Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of St Croix

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March Newsletter

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   Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of St. Croix

Newsletter—March 2014

The Fellowship meets at the Jewish Community Center in Herman Hill (Route 83)

 the second and fourth Sundays September-May. Services and Sunday School are held at 10 AM. Refreshments and conversation follow.




Sunday, April 6, 10 AM: Covenant Group led by Jan Giles at home of Emy Thomas


Sunday, April 13, 10 AM (Palm Sunday): “Re-Imagining Easter” by Rev. Qiyamah Rahman


Sunday, April 20, 10 AM: Covenant Group led by Gail Nealon at home of Emy Thomas


Sunday, April 27, 10 AM: Earth Day Service led by Carol Cramer Burke of St. Croix Environmental       Association.


Sunday, April 27, 5:30 PM: Holocaust Memorial Service (see below)





We have exciting news. We have hired a director for our Religious Education program and we have a temporary contract with a piano accompanist.

Shelli Brin, a young eighth-generation St. Thomian and well-known in St. Croix, where she has lived for the last several years as a very active partner in Ridge to Reef Farm, will be in charge of our Sunday School starting in September. She will shadow our current teachers for the remainder of this church year and develop a curriculum based on material shared by the national Unitarian Universalist Association.

Paul Knipler, who gave us a taste of his musicianship at our last service, will continue as our accompanist at least for the remainder of this church year.




Four new members will be welcomed into the Fellowship during our final service of the year on May 25: Shelli Brin, Carolyn Forno, Renee D’Adamo and Bill Schultz. Anyone else interested in joining at that time should contact Gail Nealon: gailnealon@gmail.com.




Last year, instigated by Artemis Joukowsky III’s generous offer to screen his film about his grandparent’s courageous actions during the Holocaust, the Jewish and UU congregations collaborated on a program/memorial service for Yom haShoah / Holocaust Memorial Day.  It was well-attended and well-received, and the two congregations plan to come together to mark the date again this year.  We have also invited the Unity Church community.  Of course, everyone is welcome, and we hope you will spread the word in your circles.
It will be on Sunday evening April 27, at the JCC, beginning at 5:30.  After a short memorial service we will view and discuss informally the morally complex film “Hiding and Seeking: Faith and Tolerance after the Holocaust.”  All are most welcome.
Rabbi Marna Sapsowitz







Our Sunday School children show off a craft project.


Qiyamah’s Column


Having secured a new Religious Education Instructor I am excited at the prospect of dipping my fingers and toes back into the familiar waters of Religious Education. While most of my experience has been with adult Religious Education, I did have the honor of co-teaching grades 4-8 at First Unitarian Church of Chicago using the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) curriculum titled Neighboring Faiths in 2007-2008. Neighboring Faiths is one of many curricula developed by UUA. It is a 13-week curriculum that introduces youth to the faith traditions and practices of other religious groups through field trips in their community. It consists of eleven units with 34 ninety-minute sessions. As part of the curriculum we visited a mosque, a Hindu Temple and a Catholic Church.

Read the reflections of a young adult (18-35 years old) reminiscing on his RE experience:

When I was eight years old, my parents, Alan and Jacqui, joined the

First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh, and I began my journey through a

Unitarian Universalist religious education program. One of the most lasting

values I gained from that religious education process was a great appreciation

for the diversity of systems of belief. I learned to accept, tolerate, and appreciate differences in people. In church school we were given a great deal of exposure to

other religions so that we could always make an informed choice about what we

were going to believe. Growing up in a Unitarian Universalist religious education program was extremely helpful in developing and honing my powers of critical thinking. Because my religious education encouraged me to ask questions, I developed the ability to ask myself questions to clarify my values and functions as a mature individual in society. It is an ability that I cherish and employ every day. . . That I am still a Unitarian Universalist is largely due to my religious education experiences. As I made the transition from youth to adult, my understanding of the religion grew with me. I was able to redefine my values as I encountered situations in the real world that fundamentally challenged the belief structure I had developed while younger. Unitarian Universalism allowed me to grow and develop without encountering an unyielding dogma, thus enabling me to retain my intellectual curiosity about life and religion.

–Tony James, son of Jacqui James, former UUA Faith and Development staff member


The above testimonial reveals the powerful influence that a Religious Education Program can have in an individual’s life. RE is a lifetime process that spans from the cradle to the grave, hence the term, “Lifespan RE.” Faith formation is an integral part of human development and Sunday School is the process that nurtures faith formation. Intergenerational faith development integrates the different needs of individuals into all aspects of the community emphasizing new understandings, abilities and ways of interfacing with self, family, parents, UU community and the larger world.  Intergenerational worship includes worship with a focus on diversity across a range of ages with diverse learning approaches exploring, reflecting and dialoguing on life mysteries. I look forward to being a part of the efforts to create a safe, nurturing and stimulating environment for our children in the days to come. Please consider volunteering some of your time in Sunday School with our children.

Rev. Qiyamah

P.O. Box 3034, Kingshill, VI 00851 * www.uustcroix.org

Rev. Qiyamah: revdocrok@gmail.com 704-458-7676




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