December’s theme: Awe
Awe: That Ache in the Heart
From Rev. Sandra’s Study:
Our expression “awe” is rooted in the Greek word
áchos which also gives us the word ache. That
vastness we experience in awe opens an ache in the
heart, and by doing so, expands it.
from the Dictionary
Awe opens that beautiful ache in the heart. It reminds us of the immensity of the universe. That realization can leave us feeling simultaneously small and large, insignificant and essential. The immensity of the universe certainly humbles us. It’s so vast and timeless compared to our short and relatively small existences. And yet, here we are part of this magnificence. That’s pretty astonishing! That’s why when I gaze up at the stars flecking the night sky or look down at the gold leaves scattered across my yard I have a religious experience, an experience of being awestruck.
It’s for this very reason that our UU faith encapsulates awe in the first source of our living tradition: “direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life.”
This month we are exploring the places where we experience awe and the nature of those experiences. Join us as we search the heavens, our relationships, and day-to-day lives for the places that open our hearts.
Yours in love and faith,
What gifts does Awe Bring?
From Your Director of Religious Education
Citation: Huyck, David and Sarah Park Dahlen. (2019 June 19). Diversity in Children’s Books 2018. sarahpark.com blog. Created in consultation with Edith Campbell, Molly Beth Griffin, K. T. Horning, Debbie Reese, Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, and Madeline Tyner, with statistics compiled by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison: http://ccbc.education.wisc.edu/books/pcstats.asp. Retrieved from https://readingspark.wordpress.com/2019/06/19/picture-this-diversity-in-childrens-books-2018-infographic/
Awe is one of the greatest gifts I know. Awe can be a wonderful thing. It can be the spark that helps us see the beauty of the world, the magnificence of an acorn or the wonder of a single snowflake. It’s the thing that helps us revel in all that is known and unknown.
It can also be an “aha!” recognition of the sadness of the unfathomable – like how is it 2019 and we still are working on [insert something we think should be already accomplished]. How is it that we still don’t have a wealth of accurate and fair representation of underrepresented communities? Here are three sources to help us turn this unfair tide:
The link for the picture cited has a plethora of great articles from the past 5 years and two decades pointing to the whys and hows.
Center for Racial Justice: This organization “envisions a world where all young people learn and thrive in racially equitable, liberating, and empowering educational spaces” and they do the work to help us work towards that too! It has a really great resources page for “A Racial Justice Guide to Winter Holiday Season for Educators and Families” The Mental health and the holidays section is pretty great. https://centerracialjustice.org/resources/racial-justice-guide-holidayseason/
*** there are articles in here for everyone
inSpirit Bookstore! Is the UUA’s Bookstore. They have great gift options for all your gift shopping this season. I’m highlighting their Holiday Guide https://www.uuabookstore.org/Holiday-Guide-C1409.aspx but they also have just great options thoughtfully curated to help increase not just more diverse books but more accurate representations of our world.
The Awe of a Simple Melody
A Note From Your Director of Music
In this month of Awe I share with you a lullaby from our hymnals – highlighted as the “Song of the Month” in our Soul Matters materials:
#230 “Duermete, Niño Lindo” is found in our grey hymnal, Singing the Living Tradition, published in 1993 (close to 30 years ago) and is a Mexican folk song. It showed up more broadly in american pop culture in 1961 through American composer Norman Dello Joio’s song based on this lullaby called “The Holy Infant’s Lullaby” for the TV opera, “The Saintmaker’s Christmas Eve”. Once again it showed up in a pop culture through an episode of “Touched By an Angel” in 1997 where this song saves lives.
When we sing lullabies, or “arrullos,” or “canciones de cuna,” or “nanas,” as a congregation I am and you might be drawn into the tenderness of life that these songs bring forth.
What lullabies did you hear, do you hear today, or do you sing today?
As you go about your month, here is a playlist of songs capturing the euphoria of Awe in forms both quiet and loud. shorturl.at/mrEIV
Here Duermete, Niño Lindo here:
Mexican lullaby/folksong Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LrhKWgapHQ
From New Mexico Folk Recordings: https://econtent.unm.edu/digital/collection/RobbFieldRe/id/4251
From Your Spiritual Director:
i pause to receive
life as it is
Rev. Dr. Sandra Fees
Nature fills us with awe. Standing beneath the stars or on the top of a mountain or both can leave us breathless and more alive than we ever imagined possible. Join us as we explore nature’s essential role in our lives and our spiritual community.
RE Theme : For the month of December we’re translating “Awe” to the “gooseBumps we feel when…”
12/1 The GooseBumps that Arise from Looking at the Night Sky (Solstice, Stars and the Cosmos)
Seedlings (PreK): in Nursery
Sprouts (Gr 1-2) :Practice: The skill and practice of noticing the vastness of the night sky.
Session Goal: Explore the amazement we feel when we look at the stars.Calendar Connection: Winter Solstice (Dec. 21)
Saplings (Suggested Gr 3-6) : Exploring the Universe and Making Galaxy Ornaments
Youth Group: Voting on questions to ask during the field trip to St Peters and sharing breakfast. 11:45 we travel to St Peters, just a few blocks away to meet Sister Margret and attend the bilingual Mass. (Prior permission required.)
Usher(s): Mike Szjana & Shelley Kauffman
Greeter(s): Mona McCormick
Coffee Crew: Group 6- Mike and Carla Mannix, Delite Hawk, Cathleen Brown, Joanne Koehler, and Cyndi Dimovitz
SJ Table: Pat Uribe-Lichty
A/V:Frank W. (Backup : Mike S.)