January ’23 nUUs from Religious Education

Finding Our Center

Love; Generosity; Justice; Evolution; Pluralism; Equity; Interdependence. These are the values proposed in the Article II Commission’s draft of what is likely to become the new Values and Covenant for all UU congregations in our country. If adopted, this document will replace the current Principles and Sources that have been our faith’s guiding star since 1987.

Many of our RE classes this month will be talking explicitly about what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist, and others will be acting on the values outlined in both the new draft and the original Principles. Watch for ways to extend these topics at home, see resources below, and reach out for more ways to bring UU values into everyday life.

Our high school youth are studying subjects like Algebra and Chemistry. Each week it is common for them to spend about 5 hours in class on each subject, plus about 3 more on homework for one subject. That’s about 8 hours devoted to Algebra, which is a good subject to study.

In the long arc of a life, how significant will Algebra have been for most people? If those UU values listed above feel like they could significantly impact a life for many decades, then we should probably give them more attention than an hour a week at church. The great news is, we are. All of us–you, me, and the rest of our church community. We act on the values, we learn about them, we share them with our children. But how often to we think about it and do it with intention? Are those values getting as much air time as Algebra and Chemistry? Maybe, but it’s a good time to check.

See you soon! ♥️


Calendar for this month… 

Click Linked Items for additional Details:

Click here for 2022-2023 RE Program Information

  • Friday, January 6th:
    • Sparks & Flames bowling! Must RSVP by noon Fri
  • Sunday, January 8th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Ellen
    • 5th/6th grade OWL meets 9:30-11:00a in Piscataqua Room
    • 8th grade Coming of Age meets with mentors 9:45-11:00 at 73 Court St
    • All other age-based RE classes for Pre-K through 7th grade meet in rooms downstairs following the Time For All Ages
    • 7th Grade OWL meets at a slightly different time, 3:30-5:30 at church
    • Senior Youth meets 4:00-6:00pm for Learning Journey Session 1 for Alabama trip
  • Sunday, January 15th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Ellen
    • 5th/6th grade OWL does NOT meet today
    • 7th Grade OWL does NOT meet today
    • 8th grade Coming of Age does NOT meet today
    • Senior Youth meets 4:00-5:30 at 73 Court St
    • Regular RE classes for Pre-K through 7th grade will meet downstairs following the Time For All Ages
  • Sunday, January 22nd
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Kirsten
    • 5th/6th grade OWL meets 9:30-11:00a in Piscataqua Room
    • 8th grade Coming of Age meets with mentors 9:45-11:00 at 73 Court St
    • All other age-based RE classes for Pre-K through 7th grade meet in rooms downstairs following the Time For All Ages
    • 7th Grade OWL meets 4:00-5:30 at church
    • Senior Youth meets 4:00-5:30pm at 73 Court St
  • Sunday, January 29th
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Ellen
    • 5th/6th grade OWL meets 9:30-11:00a in Piscataqua Room
    • 8th grade Coming of Age meets 9:45-11:00 at 73 Court St (no mentors today)
    • All other age-based RE classes for Pre-K through 7th grade meet in rooms downstairs following the Time For All Ages
    • 7th Grade OWL meets 4:00-5:30 at church
    • Senior Youth meets 4:00-5:30pm at 73 Court St
  • Saturday, February 4th
    • Senior Youth overnight/worship prep
  • Sunday, February 5th
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Special worship offered by Senior Youth Group!
    • 5th/6th grade OWL meets at different time for last class: 10:00-11:45 in Piscataqua Room, parents join at 11:15
    • 8th grade Coming of Age meets 9:45-11:00 at 73 Court St (no mentors today)
    • All other age-based RE classes for Pre-K through 7th grade meet in rooms downstairs following the Time For All Ages
    • 7th Grade OWL meets 4:00-5:30 at church
    • 2nd OWL 7 Parent Discussion Group meets 4:00-5:30 in sanctuary

January’s Church Theme is “Finding Our Center”

Our UU faith in practice and action:

  • Values Cards Activity: Values make up your internal compass that gives your life direction. There are many ways to use the values cards below to think about your own values.
    • Print and cut out this set of free cards.
    • One way we use them with our 8th grade Coming of Age class is to have each person look for cards they connect to on a personal level and independently choose the five cards that best represent them as an individual, representing their core values. We then have discussions and ask them to identify which 1 of their 5 core values requires the most work or practice and to identify which is their strongest value, the one they best live up to.
    • You can adapt the activity in many ways, especially if using the cards with young children:
      • Try choosing one card per day at dinner time and discuss together what that value means to each of you, how it shows up in your life, and how important it is (or isn’t) to you.
      • Randomly choose 3 cards and have each person put them in order of personal importance, discussing why you each chose the order how you did.
      • Work together to identify your core family values and post them in a place where you all can see them regularly
  • Sankofa Read Aloud: In a step to center antiracism/anti oppression, check out some of the videos of African American children’s books read on this YouTube channel. Or, read books together that decenter whiteness. Your librarian should have good recommendations, or try a book list like this one.

Chalice Lightings for mealtimes:

Dreams

BY LANGSTON HUGHES

Hold fast to dreams

For if dreams die

Life is a broken-winged bird

That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams

For when dreams go

Life is a barren field

Frozen with snow.

There is Light

By Eric Williams

Within each part of Creation
There is light
Slowed down and held close
By every cell and molecule
By each atom and element.

Within you
There is light
The same light as the Source
The same radiance that is in all creatures.

May this small flame
Be a constant reminder to you
Of your true nature
And your kinship with all beings.

December ’22 nUUs from Religious Education

Gratitude Chain

Greetings, Dear Ones,

Who else loved making paper chains as a kid at Christmas time? This past Sunday was an all-ages Religious Education time because of the holiday weekend. We talked about how there are SO many holidays at this time of year and how sometimes they can get kind of blurred together when we see Christmas stuff in stores before Halloween, or when we are asked to think about Thanksgiving, Advent, Hanukkah, Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa and more in a very short amount of time.

Two things that can help us stay grounded and appreciate the meanings of these many holidays are Gratitude practices and Connection. So we took some time to name things we are grateful for in our lives, wrote them on the back side of colorful strips (which were actually those self-adhesive wrist bands that you might get to show you paid to get into an event 😉) and made them into a chain as a visual reminder and representation of how we can connect over something meaningful like all that we are grateful for.

Please come feel connection at the South Church Holiday Party on Friday, December 2nd. We will have a potluck dinner (bring any dish you’d like to share, whether a homemade family tradition, a purchase from the store on the way, or whatever feels right. There will be good company and cheer. We will have activities for busy hands. And we will have our gratitude chain out, with supplies for you to add your own gratitude links. Come at 5pm if you’d like to help with decorations, or come 6pm-8pm for the potluck and party.

