September ’22 nUUs from Religious Education

Flags designed by Young Church kids 

We hope the prospect of the return to school feels joyful or is at least not causing stress in your homes. We’re holding you all in the joy, the angst, the anticipation, and all the many emotions that pop up in these moments of transition.

And we hope to be seeing you at church as we flow into the new season. 

Our annual Water Ingathering tradition marks the start of the church year, and that will happen on Sunday, September 11th. If you can, bring a little bit of water to add to our ceremonial collection, which includes water from many years of this tradition. We use this sacred water throughout each year in child dedications, bridging, and other special rituals in our community. People bring water from special places they’ve travelled to, or places that have special meaning to them, or from kitchen sinks of their own homes. Wherever your water is from, bring it to join with all the waters that buoy us.

Water Ingathering will be a multigenerational worship, so kids will stay in the sanctuary instead of going to religious education class. Kids can either sit with their families or find JenDD to sit in an area with other kids! Service will be interactive and we have fresh activity packs available.

Religious Education Classes: We have been working hard to plan, redefine, and rebuild, in a big post-pandemic way! We’re ready for rich, robust Religious Education programs to be filled with young people, connecting with each other in deep and meaningful ways. We will continue the summer format of having all ages together for RE during worship through the next few weeks, then we will move back to our age-based curricular programs. 

The Program Info area of this website is updated with information on the age-specific classes that will run this program year!

Here are some key things to know in this particular moment:

  • Register for RE: It’s time again! We need all children and youth to be registered each year so we have all the info we need to serve you safely and well. Now is the time! Click here to register!
  • OWL Sexuality Education classes: We will have OWL for 5th grade and 7th grade this year. Detailed info is on the OWL page. Registration is required, and we will open space to the larger community, so please sign up asap by sending an email: jendeldeo@southchurch-uu.org
  • 8th Grade Coming of Age (CoA): Orientation and Opening Ceremony for CoA youth and their families will be on Thurs Oct 6th, 6:30-8pm. 

Please reach out with any questions or concerns! Everyone deserves to engage at church in ways that feel right for them. We are always happy to help find the ways work best for each person.

See you soon! 🤟♥️


Calendar for this month… 

Click Linked Items for additional Details:

Click here for 2022-2023 RE Program Information

  • Sunday, August 28th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Ellen
    • All-ages RE following the Time For All Ages
  • Sunday, September 4th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Susan Treleaven
    • All-ages RE following the TFAA
  • Sunday, September 11th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Ellen. This will be a multigenerational worship; kids remain in sanctuary.
  • Saturday, September 18th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Ellen.
    • All-ages RE following the TFAA
    • Senior Youth Group will share about their Service Learning trip to West Virginia after worship!
  • Sunday, September 25th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Ellen
    • Religious Education classes downstairs following TFAA 
    • Senior Youth group meets at Court St 4:00-4:30
  • Wednesday, September 28th:
    • Parent Orientation for 7th Grade Sexuality Education (OWL), 6:30-8pm
  • Saturday, October 1st:
    • Senior Youth orientation and overnight! Parents join for start of the evening, then youth stay over and go to worship together.
  • Sunday, October 2nd:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Ellen
    • Religious Education classes downstairs following TFAA 

September’s Theme is “Belonging

Our UU faith in practice and action:

  • Connecting to Water Ingathering/Water Communion
    • Bring a small amount of water from your summer travels, a special place you love, or a faucet in your own home, to our Water Ingathering worship on 9/11. Reflect together on where your water comes from, and put your intentions for the church year into your water at home before bringing it!
    • This is a UU tradition that many UU congregations, including ours, “hold at the end of the summer, in which participants of all ages bring ‘living waters’ from wherever their travels led them and mingle them for later use by the congregation in ceremonies, such as a child dedication.” (From UUA.org) As we think about the ways that water connects all humans and other living organisms, watch this video poem about a girl who walks 4 miles to collect water. 
  • Become Water Protectors: Check out the Water Protectors activity kit and take the Earth Steward and Water Protector Pledge.
  • Belonging” Dinner Discussion Prompt:
    • Can you think of times when you sacrificed or hid a part of who you are to conform? (pretended you didn’t like something, made fun of someone to fit in, bought something all your friends have)
    • Belonging means being accepted for ALL of who you are. It means the courage to stand alone and say, “This is who I am.” 
    • Can you think of a time when you felt accepted for ALL of who you are? At a Grandparents house, at church, by friends?

