A Season of Growth, by Rev. Alison Wilbur Eskildsen
The theme suggested for Fellowship reflection and discussion this month is ‘Growth’. Growth can mean many things. Maturation and lifelong development may be synonymous terms for growth. As we age in years, we mature or grow our physical bodies. Our infant body bears little resemblance to our adult body. As we get older, we mature or expand our brain’s capacity to think and know. Our childhood brain, for example, does not have the ability to ‘read’ a 3-dimensional graphic and symbolism flies over their heads. And, as we age, we develop a deeper sense of ethics or morality (right and wrong) and create purpose or meaning for our lives. The catch-all phrase ‘body, mind and spirit’ covers these three essential areas of human growth over the lifespan.
UUFA’s programming attempts to address all three areas of growth. We offer programming appropriate to different stages of life (Children, Youth, and Adult) which focuses on expanding our knowledge, creating deeper meaning, putting our morality or ethics into action, and through our various rites of passage, acknowledge growth and change. Newcomer welcome ceremonies, coming of age and youth bridging ceremonies, and child dedications are some of the ways we recognize growth. If you are graduating from a significant program of study, please inform Kelli McConnell.
During the month of May, on Mother’s Day Sunday, I offer a child dedication ceremony. In this rite of passage we name and present to the UUFA community children newly born, newly adopted, or new to Unitarian Universalism. If you have a child or children you wish to be presented before the Fellowship, please let me know on or before Sunday, May 6.
The month of May is full of growth recognitions. We honor youth graduating from university or high school, and those moving out of elementary school. We recognize four leaders of the Fellowship who have completed a year’s worth of training to become new Lay Ministers. And we offer thanks to four Lay Ministers who have served as program leaders for the past four years who enter the growing ranks of wise elders for the Fellowship. Finally, at the annual congregational meeting we will vote on new Board members and give thanks to outgoing Board members.
Many transitions take place this month. Growth demands change in body, mind or spirit. Only those people without the breath of life can stop growing and changing. Show your liveliness this month by engaging in some activity that will develop your body, mind or spirit.