The DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church exists as a beacon of liberal religious thought and practice. Amid the challenges and changes of a chaotic world, we aspire to proclaim and embody the possibilities of meaning in human life, of freedom in human thought, and of peace and justice in human community.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spotlight on UU: Susan Birk

Spotlight on DuPage Unitarian Univeralist Congregant:  Susan Birk
(Each month DUUC spotlights a member of our congregation and asks them for a peek into their relationship with DUUC)

How did you find DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church?
We used to go to Diversity Dinners, which is run by DUUC member Stephanie Downs Hughes. One night, we were supposed to bring an image that really meant something to us. Stephanie brought a framed image of the 7 Principles. When she read the 7 Principals, it was the first time I had ever felt a connection to a religion of any kind. I didn't know anything about Unitarian Universalism, but the 7 Principles embodied the ideas I already believed in. My husband, David, was reading about the Jefferson Bible and Thomas Jefferson’s connection to Unitarianism. That led him to the DUUC website. We decided to visit DUUC. We've been members for about four years.

What keeps you coming back?
We love many of the services by Emmy Lou Belcher because they inspire us to work on being better people. We like that they’re both spiritual and intellectual.
We've met so many wonderful people here. This is an activist church that is really involved in supporting the community. The green thrust is
especially important to me.

What has been your most memorable moment here?
The new member recognition service when we became members. That was when I realized I
had really made a commitment to UU-ism. I felt like I had found my spiritual home.

Where is your favorite spot to sit in the new sanctuary?
I somehow end up in the front on the right a lot.

What have you participated in here at DUUC?
I’m on the Public Ministry, Marketing and Green Sanctuary committees. There are so many ways to get involved!

Get to know Susan and our other fellow congregants at our next service or activity!  You can find what we are doing, both at sanctuary and in our community by visiting our website!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Heart Talk: Youth Religious Education

Photo Credit: "Rainbow paper heart bunting" by the green gables Flickr 
©Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License

We are midway through our Spring session of Youth Religious Education (Y.R.E) 
here at DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church. It is great to see our young congregants meeting together, forming friendships, and discussing great things together. 

This session, in our 1st - 6th grade classes we are using a new (to us!) curriculum called Heart Talk for Kids©. 

Heart Talk for Kids© is based on Compassionate  (Nonviolent) Communication. Curriculum designers Debbie Berkana and Veronica  Lassen, were inspired to create Heart Talk because of their passion for creating  more connection and peace on the planet. 

The main intention is to create a space where people truly see each other. This 
space of respectful connection is a place that honors the ‘inherent worth and dignity of every person.’ It is a space that allows us to live our UU values. Each lesson in the curriculum includes specific references to one or more UU Principles.

Sample of Lesson Topics:- Heart Talk Introduction - Observation - Feelings - Human Universal Needs- Requests - Self-Empathy - Exploring Anger - 6th grade classes, we are using a new (to us!) curriculum - Gratitude and Celebration - Observation in Nature - Empathy and Conflict Resolution Empathy for Others - Anger, Empathy and Conflict Resolution - Peace and Contribution 

If you have a child in the Y.R.E program we encourage you to spend some time discussing their classroom theme for the day and their thoughts on the topic. OurY.R.E children have amazing insight and the lesson themes encourage openness and discussion.

For more information on Heart Talk for Kids© or the research that led to its creation please visit:www.heartvistas.com Debbie and Veronica live in the Pacific Northwest and arecommitted to growing luscious tomatoes, happy children and peace. 

www.cnvc.org : international Nonviolent Communication (NVC) website with information on NVC activities worldwide. You can also find a list of feelings and 
universal needs there.

www.nonviolentcommunication.com : Puddledancer Press, publisher of NVC-related materials. It includes many articles on parenting, NVC in schools, mediation, restorative justice, interviews with Marshall Rosenberg, etc.