Religious Education News: Gratitude

30 October 2017


We talk about it. There are lots of cliches about it. We focus on a major U.S. holiday—Thanksgiving. Many of us say “we’re grateful” but what does that really mean? Often we treat gratitude as contentment. As in, I’m grateful for my family. Or the years we’ve had together. Or my health. Good people. Good deeds.

In actuality, I’m learning that true gratitude involves action. To be grateful is a verb. So, to be grateful for my health, for example, requires action. Preventative medicine. Choice of diet. Daily exercise.

Let’s dissect a “day in the life” for a moment. List three or four people or things you are most grateful for in a typical day. How much time do you allocate to errands, housework, TV, electronic communication, childcare? How many of these acts and obligations are you actually grateful for!

I think gratitude comes down to how you choose to live your life. More to the point, it’s a sort of acknowledgement...taking time to remember all the gifts and good fortune we truly have.

And therein, perhaps, lies the true meaning of Thanksgiving. To tie the spirit of this holiday to First Church, know that you are welcome here. We are an open- minded and progressive community.

We promote social justice. We celebrate diversity. Our fellowship supports the spiritual, intellectual and social needs of our children. We encourage the exploration of religious experiences throughout our congregation—not only among our adults, but also through religious education for our children and youth.

As your Religous Education director, I view RE as a cooperative adventure. We express gratitude for the volunteers who provide childcare, for the volunteers who teach, and for all those who bring wisdom and experience to our families.

As we move into a somewhat hectic holiday season, reflect on the pursuits most dear to you.

In Service,
Julie Miller, Director RE


RE Notes, News & Upcoming Events

  • Sunday October 22 - RE children participated in the Anti-Racism/White Supremacy Teach-In
  • Thursday October 26 - Our Halloween Party was a howling success. Great costumes, way too sweet treats and a fun sing-a-long at Friendship Manor. Kudos again to Junior Choir director David Owens, Amanda Esko, Lissa Lander and our dedicated parent volunteers.
  • We participated in the Refugee Resettlement winter coat drive. Thanks to all the families who helped!
  • November 5 - Sandwich Sunday. Children make 40 lunches for youth living at the Volunteers of America (VOA) Teen Shelter.
  • November 5 - Daylight Savings time ends. Art curricula begins in Sunday School.
  • November 6 - Family Fun Night in Eliot Hall. All families are welcome to join us, 6-7:30pm.
  • November 26 - Service Project Sunday. Traditional RE classes are suspended.
  • November 17, 18, 19 - Our Whole Lives (OWL) Training in Salt Lake City. Several UU congregations will participate.