April nUUs from Religious Education

A community of Emergence

Senior Youth (packed into Kirsten’s living room) for immigration justice movie/discussion as they prepare to travel west to learn more about the border crisis this June.

Hello all,

I am delighted to share with you the outcome of our shared plate collection in Children’s Chapel this past Sunday! As you know, our whole congregation has recently navigated the process of nominating and then voting on which organizations will be the recipients of our shared plate collection for the coming year. We extend that process to our children by letting them choose one of the 10 chosen organizations.  I’ve counted the ballots, and the kids chose Footprints Food Pantry! Stay tuned to hear what our year’s worth of children’s chapel collections yields, as well as a plan for a kid service project to further help the great work at FFP!

In this post…

  • Family resources for this month’s theme of Emergence: scroll to the last part of this newsletter, enjoy, share what your family discovers together!
  • Families Tuugether – April 14th- A fun night for kids and some inspired free time for parents! Scroll to ‘read more’ below.
  • Sparks and Flames final gathering..( 5th-6th and 7th-8th grade social groups)  Friday, May 4th, at 7pm- End of year celebration with a few rounds of everyone’s favorite game! Scroll to ‘read more’ below.
  • May theme talk  Scroll to ‘read more’ below.
    • Online: wear your pj’s and join from home on your computer! SIGN UP
    • In-Person: Sunday, May 6th b/w srvcs (10:15-10:55). Child care in nursery! SIGN UP
  • Sunday RE happenings: 
    • April 15: Spirit Play at 9am, Theme workshops at 9 and 11 explore emergence of ideas, Coming of Age meets at DPC @ 11am, 6th-7th grade meet at 11 in the Spirit Play room. OWL 7 will Meet at 4pm in the main office, Senior youth meet off-site (see your email for details!)
    • April 22nd: Emergence and the Earth- holiday week all ages workshop hosted by the green sanctuary team! No COA, OWL, or Senior youth this week.
    • April 29th: Spirit Play at 9am, Theme workshop at 9 and 11 explore emergence of awareness, Coming of Age meets at DPC @ 11am, 6th-7th grade meet at 11 in the Spirit Play room. OWL 7 will Meet at 4pm in the main office, Senior youth meet at 4pm in the ladies parlour.
    • May 6th: Children’s Chapel– introduces the theme of Creativity!

[“Normal RE program day”: Both services include Spirit Play and Theme workshops for grades 1-5. 11am worship also included: 6-7th grade religious exploration and Coming of Age for 8th grade. OWL for 7th grade and Senior Youth meet on Sunday evenings at 4-5:30 pm.]

Read More… 

Families Tuugether – April 14th- 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, 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 8pmPlease 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.

Sparks and Flames final gathering ( 5th-6th and 7th-8th grade social groups)  Friday, May 4th, at 7-9pm. End of year celebration with a few rounds of everyone’s favorite game! Bring a water bottle, a favorite snack, and wear sneakers. Please RSVP so I know you’re child is coming!

May theme talks:

ONLINE – Wednesday, April 18th, 8pm in your living room! This gathering is part deepening, and part an opportunity to learn about how our evolving RE program is designed to better equip parents and our larger congregation to engage with our children and youth. Come if you’re curious, come if you are able to volunteer in May, come if you’re a parent who wants to know more about how to engage with your kids about our shared church community! Click Here to Sign up.

In Person – Sunday, May 6th between services from 10:15-10:55. This gathering is always a sweet opportunity to share a little, make some new connections, and brainstorm some ideas about how our whole community might explore creativity as the month of May unfolds. Childcare is available in the nursery! Join us!!

Family resources for the month of April: ‘We are a community of emergence’ 

[Pssss…. The secret word to enter the book giveaway this month is: tulips!- mention it to Kirsten to have your family entered to win!]  

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. [From Soul Matters RE Packet:] These resources support parents as they try to live out and engage our themes with their children. We can ask “What does it mean to be a parent of Balance” or “What does it mean to be a family of Balance?” As you use these resources to engage these questions, keep in mind some additional ways to use them with other parents or your church community:  

  • Reflect with those in your family.
  • Share and discuss them with other parents or another family.
  • Use them in a Parent Circle that meets on Sunday afternoon or mid-week.
Fun Cell phone Apps!
  • Botanicula- a point-and-click adventure game that puts players in control of a quintet of tiny beings that are a cross between insect and plant. Its wordless story — everything is presented through images — begins with one of these creatures encountering a spider-like monster intent on gobbling up the big, beautiful tree. Themes of emergence and environmentalism.
  • Toca Nature- What emerges from a walk in virtual nature? Parents need to know that like all Toca Boca apps, Toca Nature is totally open-ended, allowing for pure creative exploration. Kids can build natural elements — trees, lakes, and mountains — and observe what happens as animals move in and food sources abound. Interaction is slow and calm, just like a peaceful walk in a tranquil forest; kids will need to some patience to quietly observe everything that happens. Unlike a real forest, this one is entirely non-violent: usually omnivorous bears and foxes are content with mushrooms and berries and ignore the cute little bunny rabbits that are hopping around.
Youtube Videos that celebrate the emergence of new life:
Join an Online Conversation as part of the emerging conversation in UU about racism
  • EmbraceRace Community Conversation- An EmbraceRace community conversation online, every 4th Tuesday, starting at 5:30 pm PT, 8:30 pm ET. A free, monthly online series providing information, insights, and resources to caregivers on a range of topics related to race and children. We invite guests with relevant experiences and expertise to join each conversation with the EmbraceRace community.
 Resources for the emerging conversation in UU about racism
Articles for parents:
Movies for families about emergence:
  • The Prince of Egypt (animated, rated PG) for Passover. The story of the emergence of the Jews out of slavery as told in the Book of Exodus. *please note- this movie is based on The Book of Exodus …. There are scenes of slaves being whipped, hit, and verbally and physically abused. There are depictions of babies dropped and thrown into crocodile-infested waters. Moses kills a slave driver. While competing against Rameses in a chariot race, Rameses is on a road above the one Moses is on, and Moses looks up and says “it’s not much of a view” as Rameses’ short uniform exposes his rear. It’s worth mentioning that, unlike almost every Bible story presented on film, the characters in this movie are people of color.” https://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/the-prince-of-egypt
  • The Fox and the Child for Earth Day– The emerging friendship between a girl and a wild fox. Scenes with a bear and wolves might make this film too scary for children under 8. It feels a bit like “The Little Prince.”
  • Lemurs; Island of Madagascar (documentary) for Earth Day- The emergence and evolution of Lemurs in this film appropriate for children and families, 40 min.
  • A Beautiful Planet– Views of Earth from Space, as well as evidence of destruction caused by humans.
  • Boy and the World for Earth Day- Animated award winning Brazilian film about a boy’s emerging journey to find his father from countryside to big city, making it a good film for environmentalism, too.
Reflection on Intention, Perseverance, Balance, Emergence (the past 4 themes):

How has your family responded to each theme during these past few months? The arc of the themes is intentional. In January, you were invited to think about setting an intention. In February, the theme of perseverance gave you a lens with which to keep going on the intention you set. In March, perhaps it was time to balance the intention with real life, as well as balance the challenges of keeping your intention. This month, you are invited to reflect on what has emerged from your intention? Perhaps it is something totally unexpected. One part of emergence is that we can’t control what emerges.  (this observation was offered by Bob Meiss, a UU congregant in Livermore, CA)

Our monthly church-wide themes this year have been:

A community of…

September: Welcome
October: Courage
November: Abundance
December: Hope
January: Intention
February: Perseverence
March: Balance
April: Emergence
May: Creativity

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