Last Sunday as I was sitting at my desk in the Church School office, I heard two familiar voices in the hallway – one of our six-year-olds, in animated conversation with one of our elders. “I’m a liberal,” I heard the child declare confidently as he opened a door and made his way into the children’s choir rehearsal. A few minutes later, I was watching a video on a proud father’s phone, of one of our Coming of Age youth speaking at the Rundlett Middle School walk-out, telling her entire school body about her experience at the March for Our Lives in Washington, DC, reminding them that they will be voters one day and that in the meantime their voices matter in the work for sensible gun regulations. After church, I had a conversation with a congregant in his sixties about his questions about death, and what Unitarian Universalists might turn to for solace as we grapple with mortality and loss. I spent a few lovely minutes sitting in the sun with several parents as their children, who ranged in age from preschoolers to teens, played together in some genuine spring sunshine.
Our Sunday School teachers do great work offering our children and youth the opportunity to learn in a structured way about Unitarian Universalism’s history and current practices and values. But make no mistake: when our church school ends its year on May 20, faith development will keep right on happening – for our children, for our youth, and for every one of us. It happens in worship and in the hallways, in Fellowship Hall, and even in the bathrooms as we create intentionally gender-inclusive bathrooms outside the Emerson classrooms. It happens at home. It happens at work. It happens anywhere and everywhere that we are attuned to wonder and awe, to our own breath and to beauty, to sorrow and suffering, to forgiveness, healing, and hope.
I am grateful for each of you who brings your unique perspective, your certainties and doubts, your stories and your questions to the life of our congregation. I am awed by what you collectively and individually give to the world beyond our congregation. And I wish you each deep blessing for the ways you support one another’s growth and learning at every age and stage.