I love this time of year. There are so many colors of green in the trees and shrubbery; the hyacinths, lilacs and lilies-of-the-valley (my favorite flowers) are out and the peonies (also on my list) are coming on strong. We finally feel like we can have the grill going more of the time and darn, those grilled veggies are just delicious…and there are picnics and gardening and baseball games to look forward to. It’s feeling like – if we can just hang on a little longer – summer will reward us with all that is waking up right now in our world.
And in the religious education realm, spring has come – complete with a rainbow and maybe a pot of gold. You have now heard – I hope – that Follen has made an agreement with Beryl Aschenberg, currently serving at First Unitarian Church in Milwaukee, WI, to become the Director of Faith Formation here in Lexington beginning some time in August. Beryl has decades of experience to her credit and more than that – she is highly regarded as one of the best UU religious educators in the country. I am absolutely confident that under her leadership, Follen’s religious education program will be nurtured and will thrive. I could not be happier!
And with spring comes the recognition of our Coming of Age youth. Our two services next Sunday (May 20) honor the exploration and work that our tenth-grade youth who have participated in this program have accomplished. They have taken a ‘journey with friends,’ have gotten to know each other better, and have been nurtured along the way by a dedicated group of mentors and advisors. They are Isabelle Agee-Jacobsen, Joe Bromley, Emily Byers, Isaiah Carver, Andrew Egan, Sydney Hart, Annika Hawkins, Emily Hawkins, Owen Hefferman, Eric Landers, Hannah Lee, Robert Lloyd, and Ben Nevis…and the mentors who have supported them on their journey are Lisa Snellings, Gordon Hardy, Lex Johnson, Ben Feingold Thoryn, Colleen McDonald, Ann Redmon, Alison Streit Baron, Karen Carruthers, John Lempesis, Kyle Johnson, Ginna Johnson, Herman Marshall, and John Dacey. This vibrant group has been led by our Coming of Age advisors: Brian Cali, Sophie Evett, Janet Lane, and Gray Watson. We are grateful for them all and hope you will make sure that you are present on Sunday for one of the Coming of Age services, at 9:30 or 11:30 AM.
And wait, there’s more: while we’ll take a blessed Sunday ‘off’ on May 27 for Memorial Day (and for many Follenites, a sojourn at the Cape Cod Sea Camps) Operetta is coming soon – a perfomring arts celebration that involves not only Follen’s children and youth, but many of their parents as well. Make sure that you get your tickets now for “Patience” on June 8th and 9th. Exciting and exhausting as the Operetta is, the very next day (Sunday, June 10) we will honor both Follen’s graduating seniors and also our children and youth – and members of the congregation – who are marking transitions…to different grade levels, and to other parts of their life. We’ll form a bridge of hands to support and encourage our friends as they move forward into the next parts of their life and celebrate all that Follen’s religious education program is for people at different stages of their being. Following that worship service, the Religious Education Action Team is happy to sponsor an ice cream party especially for children in grades 2-8 who appeared in Operetta (but there’s probably enough ice cream for all if you want to join in the fun!)
As you can see, we’re in the midst of change and transition everywhere: and energy abounds, as the spring awakes our hearts and our souls. Don’t miss the adventures that await you in church!
Interim Director of Religious Education