Update from Tammy Martens
We are finishing up our 9:00 Sunday programming for children and youth. June 5 will be our last gathering until we reconvene next fall.
Susan Watson and I teach the middle school youth and for the past few months we have been working through our Coexist curriculum. We have studied Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, and Sikhism. And as we have studied these major religions, we have learned more about our own Christian tradition.
It was an absolute delight to visit the AHA Shava Vishnu Temple in Fitchburg. Mr. Subbu Ravi, leader of Educational Initiatives for the community, was our host. After his presentation we spent time in their temple as people were gathering for prayer and worship.
For our study of Judaism, Ellen Baum (Tammy’s neighbor) came to our Sunday School class to lead us through a Seder meal. First, we heard the story of Passover and then we tried some of the foods that are part of the Passover meal. I found it deeply meaningful that we were experiencing a Passover meal during our Holy Week and close to the date of Jewish celebration of Passover. It’s extremely satisfying to help youth see the connections between Judaism and Christianity.
We will celebrate the end of our programming year with an Improv night and dinner on Friday, June 3 starting at 6:00 p.m. We will have pizza and vegetables, fruit, and dessert plates. Monkey Business Institute of Madison will be leading us in improv. If you can provide a side dish and/or help with set-up and clean-up, please go to this link to sign up: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0844a5ad22abf49-improv
On Sunday, June 5 in worship we will celebrate Pentecost. In addition, we will honor Sunday School teachers and youth leaders, recognize High School seniors, enjoy the music of Tru Function and end with and Ice Cream Social.
I continue to work out details for our Civil Rights/Service Trip to Birmingham, Alabama July 23-30. We will stop in Memphis on our way down to tour the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel and worship at First Congregational Church. In Birmingham we will be working with a non-profit called Christian Mission Service. They will have projects for us to do all week. On Wednesday of that week, we will travel to Montgomery to tour the Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. We have 24 youth and 5 chaperones going on the trip.
I am happy to share with you that after I transition away from ORUCC, I will begin working with Lombard Mennonite Peace Center. No, I don’t need to move to Lombard, IL thankfully. I will be writing curriculum and teaching in their Clergy Clinics in Family Emotional Process and assisting with church mediation. I will begin in mid-September.
I shared in an earlier email that Rob Martens will continue as the Tru Function leader. He is so gifted in this position and does so much to support and encourage youth in their musical abilities. Any youth who is going into seventh grade can try out for Tru Function. Spring is recruitment time, and he has scheduled a couple of try outs with some of our rising seventh graders.
Finally, I want to share with you my commitment to the ongoing work and ministry here at ORUCC. I see myself as an ally to the person who will be hired as the next Associate Pastor. I will do all I can to support this person and make this transition as smooth as possible.
Thank you for all your support as we move through this time of transition.