Chalice Lighting for mealtimes this month:

Belonging for Our Whole Selves, by Rev. Scott Tayler 

May the flame we now kindle light the path back to our center, 

back to that place of belonging 

to what is true, what is deepest within, what knows us even before we know ourselves. 

And may our chalice remind us that we are held 

and welcomed whole, without the need to hide 

a single piece or part 

of who we are. 

Midsummer ’22 Updates From Religious Education

SC kids presenting Rev Susan with a superhero cape they decorated

Hello, South Church Families!

There is a full update below about what’s developing in Religious Education for fall, but in case you don’t have time to read this whole thing, please click here to register your kids for the coming church year! (Yep, it’s that time again! 🙂)

We’ve been hearing some great stories about some of you on summer adventures, which is amazing! And we’ve been seeing many of you at church, whether regularly or occasionally. In RE, the summer plan has been light, fun energy, which will continue through next month.

Looking ahead, we are working hard to plan, redefine, and rebuild, in a big post-pandemic way. We recognize that there are still some hazards and precautions to take, but there’s also plenty of opportunity for new ways of embracing the South Church Religious Education mission, to “provide programming for children, youth and families that promote spiritual growth, intergenerational connections, faith development, a Unitarian Universalist identity and social action within a safe and welcoming environment.”

Your input would be greatly appreciated as we build programming for the coming church year. Come to worship in the next several weeks to touch base and let us know your needs and wants. Or, set up a time to come to the office to chat, call, email, or communicate any way you can what your hopes are as we rebloom in a robust way.

We are hoping to have the Nursery staffed and ready for our youngest community members for the fall (if you know anyone who would be a great fit for this paid position, send them our way!) And if you’d like to check out the framework of what is in store for children and youth by age, visit these pages:

Also, as you know, our programs run with the help of many volunteers. There are lots of kinds of roles, with various time commitments. None of these should be overwhelming, and we would LOVE to help you find the right fit, where you will actually gain incredible spiritual growth and connection through participating. 

Finally, one VERY helpful thing you can do is simply register your kids! Registration is open now for the ‘22/’23 church year. We need updated registrations every year, for every child and youth. So even if you registered any time over the past year, it’s time to do it again. This helps us plan programs, and it helps us know important info about our dear young people, so we are able to serve you all better.

Also, don’t forget to collect small amounts of water from your summer explorations, to bring to our annual Water Ingathering ceremony on September 11th!

What you need to know this month… 

Click Linked Items for additional Details:

Click here for 2022-2023 RE Program Information

  • Sunday, July 31st:
    • Worship at 10:00a. This is Reverend Susan’s final day at South Church. Worship will be multigenerational (no RE today,) and we will have a special social hour outside after. In person and live on YouTube
  • Sunday, August 7th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Kirsten Hunter. This will be Rev Ellen’s first Sunday as our settled minister!
    • All-ages RE meets outside or downstairs (weather dependent) following TFAA
  • Sunday, August 14th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Ellen.
    • All-ages RE meets outside or downstairs (weather dependent) following TFAA
  • Sunday, August 21st:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Ellen.
    • All-ages RE meets outside or downstairs (weather dependent) following TFAA
  • Sunday, August 28th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Ellen.
    • All-ages RE meets outside or downstairs (weather dependent) following TFAA
  • Sunday, September 4th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Susan Treleaven.
    • All-ages RE meets outside or downstairs (weather dependent) following TFAA

June ’22 nUUs from Religious Education

Senior Youth camping trip 

Happy June, Friends…

The school year is coming to an end, and let’s just say that many of us are markedly ready. Religious Education programs are wrapping up too, and we will soon shift into a light and fun summer session. As significant endeavors come to an end, it’s important to acknowledge, celebrate, and even sometimes mourn what we are moving on from. Please be sure to come to the traditional Bridging worship service on Sunday, June 5th, 10am. We will mark the transitions that are happening between moving up to new grade levels, moving on to new schools, completing projects, celebrating a year of learning, and more. This is a community event for everyone, for all the ways we are transitioning. With so much challenge, tragedy, and difficult news going on, community rituals can be really helpful to ground us in moving forward.