Remember also to come to church on December 18th for our famously fantastic, wildly fun holiday pageant! Anyone who wants to can be in the pageant, and there are no rehearsals. Just show up for this beloved tradition.

Our high school youth will be holding a UU book fair and fair trade coffee/chocolate sale this month. This is a great source of gifts for people of any age, where you’ll find items that align with our UU principles. Sales will happen during the holiday party on Fri 12/2, and after worship on 12/4, 12/11, and 12/18.

Finally, know that the South Church community has the capacity to hold each of us in hardship, grief, joy, and all the other big moments that life brings. Please, please reach out to any of our staff any time when you are struggling or celebrating. Even if there is nothing you would like to ask for help with, know that it is often a good thing to even just let someone know what you are holding. It’s a significant part of what it means to be a member of a church community. That goes for adults, children, youth, everyone.

See you soon! ♥️


Calendar for this month… 

Click Linked Items for additional Details:

Click here for 2022-2023 RE Program Information

  • Friday, December 2nd:
    • Hanging of the Greens 5pm at church
    • Holiday Party and Potluck 6-8pm in the Social Hall
  • Sunday, December 4th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Special Wholly Family service, offered by Reverend Ellen and guests
    • 5th/6th grade OWL meets 9:30-11:00a in Piscataqua Room
    • 8th grade Coming of Age meets with mentors at a different time and place for Service Project: 1:00-3:00 in the church kitchen!
    • All other age-based RE classes for Pre-K through 7th grade meet in rooms downstairs following the Time For All Ages
    • 7th Grade OWL meets 4:00-5:30 at church
    • Senior Youth meets 4:00-5:30 in the church kitchen this week!
  • Sunday, December 11th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Ellen
    • 5th/6th grade OWL meets 9:30-11:00a in Piscataqua Room
    • 8th grade Coming of Age meets 9:45-11:00 at 73 Court St, no mentors today
    • All other age-based RE classes for Pre-K through 7th grade meet in rooms downstairs following the Time For All Ages
    • 7th Grade OWL meets 4:00-5:30 at church
    • 7th grade OWL Parent Discussion group- optional- concurrent with class
    • Senior Youth meets 4:00-5:30 at 73 Court St
  • Sunday, December 18th
    • Pageant Day at 10am! In person and live on YouTube. Multigenerational worship, no morning RE classes
    • 8th grade CoA, Senior Youth Group and 5th grade OWL do not meet today–come to pageant!
    • 7th Grade OWL meets 4:00-5:30 at church
  • Saturday, December 24th
    • Christmas Eve worship at 5pm, 7pm, and 9pm in person. 7pm worship will be live on YouTube.
  • Sunday, December 25th
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person only
  • Saturday, December 31st
    • First Night Chili Sale! Fundraiser for Senior Youth 5:30-7:30pm. Come get chili before watching the fireworks!
  • Sunday, January 1st
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Offered by Hilary Clark and Myra Aaronson
    • Multigenerational worship, RE classes do not meet today

December’s Church Theme is “Wonder”

Our UU faith in practice and action:

  • Unitarian Universalist Advent Calendar–free download! Created by Ralph Yeager Roberts, this is a way to count down the days till Christmas while learning UU history with words and colorful graphics. If you do not have access to print, just email JenDD and we will print one for you! https://www.uua.org/files/pdf/u/uu_advent_calendar_page-a-day_revised.pdf
  • Recognizing and appreciating ritual (adapted from “Signs of Our Faith” UU curriculum by Jessica York.) Help children and youth learn to recognize signs, symbols, and rituals inside and outside our congregation that show we live our Unitarian Universalist faith. Help them understand the value of rituals and how they shape our various identities. Talk about… 
    • Your favorite family rituals. What do we like about them? Where did they come from?
    • What rituals does your family have? Are any religious? Are any specifically Unitarian Universalist? Do you collect water from your summertime travels to share at our Water Communion? That is a UU ritual. Did any member of your family grow up in a non-UU religious tradition? Ask them about religious rituals they recall. Are any of them similar to UU rituals? Do they symbolize similar ideas?
    • What rituals are connected to our church that you could do at home? Do you light a chalice? Do you share Joys & Concerns or Rose/Bud/Thorn together at dinner time? Could you have a quiet moment of prayer or meditation?
    • As a family, talk about the activities you most like to do together. Could one of these activities become a ritual? For example, if you all enjoy bowling, could you all go bowling on your birthday every year? Another idea, make Friday or Saturday night Family Fun Night and each member takes a turn each week to choose a game or activity for all to share.

Chalice Lightings for mealtimes:

Wonder * 

Rev. Dr. David Breeden 

We light this flame, 

reminding ourselves 

to treasure the magic 

in the mundane, 

the wonders of 

carbon dioxide, 

oxygen, nitrogen, 

rapid oxidation 

into light, heat, and 

the dance of a flame. 

We light this chalice, 

kindling, remembering 

our innate sense 

of wonder at 

the very real magic 

of our world. 

Nourished

Rev. Jay Wolin 

Full piece at https://www.uua.org/worship/words/poetry/nourished 

When I look up into the night sky, 

I am in awe of all that is… 

When I walk in the ocean… 

I feel a certain peace with the world… 

All of these wonders… 

let us protect them… 

Oct-Nov ’22 nUUs from Religious Education

Carved PUMPKINS at the Halloween Social

Wow has it been a wonderfully busy time at South Church!

This past Sunday, the South Church Service Learning Group (grades 5-7) went on a mini field trip to visit the Seacoast Fridge, located at Kittery Community Center. They are learning about food insecurity and met with Whitney from Seacoast Fridge to hear about how the program got started, what they do, and how people can help. They will be collecting food and supplies for that organization over the next couple of weeks.

Our 7th grade OWL program has been running for a few weeks now, and our 5th graders started this past Sunday, too!

We have welcomed many new folks over the past two months, including quite a few families. If you are new and have any questions or curiosities, please don’t hesitate to reach out! The Program Info area of this website is updated with information on the age-specific classes that will be running for this program year, and we have so much fun, connection, and learning planned for the coming months!

Please Register for RE (and thank you to the many who have done so already!): We need all children and youth to be registered each year so we have all the info we need to serve you safely and well. Now is the time! Click here to register!

Please reach out with any questions or concerns! Everyone deserves to engage at church in ways that feel right for them. We are always happy to help find the ways work best for each person.

