This Sunday in RE

Dear Beautiful UUI Families,

This week as I watched video of a police officer punching a child at Shortridge High School in Indianapolis, live coverage of the aftermath of yet another mass shooting, this time in Midland/Odessa, and read about the Trump Administration ending the Medical Deferred Action Program which allows immigrants with serious health problems to stay in the U.S. for up to two years beyond the terms of their visas to receive critical treatment, I happened on an article by Akaya Windwood, the former president and CEO of Rockwood Leadership Institute.

In it, she says:

"The cycle of birth, growth, decline and death is a natural metaphor for what is happening on the global political stage. We are witnessing the death rattle of patriarchy and his handmaiden white supremacy.

Our old systems are in the process of disintegration and decay - they are literally falling apart in front of our eyes. Some of us will resist and stand guard, making sure that the rot and fallout are minimized. Some of us will provide hospice, insuring that the systems die well and thoroughly. Some of us will tend to the victims and survivors. Some of us will design and create new paths to a common and integrated future.

All are needed, and it’s essential that each of us understands and embraces our particular part in all of it. It’s also crucial that we support and hold up the efforts of those doing work that is different from ours. No one task is more or less important than any other - all of it is honorable and necessary.

I suggest that rather than poke around in the gore and continually make ourselves sick from toxic exposure, we attend to our collective well-being - remembering to care for each other and the earth, and to make art and love as we resist, mourn, heal and build.

We need every single one of us - those who revolt, those who restore, and those who dream and create the futures we’re committed to." --Akaya Windwood

I'm sharing this with you because I want to hold up that this is one of the things church does really well--helping us find our place in the struggle and supporting us as we do the work. And this is something that RE does for our children and youth. We are teaching our children from the youngest to the oldest the language of justice, how to care for one another, that everyone is important, is lovable, is deserving of love, just as they are. This is world-changing work we engage in every week! And we have so little time to do it. I invite you to commit to joining us on Sundays as often as possible this new church year. Help us help you find your place in this struggle as we attend to our collective well-being. Help us teach our children and youth to carry forward these lessons that are so critical. 

Tomorrow is our last summer Sunday in RE. We'll be learning about Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta and the United Farm Workers.   

Please check out the mark-your-calendar section below to find out details of upcoming events and what we have planned for RE from September - November! 

I'm looking forward to seeing you tomorrow! 

Peace and Love,

Susanne Hinson-Rieger

Director of Lifespan Religious Education

Mark Your Calendars!

Labor Day
September 1

We will be learning about labor movement heroes such as Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez.

Water Communion Service
September 8

Our community gathers together again after the summer! Bring water from your favorite fishing hole, your travels, your kitchen tap. We will mix everyone's water together as a symbol of our homecoming and in celebration of the start of our new church year. This water is important! It will be saved and used for church rituals throughout the coming year!

September Second Sunday
September 8

Join us for a shared meal and meaningful fun for all ages! Lunch (vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options available) is provided immediately following the Service. Stay tuned for more details!

Senior High Youth Group
September 8

For our youth in 9th - 12th grades (or homeschool/unschool equivalent). We will meet for lunch, games, discussion, youth worship and more in the Senior High Youth Room in the UUI Cottage.

Parents of Preschoolers (POPs) Group
September 11

In the Social Hall from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. Bring yourself, your children and a dish to share (if you are able). Child care is provided. For more information, contact Chalice Starling at

First Day Back to Religious Exploration AND Sundae Sunday
September 15
This is the first day kids and youth will be with their new groups for the church year. Click here to find out what each age group will be doing from September - November! This is an important day to be at UUI because we are getting to know each other in a new way. It's also Sundae Sunday! At the end of our RE time together on the first day, we always celebrate Sundae Sunday!

Did you know the first ice cream sundae was invented by a Unitarian Universalist minister? It's true! So we're not just having a delicious snack, we're learning UU history! Please note, we will have dairy-free options available for our vegan and lactose-intolerant friends.

Parents of Elementary School Kids Group
September 20

In the Social Hall from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. Bring yourself, your children and a dish to share (if you are able). Child care is provided. For more information, contact Heather MacGumerait at

Youth Bash
September 20 - September 22

This is a fun weekend for our junior and senior high youth! Our 10th - 12th graders (or homeschool / unschool equivalent) spend Friday night planning the weekend for our 6th - 9th graders. Junior and Senior High Youth spend Saturday together playing games, sharing meals, and in workshops. Saturday night 9th - 12th graders have an overnight together and 6th - 8th graders have an overnight together.

Blessing of the Backpacks
September 22

Children, youth and educators are all invited to bring their backpacks, tote bags, handbags, and briefcases to church for our annual Blessing of the Backpacks! Each person will receive a keychain/backpack charm to hang on their backpack to remind them that our community supports them in their lifelong search for truth and meaning, no matter where they are.

OWL Parent and Youth Meeting (10th - 12th Grades)
September 22

From 5pm - 7pm at UUI.

Children's Chapel
September 29

On this day during Religious Exploration we will be having a special Children's Chapel, led by our Director of Ministry, Jamie Hinson-Rieger, who will be leaving the service that day with the children. A guest speaker will be delivering the sermon to the adults.

Senior High Youth Group
September 29

For our youth in 9th - 12th grades (or homeschool/unschool equivalent). We will meet for lunch, games, discussion, youth worship and more in the Senior High Youth Room in the UUI Cottage.

Haunted Indiana Youth Trip
October 4-6

We Honor Indigenous Peoples' Day
October 13

Fall Youth Convention CON
October 18-20

UUI 40th Anniversary Party
October 19

UUI turns 40 this year! Help us celebrate! Weather cooperating, we will have early outdoor activities, a bonfire & s’mores, followed by an inside social hour with jazz music, a short program honoring our history, and finally, a rockin’ dance party for all! Child care will also be available in the evening if desired.

All-Church Halloween Party
October 27

Join us for this annual tradition that includes a chili cook-off lunch, a youth-created haunted house, trunk-or-treating and a fun party for all!

Age of Reason Ceremony
November 17
UUI's 2019 Age of Reason Ceremony for our 1st graders (and homeschool and unschool equivalent) will be held on Sunday, November 17 during the Service. This is a milestone ceremony that celebrates reason and education during which the child's grownups present their child with a book they have chosen for the child either because the book is special to them or it has a message they particularly want their child to learn. Click here for more details.

Popcorn, PJ, Movie Day
November 24
Kids are encouraged to invite a friend, wear their pj's and go straight to class on this annual Sunday tradition! This year we will be watching Pachamama for our little ones and Coco for our older kids. Junior and Senior High youth will be choosing their own films to watch.