March’s Theme: a community of risk
March greetings, everyone. I hope this picture of our senior youth offering worship in February makes you smile!
In this update, you can read about:
- Monthly Theme talk- Sunday March 5
- Children’s chapel First Sundays
- RE Orientation dinner- March 9th 6:30-8pm
- Families Tuugether, Saturday March 11
- Women’s health and welness meet up
- Family resources for March’s theme: A people of Risk
- March Workshop info
- Ideas to connect at home
Monthly Theme talk- March 5th- “A community of Risk” at 10:15 am– Theme talks are 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 upcoming 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 March’s theme: what it means to be “A community of Risk” If you’d like to attend, we will have a supervised room for kids to hang for this 40 minute gathering.
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 ‘Identity’. 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.
- An overview of our Religious Education program, how it serves our children and youth, and why it is essential work
- Discussion and orientation of how RE works in tandem with our home and community at large, and how you can best help to make that happen
- Overview of volunteer opportunities in our program, how to get involved, and tips for making it a positive experience for you and for the participants!
Families Tuugether- March 11th 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, 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(firstname.lastname@example.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 March: ‘We are a community of risk’– 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 risk. Think about ways you might take those conversations home to your dinner tables, night time rituals, car drives, and morning routines.
Risk- “The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing. He or she may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he or she simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love – live. Only a person who risks is free. – Janet Rand”
Risks can challenge us in life. It is important to remember that we are connected and stronger together. We can help each other through life’s challenges. Our church and congregation also can take risks together when our beliefs tell us that it is true and right. Unitarian Universalists believe that it is important to continue to search and learn what is true and right. We also believe that your actions should be guided by what you believe.
In RE this month we will be exploring risk in workshops during the 9am and 11am worship for children in First through 7th grade. This month’s workshops will include an art workshop where we will be making courage stones; A role playing workshop where participants explore how to evaluate risk; an inventive cooking workshop (what kind of risks can we take when we’re cooking!? We do have space for a few more ideas toward the end of the month if you have a identity workshop in mind- reach out!
In our families, here are some ideas to explore this months theme. These are just a few suggestions, but a great way to start thinking about how to bring South Church into our lives in new ways:
Tell Stories of Unitarian Universalist Risk Takers & how their faith helped them make decisions: Dorothea Dix , Tim DeChristopher, James Reeb, James Adams , Lydia Maria Child or choose one of your favorites!
Explore the March theme on Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/soulmattersre/march-risk/
A few resources for parents:
- Article: The benefits of risk taking for children
- Article: Ways to encourage our children to take risks
- Two TED talks (two perspectives on Risk)
- Raising our Girls to be Perfect and Our Boys to be Brave ~ Reshma Saujani
- Addicted to Risk – TED Talk ~Naomi Klein
Family Discussions: Here are some prompts you might consider during a dinner conversation, at bedtime, or while going for a drive in the car this month:
- What beliefs do you hold strongly — that you would call your convictions?
- What would you be willing to stand up for, even, perhaps, at your own peril?
- How have you come to decide what convictions are most important to you?
- At what moments in your life have you felt called on to be courageous? When do you wish you could have been more courageous?
- What resources do you find at church, to support you in your courage and your convictions? Do you have other ideas to share at church?
- Share with your child some convictions you hope they will come to hold dear. Then ask them to share what they think!
As you explore, 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!
“When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable. But to grow up is to accept vulnerability. To be alive is to be vulnerable. ” ~Madeleine L’Engle
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’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.
A community of…