From the Director of Religious Exploration – January 2014

Darkness is cheap, and Scrooge liked it.  ~Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

By now, most of you are probably aware that I’ve been recuperating from knee surgery for the past several weeks. As someone who has always had a major role in putting on the whole holiday show, it’s been frustrating and somewhat strange to pretty much be relegated to the sidelines. One of the pluses of being forced out of the middle of the fray though, is that I’ve been in the right time and spot (in the recliner by the fire) to catch some of my favorite movies- something I don’t allow a lot of time for most Decembers.

Last week, with laptop on my lap and the TV on for company, trying to plan and shop for family and coordinate last minute details of the church holiday pageant through emails, text messages, and phone calls, I watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. In case you’re unfamiliar, the story centers around Clark Griswold, played by actor Chevy Chase, who endeavors to put together a sentimental and perhaps somewhat unrealistically perfect vision of “an old fashioned family Christmas.” Even if you haven’t seen the movie, you can probably guess that in spite of Clark’s best efforts, things don’t go quite as planned. There are mishaps and catastrophes- the holiday lights won’t work, quirky family members arrive on the scene, each with something unique to add the storyline, and Clark faithfully readjusts his sites to “plan b.”

And then it occurred to me: Whether we’re planning Sunday mornings for the preschool, or a youth group trip, or the holiday pageant, those of us in r.e. experience something a lot like Clark’s as he tries to create his idea of the perfect “old fashioned family Christmas.” Sometimes in our starry-eyed visions we try to do things too big and have to make adjustments or we don’t all agree on the details and have to compromise. But we’re all committed to r.e. and the kids and families of this church, we’re in it together, and in that, there is transcendence. We make good things happen! The lights DO come on! Maybe not 100% like the picture in my head, but things really do work out in the end and we’re all glad we came. Just like in the movies.

A great big shout out to all of our r.e. volunteers who made all of our holiday offerings happen!! If you want to learn how you, too, can help, please speak with Sheila ( or a member of the r.e. council about current r.e. volunteer opportunities.

Coming up January 2014: Theme: Responsible Search for Truth and Meaning

  • Preschool/Kindergarten- Spirit Play
  • 1st-4th Grade- Workshop Rotation (Teachers: Photography-Della Willmann, Cartooning-Tony Pawli, Reporting-Cindy Gerlach)
  • 5th-8th Grades- Questing Year
  • High School- Youth Group

Stay Warm and See you in Church,



One thought on “From the Director of Religious Exploration – January 2014

  1. Pingback: Lighted Chalice Weekly for Dec 28, 2013 | Unitarian Universalist Church

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