This is the power of gathering: it inspires us, delightfully, to be more hopeful, more joyful, more thoughtful: in a word, more alive.

-Alice Waters

To me, one of the most valuable aspects of religious education is gathering in community and in service to others. When we come together, we have the opportunity to get to know each other and ourselves better, explore together, and have fun. It is during the times when we come together across ages and with purpose that we get to practice the UU principles. As we gather, we realize that each of us is important, we search for truth and meaning together, and we work towards spiritual growth. Even when we are just gathering to eat and play games (January 12 Games Night!), we are laying a foundation of trust, safety, and support with the members of our community. 

During the month of December, Religious Education students, youth groupers, parents, guardians and friends gathered on 2 occasions. One Thursday night, we had pizza and then jumped into projects: making cookie dough, cards, and a weaving (that was started at the all congregational gathering in November). On Sunday afternoon after the Hot Chocolate Run, we reunited once again to bake and decorate the cookies and make more cards. These seemingly simple events felt deeply meaningful as reminders to slow down, connect, work together, and live. 

It was awesome to see how many people joined us to help with these projects! Thank you so much to the volunteers of all ages who worked on cards and cookies and to those of you who supported our card fundraiser by buying cards. We served half of the cookies at the coffee hour on December 3 and donated the rest to the Pastoral Care team.

Our holiday cards raised over $500 that will be distributed to nine organizations that the children chose, including the Dakin Animal Shelter, UNICEF, the Cancer Research Institute, and the Center for New Americans. 

We are looking forward to future gatherings (see the Religious Education calendar) open to everyone from the congregation to have some fun together and feel more alive! In January, we will have a games night and chili dinner in the social room on Friday, January 12, 6-8 pm. You could also come on January 11 to cook some chili from 5-6:30. On January 21 after the service, there will be a parents’ group in the social room from 11:20-12:30 and childcare will also be provided. On February 10 from 6-8 pm, we will have a bingo night and potluck dinner. Save any extra holiday gifts for prizes!


Book Group

We will be starting a new book group for kids and youth on January 21 from 11:25-12, meeting after the service for 8 weeks. We will be reading Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate. This book is about a Sudanese refugee who comes to Minnesota. It presents the experience of an immigrant in a very real, relatable, and sometimes funny way. It will offer an opportunity for us to think about the experience of a refugee, discuss immigration issues, and think about what offering sanctuary will mean for us. Snacks will be provided.


"There are two lasting bequests we can give our children: Roots and Wings."

Welcome to Roots and Wings, the new RE blog! In the coming weeks, we'll be sharing updates about the Religious Education program at USNF!

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