Our Whole Community

Two of my daughters are participating in Our Whole Community, a service module in their continuing religious education–and mine. Last year, my oldest daughter joined a group of 11 other 12 to 14 year-olds from five or six churches in the wider Chicago Community where the enrollment of middle-school children was too few in any of them to have a real comprehensive Coming of Age program. So these kids were trucked in from places flung far from the middle of Chicago and spent weekends together creating their own community. Some of those kids aged out of the program and some new ones have joined–including my middle daughter, who found the first day-long experience pretty exciting.

Thanks to the Rev.  Dr. Randy Becker, the Rev. Brian Covell, Sue Dunmore and Keeley Sorotki (DRE at Second Unitarian Church), and thanks, also to the wonders of email and cell phones, my girls now have age-mates in their faith that they wouldn’t have otherwise–except each other. We live in Indiana, and our small church has weathered thick and (mostly) thin through its 130-odd years operating in a place where it really shouldn’t be.

There’s something comforting to me that my girls have a place now, albeit sporadic and far-flung, to be with other UU kids. It is a place where they get to let their hair down, so to speak, and it has given my girls a healthy dose of self-knowledge, this being with kids who find them weird simply beause they are–not because of where they go to church, or that they go at all.

Not sure why I’m writing about this, other than that I am grateful for Our Whole Community, where ministers reach out to provide a safety net for all–even giggly, wiggly middle school girls (and boys).


About TinaLBPorter

I write poetry and blog at www.tinalbporter.com. And I'm thrilled to be writing with you.
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2 Responses to Our Whole Community

  1. uumom says:

    I may not have told you this story: but the only reason I gave in to go to church with Brian was the hope that I might meet the other 6 Democrats in Northwest Indiana! I’m truly grateful the girls have the opportunity to meet and get to know other UU kids, but also other UU adults/ministers and get to know that the way we do ‘church’ isn’t the only way it is done. Now, if we could only get our adults to learn that!


  2. Fred Bone says:

    Tina, I had known that your girls were involved with some sort of program and I am grateful for the posting. Most of my UU life was spent in a community where we had at one time three UU churches within a mile of each other and lots of liberals in the neighborhood. Since coming to Hobart I am beginning to believe that we here are more typical of UU congregations; median size – 100, geographic range – wide, resources – stretched. This Whole Community program is a highly creative way to pool resources for congregations like us to provide UU religious experiences for ourselves that we just couldn’t do alone. No matter how well intended or wishful we might be. Small group ministries. Mini dstrict ministries? Programatic, not administrative. Fred


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