From Lily Rappaport, Developmental Director of Family Ministries
For over a decade Unitarian Universalists religious professionals of color have gathered together annually for community building, spiritual reflection, collegial support, and essentially to “find our way home” toward our common spiritual home with one another. This year’s Finding Our Way Home Retreat was held in Miami, Florida, and was the largest gathering ever with 132 UU professionals (ministers, religious educators, administrators, seminarians, musicians) in attendance.
I have been fortunate to attend these retreats for the past seven years. It has been an awe-inspiring and nurturing experience to connect with a diverse group of religious professionals — peers and mentors of color — and to live in the Beloved Community. The experience has enriched my work and my vision for what’s possible in Unitarian Universalism. It has given me a place to explore what it means to be a multicultural leader within our denomination.
It is impossible to capture all the magic that happens when UU religious professionals collectively gather our full selves, the depths of our spiritual traditions, and the dexterity of our cultural experiences. It leads to such questions as, “How might this type of experience benefit UU families who are culturally diverse and/or multicultural?” “How can we build a progressive and inclusive learning structure, within a Unitarian Universalism frame, that will offer families of color with programming that responds to the strengths, possibilities, and threats of living as people of color?”
A couple of years ago, several colleagues and I began to dream about what a multicultural family retreat might look like. This summer, this dream becomes a reality in “The Well”, an intentional gathering space of spiritual healing for individuals and families who are directly impacted by racism. This family-friendly retreat is intended for racially blended families, parents of color with children/family of color, white parents/guardians who are raising children of color. It will take place on July 24-27 at Ferry Beach, in Saco, Maine, 30 minutes from Portland. For more information and registration, go to: www.ferrybeach.org/thewell.
Upcoming in Religious Education
May 5 Coming of Age Services
May 12 (2-4pm) Safe Space LGBTQ+ Drop in (for youth and friends) in Tomlinson Room
May 26 One room RE program on Memorial Day Weekend
June 2 Youth Service
June 7-9 Senior Youth (plus incoming COAers) Annual Overnight down the shore
June 9 Last day of RE classes
June 16 Flower Communion & last day for 2 services
June 23 Summer schedule (one service at 10 am)