See you soon! 🤟♥️


Calendar for this month… 

Click Linked Items for additional Details:

Click here for 2022-2023 RE Program Information

  • Sunday, October 30th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Ellen
    • 5th/6th grade OWL meets 9:30-11:00a in Piscataqua Room
    • 8th grade Coming of Age meets 9:45-11:00 at 73 Court St
    • All other age-based RE classes for Pre-K through 7th grade meet in rooms downstairs following the Time For All Ages
    • 7th grade OWL and Senior Youth do not meet today
  • Monday, October 31st:
    • Halloween Social and Bake Sale! Our high school youth will be selling baked treats and hot drinks on the portico, as a fundraiser for their next Service Learning trip. Come hang out, have refreshments, and watch the parade with lots of South Church friends, beginning at 6:00pm.
  • Friday, November 4th:
    • Sparks and Flames! Social group for grades 5-8 will play hide and seek in the dark at Urban Forestry Center. RSVP by 4pm Thurs 11/3: jendeldeo@resouthchurchuu.org
    • Coming of Age Fall Retreat Fri 6pm-Sat 10pm (Parents come back at 9:30p Sat!)
  • Sunday, November 6th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Kirsten Hunter
    • 5th/6th grade OWL meets 9:30-11:00a in Piscataqua Room
    • 8th grade Coming of Age meets 9:45-11:00 at 73 Court St
    • All other age-based RE classes for Pre-K through 7th grade meet in rooms downstairs following the Time For All Ages
    • 7th Grade OWL meets 4:00-5:30 at church
    • Senior Youth meets 4:00-5:30 at 73 Court St
  • Saturday, November 12th:
    • Families Tuugether! RSVP by noon Fri 11/11. More info HERE.
  • Sunday, November 13th:
      • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Ellen
      • 5th/6th grade OWL meets 9:30-11:00a in Piscataqua Room
      • 8th grade Coming of Age does NOT meet today.
      • All other age-based RE classes for Pre-K through 7th grade meet in rooms downstairs following the Time For All Ages
      • 7th Grade OWL meets 4:00-5:30 at church
      • Senior Youth meets 4:00-5:30 at 73 Court St
  • Sunday, November 20th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube.
    • Senior Youth Wreath Sale fundraiser after worship!
    • 5th/6th grade OWL meets 9:30-11:00a in Piscataqua Room
    • 8th grade Coming of Age meets 9:45-11:00 at 73 Court St
    • All other age-based RE classes for Pre-K through 7th grade meet in rooms downstairs following the Time For All Ages
    • 7th Grade OWL meets 4:00-5:30 at church
    • Senior Youth does not meet this afternoon
  • Sunday, November 27th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube.
    • All-ages RE time downstairs following TFAA 
    • Senior Youth, Coming of Age, and all OWL classes will NOT meet today.
  • Sunday, December 4th:
      • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube.
      • 5th/6th grade OWL meets 9:30-11:00a in Piscataqua Room
      • 8th grade Coming of Age meets 9:45-11:00 at 73 Court St
      • All other age-based RE classes for Pre-K through 7th grade meet in rooms downstairs following the Time For All Ages
      • 7th Grade OWL meets 4:00-5:30 at church
      • Senior Youth meets 4:00-5:30 at 73 Court St

October’s Theme is “Courage“ and November’s is “Change”

Our UU faith in practice and action:

  • Children’s book recommendations. Available to borrow at libraries, for purchase at link, or to borrow from church if it has **asterisks. (Contact JenDD to borrow) Descriptions are from the inSpirit UUA bookstore website:
    • “The 1619 Project: Born on the Water”** by Renée Watson, illustrated by Nikkolas SmithLyrical picture book in verse chronicles the consequences of slavery and the history of Black resistance in the United States
    • “Emile and the Field” ** by Kevin Young, illustrated by Chioma Ebinama. Picture book from an award-winning poet, a young boy cherishes a neighborhood field throughout the changing seasons. With stunning illustrations and a charming text, this beautiful story celebrates a child’s relationship with nature. 
    • Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You” by Justice Sonia Sotomayor and award-winning artist Rafael Lopez
    • “We Are Water Protectors” by Carole Lindstrom, illustrated by Michaela Goade. You can also check out the Water Protectors activity kit and take the Earth Steward and Water Protector Pledge.
  • Courage” Dinner Discussion Prompt: What do you think stops people from taking a stand against something they know is wrong?
  • Engage with the Seacoast Fridge! Our 5th-7th Grade Service Learning group is exploring food justice and visited the Seacoast Fridge at Kittery Community Center, a volunteer run community food station where you take what you need and leave what you can. It is open to all, and their priorities include reducing food waste from local businesses and changing the stigma around needing help. Our 5th-7th graders are now collecting food and supplies for the fridge. You and your family can support the fridge any time, in several ways. Check out the Seacoast Fridge Team Hub Facebook page for information!

Chalice Lightings for mealtimes:

Courage

You can’t buy courage at a store

It comes to you when you are weak

You will always have it, you just don’t always find it

Your heart knows where it is

It lives inside your soul

Courage never is lost

You know it like you know your own parents

Courage is everywhere

in the woods,

in the sea

everythere

By Ellen Reiling, 5th Grade Student

In Honor of First Steps

We light this chalice in honor of first steps. 

For beginning even when the path ahead is unclear. 

For the courage it takes to trust 

that the way will reveal itself 

that light will come to clarify our vision 

that friends will be by our side. 

May the words, song, stillness and common breath of this hour, 

remind us that every step of the way 

is never one we take alone. 

By Rev. Scott Tayler 

September ’22 nUUs from Religious Education

Flags designed by Young Church kids 

We hope the prospect of the return to school feels joyful or is at least not causing stress in your homes. We’re holding you all in the joy, the angst, the anticipation, and all the many emotions that pop up in these moments of transition.

And we hope to be seeing you at church as we flow into the new season. 

Our annual Water Ingathering tradition marks the start of the church year, and that will happen on Sunday, September 11th. If you can, bring a little bit of water to add to our ceremonial collection, which includes water from many years of this tradition. We use this sacred water throughout each year in child dedications, bridging, and other special rituals in our community. People bring water from special places they’ve travelled to, or places that have special meaning to them, or from kitchen sinks of their own homes. Wherever your water is from, bring it to join with all the waters that buoy us.

Water Ingathering will be a multigenerational worship, so kids will stay in the sanctuary instead of going to religious education class. Kids can either sit with their families or find JenDD to sit in an area with other kids! Service will be interactive and we have fresh activity packs available.

Religious Education Classes: We have been working hard to plan, redefine, and rebuild, in a big post-pandemic way! We’re ready for rich, robust Religious Education programs to be filled with young people, connecting with each other in deep and meaningful ways. We will continue the summer format of having all ages together for RE during worship through the next few weeks, then we will move back to our age-based curricular programs. 

The Program Info area of this website is updated with information on the age-specific classes that will run this program year!

Here are some key things to know in this particular moment:

  • Register for RE: It’s time again! We need all children and youth to be registered each year so we have all the info we need to serve you safely and well. Now is the time! Click here to register!
  • OWL Sexuality Education classes: We will have OWL for 5th grade and 7th grade this year. Detailed info is on the OWL page. Registration is required, and we will open space to the larger community, so please sign up asap by sending an email: jendeldeo@southchurch-uu.org
  • 8th Grade Coming of Age (CoA): Orientation and Opening Ceremony for CoA youth and their families will be on Thurs Oct 6th, 6:30-8pm. 

