Hello! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, and that you were able to share some time with those whom you hold most dear. December is upon us. Happy Hanukah to those of you who celebrate, may you have a warm and wonderful holiday filled with joy and laughter♥
Bring RICE to church! this month our 6th-7th grade service-learning class is learning about food scarcity in the Seacoast. They’ve paired up with Gather, our local food pantry, to support the Meals 4 Kids program. They are planning a recipe, and collecting bagged rice for the project. You can leave donations at the front desk until December 16th.
Church Sundays and Other Important dates this month:
- November 30th: Sparks and Purple Flames social groups (5th-8th grade) meet at South Church 7-9pm. (please RSVP)
- December 2nd: Spirit Play, Children’s Chapel (don’t forget your UU7 mission forms and a few coins for the collection!). Coming of Age meets with their mentors today, Senior youth group meets at 4pm, and both OWL classes continue this week.
- December 7th: All church Holiday Party and Auction, 6-8pm!
- December 9th: Normal* RE program day. (see below)
- December 16th: Normal* RE program except: time change for Senior Youth <-click for details
- December 23rd: Holiday Pageant~ No RE classes (nursery remains open)
- December 24th: Christmas Eve Candlelight services at 5pm, 7pm, and 9pm. (the early ones are very full, so come early if you want to sit!)
- December 30th: All ages Holiday program during RE
- December 31st: Chili Cook off fundraiser during First Night! Please plan to attend, make a croc pot of chili to donate, or donate shredded cheese to help make it happen!
[*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 5th grade is currently meeting at 9:30 most Sundays. OWL for 7th grade and Senior Youth meet on Sunday evenings at 4-5:30 pm.]
Coming in January: Children’s Choir! Children of all ages are invited to join two amazing music makers, Pam Felber and Sally Hirshberg, for our first of two children’s choir offerings this year. Rehearsals will be: Sundays between worship services from 10:15-10:50- Jan. 20, 27, and Feb. 3rd, and on the day of the performance from 8:15-8:45. The Children’s choir will Perform during the ‘Love Fest’ worship on Sunday, Feb. 10th at 9 and 11am
Family resources for December’s theme: A people of Mystery
These resources help parents/guardians as they engage the question: “What does it mean to be a family of Mystery?” In addition to families using them at home, you might also use them to engage parents collectively, for instance in a Parent Circle that meets on Sunday afternoon or mid-week.
With Your Kids (Ideas to engage Mystery as a Family)
Family Adventure Ideas
- December Star Gazing and the Geminid Meteor Showers – connect with the mystery. Arrange a time when your family can find a place to view the stars at night. Dec. 13 and 14 will be the prime viewing time for the Geminid Meteor Showers. https://www.space.com/34921-geminid-meteor-shower-guide.html
- Take a Mystery Road Trip! Here are all the instructions you’ll need: http://www.mykidsadventures.com/mystery-road-trip-adventure/
- Take a Mystery Trail Walk! Check out the step by step guide: https://tinkergarten.com/activities/mystery-trail-walk
- Chalice Snowflakes (From the UUA Worship Web)https://www.uua.org/worship/words/image/chalice-snowflake-instructions A paper cutting craft resulting in a snowflake with chalices! Decorate!
- Make Magic Mud! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0J4dRqg7CE&list=PLjTi_2sPB4uYFnL8SpKFy_ey8OMrUZmc4&index=23
- Similar messy fun: Oobleck! https://sciencebob.com/oobleck-the-corn-starch-and-water-experiment/
Books To Read Together
- I Wonder by Annaka Harris https://www.amazon.com/I-Wonder-Annaka-Harris/dp/1940051045/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1536591460&sr=8-1&keywords=i+wonder+annaka+harris “Eva takes a walk with her mother and encounters a range of mysteries: from gravity, to life cycles, to the vastness of the universe. She learns that it’s okay to say, “I don’t know,” and she discovers that there are some things even adults don’t know—mysteries for everyone to wonder about together!” -Amazon
- A Small Miracle by Peter Collington (Author) Book: https://www.amazon.com/Small-Miracle-Peter-Collington/dp/0375871500/ref=sr_1_24?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1537241703&sr=1-24&keywords=the+nativity+creche Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17y0HYZnpzI (In this case, we LOVE the video!- “The wooden figures in a Christmas crèche come to life to save a poor old woman in this truly original, deeply moving contemporary parable. Told with 96 pictures by Peter Collington, the master of the wordless story, this is a Christmas treasure the entire family can enjoy.”
Family Movie Night Ideas
- Movie: Harry Potter Series-Movies based on JK Rowling’s books are a great way to explore mystery and appropriate for different age groups. Here’s an age guide from Common Sense Media with suggested ages for viewing: https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/harry-potter-age-by-age-guide
- Mickey’s Christmas Carol- “If you’re looking for a great introductory version of A Christmas Carol to show the kids, then look no further than this special. http://collider.com/a-christmas-carol-adaptations-ranked/#mickey-mouse-scrooge-mcduck-1983
- Thomas & Friends: Blue Mountain Mystery: The Movie (preschool) https://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/thomas-friends-blue-mountain-mystery-the-movie “A delightful story with a dose of mystery, played out by a cast of unique characters and set to engaging animation and fun music, makes this a well-rounded movie for adults and kids…the movie goes even farther to reflect society’s multicultural nature to open kids’ eyes to the unique challenges that face newcomers to a country.” – Common Sense Media
Songs to Add to Your Family Playlist:
- Ordinary Miracle – Sarah Mclachlan (nice video meditation with it) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dI6v9n9VlpM
- Let the Mystery Be – Iris Dement https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlaoR5m4L80
For Parents/guardians (Because you are Faith Formation Guides)
- I’m Done Making My Kid’s Childhood Magical– by, Bunmi Laditan https://www.huffingtonpost.com/bunmi-laditan/im-done-making-my-kids-childhood-magical_b_5062838.html
- Ages & Stages: How Children Use Magical Thinking- by, Susan A. Miller Ed.D., Ellen Booth Church, and Carla Poole https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/ages-stages-how-children-use-magical-thinking/
- The Great Mystery: Talking about death with Your Kids- by, Michelle Richards https://www.uuworld.org/articles/talking-about-death
- Life’s Simple Joys are a Web of Ordinary Miracles– by, Richard Sheffield https://www.deseretnews.com/article/765615785/Lifes-simple-joys-are-a-web-of-ordinary-miracles.html A story of how one family shared the miracles and ordinary miracles in Charlotte’s Web on their last holiday with their mother who died of cancer.
- The Diving Bell and The Butterfly https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_diving_bell_and_the_butterfly_2007 An immeasurably moving film about the mystery and miracle of inner life as well as call for us all to wake up to the miraculous gift of life itself.
- The Tree of Life https://www.stltoday.com/entertainment/movies/reviews/article_0753e1aa-1f34-55b1-82dc-c2f6e9abe9e6.html “Ideally, you would bathe in a film like this without striving to decipher it. As it’s a film about what we can’t get our heads around, we are probably not meant to get our heads round it.” – reviews
- Awakenings https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/1032970_awakeningsThe much beloved Robin Williams film that wakes us up to the mystery, miracle and preciousness of awareness and human connection.
- Samsara An exploration of the mysterious forms of interconnection that run through our lives. https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/samsara_2012