In honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month, we will be joining our fellow Unitarian Universalist Churches in North Dakota by participating in Children’s Sabbath. Celebrating children as sacred gifts of the Divine provides us the opportunity to renew and live out our moral responsibility to care, protect, and advocate for all children. This service will include songs and readings that reflect our commitment to the lives of our youth, along with hearing from our youth themselves.
This service gave us the chance to focus on the children in our congregation and the hope we have for them as they learn about our world and how they can care for it. It also reminds us of the importance in nurturing them to ensure they will lead fulfilling lives. One way that we do that is to instill our principles in them so that they can continue to on with our work to be the change that we wish to see in the world.
The younger children started us out with a fun song and then gathered around up front for a reading of the story called “Our Tree Named Steve”. This was actually my first time hearing that story and I think it’s a really great book that children of all ages can enjoy (even those of us well-aged children).
We also had the opportunity to hear from the members of our teen religious education class as they gave their very own elevator speeches. Now for those of you who are unfamiliar with what an elevator speech is, imagine you are getting into an elevator in a lobby somewhere and you are traveling up to the sixth floor. As the door closes the other person is the elevator turns to you and asks “So what is Unitarian Universalism?” As you can imagine we had some responses that were well prepared and informative, and others who showed creative side and shared with us a lighter, fun filled interpretation of what Unitarian Universalism means to them.
Special music in celebration of our children. The vocalist was FMUU friend, Jenna Born. Our amazing pianist, Suzanne Strache, transcribed this piece especially for yesterday’s service.
I’d like to leave you with an excerpt from our reading. It comes from the composer Pablo Casals in response to the question “What do we teach our children”? He says, “We should say to each of them: do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all of the years that have passed, there has been another child like you. “Our children need our love, support, and encouragement to grow into the well rounded and prepared individuals we wish them to be. Again Casals sums it up best in his closing:
“You must work, we must all work to make the world worthy of its children.”