Before We Play

Games and Religion.  Spirituality and Play.  They have more in common than you might think.  Our ancestors often saw them as one and the same… and took them quite seriously.  Which is why, they knew, the most important agreements are made… before we play.

Rev. Craig is high-risk and asks that in-person attendees mask for the service.  In-person coffee hour will be split up this week, with masked people staying in the sanctuary after worship, and unmasked people moving to other parts of the building.

Rev. Craig’s pronouns are per/pers (short for person, first coined by Marge Piercy in the 1976 novel, “Woman on the Edge of Time”) (But he/his are also acceptable).

Rev. Craig Schwalenberg is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister raised in the Midwest, transplanted to New York (near the source of the Susquehanna).  After 15+ years serving as a parish minister and interim minister, per has started a new community ministry as Your Game Minister— sharing the fun and wisdom where spirituality and play cross paths.  Pers ministry is one of connections, storytelling, hospitality, and games.  Rev. Craig is an affiliated community minister with the Church of the Larger Fellowship.  Per has been active member of the UU Trauma Response Ministry for over a decade.

Rev. Craig lives in central, upstate New York with pers wife, Cheryl DeDecker, and their dog, Harmony.  Cheryl practices her own ministry as a Consulting Hypnotist and Life Coach, with a focus on complementary medical hypnosis, pain management, and addressing anxiety.  Together, they are geocachers and avid gamers. 

  • The Share-the-Plate for October 22 and 29 will be Milestone Democratic School in Madison. They are a not-for-profit, tuition-free public charter school designed for students who are disengaged from school. Staff are committed to anti-racism, justice, equity, and trauma-informed care. Students are engaged in their own learning design, everyone has a voice, and all voices are heard. Milestone Democratic School was nominated by Mary Witchita, who says the school saved the life of her grandson who is transgender. 

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Order of Service

  • Gathering Song  “Come, Come, Whoever You Are” #188
  • Welcome
  • Prelude Medley of “Tommy’s Mazurka” by Tommy Peoples, arr. Ailie Robertson, and “Prelude Polka” by Ailie Robertson
  • Call to Worship
  • Lighting the Chalice and Musical Response
  • Shared Music  “We Sing Now Together” Hymn #67 (gray hymnal) 
  • Time for All Ages  “A Brand New Game” Rev. Craig and the Congregation
  • Shared Music  “From You I Receive” Hymn #402 (gray hymnal) 
  • Wisdom from the World’s Tradition Consent Agreement Mystery Readings 1 & 2
  • Reflection 
  • Offering “The Butterfly” Trad. Irish, arr. Romy Wymer
  • Joys and Sorrows
  • Shared Music  “We Would Be One” Hymn #318 (gray hymnal)
  • Extinguishing the Chalice and Benediction