November nUUs in Religious Education

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Sparks and Purple Flames (social groups) playing ‘Giants, Wizards, Elves’!

Autumn greetings to all of you!

If you haven’t yet registered for the RE program yet, or committed to volunteer, please make that a priority today, I have shared some of the continued needs below.

In this month’s blog:

  • Halloween Social on October 31st, 6pm-8pm, on the front lawn
  • Sparks (5th-6th grade) and Purple Flames (7th-9th grade) social groups meet Friday, November 4th, 7-9pm
  • Theme talk: Sunday, November 6th at 8:00 am or 12:30 pm (read more below) Discussion: Anticipating December’s theme- being a community of ‘Presence’
  • Children’s chapel Sunday, November 6th
  • Families Tuugether meets Saturday, November 12th
  • Family resources for November’s theme: A people of Story
  • Information about the book drive – Nov 6-Dec 18th.
  • Descriptions of Volunteer opportunities if you’re not sure how you’d like to get involved!

Read on for more info: 

Halloween Social on October 31st, 6pm-8pm, on the front lawn- This is our third annual Halloween social, taking place on the front lawn of church where we have front row seats for the Portsmouth Halloween parade!  During this event our youth group is running a sale of hot drinks, and baked goods to raise funds for their Service learning trips. Come join us, in costume or not, bring along a baked good to donate to the sale, or come and buy a sweet treat someone else made!  We always have a lovely time, and hope to see many of you there!

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 (and youth) 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! On November 6th we’ll be talking about December’s theme: what it means to be “A community of Presence”

Sparks and Purple Flames- November 4th from 7-9pm– Sparks and Purple flames (social groups for 5-6th and 7-8th grades)- I will be reaching out to families this week with more details, if you haven’t yet, you can register for this program along with your basic RE registration (link is above!)  Feel free to email me for more info! kirsten@southchurch-uu.org

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 ‘Story’.  Parents: we 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.

Families Tuugether- November 12 at 4:30 to 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 (kirsten@southchurch-uu.org)  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 November: ‘We are a community of story’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. There are 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 month, as we explore the idea of story, think about ways you might take those conversations home to your dinner tables, night time rituals, car drives, and morning routines. Also, don’t forget the book drive this month to support the Strafford County Jail library and children’s center (flyer below!) a FANTASTIC way to explore the theme through actions!book-drive1

Story- Our lives are not just made up of stories; they are also made by stories. We sometimes feel controlled by a story, or stuck in a story. Stories can also provide us with direction, or be a deep source of pride and identity for us. Simply put, stories write us as much as we write them.

In RE this month we will be talking all about stories. How important they are and what and how they teach us.   Did you know that stories are all around us? We are surrounded by stories, each of us is filled with them, plus the places and things around us each have a story too. Workshops will include learning and creating props to tell a story that will be shared during worship on December 4th; We will be playing with story blocks; Telling collaborative stories, and exploring how stories change depending on who is telling the story.

In our theme talk about story, there was a rich discussion about perspective and it’s role in story telling. It is easy to imagine this might be a fruitful discussion to have with our children- just thinking about a recent quarrel between siblings in my house, there were certainly two distinct stories being told as we tried to uncover what had happened!

As you explore story 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!

Stories are told as spells for binding the world together. ~ John Rouse

——————-

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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