And… PLAY, PLAY, PLAY! Once we acknowledge all that we are holding, play is a natural therapy and magical bonding tool. We’ve got plenty of that coming up this summer! If any adults or teens out there have a fun skill, activity, craft/art, or game that you would like to share with us, then please please let us know. We love having a wide range of folks to learn from, and we’d love to have you share in that. Email Jen DD: jendeldeo@southchurch-uu.org.

Lastly, if you didn’t see this resource in earlier communications, the San Diego County Office of Education’s website has a collection of resources for talking with children and youth about school shootings. We also have printed materials at church, and Rev Susan, Kirsten, and JenDD each invite you to reach out for resources, listening, and anything else you might need in navigating traumatic events.

🤟♥️


What you need to know this month… 

Click Linked Items for additional Details:

Click here for 2021-2022 RE Program Information

  • Sunday, June 5th:
    • Bridging Worship at 10:00a! This is an All-Ages worship to celebrate our transitions. In person and live on YouTube.
    • Coming of Age meets 11:00-12:30 for rehearsal, Piscataqua Room
  • Sunday, June 12th:
    • Coming of Age Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Our 8th grade CoA class will offer their faith statements!
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA
  • Sunday, June 19th:
  • Saturday, June 25th:
    • Portsmouth Pride! Hosted by Seacoast Outright. View Pride 2022 schedule HERE.
  • Sunday, June 26th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Susan
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA 
    • Senior Youth trip to Big Creek People In Action, WV: June 26-July 2!
  • Sunday, July 3rd:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube.
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA

June’s Theme is “Celebrating Blessings

Our UU faith in practice and action:

  • 100 Blessings Challenge! Can be done individually or as a family, cut 100 strips of colored paper that are about 1″x6″. On each strip, write a blessing that you or your family has in your life. Glue, tape or staple the ends of the strips into connected circles to make a chain. Hang the chain to remind you of your blessings when things are hard.
  • Count Your Blessings Game (For adults and kids who can write)
  • General Assembly is the annual meeting of the Unitarian Universalist Association and is a gathering of people of our UU faith. There are worship times, workshops, lectures, and the business of the UUA. This year it will be held in Portland OR 6/22-6/26/2022. There will also be online streaming of many GA events. More info HERE.

Chalice Lighting for mealtimes this month:

By BETSY DARR

May the light of this chalice give light and warmth to our family, On good days and bad, happy and sad,
And may we feel the warmth spread from our family circle
to wider and wider circles,

Until we feel our family part of the one circle of life. 

May ’22 nUUs from Religious Education

 ~ LEAVE A COMMENT

May Day celebration, 5/1/22 (photo by Wes T.)

Hi there, Beloved Friends,

Things are growing and blooming, both literally and metaphorically!

I hope you’ve heard that, after a long and arduous process, the Ministerial Search Committee has found and made a match with a candidate to be our next settled minister: Reverend Ellen Quaadgras. We will enter a flurry of next steps to finalize this process, and I want to make sure you know how that works, how you can be involved, and how we can support you in participating.

Beginning Sunday, May 8th, Rev Ellen will spend a week getting to know us, and helping us get to know her. She will give the sermons on May 8th and May 15th, and there will be lots of opportunities in between those two services, to meet and connect with her. Click HERE for the Candidate Week calendar of events. Also, while some events are kid-friendly, we want to make sure that adults who have children can also choose to attend any events without their kids, if they would like to that week. We can offer either childcare or funds for you to hire your own childcare. Please email me as soon as you can to make those arrangements: jendeldeo@southchurch-uu.org.

Candidate Week will culminate with a special congregational meeting, where among other things, we will vote on whether to call Reverend Ellen as our settled minister. That will be after worship at 11:15am on May 15th, and every member of South Church can vote. The meeting will be in person and on Zoom.

