RE and Adult Education May 2021

Infinite Hope

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

The theme this month is acceptance. Dr. King reminds us
to accept the disappointments, but not to give up hope.
This confusing time of transition, when there is still so much unknown, feels like an important time to remember to hold both: acceptance and hope. We are slowly learning to accept change, to accept imperfection, to accept ideas of a new normal, to accept so many new innovations.How can we re-invent our offerings to take care of each other through the infinite disappointments, cultivating a sense of shared hope for a better future? I feel hopeful about what we can create for our education programs moving forward. This time feels like an opportunity to assess our programs and innovate to create new opportunities for inclusion, multigenerational community, spiritual grounding, learning and justice. I invite you all to hope with me! Send your thoughts, ideas, requests to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Saying Farewell to Annie & Youth and Young Adult Plans for Fall

Our Youth Director, Annie Doran, will be moving on in June (see her note below). We are so grateful to Annie for her 4 years at USNF and we will miss her energy, enthusiasm, and creativity!

In the spirit of innovation, we are going to try out a collaboration between our congregation and the Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst (UUSA) next year. We are proposing a shared Youth and Young Adult Director position between the 2 congregations. This means that both our Youth and Young Adult groups would be combined for some events each month. We will work hard to maintain the sense of belonging, cohesion, and community within our groups as we expand to include more people. Our Youth Group will continue to be youth-led. We will post this combined position soon. (Artwork above is by Eva Weigand-Whittier: Quarantine Reflection)The Youth Group service is May 23rd this year! It will be followed by the Annual Meeting.

Message from Annie Doran, Youth & Young Adult Director

Annie, Alma, and nephew Eamon

Over the course of the last 4 years at USNF, I am most grateful for the wonderful relationships I built with so many of you while doing impactful work. Together, we shepherded a process that opened USNF's doors and our hearts to having Irida live with us, be with her family, and become a part of ours. Together, we listened to the call to take one more step in being a more radically inclusive congregation by creating all-gender bathrooms. And together we sparked and supported a Young Adult group.

During the last three years, my focus has been more on directing the Youth Group. They're at a point now where they really don't need me much to carry on their routine meetings or to plan and deliver their worship service! They're such collaborative, wise, and competent leaders and I've learned a great deal with them. One of our greatest accomplishments will be unveiled in June: Northampton's first downtown composting receptacle. We hope it is the first of many.A year ago I accepted a position as the Project Coordinator of the Maine Food Convergence Project. I have also been consulting on the side with organizations and businesses to make shifts in the values and cultures of their organizations that inspire true collaboration, creativity, commitment of their teams, and overall greater viability.I am so grateful to you all for supporting me as a new mother, and for welcoming Alma (now 3 years old!) to the USNF family. I very much wish we could have seen more of you all in the last year! 

Service Opportunities

Mill River Clean Up & Outdoor Mindfulness Experience
May 2, 1-3 pm
FMI email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Cathedral in the Night Meal Donation
Sign Up Here to Donate
May 9, 3 pm Donation

Guyette Farm Invasive Removal and Forest Talk
May 23, 1:30-3:30 pm

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information and to sign up.

 Adult Education

What Moves Us:
UU Theology

Tonight at 6:30 & May 25

1619 Podcast Discussion
May 21, 7 pm
The USNF Racial Justice Team invites you to listen to the final 2 episodes of the 1619 project podcast, with a facilitated discussion afterwards. FMI: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


May 10, 6:30-8 pm

Learn more on our website: USNF Adult Education Offerings

Weekly Offerings

Tuesdays, 3:15-4 pm - Art Club
A weekly art project and online hang out led by youth.
Thursdays, 4-4:30 pm - Social Justice Story Time
Check in, share a story, and reflect with Jessica.

Thursdays, 5:30-6 pm - Meditation
Readings, Silence, and Singing Meditation with Janet.

RE Programs

Sign Up for Wizard School by June 1!

This summer, the School of Wizardry will expand its reach to students all over the US! This program is an immersive experience in imagination, play, and wonder -- all guided by our UU values. The program will primarily be online, with an optional outdoor day on Wed. Register here. We are also looking for Ghosts or teen counselors. Apply to be a Ghost Youth Leader here. Mark your calendars for June 28-July 2, with a service on July 4.

Family Gathering - 9:45-10. Come together as a family for song, activities, mindfulness, & reflection related to the service.

Elementary - 10:20-11:20. The elementary class is learning about the 6 Sources of Unitarian Universalism with Lego and play dough creations.

Jr Youth Group - 10:20-11:20. The Junior Youth group has been learning about Neighboring Faiths: this month they will focus on Hinduism.

Faith Exploration at Home


Book Ideas, Music & Meditations

Acceptance Family Resources

Songs to listen to and learn:

Loosen Loosen by Aly Halpert

Come, Come Whoever You Are Sung by Emma Gaudreau