Happy December, everyone!
This can be a sweet and magical month. It can also be a challenging time, with high expectations and not enough hours in the day. For the past few years I’ve tried to set intention to help maximize the magic and minimize the challenges. It includes intentional rebellion against the materialism that this season pushes us to embrace. I try to prioritize time with loved ones, and time serving people who are navigating difficulties in this moment. I try to focus on the beauty of twinkling lights, snow fall, clouds of breath as people laugh in the crisp air of winter. I take a little time to put on music before I start dinner, or brew a cup of tea before I sit down to sort through mail. Whether you makes space to send a letter to a dear friend you haven’t seen in a while. or push yourself to catch some daylight hours in nature, I send you love and support in your own intentions. By the end of this month, the hours of sunlight will be a little longer every day, in the mean time, may you embrace these dark cozy December days and find sweet joy-filled moments within them.
Have you registered for the RE program? If not, you can register by clicking here!
This Month… (follow the program links for more information)
- December 1st: Worship at 10a- and an all ages Children’s Chapel will be offered this weekend. There are no other classes convening today as many families travel over the Thanksgiving Holiday. I am going to start posting a summary of our chapel each month for families who weren’t able to be there. You can find that HERE. Click HERE for December’s UU7 challenge
- December 6th from 6:00-8:00pm: South Church Holiday Celebration and Auction! Please come join us for our annual holiday potluck. Bring a dish that is special to your family during the holidays. There will be some crafts set up for children, lots of folks to celebrate with. We’ll sing some holiday songs and maybe scoop up some special items at the holiday auction, too!
- December 8th: Worship at 10a. Spirit play for pre K-Kinder students and Elementary age Workshops for 1st-5th grade convene after the story for all ages. 5th grade OWL- 9:30 at Court St- Optional 5th grade OWL Parent forum this week at 9am!!. 6th-7th grade will be attending worship at the Catholic church in Dover today (we’ll meet at church at 10am). Coming of Age (8th grade) meet at #73 Court st at 10a. 7th grade OWL will meet at 4pm at South Church, and Senior youth group will meet at 4pm at 73 Court St.
- December 11 Community Event: Taming Technology: A Practical Guide to Effective Digital-Parenting This speaker was highly recommended by one of our members, and the topic is certainly relevant for our families! It is happening at Wentworth Douglas hospital from 6-8pm that evening.
- December 15th- Worship at 10a. Spirit play for preK-Kinder students and Elementary age Workshops for 1st-5th grade convene after the story for all ages. 6th-7th grade meet at 10a. 5th grade OWL meets at 9:30a at Court St. Coming of Age (8th grade) meet at #73 Court st at 10a for a community service day- Dress Warm! 7th grade OWL meets at 4pm. Senior youth meet at #73 Court at 4pm
- December 22nd: Worship at 10a is our annual multigenerational Holiday Pageant day. There are no RE programs today, but the nursery will be open for young ones from birth up to age 4.
- December 24th: Christmas eve services will be offered at 5, 7 and 9pm. Typically, the 5pm service is very full and there are lots of children, so come early to get seats! Children are welcome at all services, but the 9pm worship tends to be more reflective/quiet- which is helpful to keep in mind when you are choosing which service to attend.
- December 29th: Worship at 10am. Special programming for RE! We will have a magic show following the story for all ages in worship. No other RE classes today, but the nursery will be open.
- December 31st: First night Chili Sale! Please consider stopping in at South Church on New Year’s Eve if you are out and about. Our High school youth will, once again, be selling chili to raise funds for their end of year learning journey. If you want to help support them even more, consider making a batch of chili to donate to the sale!! All chili donations can be dropped off at church between 4:30 and 6pm on New Years Eve.
Family and Parent Resources for exploring Awe These resources help parents as they engage the question: “What does it mean to be a family of Awe?”
- Story To Read Together: Rosa by Nikki Giovanni (Author), Bryan Collier (Illustrator). Video Read Aloud: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uiHNJK5vZXQ “Fifty years after her refusal to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus, Mrs. Rosa Parks is still one of the most important figures in the American civil rights movement. This tribute to Mrs. Parks is a celebration of her courageous action and the events that followed. Award-winning poet, writer, and activist Nikki Giovanni’s evocative text combines with Bryan Collier’s striking cut-paper images to retell the story of this historic event from a wholly unique and original perspective.”
- Family Activities:
- Ancient Earth Interactive Map Type in your address and how many millions of years ago you wish to see and view an interactive online map of what the earth looked like.
- Beeswax Candles for Winter Nights: Purchase a kit, or order beeswax sheets and wicks. https://www.thesprucecrafts.com/rolled-beeswax-candles-517038
- Chalice Snowflakes – We’ll have a table set up with these instructions at the holiday party on Dec 6th, but if you miss it, or want to try them at home.. Here’s the instructions: https://www.uua.org/worship/words/image/chalice-snowflake-instructions And the PDF Template to print out: https://assets.uua.org/sites/live-new.uua.org/files/paper_chalice_snowflake_instructions.jpg
- Family Movie Night Ideas:
- The True Meaning of Crumbfest Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Scsnf4EYMpo Book: https://www.amazon.com/True-Meaning-Crumbfest-David-Weale/dp/0969860641/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=The+True+meaning+of+crumbfest&qid=1568041483&s=books&sr=1-1 “Winner of the Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature; over 17,000 copies in print; animated Christmas special on TELETOON, with the spin-off series Eckhart The True Meaning of Crumbfest is the story of a curious little mouse named Ekhart, who sets off to discover the truth about that most abundant time of year called “”Crumbfest,”” when bounteous crumbs miraculously appear in the old Prince Edward Island farmhouse in which he lives. … this a heartwarming tale of the magic that happens when the “Outside” and the “Inside” come together.” – Amazon
- March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World This collection manages to explain how black people were treated unequally in a way even preschoolers should understand on a basic level. Those unfamiliar with Scholastic’s Storybook Treasures series should be aware that these are animated adaptations of books; they’re old-school narrations (often by the authors themselves or celebrities, in this case Lynn Whitfield, Michael Clarke Duncan, and writer Nikki Giovanni) accompanied by the books’ illustrations and some historical photographs. That said, the March On! collection is a perfect introduction to the civil rights movement and black history for young kids. The four easy-to-follow stories all depict a time in American history when African Americas were treated either as chattel or second-class citizens. A great follow up to our children’s chapel conversation, which you can find here, if you missed church December 1st.
- For Parents as Faith Formation Guides– Check out his article: Celebrating the Winter Holidays By Michelle Richards, UU World