By Maria Cory
The Adult Religious Education Committee launched the New Year with providing its Sunday Morning Forum program in its true form—both engaging and diverse!
Although not by design, the first two forum facilitators rendered presentations that were interestingly complementary, yet strikingly different.
“A feature of the middle distance of explanation, outside the ordinary, short of the irrational and unsolvable. It is a horizon between the well-known and the sea of truth even to have been sighted except as something unmentionable. Wonder is linked to love of knowledge and wisdom.”
Kay's lively presentation covered a gamut of possibilities. From the beautiful, remarkable and unfamiliar to the unpredictable, novel and strange, Wonder elicits a range of emotions and other responses—some in the moment, others in a lifetime. Be it the Natural Wonders of the World or man-made structures; whether individual feats of skill, the nobility of others, or common everyday items; she explained how Wonder can be both subjective and objective.
So what shall we do to awaken a sense of Wonder? “Start with a positive attitude that will enable us to appreciate the beauty and creativity around us,” said one classmate. “Give yourself permission to slow down and involve yourself,” noted another. A new approach or perspective, a change of habit or context—these and other means were expressed as pathways to one of the most important outcomes with Wonder: That of it promoting loving kindness in relationships and for the Greater Good!
Using a powerful analogy of “Incarceration” being the “51st state” in our United States, Lou, a mental health professional of 45 years, portrayed the state with the following characteristics:
Class discussion included the controversies regarding privatization of prisons, prison quotas, deliberate strategies to keep people incarcerated, and the sacrifice of (internal and external) rehabilitative programs due to the astronomical costs of incarceration.
With Virginia being the state experiencing the largest growth in prison population, this timely forum topic certainly hit close to home.
FREEDOM. To be unrestrained by the prisons of life; perhaps by the prisons of our own being.
FREEDOM. To come and go as we please; to wander in wonder and awe of this gift called Life!
We are inspired by these generous presenters and grateful for the UUFP educational programs that help guide us in living these ideals!
Grow in Wonder ~ Connect in Love ~ Engage in Service ~ Inspire Generosity