Here at First Church, we are already looking ahead to a family-friendly theme in which we will integrate our Seven Principles into the six days of the week when you’re typically not in church. It’s actually very simple.
Our theme for next year is called “Faith in Action”. It involves a process that is underway at Unitarian churches nationwide. It revolves around making family, home and community the basis of our year-long teachings.
When you hear the word “silo”, you undoubtedly picture a tall, tubular structure in which farmers store their grain. Well, imagine for a moment that Church-on-Sunday is a silo. You’re in a fairly contained environment in which news, spiritual inspiration, conversation and coffee come together on that day.
So what about Monday through Saturday! Our objective is to move beyond the traditional one-day “silo” of worship, social justice and religious education…and explore new ways to extend Unitarian principles into everyday life.
Another way of looking at this shift is to take Sunday’s inspiration into the rest of the week—faith in action whether you’re at home, at work or in school.
It starts with creating a few home-based traditions. Consider linking the messages and comaraderie you experience on Sunday with conversations and activities at home. On the Church side of the equation, we’ll emphasize several themes in our RE program:
self-awareness (why do I go to church…can I relate to the messages I hear here?)
experiential learning (learning by doing through music, art and teaching)
intersection of spirituality and social justice (can I apply what I hear in church to everyday life?)
The RE program features four “strands” that, woven together, become a “tapestry of faith”. This fabric, so to speak, is the foundation for our overall curricula but takes on special meaning for our third and fourth graders (8- and 9-year-olds). The four strands include the following:
- ethical development
- faith development
- spiritual development
- Unitarian identity
Consider yourselves ‘moral agents’ … individuals who demonstrate honesty and compassion in everyday life. Extend that sensibility to your family, friends and colleagues. Enable your children to explore, grow and experience joy despite the inherent challenges of growing up.
We will continue to discuss the meaning of “Faith in Action” over the next two months. Please stay tuned!
Julie Miller, DRE