February ’21 nUUs From Religious Education

Holding our UUs at opening words during Sunday morning chapel

Happy February, dear families of South Church!

February may be the shortest month, but we are packing extra opportunities into this one!

With talk about vaccines, it feels like there’s promise of a really long-awaited opening ahead, like we are about to be released from so much confinement. Though we’re not yet there, we are moving toward a time where we anticipate feeling more free again; free to gather in physical spaces, free to start or restart some of the things we’ve been missing. Maybe the recent inauguration and subsequent policy changes that the new administration is making are eliciting a similar feeling of release from some kinds of suppression. Of course, all of this change can also bring challenge to various people; there will be fear related to safety as covid restrictions loosen, and there is certainly not unity around how our government should operate.

The reports, conversations, and votes at our annual congregational meeting on Sunday suggested that overall at South Church we are ready to embrace some change in the structure of our leadership, that we are committed to financially sustaining or even growing our community through a successful stewardship campaign, and that we are capable of thoughtful and respectful discourse on matters where there are differing opinions.

Our church theme for February is Beloved Community, a concept that Dr Martin Luther King Jr asked us to strive for, which prioritizes justice, equity and Love for ALL people. It applies to all of the forms of community, and Dr King consistently acknowledged that the work is hard. It is uncomfortable, and sometimes it will bring out fear. This is a concept that we need to incorporate into our whole lives, and we won’t find ourselves finished at the end of this tiny month. But it seems timely, as we are finding ourselves in these situations where we will begin to emerge into…what?…not the old “normal”, whatever that means. As we begin to think about emerging from a pandemic, emerging from an administration that stood against justice, equity and Love for all people, and moving into a new direction at church, we can hold the concept of Beloved Community as we design our future with intention.

A few awesome RE items to highlight:

  • Sexuality Education:
    • For 5th and for 7th grade: will be offering comprehensive sexuality education classes beginning on 3/7 and 2/28, respectively. There are mandatory parent orientation classes on 2/23 and 2/16. These groups will be meeting in person, following the Covid Task Force safety guidelines because the content is largely not suitable for online instruction. However, we recognize that it may be the case that not all families are ready for in-person activities, so…
    • Parents and Caregivers as Sexuality Educators: In addition to the two programs for children/youth, we are offering for the first time a small group offering for adults who care for children and youth. The Parents/Caregivers class is meant to help support your role as the primary sexuality educators of your children, whether the children are in a sexuality class or not. Program begins Thursday, February 11th. Please contact us about all questions and interests in the 5th/7th grade classes, the Parent/Caregiver class, and we are happy to talk about what additional support we can offer if these classes don’t work for you. Contact either Jen Del Deo (jendeldeo@southchurch-uu.org) or Kirsten Hunter (kirsten@southchurch-uu.org).
  • Family Outing at Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge! Join South Church families on February 20th at 10:00am for some outdoor time on this beautiful land. Masks required. We will meet near the parking area at 4 Arboretum Dr, Newington. Directions Here.
  • Chopped! All-Ages culinary competition! Join us for a super fun online evening. This is a beloved tradition in a different format this year. You may sign up as individuals or household groups. There can be multiple people competing individually in the same household, too. We will supply a package of mystery ingredients that everyone will open together online, and your assignment will be to make creative recipes with those ingredients. Ingredient packages will be available to be picked up, or we can help with delivering to your door. Chopped event will be held on Zoom on Friday, March 5th at 6:00. To participate, you must sign up by Fri, 2/26 by emailing Jen DD (jendeldeo@southchurch-uu.org)– Include every member of the household who wishes to compete, and please let us know if there are any allergy concerns.
  • Senior Youth led worship! Our high school youth will offer worship on Feb 21st–don’t miss it!
  • Morning Poems~ Parents – this one’s for you! Log into zoom on Wednesday mornings at 7:30 for a thirty-minute spiritual practice using poetry. Bring a journal, and a cup of coffee or tea, and start the day with some dear South church friends.

