Wow. It’s October, folks!
Happy New year to anyone who celebrates Jewish traditions. It is a time of deep practice and renewal for all of you, and we send you our love and joyfilled wishes for a wonderful new year. This is also the season of reflecting on Indigenous history and the complicated legacy of Christopher Columbus. There are some incredible events happening for Indigenous Peoples day if you are looking for opportunities to engage with your families– check out their schedule here: DurhamIPD.org
Our theme at church this month is exploring how we are a community of belonging. I can’t think of a better question to be asking ourselves in this moment of new beginnings.
The RE staff at church is working really hard right now as we try to get all the programs started, and work to ensure that all of the many volunteers- who make this incredible program happen- feel supported and excited about the year ahead of us. This is a particularly wild year because we have 18 – EIGHTEEN- youth in our coming of age program. Each of those young people need to be matched with a mentor, which ups the need for volunteers this year by a lot! SO, if you are not yet signed up to help make something happen, please reach out. I am happy to talk about a just-right fit for your particular schedule. Belonging requires some effort on all of our parts, but the rewards are vast; It’s effort that pays big dividends in the form of growth, support, and connection.
Thank you to everyone who has already registered for the new church year. If you have not yet had a chance, you can do that
by clicking here!
In this post…
(Follow program links for more information)
- October 6th: Worship at 10a. Spirit play for preK-Kinder students and Children’s Chapel for 1st-5th grade convene after the story for all ages. 6th-7th grade meets in the Carson parlor at 10a. Coming of Age (8th grade) meet at #73 Court st at 10a. Senior youth meet at #73 Court at 4pm
- October 9th at 6:00-8:00 pm– Mandatory Orientation for 7th grade OWL Parents in the King Classroom at South Church. (parents only. please email ASAP if you need childcare)
- October 11-14th- South Church Fall retreat (see info below)
- October 13th: Worship at 10a. (Three day weekend) Spirit play for preK-Kinder students and Elementary age workshops convene after the story for all ages. No programs for middle and high school youth.
- October 16th at 7:00-8:30 pm– Mandatory Orientation for 5th grade OWL Parents. (parents only. please email ASAP if you need childcare)
- October 19th* (date change!!): Families Tuugether 4:30-8pm for parents of young children (read more below!)
- October 20th: Worship at 10a. Spirit play for preK-Kinder students and Elementary age workshops convene after the story for all ages. 6th-7th grade meets in the Carson parlor at 10a. Coming of Age (8th grade) meet at #73 Court st at 10a. Senior youth meet at #73 Court at 4pm
- Also on October 20th:
- @8:30am on October 20th: Coming of Age mentor orientation at #73 Court St.
- @1pm Woodwind Quintet Storytelling Concert (read more below!)
- October 27th: All ages Worship at 10a. for the Blessing of the Animals service with Reverend Len! (read more below!) Coming of Age (8th grade) have their fall retreat on Oct 25-26. Senior youth meet at #73 Court at 4pm on the 27th.
- October 31st- Halloween Social: Come One, Come all!! The Halloween Social and pumpkin carving contest are SO much fun!
- Sparks and Flames social groups at 5:30pm for Pumpkin carving
- Pumpkin carving contest! Entries due between 6-7pm ($5 to enter, 3 cash winners!)
- All Church Halloween Social on the front lawn/portico 7-8pm
South Church Fall retreat: Share a fall retreat weekend with your South Church community at Geneva Point Retreat Center on beautiful Lake Winnepesaukee. This annual gathering offers the opportunity to make new friends, reaffirm old ones, and enjoy yourself through workshops, activities and leisure time. Each year welcomes a well-rounded mix of veterans and newcomers. Children are welcome and encouraged to attend and there is a significant discount for families. Look for our registration table at coffee hour or CLICK HERE for more info.
