We ourselves joined for several reasons. Our main reason was to find a spiritual home that met our needs. The closest UU church is over 20 miles away, and with rising gas prices, it was just taking a big chunk out of our monthly budget to drive there and back on Sunday, let alone any other day we wanted to attend a church event. The traditional church also wasn’t meeting our social and spiritual needs. We came from a large and very welcoming church in Norfolk. We know that not all churches are created equal, but we miss it dearly and our new local church just wasn’t making the grade. With such a small congregation, their Religious Education (RE) program was quite small. I think there were going to be about five children in each of the three classes they were planning to offer this fall, whereas in Norfolk we had to have two church services because there were so many children in the program. I am fairly certain that the smallness of the congregation here is due in part to our location in the country. The Bible Belt is not usually where you find a large grouping of liberal-minded religious folks. We will find another large UU church (hopefully at our next duty station), but for now, we are embracing church at home.
We have been very happy with CLF thus far, especially with their RE program. We receive a monthly email with directions for performing each week’s RE service, geared specifically towards the kids. The services embrace the seven principles, different religious holidays, and how to be a kind, loving, and accepting person. Today we learned about the history and symbolism of the flaming chalice, the symbol of the UU church. We then got to create our own chalices.
To make our homemade chalices, we used three-inch clay pots and saucers. We sat on the back porch with made-for-clay markers and paint and decorated our chalices. Justin and I took the pots, turned them upside down and glued the saucer to the top of the up turned pot. We now have individual chalices to light each Sunday morning when we do our services. I bought small tea lights to go in the top of each chalice.
Eventually, I would like to get a nice chalice to put on display somewhere, maybe in our dining room. I really like some of the ones offered at UniUniques, but wonder if I could make one myself. Maybe I’ll have to convince one of my Norfolk homeschooling friend’s clay-wielding daughters to make me one, if she has time between her “real” classes now :)
Either way, we now have chalices to light on Sunday morning to make our Sunday ritual complete.