This is a big transition, and big transitions often come with many kinds of emotions. There is a lot of excitement, nervousness, joy, etc for welcoming Reverend Ellen; and sorrow, nervousness, etc for saying farewell to our dear Reverend Susan. Please join in the ways that as a community we will be intentional in processing and moving forward with the transitions in lovely ways.

Be in touch about all the things. Much Love to each of you,

JenDD🤟🏼♥️

Mother’s Day Bazaar and Plant Sale! Our high school youth will be holding a fantastic fundraiser after worship on Sunday, May 8th. There will be hanging plants, chocolate, and various handmade gifts for purchase. All proceeds will go toward funding a service learning trip to Appalachia that 13 youth will be going on this summer! Great opportunity to find special gifts for all the mothers in our lives.

Cash, check and credit card will be accepted! 

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

  • Sunday, May 1st:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Rev Susan
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA
    • Maypole celebration on the lawn after worship!
    • Coming of Age meets 9:45-11:00, Piscataqua Room
    • 6th/7th grade Service Learning meets 10:00-11:00, Carson Room
    • Senior Youth meets 4:00-6:00p with parents, for WV Learning Session 4. Upstairs at Court St building
  • Sunday, May 8th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Ellen
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA
    • No Coming of Age today–come to worship to meet Rev Ellen!
    • Senior Youth fundraiser: Mother’s Day plant sale and Bazaar! On the church lawn after worship
    • 11:30 Q&A with Rev Ellen in sanctuary
  • Thursday, May 12th:
    • 6:00pm Game Night in the sanctuary and pizza on the portico! Come meet and play with Rev Ellen. Kids welcome!
  • Friday, May 13th-Sun, May 15th:
    • High School youth camping trip at Pawtuckaway State Park!
  • Saturday, May 14th:
    • 9:30am Bagels and Coffee with Rev Ellen on the portico–families with children are welcome!
  • Sunday, May 15th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Ellen Quaadgras
    • Coming of Age meets with mentors early for faith statement feedback session: 9:30-10:15, Piscataqua Room, then join worship!
    • Senior Youth will not meet this afternoon, since we will be tired and ready for showers after our camping trip 🙂
  • Sunday, May 22nd:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Susan
    • Coming of Age meets 9:45-11:00, Piscataqua Room
    • Senior Youth meets for Faith Exploration and CoA alumni panel!

May’s Theme is “Nurturing Beauty

Our UU faith in practice and action:

  • Learn together about Cinco de Mayo, a holiday that commemorates a victorious resistance to invasion, led by an indigenous Mexican leader and carried out by an unlikely group of loyal residents.
    • Family friendly written explanation on History.com
    • Video: “What is Cinco de Mayo?” on YouTube
  • Try this version of Rainbow Meditation
  • Create a “Best Thing” poem to celebrate the beauty of a thing or person, using this activity.
  • Make these affirmation jars, to help us remember and nurture our own true beauty
  • Keep a Gratitude Journal. Take a few minutes at the end of each day to record some of the places you saw beauty, such as: your fuzzy warm socks, a friend’s smile, or a sunset.

Chalice Lighting for mealtimes this month:

Earth and All, by Rev. Dr. David Breeden

We join together, 

bringing both our 

shadow and our light. 

We join together, 

opening our minds 

and our hearts. 

We join together, 

embracing, 

celebrating, 

sharing 

the beauty of each, 

the beauty of self, 

the beauty of the earth, 

the beauty of all. 

April ’22 nUUs from Religious Education

Rally for Ukraine, Market Square

Happy Spring, Dear Ones

Consider trying the all-ages April Awakening Adventure, which is a self-guided exploration of this month’s church theme. It asks everyone to spend 10 minutes sitting outside each day, with a daily prompt intending to increase our awareness of the awakening world around us and inside of us.

CLICK HERE for all of the details and printable materials, or email me if you have questions!

In other news, we will hold Families Tuugether again this month, on Saturday, April 9th, 5:00-7:30. If you’ve never participated, it’s a free date night for parents, while kids have social time together. Last month we pulled out the bouncy house, after a couple of years in storage! RSVP by 5pm day before.

Lastly, it’s almost Easter, and we’re ready for a good old-fashioned egg hunt! Join us for a multi-generational worship (no RE classes) on April 17th in the sanctuary, followed by egg hunt outside if weather is good, and indoors if not!

