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Religious Exploration Monthly Newsletter February 2024

February 2024

It can be hard to be enthusiastic about the normally gray days of February. Most years we’ve either had enough snow to be tired of it by now or had enough rain and mud to wish desperately for snow. Somehow this year we are managing to do both! Since the best advice in mid-winter is “Think Spring!”, I hope that our planned February programming will help everyone get in that frame of mind.

February’s multi-generational service for Darwin Day is all about the birds. Come learn about how birds get their names, how sorting birds helped Darwin pin down his theory of evolution, and how we can help our feathered friends in an earth- honoring way.

Do you have any paintings, prints, statues, or photographs of birds? We’d love to borrow them to decorate the sanctuary for this special service. Loaned items can be dropped o between February 4th and 10th and picked up after the service on February 11th.

Also during the Darwin service individuals will have the opportunity to design their own bird. Start using your imagination now. Paper with bird outlines and all sorts of drawing and coloring materials will be provided, as well as glue sticks, but you can bring whatever else you might like to add to your own creation. There will be a

download for our remote service participants to participate in the project as well.

What’s Your Favorite Bird?

I’m a big fan of cardinals and nuthatches, but I enjoy seeing any type of bird in my yard or feeders. Lately, though, we’ve had mostly voracious squirrels, so putting out seed is not one of my priorities any more. We’ll be celebrating all birds--big, small, and in-between at our Darwin Day service on February 11th at 10 a.m.

Theme and Challenge for the Month

UUSGU’s February theme is Balance. Balanceis something that we hear about all the time.“Do you have a balanced diet?” “What is thework/life balance like at this company?” “Areyou able to get a nice balance of sleep andactivity in your day?” Achieving balancesounds like so much work sometimes. And itcan be. But there are simple things you can doto help balance your life. Just sit. Listen tonature or to music. Watch a bird or an animal going about their daily lives. Sip a glass of your favorite drink. Let a breeze blow over you. Take a nap.

Our Nature Journal Challenge is going to be a little more active this month. Instead of just looking for nature to draw or photograph, why not build something using natural materials that demonstrates balance? All over Grafton you can see examples of rock cairns and stacked rocks in people’s yards. One of the benefits of living here is a seemingly never-ending supply of granite to dig up while gardening and rearrange. And our wintry weather has brought down plenty of branches to play with, too. Make a balancing object and send me a photo of it. I’ll include all photos I receive in a weekly newsletter and on the RE bulletin board.

RE Committee

The RE Committee will be meeting after service on Sunday, February 4th to plan for spring lessons and discuss upcoming multi-gen services. We will also be discussing potential classes and teachers for next year and my upcoming vacation in April.

Also in February

For such a short month, February packs in a lot of holidays. We start o with Groundhog Day. Then we have Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, and (this year) Leap Day. February is also the month for Pink Shirt Day--the anti-bullying holiday created in 2007. It falls on the last Wednesday of February, and this year’s theme is “Lift Each Other Up”. We’ll be talking about that in RE on February 18th. I encourage everyone to wear a pink shirt to UUSGU that Sunday and also to wear one to school or work on February 28th.

I’d love for us to celebrate Leap Day here at UUSGU, also. Take a picture of your children or family leaping on February 29th and send it to me at I will include it in the next newsletter.

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