Family Resources for Sunday January 13


I think it pisses God off when you walk by the color purple in a field and don’t notice it.  — Shug Avery, in Alice Walker’s novel The Color Purple


The miracles of the church seem to me to rest not so much upon faces or voices or healing power coming suddenly near to us from afar off, but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that for a moment our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there about us always.  — Willa Cather, 20th-century American novelist


This session cultivates participants’ ability to notice the miraculous. They discover that “looking with absolute attention,” a teaching of poet and novelist May Sarton (1912-1995), can bring them in touch with their own capacity for “direct experience of mystery and wonder.”

Participants use their senses for careful observation of everyday items from nature, then draw or sculpt to attend still more closely and, through artistic expression, bear witness to “the miraculous in the common.”


Time For All Ages during service on Sunday morning:

I will share the story of “May Sarton”, a Unitarian poet.


The details about class on Sunday morning:

Babies – 4 year olds

  • Children’s covenant, chalice lighting, and joys & concerns
  • play inside

Kindergarten- Grade 8

  • Children’s covenant, chalice lighting, and joys & concerns
  • Share a miracles moment Activity 1
  • Look at natural objects with absolute attention Activity 3
  • Create a drawing or sculpture based on their observations Activity 4
  • Some older children may also choose to write about their observations Alternative Activity 5

What you can do this week at home:

If you are unable to join us, feel free to use these links and resources to create a faith formation opportunity in your own home this week

  • EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about… the 13th-century Italian mathematician Leonardo de Pisa, better known as Fibonacci, a contraction of filius Bonaccio(son of Bonaccio). He discovered that many life forms and processes in nature—including the reproductive patterns of rabbits—follow a number sequence first identified by Indian mathematicians: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13… (To continue the sequence, add the last two numbers together to find the next number.) A good place for all ages to explore Fibonacci numbers is the website Math is Fun.
  • Learn about Fibonacci Numbers using Alternate Activity 1 and Alternate Activity 2.
  • Discover  the Fibonacci patterns of 5 and 8 in the pinecone using Alternative Activity 3
  • Go for a walk and pay close attention outdoors
  • EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Examine broccoli, cauliflower, a pineapple, a pinecone and other plants and vegetables in or around your home. See if you can identify a Fibonacci sequence. For example, a stalk of broccoli splits into two, then three, then five, and then eight branches, a pattern that repeats in each broccoli floret cluster. What else do you notice about the item?
  • A Family Ritual. Observation is a skill that can be honed with practice. Plan several sessions for practicing together. Each time, place a potted plant, a bouquet of cut flowers, or a bowl of fruit on a table and arrange yourselves around it with paper and pencils for each family member. Take five minutes for everyone to observe and draw the still life in front of them, or to list adjectives or phrases to document their observations. Then, compare your observations. Talk about how it is hard or easy, challenging or rewarding to pay such close attention. Share any revelations that come about the items and how they or nature itself are miraculous, or perhaps about the miracle of our ability to observe, or the miracle of sharing an intentional spiritual time with family.
  • Family Adventure. Make a date together to catch a miracle in motion. Get up and get outdoors before sunrise, or find out where and when you can go for a wide view of a sunset. See who can be first to see the sun peek over the horizon, or disappear below it. Share opinions: Which strikes you as more miraculous, the fact of sunrise and sunset, or the moment you witness day begin or end? We did this the other day at Lake Mary and look at what we found…

 Let me know if I can be supportive to you in any other way!  I am here for you.

All my best with blessings,