That’s what I’ve got for you right now. Your turn–what do you want me to know?

Be in touch,

JenDD🤟🏼♥️

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

  • Friday,April 1st:
    • High School OWL meets at Court St, 6:30-8:30
  • Sunday, April 3rd:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Kirsten Hunter
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA
    • Coming of Age meets with parents! 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
  • Friday, April 8th:
    • 10th/11th grade OWL meets at Court St, 6:30-8:30p
  • Saturday, April 9th:
    • High School OWL meets for special session, 9:30a-2:30p
    • Families Tuugether, 5:00-7:30p. RSVP to JenDD
  • Sunday, April 10th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Susan
    • April Awakening Adventure check-in on church lawn, 11:15-11:45a
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA
    • Coming of Age meets with mentors 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
  • Friday, April 15th:
    • 10th/11th grade OWL meets for FINAL SESSION at Court St, 6:30-8:30p
  • Sunday, April 17th:
    • Easter Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Susan
    • Egg hunt following worship!
    • No RE classes today
  • Sunday, April 24th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Endowment Committee
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA
    • Coming of Age meets with mentors 9:45-11:00, Piscataqua Room
    • 6th/7th grade Service Learning meets 10:00-11:00, Carson Room
    • OWL 7 meets for FINAL SESSION 4:00-5:30, social hall. Parents, join us from 5:00-5:30!
    • Senior Youth meets with parents, for Whole Hearts session 2, 4:00-5:30p upstairs at Court St building
  • Sunday, May 1st:
    • Worship at 10:00a, in person and live on YouTube. Sermon offered by Reverend Susan
    • 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
    • Senior Youth meets with parents for Learning Journey Session 4, 4:00-6:00p upstairs at Court St building

April’s Theme is “Awakening

Our UU faith in practice and action:

  • April Awakening Adventure: An all-ages exploration of our church theme, involving a daily 10 minute sit time outside, along with a prompt. Find all info and materials HERE.
  • Easter Egg Birdseed Ornaments: Easter and Earth Day both happen in April this year. Try this craft that celebrates both holidays!
  • Read “Rechenka’s Eggs” by Patricia Polacco, a Russian-Ukranian story about a woman who finds miracles when she awakens to the pain and suffering of a goose. Watch the read-along HERE

Chalice Lighting for mealtimes this month:

What to Remember When Waking 

David Whyte 

Full poem at http://www.stevenkharper.com/whattorememberwhenwaking.html?utm_source=pocket_mylist 

In that first hardly noticed moment in which you wake… 

there is a small opening into the new day… 

Now, looking through the slanting light of the morning window 

toward the mountain presence of everything that can be 

what urgency calls you to your one love? 

What shape waits in the seed of you 

to grow and spread its branches… 

March ’22 nUUs from Religious Education

 ~ LEAVE A COMMENT

High school youth creating comfort together

Hi dear Friends,

I hope all of our families that have kids in school are finding restorative fun on their vacation weeks.

How are your kids doing with the news of war in Ukraine? I’d imagine there is a wide range of both their awareness and resulting emotions. And maybe the same for parents, too. It’s tricky to find a healthy balance of staying informed and not being consumed; of frantically trying to do something, anything, to offset devastation, or just feeling completely helpless; of living with guilt over the joyful elements in our lives, or giving ourselves permission to celebrate what is beautiful, even when people are experiencing loss and trauma at this very moment.

I recently spent time with a group of youth, as tensions were escalating in Ukraine, but before the attack began. They expressed their fears of the prospect of World War III, of being in very real danger, and not knowing how to handle that. This is the first time in their lives that most of them have been aware of this kind of tension in the world.

As I listened, I recalled similar feelings as the Gulf War was beginning when I was in 10th grade. It was terrifying to not have any context or understanding of what was happening, how bad it would get, or whether we were safe. What was really helpful was when my Biology teacher took time during class to explain what was happening and why, and to put parameters on what kinds of things were likely and not likely to happen. Even though she couldn’t promise us any kind of safe outcome, it just felt better to hear real talk from a trusted adult, and to have the space to share my fears with her and my peers. Before that, it had felt like news snippets were apocalyptic, while most adults around me weren’t talking about it.

