October nUUs in Religious Education

20160918_091842Greetings and Salutations!

Believe it or not, this weekend we will be welcoming in October! It feels like September has flashed past with remarkable speed. I hope you are all doing well in the midst of all the shifts and adjustments of the Autumn season. The crisp air and falling leaves are out there, don’t forget to step outside and breathe it all in- even a few minutes of stillness can feed our hearts.

Many of you have registered for the new program year and stepped into volunteer positions for the RE program, thank you! As you know, our program runs almost entirely on volunteers, and being involved in the RE program truly feeds our own connection to the South Church community and mission. If you haven’t yet registered, or committed to volunteer, please make that a priority today, I have shared some of the continued needs below.

In this blog:

  • Theme talk this Sunday- October 2nd at 8:00 am or 12:30 pm (read more below) Discussion: being a community of ‘Story’
  •  Children’s chapel this Sunday, October 2nd
  • Sparks (5th-6th grade) and Purple Flames (7th-9th grade) social groups meet Friday, October 7th, 7-9pm at South Church
  • Families Tuugether meets Saturday, October 8th
  • Halloween Social on October 30th, 6pm-8pm, on the front lawn
  • Family resources for October’s theme: A people of Healing
  • Descriptions of Volunteer opportunities if you’re not sure how you’d like to get involved!

This Sunday: 

  • Monthly Theme talk 8:00 am or 12:30pm- this is a monthly offering intended to provide a much needed opportunity for parents, RE teachers, and other adults in our congregation to dig a bit more deeply into the monthly worship theme in a small group discussion.  These talks will hopefully help us to better find connections between church and our lives throughout the week. For parents and RE volunteers, it  may also provide some ideas for how to talk with our children about Unitarian Universalism and the exploration of ideas in the context of a spiritual community. Whomever you are, I hope you will come join us and see what it’s all about! This Sunday we’ll be talking about November’s theme: what it means to be “A community of Story”
  • Children’s Chapel On the first Sunday of each month RE children from first grade through 7th grade gather together for Children’s Chapel. This is our first opportunity of the month to explore the worship theme, and to practice worship in a kid friendly setting. This month we’ll be diving into the topic of ‘healing’. Parents: we do participate in a shared plate donation during this gathering, so it’s great if you can send along .50cents or a dollar for your child to contribute.
  • Also this Sunday:
    • Spirit Play will be meeting for children ages 4-kindergarten
    • Coming of Age will meet at 11 in Karnan house
    • High School youth will meet at 4:00pm in Karnan house

Sparks and Purple Flames- October 7- first Sparks and Purple flames (social groups for 5-6th and 7-8th grades)- I will be reaching out to families in the next week with more details, but we will be gathering at Church on October 7th from 7-9pm. You can register for this program along with your basic RE registration (link is above!)

Families Tuugether- October 8- first Families Tuugether night- 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.

Family resources for October: ‘We are a community of healing’one of the wonderful things about theme based church is that there are multiple opportunities for parents and children to explore a specific idea throughout each month. This means there are also lots of opportunities for ideas and inspirations we come across on Sundays at South Church to find their way into our lives throughout the week, and for our weeks to give us inspiration we can return to our community on Sundays!   This could be very meaningful.

This month, as we explore the idea of healing, think about ways you might take those conversations home to your dinner tables, night time rituals, car drives, and morning routines.  Here’s a small framework to whet your palate, let me know if you have any great family moments!

Healing- offers so many paths and directions we can explore as a family and as a community. In RE this month we will be exploring ideas of healing through Rosh Hashanah, how we heal ourselves, healing heroes, and Dia de los Muertos, to name a few. As a family, you might take some time to consider how you practice healing with one another. Do you send cards when a loved one is sick? Make a favorite meal when someone has taken a fall? What impact do our gestures have upon one another, and how could we grow into a deeper practice of healing?

In our theme talk about healing, there were several folks who thought about the power of scars as a way to talk about healing with children. Just the mention of a scar will usually elicit a story about where it came from, and what it felt like. This might be a great place to explore more, thinking about how it has healed, and how our thoughts about scars evolve over time. What lessons did these wounds they teach us, and what have we learned as time has passed? Do we have invisible scars, as well? What are they, and why do we hold on to them?

As you explore healing this month, I hope that you will share your knowledge, ideas and enthusiasm with me and with our congregation! There is a bulletin board in the social hall where you can post reflections, our South Church facebook group is a great place to share, and I love receiving emails, too!  Sending deep love to your families!

Letting ourselves be forgiven is one of the most difficult healings we will undertake. And one of the most fruitful. ~ Stephen Levine


Programs happening this year in RE (For parents and volunteers looking for the perfect volunteer role!): 

Spirit Play: Our Pre-Kinder (4 year olds) and Kindergarten classroom uses Spirit Play, a montessori approach to religious education that invites children to explore life’s big questions through stories, “wonderings,” “work” (activities) and songs. Later in the fall and throughout the year 3 year olds are welcome to move up into the classroom as well. Interested in being a spirit play teacher? we will be offering a training for this classroom in late September! We’d love to have you join us!

Theme based Workshops: Students in 1st-7th grade* will be engaged in a workshop styled program beginning this fall. The monthly workshops will be created by congregants in connection with the month’s worship theme, so specific offerings will change throughout the year. Often, the groups will be open to a range of ages, and as we begin to experiment more details about the exact structure will become clear, so stay tuned!  Volunteer as a workshop presenter (short term commitment – a single month), or sign on as a small group leader (1-2 times/month for the year) We’d love to have you join us!

OWL- Our Whole Lives- Comprehensive Sexuality Education– This year we are offering programs for 5th grade (an 8 week program) and 7th grade (a year long program). OWL is a nationally acclaimed program and it is an invaluable experience for our children/youth. You can read more about it here: uua.org/re/owl  OWL instructors are needed on an ongoing basis (the program runs annually) and We will pay for your training! Please reach out if you are interested.

Our monthly themes this year:
A community of…

September: Covenant
October: Healing
November: Story
December: Presence
January: Prophecy
February: Identity
March: Risk
April: Transformation
May: Embodiment
June: Zest


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