“Good, how are you?” just doesn’t seem like enough right now. What normally feels like a simple social nicety feels more like a serious social care taking need right now. There are plenty of things we still need to do together, business to cover, plans to carry out, but first we need to know who we each are in this wild moment. And we may be different tomorrow, or in an hour, or 5 minutes from now.
In the South Church Zoom world, we’ve had lots of iterations of groups meeting online in the past few weeks: South Church staff, teaching teams, worship teams, parents, Senior Youth, Coming of Age, children, and others. Each time, it feels necessary to check in for real before we begin any other kind of work. The intensity of all that is new and uncertain right now deserves naming before we can set it aside to do the things we want to do together. Witnessing, hearing, and seeing how others are, and speaking honestly about how we are at this moment feels right and tends to make the loads easier to bear.
We are very aware of how overstretched most parents are right now. These are unprecedented challenges we’re facing, and if you feel like you are failing, please know– you are not alone in that feeling. The expectations being put on us in this moment are largely impossible to meet. If you have not had a chance to check in with church at all- know that we are here when you are able to find the time. No guilt.
SO, on that note, IF you have a few minutes:
Hey Kids! It’s time to vote for the children’s shared plate recipient: Click here for the Ballot.Please vote on or before April 5th!
This Week’s All Church Challenge! Family Chalice lighting videos! We’re asking for short videos of your family lighting a chalice at home– we’re going to use these videos to create a montage for our worship chalice lighting. If you don’t have a chalice at home, here are some ideas for making one! Send submissions to email@example.com Thanks to everyone who submitted short dance videos that were included in worship on 3/15, and/or a photo of yourselves wearing some kind of costume which were used this past Sunday. It’s so wonderful to see glimpses of your faces!
Church Kids zoom group (for elementary-7th grade) at 11:30 am
Coming of Age meets at 11:30 am
Senior youth meets at 4pm
Looking for creative things to do, parent resources, and more? We have an ever growing list of cool stuff for you, HERE.Sending you all SO much love, and so much gratitude for the sweet gifts you each add to our church community. Take care of your hearts, we’ll see you soon!
We are thinking about you all the time. We are missing you. And we are working hard on setting up new ways for us to be together. In each of our homes there are so many similar experiences and so many unique challenges unfolding, but certainly for every one of us this week has been hard.
As this global crisis continues to evolve and the realities of what is coming starts settling in, try -as much as you can- to slow down. Breath. And listen to your own heart and to those around you. All the rules have changed. None of us know what lies ahead, but we are not alone and there is beauty to be found even in this most difficult moment.
Here is the new Family Resources page, which includes a few links about what’s happening right now, and how to talk about all of this with your children.
If you did not see Kirsten’s letter to our South Church Kids, click HERE and share it with them.
And, if you missed the Worship last Sunday – make sure your children see the story we wrote for them and the bonus material at the very end- it will make you smile! (And we welcome similar submissions from all of you!)
I have been thinking about all of you so much this week, and wanting to reach out to you to see how you are? Usually, sending a message to you when our regular routines are being changed for some reason, would be my first priority. But this particular week has been different than anything I’ve ever experienced before, and it’s created a whole new set of work for me and the rest of the staff at church. We’ve been working really hard, but I haven’t had enough time for all of it, so I’m really sorry it’s taken so long to write to you!
SO, here’s the most important thing; I want to tell you how very proud of each of you I am, because you are all doing a great job at being flexible about really unexpected changes. And I want to tell you how sorry I am about all of the things that may have been in your plans over the next few weeks that are being cancelled. I am sure a lot of you are feeling really sad about that, or frustrated, or confused. If you ever want to talk, you can write to me, or Cat, or Jen Del Deo, any time!
My email is: Kirsten@southchurch-uu.org Cat’s email is: Cat@southchurch-uu.org Jen Del Deo’s email is: Jendeldeo@southchurch-uu.org
The second most important thing I have to tell you, is that I need your help with one of the coolest projects I have ever seen us try to do at South Church! Starting this Sunday, South Church’s worship will be streaming online! Our in-person gatherings are on pause for at least the next 4 weeks. This means that I am working with a whole bunch of other adults to figure out how to make a space on the internet where we can all come together as a community and share time with one another. Just this week, those of us who have been planning worship have thought about all kinds of cool ways to start this project, but we need your help! I’d be willing to guess that none of us know even a quarter of what most of you know about technology, and we want to make sure we take advantage of all the expertise we can find right now! I’m hoping you’ll help us create this new church space over the next few weeks!?