Please reach out with any questions or concerns! Everyone deserves to engage at church in ways that feel right for them. We are always happy to help find the ways work best for each person.

See you soon! 🤟♥️


Calendar for this month… 

Click Linked Items for additional Details:

Click here for 2022-2023 RE Program Information

  • Sunday, August 28th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Ellen
    • All-ages RE following the Time For All Ages
  • Sunday, September 4th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Susan Treleaven
    • All-ages RE following the TFAA
  • Sunday, September 11th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Ellen. This will be a multigenerational worship; kids remain in sanctuary.
  • Saturday, September 18th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Ellen.
    • All-ages RE following the TFAA
    • Senior Youth Group will share about their Service Learning trip to West Virginia after worship!
  • Sunday, September 25th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Ellen
    • Religious Education classes downstairs following TFAA 
    • Senior Youth group meets at Court St 4:00-4:30
  • Wednesday, September 28th:
    • Parent Orientation for 7th Grade Sexuality Education (OWL), 6:30-8pm
  • Saturday, October 1st:
    • Senior Youth orientation and overnight! Parents join for start of the evening, then youth stay over and go to worship together.
  • Sunday, October 2nd:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Ellen
    • Religious Education classes downstairs following TFAA 

September’s Theme is “Belonging

Our UU faith in practice and action:

  • Connecting to Water Ingathering/Water Communion
    • Bring a small amount of water from your summer travels, a special place you love, or a faucet in your own home, to our Water Ingathering worship on 9/11. Reflect together on where your water comes from, and put your intentions for the church year into your water at home before bringing it!
    • This is a UU tradition that many UU congregations, including ours, “hold at the end of the summer, in which participants of all ages bring ‘living waters’ from wherever their travels led them and mingle them for later use by the congregation in ceremonies, such as a child dedication.” (From UUA.org) As we think about the ways that water connects all humans and other living organisms, watch this video poem about a girl who walks 4 miles to collect water. 
  • Become Water Protectors: Check out the Water Protectors activity kit and take the Earth Steward and Water Protector Pledge.
  • Belonging” Dinner Discussion Prompt:
    • Can you think of times when you sacrificed or hid a part of who you are to conform? (pretended you didn’t like something, made fun of someone to fit in, bought something all your friends have)
    • Belonging means being accepted for ALL of who you are. It means the courage to stand alone and say, “This is who I am.” 
    • Can you think of a time when you felt accepted for ALL of who you are? At a Grandparents house, at church, by friends?

Chalice Lighting for mealtimes this month:

Belonging for Our Whole Selves, by Rev. Scott Tayler 

May the flame we now kindle light the path back to our center, 

back to that place of belonging 

to what is true, what is deepest within, what knows us even before we know ourselves. 

And may our chalice remind us that we are held 

and welcomed whole, without the need to hide 

a single piece or part 

of who we are. 

Midsummer ’22 Updates From Religious Education

SC kids presenting Rev Susan with a superhero cape they decorated

Hello, South Church Families!

There is a full update below about what’s developing in Religious Education for fall, but in case you don’t have time to read this whole thing, please click here to register your kids for the coming church year! (Yep, it’s that time again! 🙂)

We’ve been hearing some great stories about some of you on summer adventures, which is amazing! And we’ve been seeing many of you at church, whether regularly or occasionally. In RE, the summer plan has been light, fun energy, which will continue through next month.

Looking ahead, we are working hard to plan, redefine, and rebuild, in a big post-pandemic way. We recognize that there are still some hazards and precautions to take, but there’s also plenty of opportunity for new ways of embracing the South Church Religious Education mission, to “provide programming for children, youth and families that promote spiritual growth, intergenerational connections, faith development, a Unitarian Universalist identity and social action within a safe and welcoming environment.”

Your input would be greatly appreciated as we build programming for the coming church year. Come to worship in the next several weeks to touch base and let us know your needs and wants. Or, set up a time to come to the office to chat, call, email, or communicate any way you can what your hopes are as we rebloom in a robust way.

We are hoping to have the Nursery staffed and ready for our youngest community members for the fall (if you know anyone who would be a great fit for this paid position, send them our way!) And if you’d like to check out the framework of what is in store for children and youth by age, visit these pages:

Also, as you know, our programs run with the help of many volunteers. There are lots of kinds of roles, with various time commitments. None of these should be overwhelming, and we would LOVE to help you find the right fit, where you will actually gain incredible spiritual growth and connection through participating. 

Finally, one VERY helpful thing you can do is simply register your kids! Registration is open now for the ‘22/’23 church year. We need updated registrations every year, for every child and youth. So even if you registered any time over the past year, it’s time to do it again. This helps us plan programs, and it helps us know important info about our dear young people, so we are able to serve you all better.

Also, don’t forget to collect small amounts of water from your summer explorations, to bring to our annual Water Ingathering ceremony on September 11th!

What you need to know this month… 

Click Linked Items for additional Details:

Click here for 2022-2023 RE Program Information

  • Sunday, July 31st:
    • Worship at 10:00a. This is Reverend Susan’s final day at South Church. Worship will be multigenerational (no RE today,) and we will have a special social hour outside after. In person and live on YouTube
  • Sunday, August 7th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Kirsten Hunter. This will be Rev Ellen’s first Sunday as our settled minister!
    • All-ages RE meets outside or downstairs (weather dependent) following TFAA
  • Sunday, August 14th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Ellen.
    • All-ages RE meets outside or downstairs (weather dependent) following TFAA
  • Sunday, August 21st:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Ellen.
    • All-ages RE meets outside or downstairs (weather dependent) following TFAA
  • Sunday, August 28th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Ellen.
    • All-ages RE meets outside or downstairs (weather dependent) following TFAA
  • Sunday, September 4th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Susan Treleaven.
    • All-ages RE meets outside or downstairs (weather dependent) following TFAA

June ’22 nUUs from Religious Education

Senior Youth camping trip 

Happy June, Friends…

The school year is coming to an end, and let’s just say that many of us are markedly ready. Religious Education programs are wrapping up too, and we will soon shift into a light and fun summer session. As significant endeavors come to an end, it’s important to acknowledge, celebrate, and even sometimes mourn what we are moving on from. Please be sure to come to the traditional Bridging worship service on Sunday, June 5th, 10am. We will mark the transitions that are happening between moving up to new grade levels, moving on to new schools, completing projects, celebrating a year of learning, and more. This is a community event for everyone, for all the ways we are transitioning. With so much challenge, tragedy, and difficult news going on, community rituals can be really helpful to ground us in moving forward.

