UUs to hear from ninth-grade UU kids

By Pauline Benetti
Special to The PREVIEW
This is the fourth year that ninth-graders from the Front Range Unitarian Universalist (UU) churches will stop in Pagosa Springs on their way back home to share with us the message of their learning after a 10-day visit to the Hopi and Navajo nations, and it is the first year that a ninth-grader from our fellowship, Elan Ramirez, will have joined them.
Learnings from the experience will have come from having spent several days with the native peoples: three days on the three mesas of the Hopi people, attending the Kachina dances, observing and respecting an important element of Hopi religion; two days at a Navajo School in Tohaali attending classes with a Navajo student who had already become a pen pal, and participating in Navajo rituals. On the return, they will visit archaeological sites such as Canyon de Chelly National Monument and the oldest continuously operating trading post in the U.S., the Hubbell Trading Post at Ganado, Ariz., where they will observe Navajo weavers.
That is not the end of the learning. Preparation for the trip involved attending classes on early southwestern history, Hopi and Navajo history, culture and religion, current concerns of the Native Americans of the southwest, as well as UU history.
In conversation with Ramirez prior to his departure, we learned that despite the three long weekend trips to different UU churches on the Front Range and the dawn-to-dusk hours in class, he was enthusiastic about what he had learned and the friends he had made and was really excited about the upcoming trip. Exactly how the ninth-graders will communicate their learning is always a surprise, but it will become clear that they have each had their own spiritual growth experience.
Something about the Pagosa UU Fellowship: We are a Welcoming Congregation; we invite everyone to share in our faith community. We cherish diversity and foster a safe environment for all. Service begins at 10:30 a.m. and, following that, we invite you to share refreshments and conversation. On third Sundays, our service includes Children’s Religious Explorations. All youngsters ages 5-12 are welcome and there are no prerequisites. We invite parents and children to simply show up.
Find us in Unit B-15 of the Greenbrier Plaza. From North Pagosa Boulevard, turn right onto Park Avenue and right again into Greenbrier Plaza, then turn left and continue around the complex until you see the Unitarian Universalist sign as it faces the mountains. Come in and join us. You are always welcome.
For further information, visit pagosauu.org or call 731-7900.

This story was posted on April 28, 2018.