inner light as the outer light dims. And I want to celebrate more with family and friends, all the while, making gifts for everyone...

The revelry of this time of year really harkens back to pagan roots. After all, lighter days were ahead even though, in many places it was still cold. This celebration of light over darkness takes many forms.

As a religious educator I find the history of Christmas fascinating. Over the last three hundred years there were times when Christmas celebrations were outlawed, including Boston in the 18th century.

As a Unitarian Universalist , I realize not everyone had a Christmas experience or even the same Christmas experience growing up. So what do we do as a religious people? What does our own religion call us to do? In as much as we honor the wisdom path of many traditions, we can continue those from our own. We do not need to completely give up our past, it is part of the evolution of tradition in as much as we are part of it too. There are many festivals of light we might embrace as part of our own story.

But, for the sake of our youngest, we should not zoom through every religious tradition, leaving them wondering, what do we believe or what do you believe as a family? We also risk cultural appropriation when we try to celebrate everything without an understanding of what is happening to a culture or people now, as well as its history. We want what we do to be grounded in a deep understanding of the practice. This means an understanding of the negative aspects as well as positive and the culture and history from which it all arises. This is our responsibility as adults and religious UU's to each other and our children.