And… PLAY, PLAY, PLAY! Once we acknowledge all that we are holding, play is a natural therapy and magical bonding tool. We’ve got plenty of that coming up this summer! If any adults or teens out there have a fun skill, activity, craft/art, or game that you would like to share with us, then please please let us know. We love having a wide range of folks to learn from, and we’d love to have you share in that. Email Jen DD: jendeldeo@southchurch-uu.org.

Lastly, if you didn’t see this resource in earlier communications, the San Diego County Office of Education’s website has a collection of resources for talking with children and youth about school shootings. We also have printed materials at church, and Rev Susan, Kirsten, and JenDD each invite you to reach out for resources, listening, and anything else you might need in navigating traumatic events.

🤟♥️


What you need to know this month… 

Click Linked Items for additional Details:

Click here for 2021-2022 RE Program Information

  • Sunday, June 5th:
    • Bridging Worship at 10:00a! This is an All-Ages worship to celebrate our transitions. In person and live on YouTube.
    • Coming of Age meets 11:00-12:30 for rehearsal, Piscataqua Room
  • Sunday, June 12th:
    • Coming of Age Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Our 8th grade CoA class will offer their faith statements!
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA
  • Sunday, June 19th:
  • Saturday, June 25th:
    • Portsmouth Pride! Hosted by Seacoast Outright. View Pride 2022 schedule HERE.
  • Sunday, June 26th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Susan
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA 
    • Senior Youth trip to Big Creek People In Action, WV: June 26-July 2!
  • Sunday, July 3rd:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube.
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA

June’s Theme is “Celebrating Blessings

Our UU faith in practice and action:

  • 100 Blessings Challenge! Can be done individually or as a family, cut 100 strips of colored paper that are about 1″x6″. On each strip, write a blessing that you or your family has in your life. Glue, tape or staple the ends of the strips into connected circles to make a chain. Hang the chain to remind you of your blessings when things are hard.
  • Count Your Blessings Game (For adults and kids who can write)
  • General Assembly is the annual meeting of the Unitarian Universalist Association and is a gathering of people of our UU faith. There are worship times, workshops, lectures, and the business of the UUA. This year it will be held in Portland OR 6/22-6/26/2022. There will also be online streaming of many GA events. More info HERE.

Chalice Lighting for mealtimes this month:

By BETSY DARR

May the light of this chalice give light and warmth to our family, On good days and bad, happy and sad,
And may we feel the warmth spread from our family circle
to wider and wider circles,

Until we feel our family part of the one circle of life. 

May ’22 nUUs from Religious Education

 ~ LEAVE A COMMENT

May Day celebration, 5/1/22 (photo by Wes T.)

Hi there, Beloved Friends,

Things are growing and blooming, both literally and metaphorically!

I hope you’ve heard that, after a long and arduous process, the Ministerial Search Committee has found and made a match with a candidate to be our next settled minister: Reverend Ellen Quaadgras. We will enter a flurry of next steps to finalize this process, and I want to make sure you know how that works, how you can be involved, and how we can support you in participating.

Beginning Sunday, May 8th, Rev Ellen will spend a week getting to know us, and helping us get to know her. She will give the sermons on May 8th and May 15th, and there will be lots of opportunities in between those two services, to meet and connect with her. Click HERE for the Candidate Week calendar of events. Also, while some events are kid-friendly, we want to make sure that adults who have children can also choose to attend any events without their kids, if they would like to that week. We can offer either childcare or funds for you to hire your own childcare. Please email me as soon as you can to make those arrangements: jendeldeo@southchurch-uu.org.

Candidate Week will culminate with a special congregational meeting, where among other things, we will vote on whether to call Reverend Ellen as our settled minister. That will be after worship at 11:15am on May 15th, and every member of South Church can vote. The meeting will be in person and on Zoom.

This is a big transition, and big transitions often come with many kinds of emotions. There is a lot of excitement, nervousness, joy, etc for welcoming Reverend Ellen; and sorrow, nervousness, etc for saying farewell to our dear Reverend Susan. Please join in the ways that as a community we will be intentional in processing and moving forward with the transitions in lovely ways.

Be in touch about all the things. Much Love to each of you,

JenDD🤟🏼♥️

Mother’s Day Bazaar and Plant Sale! Our high school youth will be holding a fantastic fundraiser after worship on Sunday, May 8th. There will be hanging plants, chocolate, and various handmade gifts for purchase. All proceeds will go toward funding a service learning trip to Appalachia that 13 youth will be going on this summer! Great opportunity to find special gifts for all the mothers in our lives.

Cash, check and credit card will be accepted! 

If you haven’t yet, PLEASE REGISTER YOUR CHILDREN, whether you plan to attend regularly or not! It is tremendously helpful for us to keep track of who our young people are and what we need to know about them.CLICK HERE for RE registration!


What you need to know this month… 

Click Linked Items for additional Details:

Click here for 2021-2022 RE Program Information

  • Sunday, May 1st:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Rev Susan
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA
    • Maypole celebration on the lawn after worship!
    • Coming of Age meets 9:45-11:00, Piscataqua Room
    • 6th/7th grade Service Learning meets 10:00-11:00, Carson Room
    • Senior Youth meets 4:00-6:00p with parents, for WV Learning Session 4. Upstairs at Court St building
  • Sunday, May 8th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Ellen
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA
    • No Coming of Age today–come to worship to meet Rev Ellen!
    • Senior Youth fundraiser: Mother’s Day plant sale and Bazaar! On the church lawn after worship
    • 11:30 Q&A with Rev Ellen in sanctuary
  • Thursday, May 12th:
    • 6:00pm Game Night in the sanctuary and pizza on the portico! Come meet and play with Rev Ellen. Kids welcome!
  • Friday, May 13th-Sun, May 15th:
    • High School youth camping trip at Pawtuckaway State Park!
  • Saturday, May 14th:
    • 9:30am Bagels and Coffee with Rev Ellen on the portico–families with children are welcome!
  • Sunday, May 15th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Ellen Quaadgras
    • Coming of Age meets with mentors early for faith statement feedback session: 9:30-10:15, Piscataqua Room, then join worship!
    • Senior Youth will not meet this afternoon, since we will be tired and ready for showers after our camping trip 🙂
  • Sunday, May 22nd:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Susan
    • Coming of Age meets 9:45-11:00, Piscataqua Room
    • Senior Youth meets for Faith Exploration and CoA alumni panel!

May’s Theme is “Nurturing Beauty

Our UU faith in practice and action:

  • Learn together about Cinco de Mayo, a holiday that commemorates a victorious resistance to invasion, led by an indigenous Mexican leader and carried out by an unlikely group of loyal residents.
    • Family friendly written explanation on History.com
    • Video: “What is Cinco de Mayo?” on YouTube
  • Try this version of Rainbow Meditation
  • Create a “Best Thing” poem to celebrate the beauty of a thing or person, using this activity.
  • Make these affirmation jars, to help us remember and nurture our own true beauty
  • Keep a Gratitude Journal. Take a few minutes at the end of each day to record some of the places you saw beauty, such as: your fuzzy warm socks, a friend’s smile, or a sunset.

