Today we start rehearsal work for our Yule Play during the religious education classes. This is a very long tradition at my church, to do a play with the kids in December.
Here is the newsletter article I wrote about this year's play:
A Christmas Play
One of our stated goals for Religious Education here is to give our children a basic level of religious literacy. This means that we will recognize the stories, beliefs, traditions, holidays, and history of different faiths and religions, so that our children have the understanding and the language to engage with other religions and with people of different faith traditions.
This year our Yule Play is part of our religious literacy effort. I have noticed that our children tend to not know the story of Christmas, illustrated by a child asking me last year “what’s up with that baby in the pile of straw in front of that other church?”. Although many in our congregation come from a background where we can assume a basic knowledge of Christianity, this is not true of our children. They are not coming from another faith tradition, but are rather being raised in this tradition of Unitarian Universalism. And for much of its history, the UU tradition has been a Christian tradition, with its own interpretation of a human Jesus and a loving God.
Our children still need to know the Christmas story, of the birth of a baby that is remembered and celebrated every year by people all around the world. And we can celebrate that birth, remembering the words of the Unitarian Universalist religious educator, Sophia Lyon Fahs:
Fathers and mothers –
Sitting beside their children’s cribs
Feel glory in the sight of a new life beginning.
They ask, “where and how will this new life end?
Or will it ever end?”
Each night a child is born is a holy night –
A time for singing,
A time for wondering.
A time for worshipping.
While still maintaining our OUUC tradition of writing an original and humorous Yule Play, we will also be honoring this spirit of Christmas with our play on December 13th. Additionally, the RE program is collecting food for the Salvation Army that day, so please bring non-perishable holiday food to church that morning.