December ’22 nUUs from Religious Education

Gratitude Chain

Greetings, Dear Ones,

Who else loved making paper chains as a kid at Christmas time? This past Sunday was an all-ages Religious Education time because of the holiday weekend. We talked about how there are SO many holidays at this time of year and how sometimes they can get kind of blurred together when we see Christmas stuff in stores before Halloween, or when we are asked to think about Thanksgiving, Advent, Hanukkah, Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa and more in a very short amount of time.

Two things that can help us stay grounded and appreciate the meanings of these many holidays are Gratitude practices and Connection. So we took some time to name things we are grateful for in our lives, wrote them on the back side of colorful strips (which were actually those self-adhesive wrist bands that you might get to show you paid to get into an event 😉) and made them into a chain as a visual reminder and representation of how we can connect over something meaningful like all that we are grateful for.

Please come feel connection at the South Church Holiday Party on Friday, December 2nd. We will have a potluck dinner (bring any dish you’d like to share, whether a homemade family tradition, a purchase from the store on the way, or whatever feels right. There will be good company and cheer. We will have activities for busy hands. And we will have our gratitude chain out, with supplies for you to add your own gratitude links. Come at 5pm if you’d like to help with decorations, or come 6pm-8pm for the potluck and party.

Remember also to come to church on December 18th for our famously fantastic, wildly fun holiday pageant! Anyone who wants to can be in the pageant, and there are no rehearsals. Just show up for this beloved tradition.

Our high school youth will be holding a UU book fair and fair trade coffee/chocolate sale this month. This is a great source of gifts for people of any age, where you’ll find items that align with our UU principles. Sales will happen during the holiday party on Fri 12/2, and after worship on 12/4, 12/11, and 12/18.

Finally, know that the South Church community has the capacity to hold each of us in hardship, grief, joy, and all the other big moments that life brings. Please, please reach out to any of our staff any time when you are struggling or celebrating. Even if there is nothing you would like to ask for help with, know that it is often a good thing to even just let someone know what you are holding. It’s a significant part of what it means to be a member of a church community. That goes for adults, children, youth, everyone.

See you soon! ♥️


Calendar for this month… 

Click Linked Items for additional Details:

Click here for 2022-2023 RE Program Information

  • Friday, December 2nd:
    • Hanging of the Greens 5pm at church
    • Holiday Party and Potluck 6-8pm in the Social Hall
  • Sunday, December 4th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Special Wholly Family service, offered by Reverend Ellen and guests
    • 5th/6th grade OWL meets 9:30-11:00a in Piscataqua Room
    • 8th grade Coming of Age meets with mentors at a different time and place for Service Project: 1:00-3:00 in the church kitchen!
    • All other age-based RE classes for Pre-K through 7th grade meet in rooms downstairs following the Time For All Ages
    • 7th Grade OWL meets 4:00-5:30 at church
    • Senior Youth meets 4:00-5:30 in the church kitchen this week!
  • Sunday, December 11th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Ellen
    • 5th/6th grade OWL meets 9:30-11:00a in Piscataqua Room
    • 8th grade Coming of Age meets 9:45-11:00 at 73 Court St, no mentors today
    • All other age-based RE classes for Pre-K through 7th grade meet in rooms downstairs following the Time For All Ages
    • 7th Grade OWL meets 4:00-5:30 at church
    • 7th grade OWL Parent Discussion group- optional- concurrent with class
    • Senior Youth meets 4:00-5:30 at 73 Court St
  • Sunday, December 18th
    • Pageant Day at 10am! In person and live on YouTube. Multigenerational worship, no morning RE classes
    • 8th grade CoA, Senior Youth Group and 5th grade OWL do not meet today–come to pageant!
    • 7th Grade OWL meets 4:00-5:30 at church
  • Saturday, December 24th
    • Christmas Eve worship at 5pm, 7pm, and 9pm in person. 7pm worship will be live on YouTube.
  • Sunday, December 25th
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person only
  • Saturday, December 31st
    • First Night Chili Sale! Fundraiser for Senior Youth 5:30-7:30pm. Come get chili before watching the fireworks!
  • Sunday, January 1st
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Offered by Hilary Clark and Myra Aaronson
    • Multigenerational worship, RE classes do not meet today

December’s Church Theme is “Wonder”

Our UU faith in practice and action:

  • Unitarian Universalist Advent Calendar–free download! Created by Ralph Yeager Roberts, this is a way to count down the days till Christmas while learning UU history with words and colorful graphics. If you do not have access to print, just email JenDD and we will print one for you! https://www.uua.org/files/pdf/u/uu_advent_calendar_page-a-day_revised.pdf
  • Recognizing and appreciating ritual (adapted from “Signs of Our Faith” UU curriculum by Jessica York.) Help children and youth learn to recognize signs, symbols, and rituals inside and outside our congregation that show we live our Unitarian Universalist faith. Help them understand the value of rituals and how they shape our various identities. Talk about… 
    • Your favorite family rituals. What do we like about them? Where did they come from?
    • What rituals does your family have? Are any religious? Are any specifically Unitarian Universalist? Do you collect water from your summertime travels to share at our Water Communion? That is a UU ritual. Did any member of your family grow up in a non-UU religious tradition? Ask them about religious rituals they recall. Are any of them similar to UU rituals? Do they symbolize similar ideas?
    • What rituals are connected to our church that you could do at home? Do you light a chalice? Do you share Joys & Concerns or Rose/Bud/Thorn together at dinner time? Could you have a quiet moment of prayer or meditation?
    • As a family, talk about the activities you most like to do together. Could one of these activities become a ritual? For example, if you all enjoy bowling, could you all go bowling on your birthday every year? Another idea, make Friday or Saturday night Family Fun Night and each member takes a turn each week to choose a game or activity for all to share.

Chalice Lightings for mealtimes:

Wonder * 

Rev. Dr. David Breeden 

We light this flame, 

reminding ourselves 

to treasure the magic 

in the mundane, 

the wonders of 

carbon dioxide, 

oxygen, nitrogen, 

rapid oxidation 

into light, heat, and 

the dance of a flame. 

We light this chalice, 

kindling, remembering 

our innate sense 

of wonder at 

the very real magic 

of our world. 

Nourished

Rev. Jay Wolin 

Full piece at https://www.uua.org/worship/words/poetry/nourished 

When I look up into the night sky, 

I am in awe of all that is… 

When I walk in the ocean… 

I feel a certain peace with the world… 

All of these wonders… 

let us protect them… 

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