Starting in the 2020-2021 congregational year, AUUF will be using theme-based ministry as a way of exploring topics relevant to our lives and our spiritual journeys. Each month, a different theme to guide our consideration of important aspects of life. These themes are Touchstones* that we explore in selected Sunday services and in other ways, such as through covenant groups and religious exploration. The hope is that these themes will inform, challenge, and support our members and friends through our shared exploration.
Touchstones Journal, published monthly by Touchstones Consulting, is an in-depth exploration of that month’s theme and is sent out at the beginning of the month to our AUUF Connect listserv. Each eight-page issue of the journal offers:
- An introduction to the theme of the month;
- A Wisdom Story for All Ages;
- A Faith & Theology article that explores the theme in-depth;
- The Family Matters section for use by parents and religious educators with materials on the theme and 1 to 2 activities to explore the theme with children;
- A Small Group Discussion Guide for adults;
- Readings from the Common Bowl (a quotation on the theme for each day of the month); and three or four other articles on the theme.
Below are the monthly themes for the 2020-2021 program year.
2020-2021 Annual Theme: Deepening Connection
September 2020: Worth & Dignity
October 2020: Emotional Intelligence
November 2020: Spirituality
December 2020: Kindness
January 2021: Consolation/Desolation
February 2021: Mercy
March 2021: Respect
April 2021: Mindfulness
May 2021: Acceptance
June 2021: Care of the Soul
July 2021: Journey
August 2021: Communion
*In its original meaning, a touchstone was a stone that was used to test the purity of gold or silver. A touchstone has come to mean a quintessential feature. We explore these touchstone themes of our tradition to nurture us and inform our actions, to deepen our understanding and expand our vision, and to support us in leading lives of integrity and authenticity.