Leah’s Blog
Editor Albany UU | Oct 01, 2020

Deep Listening in Religious Exploration for Children, Youth and Families

This month we’re exploring the many ways our UU faith invites us to become “A People of Deep Listening.” Our friends at Soul Matters remind us that deep listening brings us into the realm of compassion. Deep listening points out the importance of listening to your heart. Listening helps us find our way. Like a flashlight that leads us through the darkness, listening helps us keep on course.

And yet our faith says not quite. There’s so much more to it than that. Listening doesn’t just guide us through the world, it says. It also creates our world.

Just think about why you listen to those close to you. Is it really just to gather information? To hear the other clearly? Or is it because you’ve discovered in those rare moments of deep listening that a space suddenly opens up? A space that feels sacred. A space that, once you’ve experienced it, you never want to leave.

Our sessions for the children and youth are centered around four listening lessons or invitations this month that our faith makes. It invites and calls us to…
Listen to Nature (Our 7th Principle)
Listen to Our Ancestors (UU Source #) 
Listen to Your Heart (Principle #2)
Listen to Voices of Black people, indigenous people, and people of color (Anti-Racism and our 8th Principle)

The story for each week will center on each of these invitations.

We’ll kick off the month with our Brunch Church Sunday, Oct 11 at 11:30. This is a time for the Religious Ed community – parents/caretakers, children, youth, RE guides and the RE Council to gather over Zoom for a short service. If you’re enjoying a slower morning, or just want elevenses, bring some grub and we can brunch together. We’ll light the chalice, welcome friends and visitors, share our joys and sorrows, listen to the story and do a short meditation before extinguishing the chalice and moving on with our day. For kids PreK-5th grade, this will be their entire RE experience this Sunday. Youth in 6th, 7th and 8th grade will go to their small groups right after Joys & Sorrows.

The other Sundays of the month, I’ll lead a 15-minute Family Chapel that will include a welcome, chalice lighting, the story, and some time for listening and sharing. Then the children in 8th grade and younger will go to their small groups.

Children, youth, and their parents/caretakers and guides are invited to share their ideas and experiences at our Mighty Network called “The Treehouse”. This is our own multigenerational community to live our UU values. Our topics include UU’s in Action; UU’s at Play; UU’s at Church; UU’s in Spirit; and UU’s at Home. Families may join, whether or not the children a participating in RE small groups. Email me at dre@albanyuu to get the link.

May this month help us take connect more deeply and explore our Unitarian Universalism together.

YoUUrs in faith,

Leah Purcell
Director of Religious Education and Family Ministry