On March 24, just ten minutes before the multigenerational service was to begin, I heard from both of the Grades 5-Chancel with trees and homemade buds6 Our Whole Lives (OWL) Sexuality Education teachers that they would be late. The surprise snow and ice from the previous night had made travel treacherous. I went downstairs in search of someone to cover the class until the teachers arrived. The social room was busy with RE Council members setting up for social hour after the service. They would all be very helpful for what I needed, but they were already quite busy. I wandered around, wracking my brain for who could possibly step in, when I found a new member who had just dropped her daughter off for Dara’s class. Emily is a fourth grade teacher and a trained OWL facilitator!

Just as I had begun to worry that I couldn’t solve this problem, the perfect solution presented itself. Emily was happy to fill in, and she immediately started to get to know the students. I hurried back upstairs with Jasmin and Jillian, who both had important roles in the service, reassured that our interdependent web is strong.

The theme for April is interdependence, and the USNF community reminds me over and over again of this value. Grace Lee Boggs, author and activist, said, “We never know how our small activities will affect others through the invisible fabric of our connectedness. In this exquisitely connected world, it's never a question of ‘critical mass.’ It's always about critical connections.”

This is certainly not the first time I searched our building for an emergency fill-in on a Sunday morning, only to have someone walk up to me and offer experienced and skilled help. This community functions through the different contributions of each person, and we are ever changing and ever growing. If you attended the service on Sunday, March 24, I think you will appreciate knowing that in the week after we had our budding ritual, the buds opened on the branches.

This month, we will celebrate interdependence in many different ways, from community dinners to events to collaborations with local organizations .