Of course, every kid is different–by age, maturity, and so many other factors. Here is a New York Times article that came out this morning which I find is full of really good advice: “How to Talk to Kids About Ukraine.” It names some unexpected symptoms that may show that kids are anxious; it offers ways to help older youth balance their information intake; and reminds us of the ways that context of war in the eyes of our children and youth can be very different than it is for adults.

And you, dear parents, if you could use some explanation, would like to share your stories and feelings, or could use a time of connection to process the events in Ukraine, then join us on Thursday evening March 3rd at 7pm. You can come to the parish hall in person, or join by zoom.

Also, we have two social events on March 12th where we would love to see you, your families, and maybe even some dogs! See details below.

Finally, it’s time to start thinking about joining the April “Awakening” Challenge! Much like the April 2021 “Becoming” Challenge, this year’s project will be aimed at increasing our awareness of where we are right now, what’s unfolding around us, and how we want to be as we emerge into this spring. This is open to people of all ages! Participants will commit to trying to sit in an outdoor spot (your porch, lawn, woods, a park, or anywhere outside) every day in April for at least 10 minutes. To go with this sit each day, there will be a simple task in the form of an activity, prompt to ponder, short reading, or other thing related to the month’s church theme of “Awakening” in this context. More info coming soon, but if you already know you want in, then send me an email so you’ll be on the notification list for the materials, kickoff, and more. (And for those of you who wrote your letter in last year’s challenge, you’ll get those back at the end of March! 🙂)

As always, know that you are held in Love by a whole community.

🤟🏼♥️

Events Coming Right Up:

  • Saturday, March 12th:
    • Dog-friendly outing at Wagon Hill Farm, 9:00-10:00am. This is a time where both humans and dogs can play outdoors together. Leashes are optional until 10am at that location. All are invited, whether you bring a dog or not!
    • Families Tuugether 5:00-7:30pm! Free date night for parents and social time for kids. Parents will connect together briefly over a conversation and then are free to spend time out however you’d like. Kids bring their dinner (or eat beforehand) and play with friends. RSVP by 5pm the day before: jendeldeo@southchurch-uu.org

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,March 3rd:
    • Ukraine understanding and reflection, 7pm in the Social Hall, or join by zoom
  • Sunday, March 6th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, Sermon offered by John Shea
    • Service will stream live on YouTube
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA
    • Coming of Age meets with mentors 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
  • Friday, March 11th:
    • 10th/11th grade OWL meets at Court St, 6:30-8:30p
  • Saturday, March 12th:
    • Dog-friendly outing at Wagon Hill Farm, 9-10:00a. All are invited!
    • Families Tuugether, 5:00-7:30p. RSVP to JenDD
  • Sunday, March 13th:
    • 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 with mentors 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 for Learning Journey Session 3, Upstairs at Court St building
  • Friday, March 18th:
    • 10th/11th grade OWL meets at Court St, 6:30-8:30p
  • Sunday, March 20th:
    • 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 for special session 1:30-5:30pm, social hall
    • Senior Youth meets 4:00-5:30p Upstairs at Court St building
  • Friday, March 25th:
    • 10th/11th grade OWL meets at Court St, 6:30-8:30p
  • Sunday, March 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 with mentors 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
  • Friday, April 1st:
    • 10th/11th grade OWL meets at Court St, 6:30-8:30p
  • Sunday, April 3rd:
    • Worship at 10:00a, Sermon offered by Kirsten
    • Service will stream live on YouTube
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA
    • Coming of Age meets WITH PARENTS 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

March’s Theme is “Renewing Faith

Our UU faith in practice and action:

