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Religious Education

RE-flections: February Column From DRE Beryl Aschenberg

“Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth.”  – Marianne Williamson


It’s February, and here in North America, it is a time when our thoughts frequently turn to love. But love is so much more than a romantic inclination.  Love is a spiritual practice. Love is powerful—it can change minds and change lives. Love is stronger than violence. Even as our hearts break hearing stories of how people hurt each other, love helps us lift up the many ways we can help each other. Our children and youth know that, and readily respond when given the space and initiative to take action. What would the world be like if we all were taught from an early age that love, as Marianne Williamson states, is our purpose on earth?

As we finish out these next two weeks in our 30 Days of Love campaign, our young people will have time to reflect on what they’ve learned while exploring systems of racism and privilege with the “Black People Matter” curriculum.  My hope is that these conversations will better prepare them to dialog and be in relationship outside of our congregation, maybe even within your own families. I know that is how it worked for me: this past weekend I gently confronted a brother on Facebook when he responded “All lives matter” to a picture I posted of our church banner. I felt confidence in explaining why it is important to lift up black lives at this moment in time.  Having worked with the RE Committee on this theme has given me the courage and conviction to speak up. I would love to hear stories from our children and youth in the months to come. I have watched them stretch during these past weeks, and I know that they have the capacity to make a difference with their love.


Two Religious Education activities approach in February that will open up opportunities for children, youth, and adults to be in relationship with people that they might not normally connect with.  On February 7, all of our RE Classes will once again create Valentines for members of the congregation who might appreciate a smile. Later in the month we are partnering with America’s Black Holocaust Museum to provide support for their Founder’s Day Celebration, “Black Voices Matter: An Evening of Arts & Culture.” This event takes place the evening of February 27 at the Centennial room of the Central Library. More information is elsewhere in this newsletter.


I invite you and your family to take advantage of the conversation that was started with children and youth here at church. Let these opportunities open your heart, and empower you to lift up your voice and take action to transform the world through the power of love!




First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee  is a home for spiritual community, social justice, and intellectual freedom, active in Milwaukee since 1842. Unitarian Universalism is an inclusive denomination; core principles include recognition of the worth and dignity of every person; respect for the interdependent web of existence; and the goal of world peace, liberty and justice.

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