Tomorrow’s worship will be the very beginning of the adventure. If you haven’t already heard, tomorrow will be extra special because we have just welcomed a new minister to our church, named Reverend Susan (you can sneak a peek at herHERE), and she’ll be at worship with us! Alice O’Traynor, (one of the nicest, smartest people I have ever met!) is giving the sermon, with another amazing church member named Laurie Bilby who will be the worship associate. Joanne will be leading music, with a whole bunch of other musicians joining her, and Jen Deldeo and I are planning a special story for you all.
I hope that you will ‘come’ to worship with your parents. It will be streaming on Youtube live, and we will be posting the link on our website or on our South Church facebook accounts. Make sure one of you have a youtube account, so you can make comments! South Church members group on facebook South Church’s public page (you can access this without joining facebook)
Before worship, look around your house and see if you can find something you can use as a chalice at home, so you can light it with us during worship. Maybe you might like to download somesome coloring pagestoo, so you have something to keep your hands busy as you listen and watch the worship. You will have a chance to share a rose, bud, or thorn during the worship, so if you don’t know how to type, you might want to tell a family member what you want to share so they can type it for you.
This coming week, and for the next few weeks Jen Del Deo and I are going to be brainstorming what it might look like to have religious education gatherings online. Maybe we can have a bedtime story hour? or a kid chat where we share ideas with each other about what we do when we’re bored at home?! Maybe you all want to play a game together on a zoom chat?! What do you think would be a good idea? Youth group will be meeting online for sure, as will coming of age. But what other ideas do you have, and how can we support each other and keep one another company? That’s what I want you to wonder about– I CAN’T WAIT to hear the cool ideas you come up with!
I can’t wait to “see” you tomorrow!! Please be extra kind to your family if you can right now, everyone is feeling a little bit overwhelmed. Most of all, don’t forget that I love you all very much! ~Kirsten
We’re getting daylight back, everyone! Clocks change this week, which for me always brings some extra evening energy. It won’t be long before we have windows open, and that pale green of early spring kissing the trees… sweet season, this.
Corona virus: There are still a lot of unknowns about what might be on the horizon for our community related to the spread of Corvid 19, but I will be communicating with families as necessary while things evolve. In the mean time, I think this comic is a great way to sit down and talk with your kids– they are surely hearing things about this virus, so making time to reflect with them will allow them to communicate any fear or anxiety they might be feeling. While we’re on the topic, here’s a link to a more reflective, deep dive connecting this virus with larger elements of our world right now, written by Susan Raffo: “Coronavirus, Climate Change and Community Care”
This Month… (follow the program links for more information)
March 6th– Sparks and Purple Flames social groups will be competing in our 2nd annual CHOPPED! competition at South Church from 7-9pm. Please RSVP if you can join us! I need extra chaperone/judges, too: Sign up to volunteer
March 8th– Worship at 10a- Spirit play for pre K-Kinder students and Meditation and Theme Workshopswill convene after the story for all ages. 6th-7th graders can choose to join us in the theme workshops, or attend worship with your families- no crossing paths this week. Coming of Age (8th grade) meet WITH PARENTS at #73 Court st after the time for all ages. 7th grade OWL will meet at 4pm at South Church, and Senior youth group will meet at 4pm at 73 Court St.
March 15th– Worship at 10a- Spirit play for pre K-Kinder students and Meditation and Theme Workshopswill convene after the story for all ages. 6th-7th grade Crossing Paths will meet to explore Buddhism (10am-11:30). Coming of Age (8th grade) will meet in the social hall to set up for Lunch with special guests– extended class today (lunch from 10a-Noon). 7th grade OWL will meet at 4pm at South Church, and Senior youth group will meet at 4pm at 73 Court.
March 22nd: Worship at 10a- Spirit play for pre K-Kinder students and Meditation and Theme Workshopswill convene after the story for all ages. 6th-7th grade Crossing Paths visit to Aryaloka Buddhist center today. Coming of Age (8th grade) will meet with mentors at Court St. for a scavenger hunt- so we’ll be going till 11:30 today! 7th grade OWL will meet at 4pm at South Church, and Senior youth group will meet at 4pm at 73 Court.
March 29th: Worship at 10a- Spirit play for pre K-Kinder students and Meditation and Theme Workshopswill convene after the story for all ages. 6th-7th graders can choose to join us in the theme workshops, or attend worship with your families- no crossing paths this week. Coming of Age (8th grade) will meet with mentors at Court St. 7th grade OWL will meet at 4pm at South Church, and Senior youth group will meet at 4pm at 73 Court.
April 5th: Worship at 10a. Pancake Breakfast today!
