Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Boston Heritage Trip 2014

Follen Church, Lexington, Massachusetts.
Eleven youth from our Coming of Age class traveled with four adults on our Boston Heritage trip, April 25 -27. We slept on the floors of the religious education space at Follen Church in Lexington, MA.

We spent the day Saturday in Boston traveling into the city by public transportation. We walked around Boston and thru the public gardens. We visited Arlington Street Church, located on the corner of the Boston Green, and were led on a tour by their music director, Mark David Buckles. We were even taken into the bell tower and youth could ring the bells.

Looking up at organ from the front in the Arlington Street church. sanctuary.

Tiffany stained glass depicting Jesus's Sermon on the Mount.

Gathering around the organ.

Mark David Buckles playing organ.

Pulling the ropes to play the church bells.

Ropes and music for playing bells.

Reading a piece by William Ellery Channing from Arlington Street Church pulpit.

We learned about one of their ministers, William Ellery Channing, whose 1819 Baltimore Sermon is considered a defining moment in Unitarian theology. We also visited other UU heritage sites: Kings Chapel, the first church in the United States to declare itself Unitarian in the late 18th century! It is also the site of a Puritan graveyard.

We will have lots more pictures to show at THIS SUNDAY"S worship service

Dinner at Follen Church, Lexington.

We finished our heritage weekend on Sunday with a visit to Walden Pond and a tour by local historian Richard Smith. We visited a replica of Thoreau's home on Walden Pond and walked around part of the pond to the original site of the home.

Inside replica of Thoreau's home on Walden Pond. Smith, as Thoreau, answers questions and shares stories about life at that time.

Site of Thoreau's home on Walden Pond.

Quote near a cairn started by Ralph Waldo Emerson near site of Thoreau's home.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Children at the Well: UU Resources for Building Bridges

Children at the Well returns to UUSS for their 5th year! Local youth storytellers share stories from their religious traditions during our all ages worship this Sunday. Our own Coming of Age youth, Samijo Buczeksmith, will tell a Unitarian Universalist story!

Following the worship, anyone interested in talking with the storytellers and/or finding out more about the Children at the Well program is invited to the Emerson room.

Here is some more information about the religious traditions youth will share from...

We will hear a story from the Hindu tradition. Our online Tapestry of Faith UU resource describes Hinduism this way,

Hinduism is an ancient faith birthed in India in a time beyond memory and still practiced by more than 900 million people around the globe. Hinduism is frequently associated with Buddhism, which is logical, since Buddhism grew from Hinduism: The man who became the Buddha was born Hindu. However, Hinduism is distinct, and more ancient. The almost infinite paths to God supported in Hinduism are the result of its unique approach to the human spiritual quest. Hinduism is an indigenous religion with  complexities and a staggering variety of practices.

Here are more recommended online resources on Hinduism.

We will also hear a story from the Muslim tradition, the religion of Islam. Again from our own UU resources,
Islam is the world's second largest faith. Only Christianity has more adherents. Over 1.5 billion people are Muslim, nearly a quarter of the population of the earth and living on every continent. Islam, like Hinduism, Christianity, and Judaism, is monotheistic: Muslims believe in one god, whom they call Allah. "Allah" does not mean "God—it means "the God."
Here are resources for sharing information with your children on the religion of Islam. 
We will  hear a story from a storyteller who is Quaker.

The Religious Society of Friends, commonly known as Quakers, is small in numbers—less than half the size of Unitarian Universalism, with only 300,000 adherents worldwide. Religious soul mates of Unitarian Universalists in many ways, Quakers have had a far-reaching social and political impact, as well as an influence on our own faith, through their commitment to peace, equality, justice, and humanitarian work.

Last, but not least, a story from a UU ritual, the Flower Communion. Here is a list of sources of our UU beliefs.

These sites are part of our Unitarian Universalist Association online curriculum, Tapestry of Faith,  and offer resources for UU faith development for children, youth and adults.