Virtually every religion tradition creates sacred altars, from Buddhist shrines to Pagan nature altars to Catholic offrendas – each with their own unique set of sacred objects that hold fascinating symbolic meaning. There is something about a physical space with objects that can be experienced through the senses – that we can see, and touch and listen to and smell – that lets people experience religion beyond the level of abstract ideas and as something within their body that becomes real and immediate. It helps people connect with their sense of wonder and reverence.
Most children, whether they believe in a higher power or not, deeply feel this sense of wonder and reverence toward the world they live in. Many children naturally discover their own sacred objects that hold special meaning – a striped rock found on a river bank, a small box with all its power to hold, a ring that once belonged to a relative. These objects, gathered on a shelf or in a corner, become that child’s very own sacred space, a space that can provide comfort, peace, a focal point for the imagination. Honoring this sacred practice of childhood is a wonderful way to help a child begin to develop their inner spiritual life that will serve them throughout life.
This altar will be our communal sacred space for all the children of UUCC. Any child who wants can give an object to Jamila Batchelder, our director of religious education, and it can be placed on our altar and be shared with our community for a time. The space will change seasonally.
We will also be sharing a different deity each month. Whether we ourselves believe in a god or not, the many deities from world religions can be meaningful symbols that allow us to visually imagine the abstract ideas that these deities personify. We are open to suggestions if you have a favorite deity that you would like to share.
Please treat this space with respect and reverence, and please enjoy!