Wise Words, June 2019

Wise Words, June 2019

The Faith Formation year has come to a close! It was a fun year with new adventures!!

As we look forward to the 2019-2020 Faith Formation year it is time for even more new adventures, like Faith Formation classes for adults! It has long been a desire and a need for the congregation and I am excited that we are going to be able to provide thoughtful and creative options beginning this fall.

In September, October, and November we will offer Transgender Inclusion in Congregations A 6-session online course. This course is for individuals, groups, and congregations who want to take their knowledge and skills to the next level in terms of trans identity and how to create congregations that are fully inclusive and affirming of the full breadth of gender diversity. Over six sessions you will deeply explore the intersection of trans identity, spirituality, and faith community, and gain the grounding, context, and skills to transform yourself and your congregation.

This course is designed for people and groups within generally LGBTQ-welcoming congregations. It was developed with Unitarian Universalists in mind, but it is applicable to other faith communities and contexts as well. It’s geared for everyone from novices on trans identity to those with decades of life experience. Rather than simply offering a “trans 101,” this class pushes participants to the next level of congregational welcome, relationship-building, and skills-building. It counters mainstream narratives about who trans people are; supports understanding of non-binary identities (such as genderqueer, agender, and two spirit); and employs a deeply intersectional approach. Congregational teams are particularly encouraged to participate.

The course is composed of six sessions, each of which includes a 45- to 60-minute lecture, reflection questions, and resources that take the conversation deeper. We will offer the class on September 8 and 22, October 6 and 20, and November 3 and 17. This is a curriculum that we are purchasing and it includes a video license to view the lectures. Participants can view the lecture in advance at home or come early to watch in a group. Then the discussion time will ensue.

Then in January, February, and March we will offer a series from Katie Couric on issues of the day. This will also be six sessions and be held January 5 and 19, February 2 and 16, and March 1 and 15. Again participants can view the lecture in advance at home or come early to watch in a group. Then the discussion time will ensue.

From the ways in which people live and communicate to how they view the past, future and one another, American society is in the midst of seemingly headspinning changes. To explore some of the most divisive, contentious and often confusing issues in today’s culture, Katie Couric travels to dozens of cities across North America to talk with people at the forefront of this revolution. Covering pressing issues, including gender inequality, Muslims in America, political correctness, the battle over Confederate monuments and statues, and how technology is affecting humanity, Couric enlists cultural icons, experts and everyday people to help her look past the noise, politics and individual discomfort to understand complicated truths.

Additionally, we are going to be starting some Affinity groups. These groups will bring together congregation members who have something in common. We are planning on a Men’s group called Kindle, a couples group called Oasis, and a parents group named Brave Hearts. A group for 20’s and 30’s has also started. These groups are not necessarily groups that are going to study curriculum. Their goal will be to provide fellowship opportunities. If a study develops that is fine as well but mostly a chance to get with others facing the same issues and discussing possibilities. Look for more info on those as the summer progresses.

Lastly, HARRY POTTER camp for children will be July 14, 21, and 28. It will be held at 9:45 in the Faith Formation rooms. Volunteers are still needed! Let me know if you are able to help.
The camp will conclude with a Harry Potter trivia contest for kids after worship and a Harry Potter trivia contest for adults in the later afternoon!