Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Let it be a dance for everyone!

Last week I led the Children’s RE class under our little shelter in the backyard of the church. The theme for the class was “drumming and dancing.” I shared with them about how drumming and dancing were often used in religious services and gave them a few drumming tips. We all took turns with our different percussion instruments, with the person holding my African djembe serving as the leader. Then came the time for the dancing – and I taught them a little peace dance that I had created to “This Little Light of Mine.” I invited those who wanted to dance to join me and others could sing. Alas, only the little girls joined me. I smiled and the girls and I danced. But inside, I had a nagging feeling that I had somehow failed with this group of children – that even included my own grandsons who shook their head with a definite “NO” when I held out my hand in encouragement.

What is going on here? This is 2011. And this is a Unitarian Universalist congregation. Yet, the predominant culture is still one in which dancing – especially dancing in a circle while we sing about light and peace, etc. – is for girls. I can’t help but think that at least one of those little boys may have wanted to dance with us, but it’s not cool to do – even at UU. Of course, this Sunday School class on this day – like most of our Sunday School classes – is being led by a woman. And yes, she has a bit of an androgynous air about her – but she’s still a woman. And this woman encouraging these young guys to release their fears and let their lights shine probably won’t make a difference.

SO – this is a CALL to the men in our congregation. Men of all ages! Our boys need you. We all need you! We are thankful that Sean DeVine has been leading our group in some drama activities this year. Hallelujah! As we begin our planning this summer for our RE classes next year, we hope that more of you will join our efforts.

Last night in my yoga class, our teacher Rebecca Cole opened with a reading by Marianne Wilson called, “Our Deepest Fear.” I looked it up on the internet today and have copied it below. Somehow, it seems appropriate to end this musing with this reading. I’ll let you be the judge of whether or not it fits.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

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