December: Religious Exploration

Ever since we crawled out of that primordial slime, that’s been our unifying cry, “More light.” Sunlight. Torchlight. Candlelight. Neon, incandescent lights that banish the darkness from our caves to illuminate our roads, the insides of our refrigerators. Big floods for the night games at Soldier’s Field. Little tiny flashlights for those books we read under the covers when we’re supposed to be asleep. Light is more than watts and foot-candles. Light is metaphor. Light is knowledge. Light is life. Light is light. ~Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider

It’s here. That time of year when the sun takes its time to rise in the morning and calls it a day way earlier than most of us living our modern lives can allow ourselves to, even if we wanted. And here in the Midwest, its growing colder, with unpredictable weather which can often be challenging, or as some of us in the area recently experienced with the spate of November tornados first hand, downright threatening. Add to these circumstances personal struggles many of us face with loss, strained finances, or separation from loved ones, this time of year can be tough, even downright defeating. So alongside our December theme, “acceptance and spiritual growth,” we are exploring how light plays a part in the rituals, celebrations, and search for hope and meaning of several faith traditions in this, literally the darkest time of year.

On December 1st, Reverend Charlie will be leading an all ages worship service on Hanukah. Care for preschool age and younger children is available in the nursery. Older kids are welcome to join their families in the sanctuary for the service. RE volunteers get a break today!

December 8th: Help decorate the mitten tree!! Please bring warm hats, mittens, and scarves to dress up our tree during the time for all ages portion of the worship service. Our collection this year will go to MESA, a local organization that serves the migrant farm worker population in our community. “MESA focuses on reaching families that do not receive traditional support from under-served communities.”

Preparation for this year’s holiday pageant, Celebrate the Light, started November 27th. If your family wasn’t at church that day and your child wants to participate (and we hope everyone will!), please plan on joining us December 8th. Because we want everyone who wants to participate to be able to, we’ve tried keep the format flexible and simple by design. During RE that day, we will continue learning our parts in the forum rooms during the worship service. Children are welcome to bring a snack to share near the end of this time. We will then do a run through on the stage immediately after the worship service to go no later than 12:45.

December 15th Celebrate the Light all ages holiday pageant

December 22nd Holiday Crafts in the Fellowship Hall- please join me in giving a HUGE thanks to Elizabeth Lincort for organizing!

December 29th Holiday Break for Volunteers- no RE today!

Our Theme in January: Responsible Search for Truth and Meaning.  After all the hub-bub of the holidays, RE classes will fall back into a more predictable pattern.

New! Youth will have the opportunity to volunteer at Family Promise- watch for details coming soon!

  • Preschool: Spirit Play
  • 1-4th Grades: Workshop Rotation
  • Tony Pawli- cartooning
  • Cindy Gerlach- reporting
  • Della Willmann- photography (perspective taking)
  • 5th-8th Grade: Quest for Meaning
  • Youth Group: self-selected topics/projects

See you in church,


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