May ’21 nUUs From Religious Education

“Strongest Woman In the World” group improv at a recent South Church family outing

Hi There Dear Friends,

Think of the sound of our church bell ringing. Can you remember how it sounds? Imagine that it’s calling us in, telling us It’s time to build back into deep community. Not in the physical sanctuary yet, but in fortifying our social and emotional sanctuary. The place where we feel known and held.

Everything has been changed, chopped up, paused, scattered, and restricted for so long that it may be hard to remember what exactly we are about. Most, if not all, of us have been in survival mode for a very long time now, which is far more tiring and difficult than thriving mode. What does it take to return to thriving? It can’t be by simply doing the things we used to do. But it does require us to decide to invest in our “us-ness” again, to rebuild our bonds. This applies to so many of our different kinds of community. And it certainly does apply to the “We” or “Us” of our church community.

While obligations can easily feel like too much, and lots of people’s schedules are already getting too crowded again, I invite and encourage you to try to show up at some South Church events.

There have been lots of moments that have felt surprisingly good. Maybe you’ve been there and felt it too? At each of our monthly family outings at various outdoor locations, it has felt so good to see people in person, to engage in activities together, and to just chat with old friends and new ones too. It felt good to play adventurously together at the 2 zoom cooking events–Chopped and Will It Waffle? It feels good to be with our 5th-7th graders when they play joyfully at their social evenings, the way kids are supposed to be together. We’ve had deep connection in the Parents and Caregivers As Sexuality Educators group. And it was really special to check in with people doing the “Becoming” Challenge.

If you haven’t been to any of these events, then think about a time recently when you have felt a good connection, whether at church or in another context, a kind of warm coming home connection feeling. That’s what’s happening, that’s what we’re creating and offering to solidify those bonds as we build back from all the disruption and loss. It’s hard to imagine until being in it, but it does feel right and good. It’s an important first step–gentle bonding–so we can eventually dig back into all of the other missions, adventure and good work waiting ahead.

Right now our Religious Education program looks like this: a monthly Saturday in person family outing; a monthly in person Sunday morning All-Ages RE exploration (like Story Workshop); All-Ages Chapel 9:00-9:30 every Sunday morning on Zoom; an occasional all ages evening zoom adventure (like Chopped); and of course our Senior Youth, Coming of Age, and Sexuality Education programs all meet regularly.

Some of these may sound like simple and frivolous isolated events, but they’re not. They are intentional and important work that will allow us to return to thriving mode. We will accomplish and grow SO MUCH when we are thriving. Let’s do this! Let’s show up and be part of this sweet bonding. ♥️

A few highlights for May:

  • Story Workshop–All Ages! Meet near the stage at Prescott Park to participate in creating something special for worship. Sunday 5/2, 11:30-12:30
  • Family Outing Day–Saturday, May 22 10:00-11:30 at Urban Forestry Center. Fancy Tea Party, wild games, and a special Bridging activity!

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:

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

  • Friday, April 30:
    • Sparks & Flames game night on Zoom 7:00-7:30–for all 5th-7th graders!
  • Saturday, May1:
    • Closing circle for April “Becoming” Challenge! 9:30-10:00 on zoom
  • Sunday, May 2:
    • All-Ages Chapel 9:00-9:30a on Zoom
    • Worship on Youtube 10a-11a, offered by South Church Ministerial Search Committee
    • Kids of All Ages! Story Workshop, help us create a TFAA 11:30a-12:30p. Meet at Prescott Park, near the stage. Bring a water bottle and snack, wear a mask, and use a restroom before arriving!
    • Coming of Age 8th grade meet in person at Urban Forestry Ctr 3:00-4:00p, with Mentors
    • 7th Grade Sexuality Class meets 11:30a-1:30p at church
    • 5th Grade Sexuality Class meets 4:00-5:30p at church
  • Monday, May 3:
    • Senior Youth and their parents-mandatory meeting for camping trip 7pm on Zoom
  • Wednesday, May 5:
    • Morning Poems for adults, 7:30-8:00a on zoom
  • Friday, May 7
    • Coming of Age Wilderness Retreat info meeting for parents 7:00-7:30p on Zoom
  • Sunday, May 9, Mother’s Day:
    • All-Ages Chapel 9:00-9:30a on Zoom
    • Worship on Youtube 10a-11a, sermon by Reverend Susan
    • Coming of Age 8th grade-no class today
    • 7th Grade Sexuality Class meets 11:30a-1:30p at church
    • 5th Grade Sexuality Class meets 4:00-5:30p at church
  • Wednesday May 12:
    • Morning Poems for adults, 7:30-8:00a on zoom
  • Friday, May 14th:
    • Senior Youth camping trip! (Friday-Sunday)
  • Sunday, May 16th:
    • All-Ages Chapel 9:00-9:30a on Zoom
    • Worship on Youtube 10a-11a, sermon by Reverend Susan
    • Coming of Age 8th grade meet in person at Urban Forestry Ctr 3:00-4:00p, with Mentors
    • 7th Grade Sexuality Class meets online 11:30a-1:30p
    • 5th Grade Sexuality Class–final class! 4:00-5:30p. Parents join at 5:00 for the last 30 mins.
  • Wednesday, May 19:
    • Morning Poems for adults, 7:30-8:00a on zoom
  • Saturday, May 22:
    • Family Outing Day–Saturday, May 22 10:00-11:30 at Urban Forestry Center. Fancy Tea Party, wild games, and a special Bridging activity!
  • Sunday, May 23:
    • All-Ages Chapel 9:00-9:30a on Zoom
    • Worship on Youtube 10a-11a, sermon by Reverend Susan
    • Coming of Age 8th grade–no class today
    • 7th Grade Sexuality Class meets 11:30a-1:30p
  • Wednesday, May 26:
    • Morning Poems for adults, 7:30-8:00a on zoom
  • Friday, May 28:
    • Coming of Age Wilderness Retreat! (Friday-Sunday)
  • Sunday, May 30:
    • All-Ages Chapel 9:00-9:30a on Zoom
    • 7th Grade Sexuality–no class today/holiday weekend
  • Wednesday, June2 :
    • Morning Poems for adults, 7:30-8:00a on zoom
  • Friday, June 4: Sparks & Flames (Grades 5, 6, 7) Game night (online) 7:00-8:00
  • Sunday, June 6:
    • All-Ages Chapel 9:00-9:30a on Zoom
    • 7th Grade Sexuality Class meets 11:30a-1:30p in person

*Weather permitting **Tentative, details may change

Families at Home: May’s Theme is “Story

Our UU faith in pratice:

  • Part of our UU Living Tradition comes from science. (You can refresh on what the UU Sources are HERE). Here is a book about Evolution as the story of life that you might enjoy sharing: Our Family Tree by Lisa Westberg Peters  (Author), Lauren Stringer  (Author) Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTXmSDmq5tI
  • Our 7th UU principle is Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. Consider starting a nature altar in your home to make a visual story of this principle. There are lots of resources like this one for creating a nature altar, but you may simply make a space for rocks, feathers, or other items you find and have a connection to.
  • Here’s a sweet song version of a lovingkindness meditation: https://youtu.be/RU_Vj0kytFo
  • As UUs one continuous thread of our story is that we work to be a faith of liberation. Here are 2 books you might share: All Are Welcome, by Alexandra Penfold, and Aunt Harriet’s Underground Railway in the Sky by Faith Ringgold

Our UU faith in action:

  • Become a crayon activist! Check out this story about Bellen Woodward, the world’s first crayon activist, who started something really cool when she was in third grade.
  • Our shared plate recipient for May is the Joan G Lovering Health Care Center. Check out their story HERE.

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

  • An important part of our South Church story is the collection of our individual stories. Explore answering this during a meal together: What is our family story? If you had to condense it down to just a few sentences, what would your family story be? And what about each member of your family–what is your boiled-down mini story?
  • Families often have lots of stories connected to food. What are your favorite family recipes? What memories do you associate with those foods? Do you have any food memories at South Church?

Chalice Lighting for mealtimes this month:

Little Flame

By Kathryn Estey

Little flame,

Light the tender kindling of our souls…

And soon a roaring blaze shall be

Of warmth and love and community.

From this little spark

May a fire of passion spread from heart to heart,

And light our way, sweet spirit.

And light our way.

Upcoming Themes (2020-2021 Church Year)

  • May 2021: We are a community of Story
  • June 2021: We are a community of Play

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