Happy Villages / Church Scam Warning

Happy Villages

by Robin Mitzcavitch, Director of Religious Education and Exploration

Do you live in a happy village?  Do you know and get along with your neighbors?

Over the past two weeks, I’ve asked this question to our children during our Rotation Workshop Classrooms.

In Fellowship Hall, the children stood in a straight, even line, shoulder to shoulder.

“Take two steps forward if the place you live is covered by a roof,” I said.

All the kids took two steps forward. The line was again even and equal. Then I started asking them to take more steps.  Step back if you live in a single story house, step forward five steps if you live in a white house, take one step ahead if you live in an apartment.

It went on. I asked about their backyards, if they had trees, swing sets, the color of their front door.  Finally, I asked them to step back one time if they knew their next door neighbor.  I asked them to step back twice if they knew the religion of their next door neighbor.

A child spoke up to me.  “THAT is NOT a question you just go asking your next door neighbor!”

We laughed.  But it was exactly what I was thinking about when I decided to do this project with the RE children.  We all took a look around. Our line wasn’t straight anymore. Actually, there wasn’t even one child standing in line with another.

“Wow.  We’re all in different spaces from where we began.   We all live in such different ways, but we are all a part of a single village here at this church. We try to live peacefully and in sacred community here.  What if the world were like that? Think about it,” I said.

I invited the class to dig through all different kinds of fabric, and design a house that represented their own unique personality. They cut and glued the colorful squares and pointy, round, or flat roofs, onto a piece of white muslin fabric.  And, wouldn’t you know it, all the houses came out different.

When every child in RE has the chance to “build“ their house, we’ll create a “Happy Village.”  The village will not only contain different types of houses, backyards, doors, windows, and roofing; but also different types of neighbors.

Next, I asked the older children to fill out an anonymous questionnaire.  I asked them their age and gender.  I asked how they would describe their physical body and their personality.  I asked if they knew what political affiliation they liked best.  What were their favorite hobbies and book genres? What occupation would they like to have?  I wanted to know if they collected anything and what type of families they were a part of?

And yes, I asked about their ethnicity, current religious affiliation, and family’s religious roots.

So, when the village is put together, and I list what different types of people I see living next to each other, we’ll see an example of a happy village.  It will come together before our very eyes!  How do we know that it’s a village of people who are truly in community?  Because this village is made up of our community here at UUCW, our sacred community.

We all walk into the same building every week to build meaningful community with others who may be very different from us.  It seems to work pretty well.  What could happen if we built happy villages around the world?

What if we got to know our current neighbor well enough so we could ask about their families, what they do for work, what they love to eat and read.  What if we knew someone deeply enough that we could ask what religion they are and what they stand up for in the world?  This would turn into such an excellent opportunity to honor another’s life, find interest in learning something new, and lose any fear about things that are different from what we know.

We need more “Happy Villages” in our lives. Look for one, coming soon,  to our Fellowship Hall!



Church Scam Warning

Churches across the country are being warned about a new scam in which scammers are impersonating trusted clergy while asking congregants to purchase gift cards and sending them the verification numbers.

Please note that no clergy, staff or leadership of UUCW will ever ask you to do this via email or any other means. If you receive such a request, please report it to the church office (office@uucworcester.org, 508-853-1942 ext. 0) immediately.

Please see the link below for further information on this issue.