Deepening Faith. Living Well. Enacting Justice.

Faith Formation Focus by Janen Wright


I have heard it said that it is the ability to imagine that sets humans apart from other species. It is Henry Thoreau who admonishes us to, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you imagine.” If you feel like your imagination has not had the space to be very active lately there is good news on the horizon.

On the evening of March 18,th author and artist Ruth Gendler is flying in from Berkeley California to offer a workshop that celebrates the immensity, wisdom and beauty of the imagination through looking at an extraordinary collection of children’s art and writing. Her presentation is called, Befriending the Imagination, and is geared towards parents and educators. (See related article for details.)  Then on Saturday the 21st of March, Ruth Gendler is offering a full day Spiritual and Creative Retreat Workshop from 8:30 to 4:00.  (See related article.)  We are looking for three or more people from our congregation to help with putting this on so if this topic appeals to you please contact me (  and I will give your name to Sheila Brown (of BVUUF) who is gathering volunteers.  (The registration forms will be on our website and at the office counter in March.)


Lately sister churches UUCB and BVUUF have started to imagine the benefit of being more united in our efforts to sponsor worthwhile programs for our two congregations and the larger community.  Both these events are a wonderful opportunity to work together and make new UU friends.  There is strength in numbers and those who discover Unitarian Universalism have two congregations, each with our own unique strengths, to choose from in our immediate vicinity.   We are fortunate that this is the case and seek to strengthen our bonds to benefit both of our church families and those who would be one with us.


Sometimes the thought of being imaginative and creative intimidates us.  (At least it does me.)  Let me share with you some words that I love from Jan Philips from her book, Marry Your Muse.“To create is to make something whole from the pieces of our lives and in the process, to become more whole ourselves, seeing with more clarity each of those pieces, understanding where they fit, how they matter.  It is a healing act, a leave taking from the chaos as one moves from the choppy surface toward the stillness of the center…….. Do not doubt that you were born to create.  Do not believe for a moment that the realm of art belongs only to others.  This is blasphemous—it denies the potential to create, which is your birthright.  Find what brings you joy and go there.”



It sounds to me that Ruth Gendler has the experience and heart to help us “go there.” In her book, Notes on the Need for Beauty, Ruth says, “ Beauty builds and makes connections between the senses and the soul, between contemplation and expression, between ourselves and the world.”   I am looking forward to both these events and hope that you are able to make room for them on your calendar as well.


Janen Wright –Faith Development Director

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