December nUUs From Religious Education

Senior Youth decorating wreaths for their annual fundraiser

Hello beloved families of South Church!

Stillness. That’s the church theme for December. Wow, that word seems so simple, but what a unique time to contemplate that particular idea.

When the pandemic became a pandemic back in the spring, there was so much that stopped: Sports, dance classes, driving to/from school, driving to/from work, enrichment classes and meetings, constant birthday parties, playdates, and on and on. As we grappled with so much uncertainty and change, some people found a moment of stillness in the paused schedules of our hectic parenting lives. I wonder if anyone is still able to appreciate a slower, more still lifestyle?

For some of us the moments of stillness we had known pre-covid vanished; alone time was replaced with remote learning and working from home, taking much of the stillness we had known along with it. And no matter your particular experience- as we head into winter and infection numbers are forcing us to further limit our activity, our connections, our togetherness- it may feel like we have been “still” for too long. We may find ourselves struggling with that kind of stillness to the point that it actually makes us restless–holding pent up energy without an outlet.

So how do we find stillness (the good kind) in the midst of too much stillness (the restrictive kind that we’re so tired of)? Maybe we need to get really really active to find that peaceful kind of stillness. Maybe that looks like reaching out, connecting, offering, serving creating, walking, talking.

Or maybe it looks like finding time alone in your house for once, if you’ve been trapped with your same darlings every day for months on end. Maybe it looks like a warm bath, a few hours to focus on a book or a project, or hiding in your car zoning out with social media for 20 minutes. It’s all valid if that’s what will restore you.

Listen to your needs. What would the good kind of stillness feel like, and how can you get there at this time? And how do we help our kids get there too?

We’re offering a lot this month, a month that always feels busy. But the good kind of stillness often finds us when we connect, explore and play together. And even dancing can help us find good stillness. We’re making progress, Loves. It will get easier, more free.

One more thing… Please Register your kids for the program year! It keeps our records accurate. click here for the online form!

What you need to know this month… 

Click Linked Items for additional Details:

All ages morning chapel on Zoom Every Sunday at 9:00am. This is a great way to stay in touch with other South Church Families, please join us! Parents encouraged to attend with your kids. Coffee and PJ’s are appropriate attire!

There are still many ways to connect with other South church families! Click here for RE Program Information

  • Tuesday December 1: Grades K-5 meet on Zoom
  • Friday December 4: 7:00-8:00 Grades 6 & 7 Service Learning meeting on Zoom
  • Sunday, December 6:
    • All-Ages Chapel 9:00-9:30a on Zoom
    • Worship on Youtube 10a-11a~ led by Reverend Susan
    • Coming of Age 8th grade meets with Mentors 6:30-7:30p on Zoom
    • Senior Youth~ Meet online, 8pm
  • Tuesday December 8: Grades K-5 meet on Zoom
  • Friday December 11th: Grades 5, 6, & 7 social group, games on Zoom 7:00-8:00
  • Saturday, December 12th: Senior Youth meet at the Labyrinth at 11am! We’ll be outside, so dress warmly. Eliot United Methodist Church, 238 Dow Highway (Rte 236) in Eliot, ME.
  • Sunday, December 13:
    • All-Ages Chapel 9:00-9:30a on Zoom
    • Worship on Youtube 10a-11a~ led by Mary Heafy
    • Coming of Age 8th grade Maher property 3:00-4:30**
  • Tuesday, December 15th:
    • Grades K-5 meet on Zoom
    • Grades 6 & 7 Service Learning cookies project
  • Sunday, December 20:
    • All-Ages Chapel 9:00-9:30a on Zoom
    • Worship on Youtube 10a-11a~Pageant Sunday!
    • Coming of Age 8th grade 6:30-7:00 game and assignment on zoom
    • Senior Youth Solstice ritual– details tbd…
  • Tuesday December 22: Grades K-5 meet on Zoom
  • Thursday, December 24: Christmas Eve worship
  • Sunday, December 27:
    • All-Ages Chapel 9:00-9:30a on Zoom
    • Worship on Youtube 10a-11a~Led by Worship Associates
  • Sunday, January 3:
    • All-Ages Chapel 9:00-9:30a on Zoom
    • Worship on Youtube 10a-11a~ led by Kirsten Hunter

*Weather permitting **Tentative, details may change

Families at Home: December’s Theme is Stillness

We have the courage to face these times, and can practice the skills needed for healing history, healing with gratitude, and healing with service to others.  May you find comfort and healing in your own life. Blessed be.

Our UU faith in pratice:

  • Check out The Christmas Pledge to work toward creating stillness around the holiday and through the winter. Here it is, with activity ideas included.
  • Star Breathing for kids– Using shapes to teach deep breathing is such a great idea!
  • Coloring Meditation: Looking for ways to engage your kids that DON’T involve screens? (Stillness from the constant input of media!) Try printing out these incredible coloring pages of Social Justice Artwork by, Ricardo Levins Morales!
  • Puzzles offer stillness for some of us, and a quiet way to share time with people you love. If your loved ones are far away, check out collaborative online jigsaw puzzles! (I know, it’s screen time, but still pretty cool! You can upload your own image, and share the link with any other puzzle lovers you know!)

Our UU faith in action:

  • Our shared plate recipient this month is ACLU of NH. Click here to see some specific ways ACLU NH invites us to take action right now for racial justice.
  • Is your Child a UU7 Secret Service Agent? UU7 is a way for South church children and families to engage in our mission through simple challenges.

Dinner Time Discussions: Some questions you might discuss at dinner this month to explore the theme of Healing…

  • Watch Night is observed on December 31st by some black communities, born out of enslaved people waiting on 12/31/1862 to hear news of whether Abraham Lincoln would sign the Emancipation Proclamation. Imagine the stillness required in waiting for that news. Learn more as a family here.
    • Try a conversation about Watch Night at dinner: How does this relate to the proposed addition of an 8th UU principle? “We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote: journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.”
  • Try practicing stillness this way: Choose an evening to eat dinner by candlelight and eat silently for the first 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes, talk about how this evening feels different than other dinner times.

Chalice Lighting for mealtimes this month:

“Every soul innately yearns for stillness, for a space, a garden where we can till, sow, reap, and rest, and by doing so come to a deeper sense of self and our place in the universe. Silence is not an absence but a presence. Not an emptiness but repletion A filling up.” -Anne Leclair

Upcoming Themes (2020-2021 Church Year)

  • December 2020: We are a community of Stillness
  • January 2021: We are a community of Imagination
  • February2021: We are a community of Beloved Community
  • March2021: We are a community of Commitment
  • April 2021: We are a community of Becoming
  • May 2021: We are a community of Story

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