Mary Pipher, a Unitarian Universalist and author of Reviving Ophelia, uses a Lakota Sioux word, tiospaye (ti-yo-spa-ye). It means "warmhearted, extended family." It signals a community where everyone belongs, everyone contributes, everyone benefits.

Do you agree that all children, including ours, need a tiospaye? A safe environment in which to explore and grow? A community beyond immediate family where adults are trusted, not strangers feared? Where the ancient stories rich with meaning are told, again and again?

Only in community do we learn the lessons of relationship. Community demands civility. When we are in regular contact with other people, what we say and do matters: Mistakes require apologies; triumphs evoke praise; sorrows evoke sympathy.

The group you are with can be tiospaye. With tiospaye in mind, center yourself in the interdependent web of caring and cooperation, grounded in tradition but not bound by it. Open your heart and mind to possibility and mystery, to the cosmos beyond the self.

For more information contact religiouseducation@uua.org.