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"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives." - Jackie Robinson

On April 15, Major League Baseball honored one of the greats, Jackie Robinson, who as the first black man to take the field in a regulation game Every player in Major League Baseball wore Jackie’s number; I followed my yearly tradition of donning my Met jersey emblazoned front and back with the number 42. Not just because of his incredible feats on the baseball diamond, which were prodigious, but most importantly because of his work for the betterment of our country. Robinson's character, his use of nonviolence, and his unquestionable talent challenged the traditional basis of segregation which then marked many other aspects of American life. He influenced the culture of and contributed significantly to the Civil Rights Movement. He was also the first black television analyst in MLB, and the first black vice president of a major American corporation. In the 1960s, he helped establish the Freedom National Bank, an African-American owned financial institution based in Harlem, NYC. In recognition of his achievements on and off the field, Robinson was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Eleanor RooseveltAs we enter the month exploring the theme of embodiment, I would like to share a passage from Jackie’s autobiography that makes his embodiment of the values of equality for all of us manifest.

“Everything I ever got I fought hard for but I know that I haven't got the right to say truthfully that I have it made. I cannot possibly believe that I have it made while so many of my black brothers and sisters are hungry, inadequately housed, insufficiently clothed,denied their dignity as they live in slums or barely exist on welfare. I cannot say I have it made while our country drives full speed ahead to deeper rifts between men and women of varying colors, speeds along a course towards more and more racism.

Life owes me nothing. Baseball owes me nothing. But I cannot as an individual rejoice in the good things I have been permitted to work for and learn while the humblest of my brothers is down in a deep hole hollering for help and not being heard.

That is why I have devoted and dedicated my life to service. I don't like to be in debt and I owe... and I still feel I owe- till every man can rent and lease and buy according to his money and his desires; until every child can have an equal opportunity in youth and manhood; until hunger is not only immoral but is illegal; until hatred is recognized as a disease, a scourge, an epidemic, and treated as such; until racism and sexism and narcotics are conquered and until every man can vote and any man can be elected if he qualifies - until that day Jackie Robinson and no one else can say he has it made.”
I saw Jackie Robinson play 2nd base with the Brooklyn Dodgers and I’m told he stole 3 bases; totaled 3 RBIs and made a highly memorable catch. I remember nothing of this except really needing the bathroom on the long ride home to Massapequa but I do remember when I heard him speak during in a highly charged political campaign in 1964. With simplicity and elegance he laid out the reasons why America must address our heritage of white, male supremacy. It marked my first epiphany on race; recognition of what we today call white privilege. And it changed me forever.

Thank you, Jackie.

The lesson for us - it does not matter what you work at as long as we develop the capacity to embody - to truly integrate into our lives - the values we cherish.

Harriet Arnold, RE Coordinator

golden Rule

Value Based Religious Education As Unitarian Universalists, we envision children and youth who...

♦ realize that they are moral agents, capable of making a difference
in the lives of others, and in the health of our planet.

♦ feel safe & free to form their own answers to life’s great religious questions. ♦ become familiar with, and show respect for, history and wisdom of other religious traditions.

♦ recognize the importance of community, the importance of families of all
kinds, the importance of relationships among generations.

♦ experience joy, awe, and gratitude in response to life’s gifts...and find hope
and healing in the face of life’s challenges.

♦ appreciate the religious heritage of Unitarian Universalism, and feel at home
and among friends in this faith community.

Building an Age Appropriate Curriculum

This year, we at the South Nassau Unitarian Universalist Congregation will be studying the many aspects of change. This study will take place amongst the adults led by our part-time Transition Minister Laurie Stuart, as well as our wonderful cast of guest ministers. In the RE program, we, too, will use this metaphor as we explore our spiritual nature and how to live our values in the world and in our family relationships.

One Sunday a month has been designated as a Whole Congregation Celebration and children and youth will remain in the Sanctuary with the adults. These services have been planned as inclusive worship experiences for all congregants.
On those Sundays that are designated as RE Sundays, all youth will be met in the Religious Education Wing at 10:15 a.m., enabling their parents and caretakers to respond to the call to worship on time. Children and youth will begin together in a Caring/ Sharing Circle where we will light our chalice, sing a song or two, celebrate the opportunities we have had to practice UU principles and make our own offering. We will then break into our age appropriate groups until 11:30 a.m. when the children will join us for a slightly re-imagined coffee hour that will include juice and cookies.

Here are more detailed descriptions of the individual programs:

FIRST CONGREGANTS: Our youngest group of children are grouped as Pre-K to second graders. This year, we will be working on learning the Seven Principles of Unitarian Universalists and how we can practice them in our lives every day. We will use story, song and crafts to help the children understand their own spiritual emotions and begin to answer life’s big questions. They will participate in monthly themes at their own developmental level.

MIDDLE CONGREGANTS: This group of third to seventh graders will be using a fabulous UU cur- riculum called Neighboring Faiths. In addition to practicing the principles of our faith, the children will learn about the many ways in which friends and neighbors answer great spiritual questions. We will ask some of those friends and neighbors to share their experience of how their faith nourishes them and how different faiths might approach our overarching theme of metamorphosis as well as our exciting monthly themes.

EMERGING CONGREGANTS: This group of eighth to 12th graders will undertake a Life Journey through another UU text of that name that explores how we grow and change throughout our lives and how to make the journey most meaningful. In this year of metamorphosis, this is a particularly apt curriculum and will enable our youths to engage with the entire congregation as they explore the challenges and joys inherent in each stage of life.

Parental Responsibilities and a Covenant Between Us
Our RE ministry is a cooperative of parents who make common commitments for the mutual benefit of all children and youth. These include:

♦ Striving for consistent attendance, which demonstrates that the congregation and faith are important. Building trust and friendship nurtures our common life.
♦ Showing our commitment to South Nassau UU Congregation by making a financial pledge for the year.
♦ Staying informed by reading the Open Line, the Wednesday eblast and emails from the RE program.
♦ Working out a schedule to volunteer in the program (average of 2 hours a month is requested).
This is essential to our program, and we thank you. We know how busy all parents are!
♦ Remaining in the building while the children are in educational programming and picking them up when the program time has ended.
♦ Providing timely feedback (both positive and constructive) in order to help assess and improve the program.
♦ Offering each other mutual support and encouragement as we strive to live within the covenants of SNUUC and move as UU parents toward spiritual growth in our homes.


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UU Youth Programs on Long Island

Student Activity Fund
The Student Activity Fund (SAF) is a program to encourage young Unitarian Universalists to live their religious values through internships in social action, advocacy and service provision.

SAF is a grant-program funded by the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock that enables high school seniors and college students to perform significant service to the community while earning money to help finance their education.

Our Whole Lives
Our Whole Lives (OWL) is a series of grade appropriate courses in sexuality education. The program provides accurate information and Unitarian Universalist values for children, youth, adults, and families.

The Coming of Age Program
The Coming of Age (COA) Program is about learning, sharing, growing and bonding with other Unitarian Universalist youth from various Long Island congregations. The purpose of the program is to acquaint the participants with an understanding of Unitarian Universalism, explore their developing personal religious philosophies, examine and discuss adolescent issues and to foster the development of open communication among the youth and between the youth and their families.

Sophia Fahs U.U. Camp
Sophia Fahs provides enjoyable, practical and spiritual experiences in a safe, beautiful and natural environment that will inspire children, youth and adults to explore their identities: personal, communal and Unitarian Universalist.