This is such a full moment for all of us- back to school rituals, new sleep schedules, college kids heading off. Some of us are finding odd moments of quiet for the first time in a while, and most of us are feeling like there is too much to do and not enough time to do it! So much of this stuff is wonderful, so don’t forget to see the magic in it all. We are growing and learning and moving forward in our lives together. I can’t wait to see you all and hear about the new adventures.
As for church, we’ve been pretty busy, too. The entire downstairs of our sanctuary has been under renovation this summer and ITS ALMOST READY TO MOVE BACK IN!!!! We should be able to use real bathrooms at the water in-gathering on September 9th!! Cat Lyons and I are really excited for how this year is looking, and we can’t wait to get you all involved and see your kids! I really need you all to sign up on a volunteer team, which you can do through the online registration process. I will provide training and support, and you get to deepen your own faith while building connections with some of the children or youth in our community.. it’s a win win!
In this post:
- It’s time to REGISTER for the 2018-19 church year!
- Sundays this month:
- September 2: Last day of our summer balcony program- one service at 10am (scroll down for more info)
- September 9: Water In-Gathering worship- last single service- 10am
- September 16: Return to two services and RE Welcome days in our NEW SPACE! (Two services at 9 and 11 until memorial day…)
- September 21st Coming of Age Orientation
- September 22nd- Senior Youth Orientation and overnight
- September 23: R.E Welcome workshops, Bring your weight in Food Drive, and Immigration worship led by Senior youth and advisors
- Descriptions of each of our RE programs
- Family resources for September’s theme: A people of Welcome
More Details on the list above:
Water In-Gathering- worship for all ages (at 10am on September 9th) This annual service includes an opportunity for each of us to bring and share a small amount of water from somewhere meaningful, whether it’s your kitchen sink, or the lake you spend your summers. Join us for this beautiful start to a new year!
R.E on September 16 and 23rd: Will be ‘open house’ days, serving to help children, parents, and classroom volunteers get a feel for our elementary and Middle school classrooms and the upcoming year in a fun and relaxed way! Check back here in a week or so (and keep an eye on your inbox) as I will be posting more details as we flush them out.
Sept 21st: 8th Grade Coming of Age Orientation- This is for ALL 8th grade students and their parents- even if you are not sure you can participate in the program this year. The gathering is a workshop, overview, and (if you chose to commit) an opening ceremony. Reach out if you have not received a more detailed invitation!
September 22nd: Senior Youth orientation and overnight (parents too, at 6pm!) We will begin the evening with an orientation for families which will include an overview of the year, a bit of paperwork, and an opportunity for Q & A. The orientation should take about an hour and the youth will remain for an overnight. Please email for more information if you have any questions! a few details:
We will have a Saturday evening of getting to know our new group and then those who wish will sleep at the church and we will lead the Bring Your Weight in Food Drive on Sunday morning at church. It is our first big gathering and social justice event and a good time for everyone.
Sept 30th 4-5:30pm is the first regular youth group meeting of the year. We will meet at 73 Court st. and start getting into our regular rhythm and planning out the year ahead!
September 23rd: Is a busy day! RE Welcome Workshops will continue, and worship will be a reflection on the Border journey our high school youth took last June AND its the annual food drive day, too!…
Bring-Your-Weight-in-Food Drive benefiting Gather; the Seacoast Food Pantry. Our community’s generosity at this strategic time of year makes a big difference in the community. Early donations may be dropped off at the 73 Court street office, during office hours the week prior to Food Drive Sunday. (Tues-Friday, 9-2)
Wondering where you might like to volunteer this year? or looking for more info about the program year for your child? Here is the 2018-19 Religious Education Program overview (click the program name to read more!)
- Spirit Play for pre K and Kinder students
- Theme based workshops (1st-5th grade)
- 6th-7th grade Service Learning Year
- 8th Grade Coming of Age
- Senior Youth group (grades 9-12)
- Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education- 5th grade
- Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education- 7th grade
Family resources for September: ‘We are a community of vision’– 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.
This month, as we explore the theme, 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!
