Thematic Resources for “Vision” – September 2018

Resources for the theme of Sanctuary for the month of October 2018

Questions for reflection – 

See our webpage on thematic reflection questions – click here. 

Questions for Reflection


  1. What if sanctuary is something we build rather than something we find?
  2. What if your place of sanctuary is not just saying “Come and rest” but also “Be filled and go”?
  3. What if sanctuary isn’t a place, but that moment when you realize that you don’t have to keep trying to prove yourself?
  4. When has someone saved you with the sanctuary of just sitting with you in silence rather than offering you advice or trying to fix things? Is someone in your life needing that same gift?

Sunday Worship


Oct. 7  – “Bless the Beasts and the Children” Rev. Tony Lorenzen reflects on what we can learn from children and pets about creating a welcoming and safer space. Blessing of the Animals Ritual.

Oct. 14 – Guest minister Rev. Patricia Hatch

Oct. 21 – “The Third Little Pig” Rev. Tony Lorenzen reflects on why strong walls don’t just keep the unwanted things out, they also keep the wall builders locked in.

Oct. 28 – Michele Alves and Rita Earl lead our annual Samhain service and costume parade. Children of all ages are encouraged to dress for the event.




  1. Kenny Wiley, UU World Contributing Editor – “The first time my heart felt broken, I went to church. When my mom died, I went to church. When I failed a class, I went to church. When I failed a friend, I went to church. When I felt like I’d failed at life, I went to church…
  2. Cynthia Keyes – “I have learned to treat my garden as the sacred place it is, and it continually nourishes me both in body and in spirit.”
  3. Rev. Steve Garnaas-Holmes – “I pray not for how we treat you in the sanctuary but how we treat you in the streets.”
  4. Rev.  Nadia Bolz-Weber – “The accuser may try to convict us of the difference between our ideal self and our actual self, but the truth is no one has ever become their ideal self, it’s a moving target. It’s a mirage of water on a dusty road. The more we struggle to reach it, the thirstier we become and yet we come no closer to actual water.”






  1. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE UNWANTED?: Stories of Resistance and Resilience from Mexicans Living in the United States by Eileen Truax
  2.   Faithful Practices: Everyday Ways to Feed Your Spirit by Eric Walker Wikstrom
  3. SANCTUARY: A Story of American Conscience and the Law in Collision by Ann Crittenden
  4. The Secret Language of Sacred Spaces: Decoding Churches, Cathedrals, Temples, Mosques and Other Places of Worship Around the World by Jon Canon

Children’s Books


  1. Sanctuary by Wendy Marloe & Joanna Chen
  2. Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction, Revised and in Full Color
    by David Macaulay
  3. From North to South/Del Norte al Sur by René Laínez (Author), Joe Cepeda (Illustrator)
  4. Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family’s Journey (English and Arabic Edition)
    by Margriet Ruurs (Author), Falah Raheem (Translator), Nizar Ali Badr (Artist)



  1. “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” – Disney, G (recommended for 8+ not for small children)
    Disney’s recreation of Victor Hugo’s novel is rich in visual and musical sensation. But deeper beneath the rich production lie questions about normalcy, how sanctuary confines us as well as protects us, and what punishment is. – Common Sense Media Reviews
  2. “The Urban Elephant: Shirley’s Story” (13 min) The touching story of Shirley and her keeper, Solomon James. Trapped in a man-made world, Shirley’s life at the Louisiana Purchase Zoo was a lonely one, bereft of the company of other elephants. Follow Shirley and Solomon through a life of captivity to release in the Tennessee Elephant Sanctuary. This two-time Emmy Award winning film was produced for PBS’s Nature Series.
  3. “Cathedral” – PBS animated special based on David Macauley’s book. (1 hr.) Travel back to 1214 to explore the design of Notre Dame de Beaulieu, a representative Gothic cathedral. The program tells period tales revealing fascinating stories of life and death, faith and despair, prosperity, and intrigue.
  4. “Sanctuary” – Larry and Sophie, two people with intellectual disabilities, long to be together in a world that does everything to keep them apart.- IMDB review



  1. “Make Us Aware We Are a Sanctuary” – from the Sanctuary, a UU worship community in Boston.
  2. “Sanctuary” by Carrie Newcomer
  3. “Shelter” by Lone Justice
  4. “Sanctuary” by Wesley Arms



  1. Sanctuary as a place of worship – Something common to many places of worship in Europe and the Americas is stained glass.  This activity help you turn any coloring page into “stained glass.”
    2. Sanctuary as a place of protecting people -Watch this video on the DACA program, Video explaining DACA (Delayed Action Childhood Arrival – The Dreamers). Watch and discuss together.
    3. Sanctuary as a place of protecting all beings  – Make A Whirlybird of protected animals. Directions here from National Geographic:
    4. Sanctuary as a place of inner silence – The Serenity Prayer – Explore how the Serenity Prayer might help you find inner peace and make good decisions.  Read and say the Serenity Prayer: ”May I have the serenity to accept the things I can’t change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Make a list of things going on at school or at home or with friends and discuss what things need to be accepted, what things need you to act or change something and how you can tell what is the right thing to do.

The Take it Home with UU Activity for this Month is: “Refugees: They Came Because They Had To”


This activity comes from Amnesty International. Copies of this are at the back of the church each Sunday in October. Read the story and reflect on the questions and activities as a family or by yourself or with friends.  It is designed to help you feel what it’s like to be a refugee.