  • Fun ways to renew covenants: Do you have a family covenant? Covenanting is an important part of UUism. A covenant outlines how people want to behave together and names the ways that they will create a safe and respectful space for all. We have a South Church Covenant of Right Relations, and we make covenants every fall in all of our RE classrooms. It’s important to revisit a covenant periodically, whether to address conflict in a group or to make sure the document is still relevant. A covenant is also really helpful for families or households for the same purposes, and some UU families create and maintain them.
    • In the spirit of Renewing Faith, if your family has a covenant, it may be time to freshen it up, and maybe even give it a twist to re-engage everyone. Try writing the different pieces of your covenant on strips of colored paper and join them into a paper chain. You can also add strips with each member’s name to show your promise to live by it. Doing an activity like this can help renew understanding in our homes and encourages us to think about how we treat each other.
    • OR, build a House of Covenant together, using these instructions and this template.
    • If you have never made a covenant before, check out this resource from the UUA to get started.
  • Play Convene the Council (For tweens and teens): Great educational online game that parents and youth can do together to help understand the complexity of setting foreign policy.
  • Story: “The Table Where Rich People Sit” (for younger kids and all ages): connects to monthly theme of “Renewing Faith” (in remembering what is most valuable in our lives.) Video of read-aloud, OR book might be available through library.
  • Explore the 6th UU Principle and talk together about how we can connect to it in this moment.
  • Renewing Faith in the beauty that surrounds us: Try sharing this poem together as a meditation, to stay present to what continues to be wonderful in our world. After pondering the poem, discuss what wishes you each might wish for your friends and family:

Chalice Lighting for mealtimes this month:

Renewing Faith: A Call to Worship By Rev. Dr. David Breeden 

Permission secured by Soul Matters 

We ask “what’s the point?” 

to renew our faith, 

to renew our trust 

that our world is enough, 

that we are enough. 

We ask “what’s the point?” 

to remind ourselves 

that loving our world 

and each other is our way. 

We ask “what’s the point?” 

to renew our faith that 

loving choices create 

a loving life. 

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

January ’22 nUUs from Religious Education

Growing a Love Tree, during the Christmas pageant telling of The Parable of the Mustard Seed

Happy New Year ♥️

Our church theme this month is “Living With Intention.” This is something that can feel tiring, especially at a time when we are worn out already. But it doesn’t have to be. A practice of living with intention can actually restore us and give us new energy, as long as we pay attention to what is no longer relevant to our lives and what we want to add in. On Sunday January 2nd, folks at worship participated in an annual South Church tradition where we each wrote something that we are ready to let go of on a small piece of flash paper, and something that we want to manifest or carry into the new year on a sturdy, decorative piece of paper. Then we held the flash paper to a flame and watched it vanish in about a second. And we took the sturdy paper with the new intention with us out into the world as a reminder.

It can be as simple or as challenging as we need it to be at any time. We can create an intention to dive into a social justice topic at one point, or it can be enough to commit to getting dressed twice a week as an intention for self care.

If you have an intention to connect with other humans in meaningful ways, then keep an eye on our emails, newsletters, social media (Facebook and Instagram,) and worship announcements. There is still a lot happening!

Please note that the South Church policies related to covid continue to shift with the situation in the community and beyond. If you have questions or concerns about how the policy affects your family’s ability to come to church, please please reach out. We know not all kids are vaccinated, and we can have some flexibility–just talk to us. To stay current on how to be at church while we try to gather safely and responsibly (which is so tricky) please continue to refer to the Covid Policy page on the church website, which we will continue to update:

New and Noteworthy:

  • Saturday, January 8th: Families Tuugether! 5:00-7:30pm. FREE NIGHT OUT FOR PARENTS! We are again offering this time for parents/caregivers to connect briefly with each other, then leave the kids with us for a night of fun! While we have the kids, you can take time to get dinner, stroll, or do whatever you want before coming back to pick them up. The plan is to continue offering this event monthly when possible. RSVP: jendeldeo@southchurch-uu.org
  • Sunday, January 9th: Senior Youth Parents and Youth! 4:00-6:00pm. For all high school youth and their families. We will continue our year long learning journey, read more here. Upstairs at Court St building.
  • Friday, January 14th: Sparks and Flames! 7:00-9:00pm. SOCIAL GROUP FOR KIDS IN GRADES 5 through 8! We will play games and do an activity at church. RSVP: jendeldeo@southchurch-uu.org.
  • Sunday, January 30th: Annual meeting! 11:30am via zoom. Open to all, this is the democratic process of our congregation at work! Among other benefits, holding the meeting on zoom helps families join from the comfort of home, without a need for childcare.

