Excerpts from my latest UUSG newsletter column
This month, I thought I’d offer some random thoughts and observations that have been accumulating in my files.
– The National Institute for Health recently released infant mortality rates for this country for 2002, and for the first time in 60 years, infant mortality rates have risen. I find this a matter of some concern.
– In announcements in the Sunday morning worship services, I said Lindsay and I are ready to implement intergenerational worship every week if that is the pleasure of the congregation. The response to this suggestion ranged widely. A few people, including both parents and empty-nesters, said they’d like to give it a try. A few people said they’d rather leave UUSG than have regular intergenerational worship. Other responses ranged between these two extremes. (To give a wider perspective — one or two Unitarian Universalist congregations already have fully intergenerational worship services, while a handful of others have decided to actively discourage families with children from participating in their congregations at all.)
– I continue to be fascinated by the way this congregation refers to children and teenagers. The preferred word here at UUSG for these people seems to be “students.” Members of the congregation who are under 18 years old are referred to as “student members” in the UUSG bylaws. I have even heard two and three year olds referred to as students. I remain uncertain how to understand what it means to name people in terms of one limited role they may play. Personally, I prefer the term “young people” as it helps me remember these are persons who have inherent worth and dignity.