Sparrow F. Alden, CRE, MA

Sparrow has served the UU Congregation of the Upper Valley since 1999, designing and implementing educational programs for adults, youth, and children and families which express and fulfill this congregation’s unique identity.

She’s a lifelong Unitarian Universalist with an academic background in language and literature and social psychology. As an educator, she has taught everything from summer camp to secondary school and community college.  Sparrow achieved the UUA’s credential as a religious educator, and is a member of the Liberal Religious Educators’ Association. Pedagogically, she affirms that:

  • Every learner has a unique constellation of aptitudes, competencies, and strengths to engage in learning;
  • Teachers have accepted the delightful and creative responsibility of preparing a rich environment in which learners’ curiosity and thirst for knowledge can develop and be satisfied;
  • The use of reflective, deep, and learner-centered programs, such as Spirit Play, sacred dance, hiking, and worship allow us “to touch inward springs” and encourage each person’s faith to deepen.

Sparrow describers her personal faith as “fundamental belief in ‘the gods who made us’ – supernovae, entropy, gravity, DNA, oxygen, natural selection, human nature – and in ‘the gods whom we made’.  Human nature has developed stories of Epona, Bride, Artemis, Amun Ra, Jehovah and the Dagda, not as entertainment, but because the stories answer deep needs and name deep truths which are timelessly relevant.”

Please email Sparrow with any questions! She is the author of the UUA publication Let’s Talk About Interfaith Families and the UU Ministry for Earth’s Nurturing the Spirit-Nature Connection.  She is co-owner/builder of a straw bale home in the woods and dearly hopes that her children will make it into space.  Her stories for children, resources for spiritual nurturing, and knitting patterns can be found at Birch Island Books.  Her concordance of The Hobbit and supporting digital humanities research tools can be found at “Words That You Were Saying“.  She has completed the National Novel Writing Month Challenge three times and fallen short enough times more than that to keep her humble.  Follow what she’s reading on Goodreads!

Sermons from Sparrow: