February ’22 nUUs from Religious Education

It’s February, and there are sparkly hearts everywhere.

But Friends, I am worried. I see children and youth struggling with anxiety and overwhelm, fear, fatigue, loneliness and exhaustion, like never before. It is so prevalent and so scary.

Culturally we are pretending that everything is back to normal but the lasting effects of the past couple of years are like a heavy weight, and expectations have not changed to accommodate that. 

What can we do?

Stay involved, check in with kids regularly. Know what they are doing and how they are spending their time. Help them find positive communities. Teach them good self care and model it yourself. Here’s an article that might help us remember what it can feel like to be an adolescent: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/when-kids-call-the-shots/201801/7-things-teenagers-desperately-need-adults-understand

This is not meant to feel like a lecture or finger pointing. I know you know these things. And I know these aren’t the fix. Really I just don’t know what else to do.

Maybe I just want to tell you that I know it’s hard.

Maybe I want to name it out loud because it feels like a huge problem that is kind of growing in secret and I’m wondering where the big urgent public conversation on this is.

Please know that I love you and every single one of our children and youth. So much. And that this place is filled with people who love you too. I want church to be a safe, nurturing place of loving community for all of our children and youth (and adults too.) We are offering play, check in space, and connection in every program, every week. If your kids are having a hard time getting here, or are not finding what they need here, reach out and let’s talk about new ideas of what would help.

I’d love their input and yours about what more you all need right now, and what that could look like.

🤟🏼♥️

Events Coming Right Up:

  • Thursday, February 3rd: OWL 10th/11th grade Parent Orientation 6:30-7:30pm on Zoom. Meeting ID 845 1200 0385. For more info about this sexuality education class for Sophomores and Juniors, click HERE.
  • Friday, February 11th: Sparks and Flames Game Night! 7:00-9:00p. Email JenD for more info and to RSVP
  • Saturday, February 12th: South Church Outing at Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge! 10:00-11:30am. For families and individuals, all are welcome for walking, adventuring, and play! Meet near the parking area at 4 Arboretum Dr, Newington. Dress warmly and wear your boots! Please note, dogs are not allowed at GBNWR. For more info, contact JenDD

Finally, if you haven’t yet, PLEASE REGISTER YOUR CHILDREN, whether you plan to attend regularly or not! It is tremendously helpful for us to keep track of who our young people are and what we need to know about them.CLICK HERE for RE registration!


What you need to know this month… 

Click Linked Items for additional Details:

Click here for 2021-2022 RE Program Information

  • Thursday, February 3rd:
    • OWL 10th/11th grade Parent Orientation 6:30-7:30pm on Zoom.
  • Saturday, February 5th:
    • Senior Youth late night, 7-11pm at church–Worship rehearsal and social time!
  • Sunday, February 6th:
    • Multigenerational Worship at 10:00a, offered by Senior Youth!
    • Young Church and 6th/7th Grade service learning do not meet today–stay in sanctuary for Sr Youth worship!
    • Service will stream live on YouTube
    • Coming of Age meets 9:45-11:00, Piscataqua Room
    • OWL 5 final class will meet at a new time: 10:00-11:30, Court St classroom. Parents please join at 11:00!
    • OWL 7 meets 4:00-5:30, social hall
  • Friday, February 11th:
    • Sparks and Flames Social Event! 7:00-9:00p. RSVP: jendeldeo@southchurch-uu.org
  • Sunday, February 13th:
    • Lovefest! Worship at 10:00a, Sermon offered by Kirsten
    • Service will stream live on YouTube
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA
    • Coming of Age meets 9:45-11:00, Piscataqua Room
    • 6th/7th grade Service Learning meets 10:00-11:00, Carson Room
    • OWL 7 meets 4:00-5:30, social hall
    • Senior Youth meets 4:00-5:30p Upstairs at Court St building
  • Sunday, February 20th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, Sermon offered by Reverend Susan
    • Service will stream live on YouTube
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA
    • Coming of Age meets 9:45-11:00, Piscataqua Room
    • 6th/7th grade Service Learning meets 10:00-11:00, Carson Room
    • OWL 7 meets 4:00-5:30, social hall
  • Sunday, February 27th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, Sermon offered by Reverend Susan
    • Service will stream live on YouTube
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA
    • Coming of Age meets 9:45-11:00, Piscataqua Room
    • 6th/7th grade Service Learning meets 10:00-11:00, Carson Room
    • OWL 7 meets 4:00-5:30, social hall
    • Senior Youth meets 4:00-5:30p upstairs at Court St building

February’s Theme is “Widening the Circle

Our UU faith in practice and action:

  • Check out Side With Love’s “30 Days of Love 2022” to “collectively nurture our spirits, deepen our understanding, and take action on our values for collective liberation.” Here are some family-friendly highlights fro their website:
    • Have a family conversation about who needs more help in your town. How would your town be different if these communities were given help? More houses? Doctors? Parks? Schools? Imagine what your town would look like if money was spent on the communities who needed it most. Draw a picture of how it would be different than it is today.
    • Read along: “Granddaddy’s Turn: A Journey to the Ballot Box,” by Michael S. Bandy and Eric Stein read by Jennifer Beals (story starts around 5:00)
  • Watch this Kid President Video. It’s been around a few times but never gets tired 🙂 Ask your kids about how they would make the world awesome if they were president.
  • UU 5th Principle: “The Right of Conscience and the Use of the Democratic Process Within Our Congregations and in Society at Large.” Or, in kid friendly language, “We believe that all persons should have a vote about the things that concern them.” We just had our annual congregational meeting on January 30th, which is a great example of the democratic process at work in our church. Here are some ideas for fostering that work at home:
    • Check out General Assembly 2022. There are opportunities to experience GA online, or people can go to the assembly, which will be held in Portland, OR in June. There’s worship, workshops, and the business items of the UUA are voted on. Check out the plans as they develop HERE.
    • Listen to this beautiful chalice lighting by Adrian Ballou.
    • Share and talk about this Langston Hughes poem over a meal.
    • Vote for the Shared Plate organizations before Feb 28th! Info and link HERE.

Chalice Lighting for mealtimes this month:

Give Thanks, Feel Alive, Know Love

As we light this flame, we remember friends and loved ones near and far and we give thanks.
As the fire burns brightly, we open our minds and hearts to new ways of being and we feel alive.
As the room glows with warmth and kindness, we extend our circle ever wider to welcome those who want to come in, and we know love.

By Leia Durland-Jones

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