Woodwind Quintet Storytelling Concert a family friendly concert at 1 pm October 20, 2019 at South Church in Portsmouth. Stories to be performed with the well-known local storyteller Joanne Piazzi are The Unhappy Aardvark and The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship. Children will be introduced to each instrument of the quintet by members Stephanie Cottrell (flute), Amanda Doiron (oboe), Ginna Macdonald (clarinet), Janet Polasky (bassoon), and Maria Sheppard (french horn). Formed in 2000, the quintet is comprised of all women at various stages of motherhood. Creating concerts to appeal to families was a natural extension of their love of children and music. Individual tickets are $6, or a family rate of $12, and can be purchased through the South Church office or online at brownpapertickets.com.
Blessing of the Animals Worship: This is a new thing for us, so we’re going to learn as we follow Reverend Len’s lead in a blessing of the animals! We invite you to bring your pets or pictures of your pets to the sanctuary. Dogs should be on leads, cat and chickens in carriers. Horse, goats will stay outside to be blessed after. Rattle snakes should stay home. If at anytime you feel your pet would be better outside feel free to leave the sanctuary. Children will have an opportunity to help tell the story for all ages today, as well! Our 4th-5th grade Story program is working on the script and costumes all month!
Family Resources for October’s Theme of Belonging:
These resources help parents as they engage the question: “What does it mean to be a family of belonging?” 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 belonging as a Family)
A Story To Read Together:
- Blubber (recommended for older elementary) by Judy Blume –Theme Connection: Understanding bullying, teasing, and empathy. Bullying is a heartless way to make kids feel they don’t belong.
More Than Bows and Arrows Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDlCZu12wDQ Watch this together for Indigenous Peoples Day, Oct. 8. It is a bit dated, but it underlines how we need many voices to make a history that is whole. “Discover the many contributions of native peoples to the development of the United States and Canada. Indian inventions such as sunglasses, snowshoes, and rubber have changed the world! From cliff dwellings and ancient cities to over 200,000 prehistoric earthen mounds that rival the pyramids of Egypt…from early mines to medicine men…to astronomical observatories and Hohokam irrigation canal systems, here is an uncommon and unequaled story narrated by N. Scott Momaday, Pulitzer prize winning author.” Theme Connection: So many parts of history have been ignored and warped. When we find out more about the marginalized peoples, like the North American Indigenous Peoples, we realize how much more we need to learn to become whole.
Invite a Friend Home after Church: Many folks in our church have made it a practice to invite children home to our house from whatever UU church we belonged to. That way we got to know each other better and make friends. Maybe this month, as we explore belonging, you might think about inviting a friend home after church some week!
Family Movie Night Idea:
Odd Squad: The Movie (G) Theme Connection: Belonging to yourself and celebrating teamwork.
For Parents – to deepen and grow in this big work of parenting:
Helping Kids Cope with Cliques “How Can Parents Help?” As kids navigate friendships and cliques, there’s plenty parents can do to offer support. If your child seems upset, or suddenly spends time alone when usually very social, ask about it. Here are some tips:
- Talk about your own experiences. Share your own experiences of school — cliques have been around for a long time!
- Help put rejection in perspective. Remind your child of times he or she has been angry with parents, friends, or siblings — and how quickly things can change.
- Shed some light on social dynamics. Acknowledge that people are often judged by the way a person looks, acts, or dresses, but that often people act mean and put others down because they lack self-confidence and try to cover it up by maintaining control.
- Find stories they can relate to. Many books, TV shows, and movies portray outsiders triumphing in the face of rejection and send strong messages about the importance of being true to your own nature and the value of being a good friend, even in the face of difficult social situations.
- Foster out-of-school friendships. Get kids involved in extracurricular activities (if they aren’t already) — art class, sports, martial arts, horse riding, language study — any activity that gives them an opportunity to create another social group and learn new skills.
Upcoming Themes (2019-2020 Church Year):
- September 2019: We are a community of Expectation
- October 2019: We are a community of Belonging
- November 2019: We are a community of Attention
- December2019: We are a community of Awe
- January 2020: We are a community of Integrity
- February2020: We are a community of Resilience
- March2020: We are a community of Wisdom
- April 2020: We are a community of Liberation
- May 2020: We are a community of Thresholds