Religious Education

Religious Education

December’s theme is Opening to Joy

This Sunday, December 5th, we will meet in-person at the Fellowship Building, 11:30 a.m., and also will hopefully have a working laptop so some of you can join us in conversation about PLANTING PENNIES and JOY-SPOTTING!

What does it mean to “plant pennies?” It’s like doing a “mitzvah”—an act or deed for someone else who will benefit from what you’ve done in their future, without your needing to be thanked or even acknowledged. I’ve understood mitzvah as a pay-it-forward act of kindness. So this is what *we* will do: plant pennies!

And joy-spotting?! Well, of course, it is to spot things that strike your joyful chord; joyful scenes, actions, colors, nature, objects, etc. See how many “joys” you can spot and make a note of them or take/draw a picture of joys.

We are also starting a 2-week gingerbread project of the church or Fellowship Building (whichever is easier!) The older kids will continue conversations of joy in the kitchen while making and baking gingerbread. Next Sunday we will decorate everything together. Here’s hoping it all works!

So come and be joyful; we welcome JOY in RE this Sunday.

Best wishes.

-Laura

Director of religious education (and exploration)

dre@uuharvard.com

978-317-1335

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News & Announcements

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♦♦♦ Gem of The Month ♦♦♦

World’s Vast Network of Underground Fungi to be Mapped for the First Time

Much of climate science has focused on what is happening above the ground, but a team of researcher’s is turning their attention to what is happening underground in the network of fungi that serve as the ‘circulatory system of the planet.’ It turns out that ecosystems with thriving mycorrhizal fungi networks have been shown to store eight times as much carbon as ecosystems without such networks. Read more about the work of the Society for the Protection of Underground Networks (SPUN) in this article from the Guardian.

Prior Gems:

  • Prison Gerrymandering Should incarcerated people be included as residents of the town where the prison is located, or should they be included as residents of their last known address? That is the question with which many states are grappling. If the US Census Bureau counts inmates at the prisons where they’re being detained rather than at their home addresses, critics say it is ‘prison gerrymandering’ that distorts democracy by providing outsized representation to elected leaders in districts containing prisons, while diminishing legitimate representation in the other district. You can read more about how some states are handling prison gerrymandering in this report from NBC News.
  • Indigenous Peoples Day Let’s take a moment to savor a victory- Boston’s mayor declared the city would celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day, instead of Columbus Day! Now we just need Governor Baker to do the same. Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland celebrated Indigenous Peoples Day by running the Boston Marathon on Monday, honoring ancestors that ran before her. “I started running about 20 years ago," Haaland wrote in an op-ed she penned for the Boston Globe. "Along the way to running my first marathon, I began to think deeply about the story of my people who have used running not only to get places but to preserve their traditions and culture. I run because my ancestors gave me this ability," she later continued.

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Who we are

We are a liberal religious community of people of all ages who hold diverse theological beliefs. We come not only from Harvard, but also from many surrounding towns. We gather together "in the spirit of love," to worship, to learn, and to care for one another. We come together both to be comforted and accepted for who we are, and to be challenged to transform and grow as moral and spiritual persons.

We believe in the value of personal experience and reason, and use both as we explore the wisdom of the world's religious traditions, seeking to find and make meaning for ourselves. We celebrate and honor the prophetic words and deeds of many of those who've come before us, which call us to serve not only one another, but also those outside of our community. We long for a world that is fair and just and filled with compassion, and we work to make it so.

We welcome you! We'd love to have you join us on our journey!