UU Mormon

Posts Tagged ‘Service

I’m actually going to church again! It’s not so much by choice, but I still do enjoy it once I get there.

Butterfly is REQUIRED by the county, as a seventh grader and therefore presumably a potential juvenile delinquent and drain on society, to provide 12 hours of community service during the school year.  It’s like preemptive sentencing, I guess.  And it can’t be just any random service or helping out your mom with yardwork or babysitting, either.  It has to be a cohesive 12 hour project approved by the school, and supervised by an adult who is not the child’s parent.

Sheesh.

Part of the problem with getting a non-parental adult to supervise is that the child’s grade then depends on the reliability of said adult. And we had trouble finding one because of the tendency of many adults not to answer their email in a timely fashion.  However, we did pull it all together only a week or two after the due date for the proposal, and the full letter drop in her grade because of its tardiness will not be reflected in her final grade.  So, phew.

Butterfly is helping in the nursery during our church’s newly-instituted Saturday evening service.  Since it’s both new and on Saturday, it’s a pretty small service, and there are usually two or three babies in the nursery, which makes it relatively calm and manageable.  Butterfly seems to be enjoying it. And I like it too, because I take her to the nursery and then go to the service, where I can find a seat without being jammed tightly in between two complete strangers.  NinjaBoy has been staying with a neighbor friend while Butterfly and I go to church, and that makes it all so much nicer for everyone!

The services are usually an hour long, so she needs to go 12 times, which will take her into February, probably, since I’m sure she won’t get there every single week.  Sometimes, like this last weekend and every two or three weekends on average, her mother will have yet another #@$%ing migraine and be unable to get her there.  But all we can do is all we can do.

Butterfly’s class today talked about helping people.  And one of the boys, whom we’ll call George, was annoying.  George was the one who last week suggested giving beer to the homeless man, and today he said a swastika was a symbol of peace (it didn’t sound like he was talking about the Buddhist symbol either).  Not only that, but as they discussed serving in the military as a way of helping people, George said that the soldiers in Iraq “could do more for their country,” and he didn’t know that we’re using up our natural resources.  Butterfly was quite offended.  She was so hung up on George that she seems to have missed everything else that went on in class because that was all she could remember about it.

The younger kids started out with a chapel service again.  The thing that struck me this time was the lack of adults as we went in the room.  I was looking around for the teachers, couldn’t see any, and took it upon myself to interrupt the boy who had another boy in a headlock, and the ones who were tripping each other and sitting on each other.  I think they wondered who in the world I was and why I was telling them to keep their hands to themselves.  Why aren’t the teachers in the chapel with their classes?

The subject of the chapel lesson was redemption.  Apparently it’s what they’re talking about in the adult services too, and I wish I could have heard the sermon because it’s hard for me to separate redemption from sin, and I don’t think you can have sin, exactly, in Unitarian Universalism.  Can you?  For the kids they talked about it in terms of taking a bad thing and making it better — i.e. being honest when you do something wrong and apologizing, learning from your mistakes, etc. It was very age-appropriate.

NinjaBoy's prayer rug

NinjaBoy's prayer rug

The holiday for NinjaBoy’s class was Mawlid al-Nabi, Muhammad’s birthday.  I was only in the room for part of the class, but got to hear Muhammad’s life story.  Later they decorated prayer rugs and learned how to use them — NinjaBoy demonstrated for me at home afterward — and tried jordan almonds.  The teacher mentioned that not all Muslims celebrate Mawlid al-Nabi; there is a concern that it exalts Muhammad too much.

There was poster up front that said something like “Unitarian Universalists believe that religions arise out of people’s needs and longings.”  That’s about what I would say on the subject.  And they are a way to help people in a certain society or culture live together (put up with each other) by adhering to shared values.  What those values are and how they are expressed in a religion depends on the circumstances the group lives in.

I tried to do a little helping people of my own halfway through the class.  My favorite kind of service, the kind where you help other people by reading a book and eating cookies.  Unfortunately, my iron was too low and they wouldn’t let me donate.  Dang it!  I’m taking iron supplements and everything!

Next week I’m hoping to go to the worship service.  Really, I think it’ll happen this time.