October Nuus from Religious Education

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Hello all, happy October!

I’m sure this will come as a shock, but wow, there is a lot happening right now!  I hope that you are each finding your way through the madness that is early fall, and remembering that you are loved and held by many (including me).

In this post:

  • NEW WEBSITE!!  www.southchurch-uu.org
  • Sparks and Purple Flames Social groups start this week!
  • Fair Trade Coffee/Tea Sale- Attn: 5th-8th graders!
  • Children’s Chapel
  • Families Tuugether- October 18th!
  • OWL (Sexuality Education) 7-8th grade mandatory parent orientation.
  • Halloween Social- Join us on the front lawn to watch the parade! 7-8 pm
  • Senior Youth Service Learning- Appalachia!
So, this is pretty self-explanatory, but still exciting news!! Among other things, you can always access my monthly program news on the website through the RE Blog. That means you don’t have to worry about accidentally deleting this email!

Sparks and Purple Flames Social groups start this week!
Sparks is a social group for 5th-6th grade. Purple flames is a social group for 7th-8th grade. They are both opportunities for your child to get to know other South Church youth in a fun, low key setting. I emailed details this morning to all our registered families, but if you didn’t get that info, let me know and I’ll resend it. Both groups meet on first Fridays of most months from 7-9pm.  This Friday we will be gathering at South Church for the first program of the year.
Fair Trade Coffee/Tea Sale– Attn: 5th-8th graders!  You have likely seen the fair trade sale at some point over the last several years. It has been a fundraiser South church has been running for several years, to benefit Sustainable Harvest and UUSC.  This year, our 5th-8th grade youth are invited to take the helm on Children Chapel Sundays (the first Sunday of each month). If your child would like to sign up, please send me an email and I’ll put em on the list!
Children’s Chapel- This Sunday will be the first Children’s Chapel of the church year. Children‘s chapel is a chance for kids to worship with one another in a multi-age group.  Each month we share opening words, have a chalice lighting, do an offering, and end with closing words.  Some gatherings might also include a short sharing of words, a reflective activity, music, art, meditation, or yoga. Our children’s chapel gatherings will be planned around the month’s worship theme.  October’s theme is reverence. I am still looking for volunteers to help with Children’s chapel, so if you’d like to join us, please sign up here: http://southchurchportsmouth.bringit.bz/public/d14852

Families Tuugether- October 17th 4:30-8pm~ Open to children 8 months through Sixth grade, Families Tuugether is a popular program for families of young kids; an opportunity for parents to reconnect and to recharge. Offered monthly during the church year starting in October, children are dropped off at South Church at 4:30pm with a potluck dish to share (Ready to serve, please.), and parents head up to the sanctuary for a short group gathering before heading out to enjoy some quite time. Children will strengthen friendships, enjoy a movie, and play fun games. Parents return to get their child no later than 8pm. Please note: Families MUST RSVP if they plan to come to this event, so that we are able to meet the staffing needs. Program is be closed after 25 children register, to ensure we have a safe and fun event.

OWL (Sexuality Education) 7-8th grade There is a mandatory parent orientation for our middle school OWL program on October 18th from 4-6pm at South Church. In the case of divorced parents, both parents should plan to attend. Please contact me if this is an issue.

What is OWL?
OWL is a comprehensive sexuality education program that was written in collaboration by the UUA and the UCC.  Our Whole Lives helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. With a holistic approach, Our Whole Lives provides accurate, developmentally appropriate information about a range of topics, including relationships, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual health, and cultural influences on sexuality. It is heralded by schools, health organizations, churches and community programs as one of the best Sexuality education programs available. I can not sing it’s praises enough! You can read more here: http://www.uua.org/re/owl

  • 5th grade OWL: Will be offered this year! However, I have not yet finalized the date for parent orientation. If you are interested, feel free to email and let me know. I will be reaching out soon with more information. The 5th grade OWL program is 8 weeks long and will likely begin in November.
  • 7th-8th grade OWL: Will be offered this year! There is a mandatory parent orientation for our middle school OWL program on October 18th from 4-6pm at South Church. In the case of divorced parents, both parents should plan to attend. Please contact me if this is an issue.
  • 10th-12th grade OWL: Will be offered this year! Parent orientation will be scheduled for some time in December, and this 10 week program will likely begin in early January. Schedule to be determined.

Halloween Social– As you may know, Portsmouth takes Halloween pretty seriously. We’re hoping you will join many other South Church folks on the front lawn to watch the parade go by! This is a great chance to catch up, meet some new friends, and even enjoy some hot cocoa! Our senior youth will be offering hot refreshments and baked goods during the annual parade to raise funds for their service learning trip to Appalachia. 7-8 pm

Senior Youth Service Learning- Appalachia! Just a quick reminder to our H.S youth families, that your commitments to the end of year trip to Appalachia are due on October 18th. I will be sending out a more detailed reminder to Senior Youth families soon, but if this is the first you are hearing about this, reach out to me!

Ok, I think that’s enough for now.  Sending autumn hugs to all of you! (and a poem)

Poem (In The Morning, When It Was Raining)
     by, Delmore Schwartz

In the morning, when it was raining,
Then the birds were hectic and loudy;
Through all the reign is fall’s entertaining;
Their singing was erratic and full of disorder:
They did not remember the summer blue
Or the orange of June. They did not think at all
Of the great red and bursting ball
Of the kingly sun’s terror and tempest, blazing,
Once the slanting rain threw over all
The colorless curtains of the ceaseless spontaneous fall.

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