The children and youth of this congregation inspire me. They began the worship service that they offered last month began and ended with beautiful piano pieces by Lily Carrall. The service began with the song “Imagine” and ended it with the song “Metamorphosis.” I believe that these words are apt. I believe that they capture the childrens’ experience in the last year. The congregation imagined a program deeply rooted in the Unitarian Universalist principles: a program giving children the tools to create beloved community. This month the children will complete their study of the UU principles for this year, and I believe that I saw a metamorphosis within, and between, the children. Children, who were timid nine months ago, are engaged and excited. Friendships amongst the children emerged. New ideas about the world, and being in the world, found there expression during classes, activities, social justice projects and worship.
None of this would have been possible without the commitment of the congregation. The Religious Exploration Council, chaired by Doug Sprague, and including Mary Keisling, Allison Prout, Bobby Robinson, Diana Dickerson, Ruth Kuftin, and Lea Casini created the vision for, and guided the programming this year. The Board of Trustees, including Andy Hansen, Colleen Dino, Nancy Harrison, Frank Satterwhite, Lea Casini, Roy Dickerson, Georgia Gruver, Glenn Jacob, Donnie Rett and Mary Swain supported the vision.
And the volunteers, oh the volunteers who taught the classes or performed other miracles to make it all happen. I am afraid to name the volunteers by name because I am afraid, as I might miss one of the precious souls who helped make the program possible. I hope you will forgive me if I do miss you. The many volunteers include Mary Keisling, Karen and Lily Carrell, Diane Meyerson, Lisa Sciandra and Andrew Bronstein, Allison Prout, Lea Casini, Natalie Forest, Doug Sprague, Bobby Robinson, Stuart and Robin Fink, Regina Fassano, Donnie Rett, Lavon Hodges, Beth Ogilvie, Zelma Nunez-Burja, Bill and Ruth DeSmidt, Betsy Dye, Al and Jo Murdach, Natasha Arakawa, Anne Chan, Joy Johnson, Dave and Lu Middleton, Walt Korus, Diana and Roy Dickerson, Sara Raymond, Henry Wagner, Melody Appleton, Carey and Maya Sanchez Para, Suzanne, Felicia, and Victoria Quijano, and Michael Pearson. Moreover,I haven’t captured the fact that many of these people volunteer in many different ways. If I have forgotten anyone my deep apologies and my deepest gratitude to all who have breathed life into this Religious Exploration Program.