Chalice Lighting for mealtimes this month:

Earth and All, by Rev. Dr. David Breeden

We join together, 

bringing both our 

shadow and our light. 

We join together, 

opening our minds 

and our hearts. 

We join together, 

embracing, 

celebrating, 

sharing 

the beauty of each, 

the beauty of self, 

the beauty of the earth, 

the beauty of all. 

April ’22 nUUs from Religious Education

Rally for Ukraine, Market Square

Happy Spring, Dear Ones

Consider trying the all-ages April Awakening Adventure, which is a self-guided exploration of this month’s church theme. It asks everyone to spend 10 minutes sitting outside each day, with a daily prompt intending to increase our awareness of the awakening world around us and inside of us.

CLICK HERE for all of the details and printable materials, or email me if you have questions!

In other news, we will hold Families Tuugether again this month, on Saturday, April 9th, 5:00-7:30. If you’ve never participated, it’s a free date night for parents, while kids have social time together. Last month we pulled out the bouncy house, after a couple of years in storage! RSVP by 5pm day before.

Lastly, it’s almost Easter, and we’re ready for a good old-fashioned egg hunt! Join us for a multi-generational worship (no RE classes) on April 17th in the sanctuary, followed by egg hunt outside if weather is good, and indoors if not!

That’s what I’ve got for you right now. Your turn–what do you want me to know?

Be in touch,

JenDD🤟🏼♥️

If you haven’t yet, PLEASE REGISTER YOUR CHILDREN, whether you plan to attend regularly or not! It is tremendously helpful for us to keep track of who our young people are and what we need to know about them.CLICK HERE for RE registration!


What you need to know this month… 

Click Linked Items for additional Details:

Click here for 2021-2022 RE Program Information

  • Friday,April 1st:
    • High School OWL meets at Court St, 6:30-8:30
  • Sunday, April 3rd:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Kirsten Hunter
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA
    • Coming of Age meets with parents! 9:45-11:00, Piscataqua Room
    • 6th/7th grade Service Learning meets 10:00-11:00, Carson Room
    • OWL 7 meets 4:00-5:30, social hall
    • Senior Youth meets 4:00-5:30p Upstairs at Court St building
  • Friday, April 8th:
    • 10th/11th grade OWL meets at Court St, 6:30-8:30p
  • Saturday, April 9th:
    • High School OWL meets for special session, 9:30a-2:30p
    • Families Tuugether, 5:00-7:30p. RSVP to JenDD
  • Sunday, April 10th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Susan
    • April Awakening Adventure check-in on church lawn, 11:15-11:45a
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA
    • Coming of Age meets with mentors 9:45-11:00, Piscataqua Room
    • 6th/7th grade Service Learning meets 10:00-11:00, Carson Room
    • OWL 7 meets 4:00-5:30, social hall
    • Senior Youth meets 4:00-5:30p, Upstairs at Court St building
  • Friday, April 15th:
    • 10th/11th grade OWL meets for FINAL SESSION at Court St, 6:30-8:30p
  • Sunday, April 17th:
    • Easter Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Susan
    • Egg hunt following worship!
    • No RE classes today
  • Sunday, April 24th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Endowment Committee
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA
    • Coming of Age meets with mentors 9:45-11:00, Piscataqua Room
    • 6th/7th grade Service Learning meets 10:00-11:00, Carson Room
    • OWL 7 meets for FINAL SESSION 4:00-5:30, social hall. Parents, join us from 5:00-5:30!
    • Senior Youth meets with parents, for Whole Hearts session 2, 4:00-5:30p upstairs at Court St building
  • Sunday, May 1st:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Susan
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA
    • Coming of Age meets 9:45-11:00, Piscataqua Room
    • 6th/7th grade Service Learning meets 10:00-11:00, Carson Room
    • Senior Youth meets with parents for Learning Journey Session 4, 4:00-6:00p upstairs at Court St building

April’s Theme is “Awakening

Our UU faith in practice and action:

  • April Awakening Adventure: An all-ages exploration of our church theme, involving a daily 10 minute sit time outside, along with a prompt. Find all info and materials HERE.
  • Easter Egg Birdseed Ornaments: Easter and Earth Day both happen in April this year. Try this craft that celebrates both holidays!
  • Read “Rechenka’s Eggs” by Patricia Polacco, a Russian-Ukranian story about a woman who finds miracles when she awakens to the pain and suffering of a goose. Watch the read-along HERE

Chalice Lighting for mealtimes this month:

What to Remember When Waking 

David Whyte 

Full poem at http://www.stevenkharper.com/whattorememberwhenwaking.html?utm_source=pocket_mylist 

In that first hardly noticed moment in which you wake… 

there is a small opening into the new day… 

Now, looking through the slanting light of the morning window 

toward the mountain presence of everything that can be 

what urgency calls you to your one love? 

What shape waits in the seed of you 

to grow and spread its branches… 

March ’22 nUUs from Religious Education

 ~ LEAVE A COMMENT

High school youth creating comfort together

Hi dear Friends,

I hope all of our families that have kids in school are finding restorative fun on their vacation weeks.

How are your kids doing with the news of war in Ukraine? I’d imagine there is a wide range of both their awareness and resulting emotions. And maybe the same for parents, too. It’s tricky to find a healthy balance of staying informed and not being consumed; of frantically trying to do something, anything, to offset devastation, or just feeling completely helpless; of living with guilt over the joyful elements in our lives, or giving ourselves permission to celebrate what is beautiful, even when people are experiencing loss and trauma at this very moment.

I recently spent time with a group of youth, as tensions were escalating in Ukraine, but before the attack began. They expressed their fears of the prospect of World War III, of being in very real danger, and not knowing how to handle that. This is the first time in their lives that most of them have been aware of this kind of tension in the world.

As I listened, I recalled similar feelings as the Gulf War was beginning when I was in 10th grade. It was terrifying to not have any context or understanding of what was happening, how bad it would get, or whether we were safe. What was really helpful was when my Biology teacher took time during class to explain what was happening and why, and to put parameters on what kinds of things were likely and not likely to happen. Even though she couldn’t promise us any kind of safe outcome, it just felt better to hear real talk from a trusted adult, and to have the space to share my fears with her and my peers. Before that, it had felt like news snippets were apocalyptic, while most adults around me weren’t talking about it.

Of course, every kid is different–by age, maturity, and so many other factors. Here is a New York Times article that came out this morning which I find is full of really good advice: “How to Talk to Kids About Ukraine.” It names some unexpected symptoms that may show that kids are anxious; it offers ways to help older youth balance their information intake; and reminds us of the ways that context of war in the eyes of our children and youth can be very different than it is for adults.

