Thursday, May 21, 2009

Oh NO! It's over.

UU & Me is ending. That colorful little section, packed full of fantastic resources, in the middle of the UU World, is not coming again after this issue. Oh what a loss. What seems like a little thing that is really a very big loss.

I was a young mother attending a "Raising UU Kids" class because even though I'd been raised UU, I needed help in the very, very Christian world I moved in through most of my days. Our Religious Educator had a sample of a magazine for us, the parents taking that class. I think if seven of us would subscribe to the magazine, one could get it for free, or if we had a child under seven we could get it for free, or if we danced seven times around the table we could get it for, I don't think that was it. But somehow you could get a deal on the magazine. I remember saying "I'll just buy it! I need it! My kids need it! We UUs need it to be there, I can support it!" UU & Me, back when it was even a stand alone magazine.

For a few years I think my mother actually gave it as a gift to my kids. I remember sitting on the floor of my kids' bedroom reading stories from UU & Me. It was a great magazine. I remember the stories about Raychel. I remember the time they talked about how we say "and service is our prayer" at the beginning of the service, and my church didn't--but then I moved here and we did. It remember hearing it and thinking "Oh! Just like in UU & Me! Cool!"

When I became a Religious Educator, I bought compiations of UU & Me for our Stories for All Ages in my congregation. Just this week, I pulled up old issues to help me plan a fun game day for this Sunday. Just this week. Just a few days ago. Now it's going away.

Last year the lovely editor of UU & Me, Betsy Williams, put out a call for events that churches do that kids love, and I responded. I called in a youth to take pictures and our Un-Birthday Party was featured. Right in UU & Me. Wow. When it came out I held up the copy of UU World and UU & Me for our congregation to see. They applauded! I was deeply honored to be a part of something that was such a part of me.

I know times are tough. I know we need to pinch the pennies and squeeze the belts and make due with less. I know. I do. But.....


I will miss you UU & Me. We all will. A lot. Good work, Betsy and all of you who made it happen. It was a wonderful resource for many, many families for years. You made a real difference in my life and the lives of lots of us; the UU parents out on the front lines.



Lizard Eater said...


plaidshoes said...

I am sad to hear this, too. I didn't know it was closing down. This is a loss for our kids and denomination. Do you know if it was just a funding issue? It seems like it would be worth it, espcially in the long run, for the UUA to support it.

Chris Walton said...

It was definitely a funding issue. As I mention in my column, the UUA needed to trim almost $2 million from its FY2010 budget, and each staff group had to come up with significant savings to help meet that goal. Unfortunately, there was no easy and painless way to cut a significant chunk out of UU World's budget. Cutting uu&me!, although painful, was one of the ways we were able to meet our obligation.

The UUA's Lifespan Faith Development staff is currently preparing prototypes of a new section of for families, drawn from the materials they have been developing for "Tapestry of Faith." If all goes well, that new section will make its debut in the Fall issue. It won't be the same as uu&me!, but the UUA remains committed to providing materials that parents can use with their children.

Kari said...

Thanks for the response, Chris. I know that the way things are financially in our churches and organizations we are all having to make deep cuts. Painful cuts. Cuts that we really feel.

Tapestry of Faith has been a fantastic resource so far, I look forward to seeing the new section in the UU World, hopefully, in the fall issue.