[From Soul Matters RE Packet:] Playing off our monthly theme question of “What does it mean to be a people of Vision?”, we invite parents to ask “What does it mean to be a parent of Vision” or “What does it mean to be a family of Vision?”
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:
- Read it and 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.
- Use them at a Wonderful Wednesday night that includes dinner, spiritual practice and activities on the theme, including times together as families, and separate as kids and adults. Be sure to gather at the end for a goodnight hug and lullaby!
- TED talk: World Peace Game with John Hunter https://www.ted.com/talks/john_hunter_on_the_world_peace_game
Resources for Visioning
- Create a Vision Board:
- Here’s a personalized book as a guide: Dream Big Book for Kids http://dreambigcollection.com/kids. ($$)
- Or, Watch this video for a DIY version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddI5WkdKt1c
- Creating a Center-Peace: http://spiralmontessorimama.blogspot.com/2008/01/creating-center-peace.html Your children may enjoy being asked to make this very special contribution to the family meal. Don’t wait for special holidays to set the table in a sacred manner.
- World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements, by John Hunter (Author)
“In John Hunter’s classroom, students fearlessly tackle global problems and discover surprising solutions by playing his groundbreaking World Peace Game. These kids—from high school all the way down to fourth grade, in schools both well-funded and under resourced—take on the roles of politicians, tribal leaders, diplomats, bankers, and military commanders. Through battles and negotiations, standoffs and summits, they strive to resolve dozens of complex, seemingly intractable real-world challenges, from nuclear proliferation to tribal warfare, financial collapse to climate change. In World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements, Hunter shares the wisdom he’s gleaned from over thirty years teaching the World Peace Game.” – Amazon
- Back to School Rituals – a vision for a family spirituality -Getty ready for school is more than shopping for supplies.
- Celebrating John Murray Day (Sept. 30)- Ideas for families for telling the story of the founder of Universalism in America and the vision of a loving God.
- NPR: The Key to Raising Happy Kids -William Stixrud and Ned Johnson in their new book, The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives. This article offers strategies for helping your children find their own vision for their lives.
- Learning to Raise Lifelong UU’s -UU World Article by Barbara Wells Ten Hove. “But I have a vision that soon, when a UU group is asked to show how many were raised UU, more than half will lift up their hands in joy—no longer strangers but companions on a shared journey of building a better world.”
- Do You Have to be an Activist to be a Unitarian Universalist? Six leaders reflect on activism and religious identity in a racially and politically charged era.
Movies for families about vision
- World Peace Game “World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements is a one-hour documentary on John Hunter, a fourth-grade teacher in Charlottesville, Virginia and his students as they participate in Hunter’s remarkable educational exercise the World Peace Game. The film has played in festivals around the world, has been broadcast in several countries and was aired to over 85% of the US on public television between 2012-2014. It also supports Hunter’s World Peace Game Foundation work, and has had special screenings at the Pentagon, the United Nations, the Aspen Institute’s Ideas Festivals, and several universities, educational conferences and schools throughout the world.” – Vimeo
- Field of Dreams (PG) Baseball film starring Kevin Costner. “Families can talk about dreams. How do you know when to follow a vision that seems crazy or foolish? What thoughts go into weighing the risks of certain choices? Is there a way to know for sure whether an idea is a good one?” – Common Sense Media review
- Dream Big; Engineering Our World -“Parents need to know that Dream Big: Engineering Our World is a 42-minute STEM-themed IMAX documentary about how engineers are responsible for important technological innovations that propel us into the future. The film highlights working engineers from different backgrounds, most of them women. They work on a variety of projects, from building earthquake-proof structures to foot bridges in developing countries. Viewers will also meet a young engineer whose love of STEM began in an after-school robotics club. The documentary — which is narrated by Jeff Bridges and was produced in partnership with the American Society of Civil Engineers and presented by the Bechtel Corporation — encourages young viewers to be curious, see how pivotal engineering is to the future, and understand why the world needs more engineers.” – Common Sense Media
Explore! Enjoy! Share what you learn!! ~See you soon!
A community of…