April news from Faith Formation

From Dependence, to Independence, to Interdependence 

“Breathe with me.
Know that with each breath we take in molecules of air
that were breathed by every person that ever lived…

Breathe with me,
and know that we are all interdependent…

Breathe with me,as we come together to do the holy work
of interconnection and relationship…”
~Rev. Matt Aslpaugh

As Mother Earth reawakens and the snowy cold of winter gives way to burgeoning blossoms of spring flowers and the return of seasonal birds, it’s easy to see how all of Creation is interdependent. The single symbiotic relationship between bees and dandelions illustrates. They are the first food of bees in spring.  Those bees can then flourish and spend their next many weeks pollinating all the plants we humans find useful and depend upon for food. That first interdependent relationship between bees and the lowly dandelion sets in motion the cycle we each depend upon.  

Faith Formation in April

Sunday Faith Formation Focus
April 7.  The Web of Community. Delivery of the Grub Hub donations. Interdependence reminds us that we are not alone in this world.  
April 14Interdependence. We honor the interdependent web of all existence. With reverence for the great web of life and with humility, we acknowledge our place in it.
April 21Caring for the Web of Creation.  Celebrate Earth Day.
April 28How the Web of Creation Cares for Us. We are part of the Earth and It is part of us.  

Thank you, UUFD.  
The donations you each provided for the Easter Food Drive for Grub Hub was a great success.  Thank you for your generosity.If you missed out on the drive, Grub Hub has posted a wish list on Amazon.   
Book Study Begins April 15: Scripture Unbound by Rev. Jonalu Johnstone
Many of you have expressed  an interest in developing your own theology. This book study is a foundational study that helps provide a historical look at sacred texts from many faith traditions. This book draws upon many sacred texts beyond the Holy Bible. Included are readings from The Analects of Confucius, Nehemiah, the Qur’an, I Ching, Dhammapada, Tao Te Ching, and Black Elk Speaks.Along the way of this study, we will discover how other religions and their sacred texts have many the same foundational principles we embrace in UU even though the cultural trappings may be unfamiliar.
This book study will run on Monday evenings beginning April 15 for six weeks and ending on May 20. The time will be from 6:30 to 8:00, meeting in Bowman Hall. Scripture Unbound is available at both InSpirit UUA Bookstore and Amazon where is also available as a Kindle ebook. Click here to register

Personal Faith Development  — the Gifts of Interdependence
“Namasté. I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells. I honor the place in you that is of love, of truth, of light, and of peace. When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, we are one.”

The mystics of all religions come to this same core idea after all the trappings of culture are eased away.  We are one. This includes anything and everything we can imagine, from a light-years-distant nebula to the frog singing at night outside your window. We are one.

The second we begin living as though that were true is the second we begin to see the interdependence of all life. When we see the oneness and interdependence of a couple dancing a waltz to beautiful music, we open space to see the beauty and wisdom of nature. And how, then, can we not be better stewards of nature? When we see this in nature, it’s less of a leap to see it in our relationships with one another, whether family or a group we’re tempted to label as enemy. We are one. Interconnected and interdependent.  

To deepen your own relationship with this principle of interdependence:
Take pictures of as many different animals, including insects, as you want, from a pill bug to your own dog or cat.  Imagine how each one contributes in some way, whether it is the joy your pet brings you or the way the pill bug contributes to the soil’s health by eating decaying leaves.

Write a thank you letter to a good friend, telling how the qualities of the friendship enrich your life and about the meaningful times you’ve had together – both good and bad.

Have a conversation with your children or grandchildren about the evolution of dependence to independence to interdependence in their own lives. Look for examples of being stronger, more happy, more productive when using different skills working together.

In closing, this lovely African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Sharon Mignerey, Coordinator of Faith Formation (faithformation@durangouu.org)