From the Director of Religious Education

In July, my son Jacob and I had another wonderful experience at the Midwest Unitarian Universalist Summer Assembly, otherwise known as MUUSA.  The camp used to take place in Lake Geneva, but for the past 5 years, takes place in Potosi Missouri.  I highly recommend it, whether you have children, are empty nesters, or are single.  Besides General and District Assemblies, where else can a Unitarian Universalist go and feel comfortable?  With such a large group of like-minded people, awareness of our camaraderie with each other is both obvious and heart-warming.   At MUUSA, the main focus is on relaxation, connections, (both inner and outer), and FUN!  Friendships and connections are made and renewed every year.  Just like at church, it is amazing to see the children and youth return another year older, bigger and more mature, while we adults of course, remain relatively unchanged, with the exception of perhaps a few more pounds for some and a few more gray hairs for others.  My son was in the High School camp for the first time and felt very comfortable with youth whom he has known for the past 4 camp years.  It’s the one place where he doesn’t feel the need to explain his religion! Bonds are formed quickly and it is always so amazing to watch the level of openness, comfort, and camaraderie that is demonstrated by children, youth and adult alike.   It is not cheap, but when you look at all you get, lodging, 3 meals, workshops and fun activities too numerous to list, it really is a bargain.  Scholarships from both the camp and the YMCA, are available for those who need financial assistance.   I encourage you to visit the website and see for yourself whether or not this might be for you next year.  Early registration is being accepted now.  I am always available to discuss camp details.


At the advice of our beloved minister, (thank you!) I am took a much-needed mental break from the all encompassing but extremely rewarding duties of being the Director of Religious Education.  September will mark my fifth year in this position.  To say that it has definitely been eventful would be an understatement.  I will always be grateful to Rev. Dan Larsen for encouraging me to apply for this position, which has become a most fulfilling calling for me.  During this time, I have worked without a minister, and then worked with three different interim ministers in three years and lastly, one year now with Rev. Sean, our called minister.   Also during my tenure, I have packed up 4 classrooms and an office and moved to a new location where I unpacked.  With our recent flood, there will be the work of getting the classrooms back in order once again when I return.  From the day I was hired, I always felt that after five years in the position, I should have things all figured out.  Well, after five years, I’m not sure what that means exactly, but I have certainly figured out what doesn’t work.  I have an inkling of an idea of what is working, and plan on nourishing those ideas.  I plan to investigate what is not working, and the reasons, and remain open to making whatever changes necessary.  I continually seek out new ideas and ways to strengthen the bonds between the adults and our children and youth and continue to strive to provide the best Religious Education experiences.  I have a personal goal of reaching out to the community more, and demonstrating through compassionate action, our principles.  I always welcome ideas, and most definitely volunteers, to help make the goal of providing meaningful Religious Education become a reality.  I look forward to seeing all of you at our Water Communion in-gathering on August 25th.

Sam Jones

Director of Religious Education

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