Hello First Parish

Oxygen + microorganisms + curious children = FPNUU FUN!

"I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing the world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something." ~Neil Gaiman

Do you know what question I have been asked the most since moving into the DRE office upstairs? You would THINK it would be "Why all the piles?" or "You're still here?" but it isn't. What I get asked most is "Why do you have so many pencils?" True! If you haven’t been in my office, I have a mason jar with plenty of sharpened pencils on my desk.

I have an answer to this. Years ago, I preferred pencils to pens for nothing more than they seemed they would take up less space in landfills. It was oddly environmental in my mind. But now, it's that pencils (stick with me here) give me permission to make mistakes and to start over. Erase away. Rethink, rewrite and re-sharpen when I need to! Don't waste time striving for perfection: Pencils forgive. Why so many pencils on my desk? So I can share. I'd never notice if several were rehomed. Feel free to borrow should you ever need one! My kids may have said to me on more than one school supply shopping day, "Do you REALLY need more Ticonderoga pencils just because they’re on sale?" (Yes. Yes I do.)

I make mistakes all the time. It’s what we do because we are human. One of the best lessons we can teach our children is that it's okay to do so. Striving for, or expecting, perfection can be a lonely and complicated road.

Pencils aside, we are heading in to the final eleven weeks of the church year. Keep an eye on the weekend previews I send out for information about what's coming up. I'm starting to think about RE classes and am working with RE committee on how to best group the children for our exploration of World Religions next year. Our 7-8th graders will be doing Neighboring Faiths and Coming of Age. This is probably my favorite theme in the 3-year rotation so I'm getting excited. We will have lots of opportunities for teaching as there will be three classes plus childcare. We also will need Youth Group mentors as we figure out how to best support our middle and high schoolers here at FPNUU and within our Sci-Coh-Rock-Well group. Should you wish to join in, please talk to anyone in RE (Debb W., Emily G., Staci C., or Amanda A.) or look for me... I'll be the one with pencil tucked behind her ear.

Gabe Millins, DRE

Director of Religious Education