By Beryl Aschenberg, Director of Religious Education
We were standing in the Sanctuary, nearly two hundred of us, singing Spirit of Life. We sing that song beautifully, we UUs of First Church, and the sound washed over me like a blessing. Later, as I cruised the rooms on the lower level, the sound of children’s laughter rang out from the various classrooms, and I felt doubly blessed. In ten minutes, the Common Room was abuzz with our weekly caffeine and lemonade communion, and I watched as children and grownups interacted: a little one sweetly holding the hand of a man with graying whiskers, neither father nor grandfather, leading him to some adventure on the other side of a parent; and another joyfully being passed from one adult to another, then twirling on the floor into a show of his own independence—all part of this wonderful First Church family.
A spiritual community offers a rare gift in our society—the opportunity for people of multiple generations to build relationships with one another outside of their families of origin. It happened to me over twenty-five years ago, via the Unitarian Church of Lincoln, when Alan and Lois Hansen brought me and my children into their lives and their home after I found myself temporarily displaced and derailed by divorce. It happened here at First Church about a year ago when a single man seeking a spiritual home was welcomed in the coffee hour by a retired couple and found not only a faith community but kindred spirits to call his chosen family. It happens in bits and pieces, during coffee hours and RE classes, singing in the sanctuary, and invitations into each other’s lives. The blessing of connection.
As we move into summer, I invite you to let the Spirit of Life sing in your heart, and know the joy of being in loving community with people in many differing stages of life.