And you, dear parents, if you could use some explanation, would like to share your stories and feelings, or could use a time of connection to process the events in Ukraine, then join us on Thursday evening March 3rd at 7pm. You can come to the parish hall in person, or join by zoom.

Also, we have two social events on March 12th where we would love to see you, your families, and maybe even some dogs! See details below.

Finally, it’s time to start thinking about joining the April “Awakening” Challenge! Much like the April 2021 “Becoming” Challenge, this year’s project will be aimed at increasing our awareness of where we are right now, what’s unfolding around us, and how we want to be as we emerge into this spring. This is open to people of all ages! Participants will commit to trying to sit in an outdoor spot (your porch, lawn, woods, a park, or anywhere outside) every day in April for at least 10 minutes. To go with this sit each day, there will be a simple task in the form of an activity, prompt to ponder, short reading, or other thing related to the month’s church theme of “Awakening” in this context. More info coming soon, but if you already know you want in, then send me an email so you’ll be on the notification list for the materials, kickoff, and more. (And for those of you who wrote your letter in last year’s challenge, you’ll get those back at the end of March! 🙂)

As always, know that you are held in Love by a whole community.

🤟🏼♥️

Events Coming Right Up:

  • Saturday, March 12th:
    • Dog-friendly outing at Wagon Hill Farm, 9:00-10:00am. This is a time where both humans and dogs can play outdoors together. Leashes are optional until 10am at that location. All are invited, whether you bring a dog or not!
    • Families Tuugether 5:00-7:30pm! Free date night for parents and social time for kids. Parents will connect together briefly over a conversation and then are free to spend time out however you’d like. Kids bring their dinner (or eat beforehand) and play with friends. RSVP by 5pm the day before: jendeldeo@southchurch-uu.org

Finally, if you haven’t yet, PLEASE REGISTER YOUR CHILDREN, whether you plan to attend regularly or not! It is tremendously helpful for us to keep track of who our young people are and what we need to know about them.CLICK HERE for RE registration!


What you need to know this month… 

Click Linked Items for additional Details:

Click here for 2021-2022 RE Program Information

  • Thursday,March 3rd:
    • Ukraine understanding and reflection, 7pm in the Social Hall, or join by zoom
  • Sunday, March 6th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, Sermon offered by John Shea
    • Service will stream live on YouTube
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA
    • Coming of Age meets with mentors 9:45-11:00, Piscataqua Room
    • 6th/7th grade Service Learning meets 10:00-11:00, Carson Room
    • OWL 7 meets 4:00-5:30, social hall
    • Senior Youth meets 4:00-5:30p Upstairs at Court St building
  • Friday, March 11th:
    • 10th/11th grade OWL meets at Court St, 6:30-8:30p
  • Saturday, March 12th:
    • Dog-friendly outing at Wagon Hill Farm, 9-10:00a. All are invited!
    • Families Tuugether, 5:00-7:30p. RSVP to JenDD
  • Sunday, March 13th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, Sermon offered by Reverend Susan
    • Service will stream live on YouTube
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA
    • Coming of Age meets with mentors 9:45-11:00, Piscataqua Room
    • 6th/7th grade Service Learning meets 10:00-11:00, Carson Room
    • OWL 7 meets 4:00-5:30, social hall
    • Senior Youth meets 4:00-5:30p for Learning Journey Session 3, Upstairs at Court St building
  • Friday, March 18th:
    • 10th/11th grade OWL meets at Court St, 6:30-8:30p
  • Sunday, March 20th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, Sermon offered by Kirsten
    • Service will stream live on YouTube
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA
    • Coming of Age meets 9:45-11:00, Piscataqua Room
    • 6th/7th grade Service Learning meets 10:00-11:00, Carson Room
    • OWL 7 meets for special session 1:30-5:30pm, social hall
    • Senior Youth meets 4:00-5:30p Upstairs at Court St building
  • Friday, March 25th:
    • 10th/11th grade OWL meets at Court St, 6:30-8:30p
  • Sunday, March 27th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, Sermon offered by Reverend Susan
    • Service will stream live on YouTube
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA
    • Coming of Age meets with mentors 9:45-11:00, Piscataqua Room
    • 6th/7th grade Service Learning meets 10:00-11:00, Carson Room
    • OWL 7 meets 4:00-5:30, social hall
    • Senior Youth meets 4:00-5:30p upstairs at Court St building
  • Friday, April 1st:
    • 10th/11th grade OWL meets at Court St, 6:30-8:30p
  • Sunday, April 3rd:
    • Worship at 10:00a, Sermon offered by Kirsten
    • Service will stream live on YouTube
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA
    • Coming of Age meets WITH PARENTS 9:45-11:00, Piscataqua Room
    • 6th/7th grade Service Learning meets 10:00-11:00, Carson Room
    • OWL 7 meets 4:00-5:30, social hall
    • Senior Youth meets 4:00-5:30p upstairs at Court St building

March’s Theme is “Renewing Faith

Our UU faith in practice and action:

  • Fun ways to renew covenants: Do you have a family covenant? Covenanting is an important part of UUism. A covenant outlines how people want to behave together and names the ways that they will create a safe and respectful space for all. We have a South Church Covenant of Right Relations, and we make covenants every fall in all of our RE classrooms. It’s important to revisit a covenant periodically, whether to address conflict in a group or to make sure the document is still relevant. A covenant is also really helpful for families or households for the same purposes, and some UU families create and maintain them.
    • In the spirit of Renewing Faith, if your family has a covenant, it may be time to freshen it up, and maybe even give it a twist to re-engage everyone. Try writing the different pieces of your covenant on strips of colored paper and join them into a paper chain. You can also add strips with each member’s name to show your promise to live by it. Doing an activity like this can help renew understanding in our homes and encourages us to think about how we treat each other.
    • OR, build a House of Covenant together, using these instructions and this template.
    • If you have never made a covenant before, check out this resource from the UUA to get started.
  • Play Convene the Council (For tweens and teens): Great educational online game that parents and youth can do together to help understand the complexity of setting foreign policy.
  • Story: “The Table Where Rich People Sit” (for younger kids and all ages): connects to monthly theme of “Renewing Faith” (in remembering what is most valuable in our lives.) Video of read-aloud, OR book might be available through library.
  • Explore the 6th UU Principle and talk together about how we can connect to it in this moment.
  • Renewing Faith in the beauty that surrounds us: Try sharing this poem together as a meditation, to stay present to what continues to be wonderful in our world. After pondering the poem, discuss what wishes you each might wish for your friends and family:

Chalice Lighting for mealtimes this month:

Renewing Faith: A Call to Worship By Rev. Dr. David Breeden 

Permission secured by Soul Matters 

We ask “what’s the point?” 

to renew our faith, 

to renew our trust 

that our world is enough, 

that we are enough. 

