Sober Students at The Bridge Way School

BridgeWaySchoolHigh school just may be the most difficult years of a young person’s life, made even more so when substance abuse and addiction enter the picture. Rather than vilifying this all-too-common occurrence, it is much more productive to support these teenagers in recovery and sobriety, an outlook that has been integrated into an academic setting at The Bridge Way School, Philadelphia’s first recovery high school.

Rebecca Bonner, M.Ed, MUPP, and Head of School at Bridge Way, helped open the nonprofit in September of 2011 after experiencing the pain of substance abuse within her own family and realizing that there were no local schools dedicated to recovery. She works alongside well-trained teachers who are certified in their content area and have knowledge of drug and alcohol prevention and treatment.

Members at Main Line Unitarian Church heard about the important work being done at The Bridge Way School when it was nominated for the church’s Offering Outreach program, which directs half of the congregation’s Sunday collection to a different charitable organization each month. As a result, Rev. Morgan R. McLean recently paid a visit to the school, located in Manayunk, to present a donation check in the amount of $2,336.

McLean said, “The Bridge Way School is an amazing example of what can be achieved when passionate and caring individuals face a challenge head-on. The students here are blessed to have such a supportive and knowledgeable community around them as they build lives of sobriety and academic success.”

Studies show that 80 percent of youth who return to their previous high schools after substance abuse treatment relapse within the first year, so organizations like The Bridge Way School are crucial for students trying to make a fresh start. In addition to developing tools and strategies to stay sober, students engage in rigorous academics and community service opportunities.

Bonner said upon receiving the donation, “We are still a very new nonprofit, and the contribution made through the Offering Outreach program at Main Line Unitarian Church is significant to us. The funds went straight to helping defray tuition expenses for one of our students on scholarship, and a portion of it was earmarked for our music program. Our music teacher was able to purchase three drums to use for drum circles. Thank you so very much for the contribution.”

This type of collaboration is exactly what Unitarian Universalists believe in: working with compassionate and justice-oriented groups to promote personal and spiritual growth in all aspects of life.

To support The Bridge Way School, visit www.thebridgewayschool.org/giving/donate.

LGBT Awareness Weekend

TransMovieTrans Film Screening
Friday, April 12, 7:00 p.m.

Gay Bingo
Saturday, April 13, 6:00 p.m.

Transgender Panel Discussion
Sunday, April 14, 1:30 p.m.
Facilitated by Dr. Maureen Osborne

The Welcoming Congregation Committee of Main Line Unitarian Church is sponsoring a "triple play" weekend featuring entertaining and educational LGBT awareness activities. On Friday April 12, at 7:30 p.m., we will show the award-winning documentary Trans, which looks in depth at the lives of several transgender individuals and their families, their triumphs and their struggles in dealing with family upheaval and society's discrimination. MLUC member Maureen Osborne appears in the film, and will facilitate audience discussion following the 90-minute screening.

On Saturday, April 13, we are hosting a table for 18 at "Gay Bingo," a riotously fun evening of bingo and entertainment at the Gershman Y (Broad and Pine). Doors open at 6:00 p.m. The $25 tickets benefit AIDS Fund Philly, and can be purchased in the lobby after both services this week, or by contacting Ann Hiller.

On Sunday, April 14, at 1:30 p.m., Dr. Osborne will moderate a panel of transgender individuals as they tell their own stories. The panel will follow the Youth Soup Lunch in the McGinness Room.

Bob Butera Matches Meditation to Personality Types

BobButeraThe Meditation Group at Main Line Unitarian Church is proud to sponsor an evening with Bob Butera, author of Meditation for Your Life: Creating a Plan that Suits Your Style. Butera’s presentation will introduce the concept that personality type should be considered when choosing a meditation practice. He will explain six primary methods of meditation and offer experiential, reflective exercises to help practitioners discover their personality type and its related meditation method.

The seminar will take place on Thursday, April 11, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Main Line Unitarian Church, 816 S. Valley Forge Road, Devon, PA 19333. This event is free and open to the public.

Robert Butera, M.Div., Ph.D., author of Meditation for Your Life: Creating a Plan that Suits Your Style (2012) and The Pure Heart of Yoga (2009) publishes Yoga Living magazine and directs the YogaLife Institute in Devon, Pennsylvania. Bob is certified to teach yoga through The Yoga Institute of Mumbai in Bombay, India, and has a Ph.D. in Yoga from The CA Institute of Integral Studies. He has studied yoga, meditation, and personal growth since 1985 in places like Japan, Taiwan, and India. More information about Bob can be found online at www.yogalifeinstitute.com.

On Sunday mornings at 9:00 and 10:15 a.m., Main Line Unitarian Church provides open meditation groups for adults. Meditation groups are a great way to explore your spirituality and connect with the community. Regular meditation practice can increase self-awareness and allow us to become more open and present to our experiences. Learn more online at www.mluc.org/faith-development/adults.