What Turns a Busy Day Into A Great Day?

I had a great day Sunday-

I was pressed for time (as usual!) so I walked into my office, found a template for paper dreidels in my files, copied some off and made an example dreidel for the Preschool-Kindergarten class… and zipped over to the Sanctuary…
Wrote out some announcements to be read in the Sanctuary (and brought in the traveling chalice- and got stopped by the usher for questions and the layleader for other questions)…head back to Channing House…
Got the movie on the Children’s March (how children made a difference in the 1963 Civil Rights Movement) prepped for the Fifth-Sixth grade class…turn on the heat in there!.. gathered teacher binders…and headed over to Parish Hall…
Set up a couple of couple of classrooms, putting away random flotsam that seems to wash up during the week…..check in with the folks in the Re-Gift Store…. paid the childcare gals….got the supplies together for the pencil case making craft (for the schoolbags for Haiti) happening during Fellowship …unlocked the playground….and back to Channing House!
Prepped my notes and handouts for the parent information meeting for Our Whole Lives also happening during Fellowship!….Then I grabbed my notes to help teach the Neighboring Faiths class on Islam, which was an amazing and engaged group…after class, I whisked into the Library to set up for the OWL meeting, including dragging the totally heavy and tippy TV cart from the Fireplace Room and cued that movie.  Ack!  beter try to dash over to Parish Hall for a cuppa coffee!
Drat!  Only decaf left!

Pour a bit before checking in with the Haiti craft….I’m stopped by parents who want to lead a snow tubing evening for the Junior Youth social night- so we plan to check in later…see lots of people I would love to talk to, but knowing I have to get to the OWL meeting I do no more than briefly check in with the teachers and parents I see and move on (with a few stops to help direct adults to meetings here and there)…Have a few unexpected young folks at the OWL meeting, so we gather some Legos and set up for a multi-gen meeting!  A great hour is had with thoughtful parents and leaders- energizing!…  Then quickly clean up and scoot back over to the remainder of the pencil cases craft in Parish Hall!…Great connections with the folks there then clean up and do everything in reverse order to shut down for the day.

Certainly it was much like many of my Sunday mornings at Channing- (quieter than some!) but this one left me especially energized, hopeful and ready to take on more.

SO what made this wild ride of a morning have such a good feeling?  After thinking it over for a couple of days, I think what makes me so blissful is seeing programs come together that have been slowly gathering interest and momentum over the past few years- Elementary OWL and Youth Programs.  Both programs have special meaning to me, and it has been my dream to see both areas of Channing’s ministry grow.  Now it is happening!

In the third year of offering Elementary Our Whole Lives, we have a fourth trained leader and a big class of children who might join.  Even before “official” registration, the class is half full!  Channing has always been a great supporter of Junior High OWL, and we have shown that Elementary OWL is important to us, too!

It is a little more amazing that the youth program is taking flight so strongly.  We are offering Sunday Morning Neighboring Faiths classes, monthly Coming of Age and Social Nights.  There is a lot of overlap in the youth who attend these three parts of the program, so the youth are getting to know one another and make real bonds.  Kim Shute and I are leading all three elements right now, so we get to know the youth well also!  It has been very rewarding.  When I hear a youth ask what we will do next month for social night with an expectant tone and SMILING – well, that’s the best!

I could go on and on, but I’ll keep it short.  Part of me wants to hold on to these happy feelings, but I know it would be healthier for the program for me to share some of this joy with other caring adults, too.  I have LOVED planning lessons on Islam and creating a 6 foot banana split trough, but I need to also have time to administrate lessons and communicate more with our other teachers!  SO I am hoping that this amazing energy can be carried on for the youth…perhaps you are ready to have this busy/happy feeling, too?  Something important is happening at Channing for the youth, something that we can keep going, and building!  I had no idea the youth would be so responsive, so fast to the attention we are paying to their classes and programming.

One of our activities in class was drawing what we envision G-d to look like.  Well, I see G-d in just about everything, and especially in the relationships we people have with each other.  So when I have a day where relationships are strong and vital and since I have had a challenging Fall, I am singing:

What Wondrous Love Is This (Hymn 18 in Singing the Living Tradition)
link to mp3
What wondrous love is this,
O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this
That brings my heart such bliss
And takes away the pain of my soul, of my soul
And takes away the pain of my soul

When I was sinking down,
Sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down
Beneath my sorrows ground,
Friends to me gather’d round,
O my soul, O my soul,
Friends to me gather’d round, O my soul

To love and to all friends, I will sing, I will sing,
To love and to all friends, I will sing
To love and to all friends who
Pain and sorrow mend,
With thank unto the end I will sing, I will sing,
With thanks until to the end I will sing.

American Folk Hymn,
New words by Connie Campbell Hart, UUA

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