We ask “what’s the point?” 

to remind ourselves 

that loving our world 

and each other is our way. 

We ask “what’s the point?” 

to renew our faith that 

loving choices create 

a loving life. 

February ’22 nUUs from Religious Education

It’s February, and there are sparkly hearts everywhere.

But Friends, I am worried. I see children and youth struggling with anxiety and overwhelm, fear, fatigue, loneliness and exhaustion, like never before. It is so prevalent and so scary.

Culturally we are pretending that everything is back to normal but the lasting effects of the past couple of years are like a heavy weight, and expectations have not changed to accommodate that. 

What can we do?

Stay involved, check in with kids regularly. Know what they are doing and how they are spending their time. Help them find positive communities. Teach them good self care and model it yourself. Here’s an article that might help us remember what it can feel like to be an adolescent: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/when-kids-call-the-shots/201801/7-things-teenagers-desperately-need-adults-understand

This is not meant to feel like a lecture or finger pointing. I know you know these things. And I know these aren’t the fix. Really I just don’t know what else to do.

Maybe I just want to tell you that I know it’s hard.

Maybe I want to name it out loud because it feels like a huge problem that is kind of growing in secret and I’m wondering where the big urgent public conversation on this is.

Please know that I love you and every single one of our children and youth. So much. And that this place is filled with people who love you too. I want church to be a safe, nurturing place of loving community for all of our children and youth (and adults too.) We are offering play, check in space, and connection in every program, every week. If your kids are having a hard time getting here, or are not finding what they need here, reach out and let’s talk about new ideas of what would help.

I’d love their input and yours about what more you all need right now, and what that could look like.

🤟🏼♥️

Events Coming Right Up:

  • Thursday, February 3rd: OWL 10th/11th grade Parent Orientation 6:30-7:30pm on Zoom. Meeting ID 845 1200 0385. For more info about this sexuality education class for Sophomores and Juniors, click HERE.
  • Friday, February 11th: Sparks and Flames Game Night! 7:00-9:00p. Email JenD for more info and to RSVP
  • Saturday, February 12th: South Church Outing at Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge! 10:00-11:30am. For families and individuals, all are welcome for walking, adventuring, and play! Meet near the parking area at 4 Arboretum Dr, Newington. Dress warmly and wear your boots! Please note, dogs are not allowed at GBNWR. For more info, contact JenDD

Finally, if you haven’t yet, PLEASE REGISTER YOUR CHILDREN, whether you plan to attend regularly or not! It is tremendously helpful for us to keep track of who our young people are and what we need to know about them.CLICK HERE for RE registration!


What you need to know this month… 

Click Linked Items for additional Details:

Click here for 2021-2022 RE Program Information

  • Thursday, February 3rd:
    • OWL 10th/11th grade Parent Orientation 6:30-7:30pm on Zoom.
  • Saturday, February 5th:
    • Senior Youth late night, 7-11pm at church–Worship rehearsal and social time!
  • Sunday, February 6th:
    • Multigenerational Worship at 10:00a, offered by Senior Youth!
    • Young Church and 6th/7th Grade service learning do not meet today–stay in sanctuary for Sr Youth worship!
    • Service will stream live on YouTube
    • Coming of Age meets 9:45-11:00, Piscataqua Room
    • OWL 5 final class will meet at a new time: 10:00-11:30, Court St classroom. Parents please join at 11:00!
    • OWL 7 meets 4:00-5:30, social hall
  • Friday, February 11th:
    • Sparks and Flames Social Event! 7:00-9:00p. RSVP: jendeldeo@southchurch-uu.org
  • Sunday, February 13th:
    • Lovefest! Worship at 10:00a, Sermon offered by Kirsten
    • Service will stream live on YouTube
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA
    • Coming of Age meets 9:45-11:00, Piscataqua Room
    • 6th/7th grade Service Learning meets 10:00-11:00, Carson Room
    • OWL 7 meets 4:00-5:30, social hall
    • Senior Youth meets 4:00-5:30p Upstairs at Court St building
  • Sunday, February 20th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, Sermon offered by Reverend Susan
    • Service will stream live on YouTube
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA
    • Coming of Age meets 9:45-11:00, Piscataqua Room
    • 6th/7th grade Service Learning meets 10:00-11:00, Carson Room
    • OWL 7 meets 4:00-5:30, social hall
  • Sunday, February 27th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, Sermon offered by Reverend Susan
    • Service will stream live on YouTube
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA
    • Coming of Age meets 9:45-11:00, Piscataqua Room
    • 6th/7th grade Service Learning meets 10:00-11:00, Carson Room
    • OWL 7 meets 4:00-5:30, social hall
    • Senior Youth meets 4:00-5:30p upstairs at Court St building

February’s Theme is “Widening the Circle

Our UU faith in practice and action:

  • Check out Side With Love’s “30 Days of Love 2022” to “collectively nurture our spirits, deepen our understanding, and take action on our values for collective liberation.” Here are some family-friendly highlights fro their website:
    • Have a family conversation about who needs more help in your town. How would your town be different if these communities were given help? More houses? Doctors? Parks? Schools? Imagine what your town would look like if money was spent on the communities who needed it most. Draw a picture of how it would be different than it is today.
    • Read along: “Granddaddy’s Turn: A Journey to the Ballot Box,” by Michael S. Bandy and Eric Stein read by Jennifer Beals (story starts around 5:00)
  • Watch this Kid President Video. It’s been around a few times but never gets tired 🙂 Ask your kids about how they would make the world awesome if they were president.
  • UU 5th Principle: “The Right of Conscience and the Use of the Democratic Process Within Our Congregations and in Society at Large.” Or, in kid friendly language, “We believe that all persons should have a vote about the things that concern them.” We just had our annual congregational meeting on January 30th, which is a great example of the democratic process at work in our church. Here are some ideas for fostering that work at home:
    • Check out General Assembly 2022. There are opportunities to experience GA online, or people can go to the assembly, which will be held in Portland, OR in June. There’s worship, workshops, and the business items of the UUA are voted on. Check out the plans as they develop HERE.
    • Listen to this beautiful chalice lighting by Adrian Ballou.
    • Share and talk about this Langston Hughes poem over a meal.
    • Vote for the Shared Plate organizations before Feb 28th! Info and link HERE.

Chalice Lighting for mealtimes this month:

Give Thanks, Feel Alive, Know Love

As we light this flame, we remember friends and loved ones near and far and we give thanks.
As the fire burns brightly, we open our minds and hearts to new ways of being and we feel alive.
As the room glows with warmth and kindness, we extend our circle ever wider to welcome those who want to come in, and we know love.

By Leia Durland-Jones