Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills

Open minds, loving hearts, helping hands


Faith Development Files

Author Sarah Ahrens, Written Oct 8, 2012


Chris Buja, DLFD

There is certainly a buzz and vibrancy throughout the sanctuary and fellowship hall with fall worship services and religious education classes underway. It is wonderful to see long-time friends and family coming together and welcoming new friends and family into the congregation. I’m sure for many the fall season brings busyness- school, fall sports, fantasy football- hopefully things that bring joy and fulfillment despite feeling overwhelmed and over-scheduled at times!

I encourage you within the busyness and frenetic days ahead to make and take the opportunities for stillness. As Jackie Chan exhorts in the Karate Kid remake, “Being still and doing nothing are two very different things.” While opportunities for literal stillness are often included in worship services, religious education classes, and children’s chapels, consider when and where you can have such stillness each and every day. For example, stillness may even be experienced while physically in motion. As many of you know of my long distance running practice. On occasion I try to make it more of a spiritual practice by working on cultivating mental stillness, i.e., keeping my thoughts in the present, steadying my mind from the lengthy to-do list I’m always crossing things off and adding to.
If you had a practice for experiencing stillness but have gotten away from it–walking, running, meditation, yoga, journaling etc.–find a way to reinsert it into your daily routine. And if you didn’t have such an intentional practice before, why not experiment? Maybe ask some folks in the congregation what they do, maybe make it a team effort to check-in and support one another in a new stillness practice. Don’t just do something, be still!

Religious Education for Children and Youth
Throughout Unitarian Universalism are increasing efforts to bring a perspective of anti-racism, anti-oppression, and multiculturalism to all of the ministries Unitarian Universalists are engaged in. As part of that movement, the children’s chapel on October 14 will relate to Hispanic Heritage month. This will be a great opportunity to recognize the diversity already present in our congregation and community as well as explore how our UU principles call us to expand the level of inclusivity in our communities. For more info on the Unitarian Universalist Association’s multicultural ministries, follow this link

Please note-Everyone is welcome to wear Halloween costumes to service on October 28 and be a part of the costume parade processional. After the time for all ages, children will head downstairs for a children’s chapel.

Please see Chris Buja or any member of the RE Vision Team (Lalitha Hansch, Jackie White, Yohko Yamawaki, Paul Rosenbaum) for any RE questions.

Lifespan Faith Development Dates to Remember
Oct 07- Religious Education Classes
Oct 14- Children’s Chapel
Oct 15- Religious Education Vision Team meeting 7 p.m.
Oct 21- Religious Education Classes
Oct 24- Gathered Here Conversation with Rev. Marcia and Chris Buja 7 p.m.
Oct 28- Children’s Chapel (after costume parade!)
Nov 04- Religious Education Classes
Nov 10- Defying Gravity Leadership Day at Shelter Rock Congregation on Long Island
Nov 11- Children’s Chapel
Nov 18- Multigenerational Service: Thanksgiving
Nov 25- Children’s Chapel: Pageant Introduction

Click to view the 2012-13 Children’s Religious Education Prospectus Please be sure to email or deliver the Religious Education Registration Form for your children and youth to me.