Jul. 16, 2018.

By Lay Minister for Adult Spiritual Development Cheryl Sadowski.

High summer. Time seems to slow down; the morning air is light and dewy, the late afternoons are thick and stormy. Children’s laughter bubbles across the water of community pools, and friends and neighbors come together for barbecues and concerts on the green.

When I was young, I loved summer for its long, languid days. I would run among the houses of my neighborhood to visit friends or curl up for hours on the back porch with a library book. Summer was sweet because it was time-bound; it ended with the beginning of a new school year, which brought with it new challenges, people and places. I found this theme to carry on through college and well into adulthood. Even now, as a working professional in my 50s, there is a natural close to the summer dynamics of the office and an anticipatory feeling in the air when fall begins.

I’ve always equated autumn with education and the opportunity to learn. Poring over my community catalog, arts bulletin and, in more recent years, our own UUCF schedule of classes, I find myself more than ready for the rigor of experiencing new things. On various occasions, I’ve made the decision to teach or lead a class or small group at UUCF – one time on activist writing and another time, facilitation of a covenant group. On both occasions I learned much more than what I was able to “teach,” which is precisely the point.

When you gather with other people to talk and act on topics of mutual interest, “ah-ha” moments abound, while deeper insight and meaning creep up on you weeks later as you’re pouring a cup of coffee or taking a shower. Gradually, you synthesize the experience and come away with a vital new perspective or greater cultivated compassion. Most of all, you grow and change.

The wisdom of experience has shown me that not only what but how I learn has broader applicability in the world and the times we live in. Whether you teach or co-teach a class of your own making or borrow one of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s well-planned and generous curricula, whether you offer to facilitate a small group or co-lead a workshop with a friend or colleague, the experience of sharing and accepting knowledge will benefit you in ways that you won’t know from the outset.

Whether teaching or participating, I hope you will consider benefiting from one or both of these paths. UUCF is building its fall class catalog now, and the Adult Programs Committee is accepting online proposals and ideas from all with an interest in developing their human and spiritual selves. Submit here today and be changed!