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, February 2:
    • Grades K-5 meet on Zoom 4:00-5:00
  • Friday, February 5:
    • Grades 5-7 Social group meets at church 6:30-8:00 for play and storytelling project! RSVP: jendeldeo@southchurch-uu.org
  • Sunday, February 7:
    • All-Ages Chapel 9:00-9:30a on Zoom
    • Worship on Youtube 10a-11a~ led by Reverend Susan
    • Coming of Age 8th grade meet on Zoom 5:30-6:30
    • Senior Youth~ Meet at church 11:30a-1:30p. If you can’t do the whole time, still come for as long as you can!
  • Tuesday February 9:
    • Grades K-5 meet on Zoom 4:00-5:00
  • Wednesday February 10:
    • All-Ages Bedtime story and stretch on zoom, 7:00-7:30, featuring books by Black authors
  • Friday, February 12:
    • 6th/7th Grade Service Learning group meets on zoom, 7:00pm
  • Sunday, February 14:
    • All-Ages Chapel 9:00-9:30a on Zoom
    • Worship on Youtube 10a-11a~ Love Fest!♥️ Led by Kirsten Hunter
    • All-Ages Dance Party! Following worship. Just join social hour and you’ll be directed to the dance “room”: https://zoom.us/j/98768994449
    • Coming of Age 8th grade meet on Zoom 3:30-4:30, with Mentors
    • Senior Youth Filming day for worship, by appointment, meet at church.
  • Tuesday, February 16:
    • Grades K-5 meet on Zoom 4:00-5:00
    • Parent orientation for 7th grade sexuality education program, 6:30pm on zoom
  • Wednesday, February 17:
    • All-Ages Bedtime story and stretch on zoom, 7:00-7:30, featuring books by Black authors
  • Thursday, February 18:
    • 5th-7th Grade Service Learning special project 5:00-6:00pm on zoom
  • Saturday, February 20:
    • Family Outing at Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge, 4 Arboretum Dr, Newington, 10:00am
  • Sunday, February 21:
    • All-Ages Chapel 9:00-9:30a on Zoom
    • Worship on Youtube 10a-11a~led by Senior Youth group–Don’t miss this special event!!
    • Senior Youth Worship watch party! 10:00am
  • Tuesday February 23:
    • Grades K-5 meet on Zoom 4:00-5:00
    • Parent orientation for 5th grade sexuality education program, 6:30 on zoom
  • Wednesday, February 24:
    • All-Ages Bedtime story and stretch on zoom, 7:00-7:30, featuring books by Black authors
  • Friday February 26:
    • 5th-7th Grade social group meets on zoom for games, 7:00-8:00
    • Deadline to register for Chopped! (see info above!)
  • Sunday, February 28:
    • All-Ages Chapel 9:00-9:30a on Zoom
    • Worship on Youtube 10a-11a~Led by Reverend Susan
    • Coming of Age 8th grade meets in person with Mentors, 3:00-4:00
    • Senior Youth meet for snow play at noon–details coming!
  • Tuesday, March 2:
    • Grades K-5 meet on Zoom 4:00-5:00

*Weather permitting **Tentative, details may change

Families at Home: February’s Theme is Beloved Community

Beloved Community is an idea that Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr talked about, which asks us to build a world where justice, equal opportunity, and love for all people are the most important goals.

Our UU faith in pratice:

  • Here’s a great 5 minute lovingkindness meditation that you can do as a family: https://youtu.be/i9X6tkUXa9o
  • Listen to “Talking to Kids About Racial Identity” on The Imagine Neighborhood podcast. Dr Aisha White from the University of Pittsburgh’s P.R.I.D.E. program talks about different ways to discuss racial identity with kids. 15 minutes well spent; can even do it while driving or cleaning!
  • At the beginning of all of our RE classes, Sunday morning chapel, and worship, we all have the opportunity to share Roses, Buds and Thorns. This practice helps us to hold each other with care, to magnify the things we are celebrating (Roses), to lighten the burden of our struggles (Thorns) and to share in the anticipation of what’s ahead (Buds). This is a helpful practice in building Beloved Community. To embody this as a life practice not just in our church, try practicing at home–maybe at dinner time or before bed. Take turns giving each household member space to share a Rose (something you are happy about), a Bud (something you are looking forward to) and a Thorn (something difficult or “sticky”).

Our UU faith in action:

  • Shared Plate Voting! Last month members of South Church were invited to nominate organizations for our shared plate recipients over the coming year. Now it’s time (for adult members) to vote… and in early March, our children will be invited to vote from the finalists after they learn a bit about each of the groups. More info on voting here: http://www.southchurch-uu.org/giving/shared-collection/
  • Our shared plate recipient this month is Black Heritage Trail of NH. Click here to learn more about BHTNH.
    • Did you know BHTNH has a self-guided tour? Book is available online HERE.
  • Watch the online screening (with optional discussion) of the new PBS documentary, “The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song” on Monday, February 8th at 6pm. Click link for details and to register.
  • 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 Beloved Community…

  • Share a story about a time when you felt loved and cared for.
    • What was important in that situation?
    • What are some things that can make us feel not loved or cared for?
    • How can we help other people feel loved and cared for? Is it more important to “say” or “do”?
  • What makes you feel connected at South Church, or what makes you feel like you belong somewhere?
    • What could you do to feel more connected or included?
    • How could we help others feel welcome, connected and included at church?

Chalice Lighting for mealtimes this month:

“The Hearth of the Chalice,” by Bear W. Qolezcua

“As we light the chalice may our souls become its hearth.
We join our hearts to the one great flame of bright compassion,
Beloved Community, and fervent justice.
May we become lanterns to the world,
lighting the way for all”

Upcoming Themes (2020-2021 Church Year)

  • 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
  • June 2021: We are a community of Play

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