Save the date! There will be a No Cages No Carbon summit, hosted by the UUNH Action Network which will take place at the UU church in Exeter on Saturday, May 9th. The programming has been planned to include adults and youth of middle school age and older, and there will be children’s programming for younger kids. I hope you will join me!
Family Resources to engage the question: “What does it mean to be a family of wisdom?”
Story To Read Together: I am Jazz (for Transgender Day of Visibility Mar 31) by Jessica Herthel (Author), Jazz Jennings (Author), Shelagh McNicholas (Illustrator). Find the Book here. “The story of a transgender child based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings, who has become a spokesperson for transkids everywhere.” – Amazon
Family Discovery: The Wisdom of Simplicity: Make a Kite
Option #1: A simple activity is building and flying a kite. You can make one for under $1 out of a plastic garbage bag, two dowels, tape and string. Here are the instructions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-u5Aa3BkCQg For a group, we recommend making some premeasured templates so the children can use them as a guide to cut their bag to the right shape, instead of measuring it. Reflect on how the building of the kite teaches you the wisdom of careful following of instructions.
Option #2: We recommend this “Color a Sled Kite” as “the best ever for RE kids and young youth!” It allows you to design the image yourself, and it flies well in little wind. Order these beforehand @$7.50. https://intothewind.com/kites/foil-sled-kites/color-a-sled-kite.html P.S. There is an inexpensive small box of crayons provided in the kit. You may want to use permanent markers on the Tyvek surface of the kite for more satisfying graphics.
Family Movie Night Idea: Song of the Sea “.. But what really makes Song of the Sea such a winning and delightful film is its focus on the two siblings, the use of traditional music, and the stories within the story. Ben is the keeper of his mum’s stories (all of which are true, we learn), and Saoirse is the keeper of the song that will set the fairy spirits free from their imprisonment. It may sound a bit complicated, but in the context of the movie, even young kids will understand what’s going on and how the various stories interconnect..” – Common Sense review
For Parents: (Support for Adults as Faith Formation Guides): The Wisdom of Play a great publication about how children learn to make sense of the world through play
Sending love to you all,may this season of change offer your family inspiration and growth!
I am getting ready to drive my eldest back to college tomorrow, and so I am feeling a little sentimental as January comes to a close. Having him home this month was such a delight– even the wet towels on his bedroom floor 😉 So, my advice should you want it? Snuggle up with your little ones and smell their heads. They will be out of reach, sharing their magic with the wider world too soon.
Have you registered for the RE program this year? If not, you can registerby clicking here!
This Month… (follow the program links for more information)
February 2nd– Worship at 10a- young people (preschool-5th grade) head downstairs for Children’s Chapel after the time for all ages (don’t forget to bring a small donation and your UU7 Challenge sheets!) 5th grade OWL– 9:30 at Court St- and 5th grade OWL parents: read this. 6th-7th grade Crossing Paths will meet at 10am to reflect on last weeks Quaker visit. Coming of Age (8th grade) meets at #73 Court st at 10a. 7th grade OWL will meet at 4pm at South Church, and Senior youth group will meet at 4pm at 73 Court St
February 7th– Sparks and Purple Flames social groups will be playing a game called MURDER at South Church from 7-9pm. Please RSVP if you can join us!
February 8th– Senior youth worship rehearsal and overnight.
February 9th: Senior Youth will be leading worship at 10a- there is no upper grade programming this morning, in hopes that older children will attend the youth worship. The Nursery will be open and there will be Spirit Play, and Elementary age church programming after the Time for all ages. 7th grade OWL will meet at 4pm as usual. No Senior Youth group this week.
February 16th: Worship at 10a. Spirit play for pre K-Kinder students and Elementary age Workshopsfor 1st-5th grade convene after the story for all ages. 6th-7th grade *tbd. Coming of Age (8th grade) meet with mentors at #73 Court st at 10a. 7th grade OWL will meet at 4pm at South Church, and Senior youth group will meet at 4pm at 73 Court St.
February 23rd: Worship at 10a. Multi-age school vacation programming this week. No upper grade classes or OWL.
March 2nd– Worship at 10a (led by Kirsten). Young people (preschool up to 7th grade) are invited to Children’s Chapel after the time for all ages (don’t forget to bring a small donation and your UU7 Challenge sheets!) Coming of Age (8th grade) meets at #73 Court st at 10a. 7th grade OWL will meet at 4pm at South Church, and Senior youth group will meet at 4pm at 73 Court St
Family and Parent Resources for exploring ResilienceThese resources help parents as they engage the question: “What does it mean to be a family of Resilience?”
