In the month of December we’ll explore together the theme of awe: that sometimes indescribable feeling of wonder or transcendence that can remind us we’re part of something larger than ourselves. When have you experienced awe? Under a star-filled sky? At the birth of a child? Listening to music? While connecting deeply with another person?  Theme-based ministry connects worship, religious education and small group experiences so that we are having a shared conversation across the generations.

Reflections on Awe:

“One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself, “What if I knew I would never see it again?”
–Rachel Carson

“You sing your song in your own key, in your own beautiful voice, and the cosmos listens, reverently.”
–Rev. Victoria Safford

“Wonder takes our breath away, and makes room for new breath. That’s why they call it breathtaking.”
–Anne Lamott


The practice of remembering that it’s all a gift.
The practice of noticing the sacred everywhere you turn.

Spiritual Practice:

Collect Awe Stories:
One way to get more awe into our lives is to barrow it from others. That’s right, turns out we can feel awe when we listen to others share their awe stories.

So this month, aim to collect five stories of awe

Anyone is fair game. Life Partners. Parents. Siblings. Neighbors. Co-workers. Even strangers! Take them out for coffee or just ask if they have 5 minutes. Sure, you’ll be nervous. It’s a peculiar thing to ask people about. But trust us, everybody’s got a great awe story, and everybody is secretly dying to share it!

Spend a bit of time comparing and contrasting the stories. Which of those similarities or key differences spoke to you. Where was the gift (or challenge) in that for you?

Taking It Home:  Ideas for All Ages

Wild Kids and the Awesome Outdoors

Unitarian Universalist author Alicia Bayer publishes a free, nature-education magazine online called Wild Kids. It turns one year old this month, December of 2019! If your family loves the outdoors, or if you’re looking for new ways to show your family what there is to love about the outdoors, check out her latest issue, and check out the archive for other wintertime fun. And, you and your child can submit articles and pictures to be published in future issues!

Stories Used In Worship and Classes This Month

The Playgrounds of Babel by Jonarno Lawson
Born With a Bang by Jennifer Morgan

Musical Connection

#230  Duermete Nino Lindo
Mexican lullaby/folksong

From New Mexico Folk Recordings:

American composer Norman Dello Joio wrote a song based on this folk lullaby called “The Holy Infant’s Lullaby” for a TV opera, “The Saintmaker’s Christmas Eve” in 1961/1962.  View the instrumental here.

Theme Connection: A sleeping baby gives you goose bumps with the beauty, hope and innocence it shows us. It’s bedtime for baby Jesus but he won’t fall asleep. What can you do? Hold him in your arms and sing a lullaby.

Soul Matters Spotify Music Playlists:
Discover musical inspiration on each of our themes through monthly playlists:

Join us to deepen our faith together:

  • Explore resources related to the monthly theme (links above)
  • Attend Sunday worship
  • Sign up for small group ministry (Soul Matters Sharing Circles and Chalice Circles)
  • Request a copy of Soulful Home (thematic resources for families)
  • Join our Parent Group (to discuss the themes in relation to parenting)

Resources on this page adapted from Soul Matters December 2019.