Story To Read Together: Richard Right and the Library Card. Book here. Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJ4kZpi9EY4 “As a young black man in the segregated South of the 1920s, Wright was hungry to explore new worlds through books, but was forbidden from borrowing them from the library. This touching account tells of his love of reading, and how his unwavering perseverance, along with the help of a co-worker, came together to make Richard’s dream a reality ” – Amazon. Theme Connection: Richard Wright was a real person. A resilient African American man who had to have grit to get access to books in the library. From the hard times of racism, he rose to become one the most brilliant writers in the U.S.
Family Discovery: Laugh with Me Video (19 min) which we will be using in the meditation room this month. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SVkG3L79sL4 Engaging directions for different laughter exercises: Driving Laughter, Puppet Laughter, Blossom Laughter, Surfing Laughter, Laughter Cream, A Gentle Laughter Meditation.
For You (Support for Adults as Faith Formation Guides):
Grit: the Power of Passion and Perseverance (Ted talk) Leaving a high-flying job in consulting, Angela Lee Duckworth took a job teaching math to seventh graders in a New York public school. She quickly realized that IQ wasn’t the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled. Here, she explains her theory of “grit” as a predictor of success.
I am sitting at the front desk at church right now, listening to a full room of laughter and light as our high school youth feed the First Night revelers hot bowls of chili! Thank you so much to all of you who made pots of chili to donate, who showed up to help with serving, or who came to eat and take it all in!
Have you registered for the RE program this year? If not, you can registerby clicking here!
This Month… (follow the program links for more information)
January 3rd– Sparks and Purple Flames social groups will be ice skating tonight! 7-9pm at Puddledock pond. RSVP if you can join us!
January 5th: Worship at 10a- with a special New Year ritual before out young people (preschool-5th grade) head downstairs for Children’s Chapel don’t forget to bring a small donation and your UU7 Challenge sheets (if you completed any of them)! 5th grade OWL– 9:30 at Court St- and there is 5th grade OWL parent forum this week at 9am. Coming of Age (8th grade) meets at #73 Court st at 10a. 7th grade OWL will meet at 4pm at South Church, and Senior youth group and parents will meet at 4pm at 73 Court St for our first GA planning potluck!
January 12th: Worship at 10a. Spirit play for pre K-Kinder students and Elementary age Workshopsfor 1st-5th grade convene after the story for all ages. 5th grade OWL- 9:30 at Court St. 6th-7th grade will meet in the Carson Parlour. Coming of Age (8th grade) meet at #73 Court st at 10a. 7th grade OWL will meet at 4pm at South Church, and Senior youth group will meet at 4pm at 73 Court St.
January 18th: *community event* The NH Women’s March an empowering event in support women’s rights, human rights, social and environmental justice. This event is hosted by several grassroots organizations with deep roots and commitment to advancing these values in our community. We will meet at Noon at South Church to make posters. There will be speakers at 1 pm in Market Square followed by the magnificent Leftist Marching Band! Dress warm!
January 19th: Worship at 10a. 6th and 7th grade Crossing Paths meet at 10am to prepare for our visit to the Quaker meeting house next week. Spirit play for pre K-Kinder students and Elementary age Workshopsfor 1st-5th grade convene after the story for all ages. There is NO OWL or Coming of age this week. Senior youth will lead a coffee sale in the morning, but there is no youth group Sunday night.
January 20th: *community event* Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast This is not listed specifically as a family event, but a great way to celebrate MLKjr. Pancake Breakfast 8:30am, speakers and music from 10:00-12:00. Program includes Keynote Speaker Reverend Jeffrey M. McIlwain, Pastor at North Star AME Zion Church, Newington NH. Music by North Star Right Now Band with Choir, Marie Foti, and Gary Richardson. Hosted by Reverend Robert Thompson, Chair, Black Heritage Trail New Hampshire. Join us afterwards for a tour of the Black Heritage Trail with Sankofa Scholar Nur Shoop.
January 26th: Worship at 10a. Spirit play for pre K-Kinder students and Elementary age Workshopsfor 1st-5th grade convene after the story for all ages. 5th grade OWL- 9:30 at Court St. 6th-7th grade will meet in the Carson Parlour. Coming of Age (8th grade) meet at #73 Court st at 10a. 7th grade OWL will meet at 4pm at South Church, and Senior youth group will meet at 4pm at 73 Court St. The Annual Meeting is today after church, childcare will be available.
Family and Parent Resources for exploring IntegrityThese resources help parents as they engage the question: “What does it mean to be a family of Integrity?”
Mary Poppins “Families can talk about how Mary Poppins gets her messages across. What’s easier to hear, a command or a song? How does Poppins get respect from others? Why is it important to spend time together? What happens if people get too busy sometimes to “go fly a kite”? How does Mary Poppins teach and demonstrate … integrity?”