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

  • Sunday, January 2nd:
    • Multigenerational Worship at 10:00a, Sermon offered by Reverend Susan
    • Service will stream live on YouTube
    • No Young Church today–kids stay in sanctuary today
    • Coming of Age meets 9:45-11:00am with mentors
    • OWL 5 meets 9:30-11:00, Court St classroom
    • OWL 7 meets 4:00-5:30, social hall
    • No Senior Youth today
  • Saturday, January 8th:
    • Families Tuugether! 5:30-8:00. RSVP: jendeldeo@southchurch-uu.org
  • Sunday, January 9th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, Sermon offered by Rev. 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 5 meets 9:30-11:00, Court St classroom
    • OWL 7 meets 4:00-5:30, social hall
    • Senior Youth meets 4:00-6:00p with parents for Service Learning discussion! Upstairs at Court St building
  • Friday, January 14th:
    • Sparks and Flames Social Event! 7:00-9:00p. RSVP: jendeldeo@southchurch-uu.org
  • Sunday, January 16th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, Sermon offered by Tristan Husby, Exec Dir, UU Action Network NH
    • 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 5 and OWL 7 will not meet today
    • Senior Youth meets 4:00-5:30p Upstairs at Court St building
  • Sunday, January 23rd:
    • Worship at 10:00a, Sermon offered by Valerie Fagin
    • 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 5 meets 9:30-11:00, Court St classroom
    • OWL 7 meets 4:00-5:30, social hall
    • Senior Youth meets 4:00-6:00p with parents for Service Learning discussion! Upstairs at Court St building
  • Sunday, January 30th:
    • Worship at 10:00a, Sermon offered by Rev. Susan
    • Service will stream live on YouTube
    • Annual Meeting by zoom at 11:30am. Meeting link HERE
    • 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 5 meets 9:30-11:00, Court St classroom
    • OWL 7 meets 4:00-5:30, social hall
    • Senior Youth meets 4:00-5:30p upstairs at Court St building

Families at Home: January’s Theme is “Living With Intention

Our UU faith in practice and action:

  • UU 4th Principle: “A free and responsible search for truth and meaning.” Or, in kid friendly language, “We believe that each person must be free to search for what is true and right in life.” While as UUs we don’t have a prescribed doctrine, this is different from saying we just believe whatever we want. Especially in that first wording, “responsible” plays a part. Our work is to search for what is true and right and meaningful in our lives. We do that both together and individually. Here are some ideas for fostering that work at home:
    • Science Search: Check out Kitchen Pantry Scientist for really fun science experiments/projects to do at home. You can do one of the activities and then learn the science behind how it works. https://kitchenpantryscientist.com
    • Family Art: The 4th Principle connects to our monthly theme of Living With Intention because we can focus our intentions on the things that have meaning in our lives. Create a family art project where you make a collage of what is important to your family. Use magazines, family photos, draw, or use any other art supplies to make a piece of art that reflects what you value. Here’s a great tutorial from a family therapy approach: https://creativityintherapy.com/2016/11/family-values-collage/
  • Taking our monthly theme home: “Living With Intention”
    • Intentions How-To: Here’s a helpful article about why and how to help kids set intentions, including a sweet bookmark coloring add-on: https://kirstenskaboodle.com/the-how-what-and-why-of-setting-intentions-for-kids/
    • Practice & Accountability: Try having each member of your family set a weekly intention, and maybe add 2 action items to go with their intention. Post on the fridge as a reminder, and check in together on how it went at the end of the week. Be gentle around unmet goals!

Chalice Lighting for mealtimes this month:

“We are all gardeners, planting seeds of intention and watering them with attention in every moment of every day.”

By writer Cristen Rodgers

December ’21 nUUs from Religious Education

Transitioning into the Season of Light (photo by Betty O.)

Bright greetings to you, Friends! 

Our church theme this month is “Opening to Joy.”

Yes, let’s. Let’s open to joy and uncover the light in these dark days.

There are plenty of obstacles, but we as humans do have a super power to find and share joy, even in the toughest and darkest moments. Connecting in meaningful ways generates a light and joy that can sustain us.

Our 6th and 7th graders are holding a food and supplies drive to benefit Gather! Please bring donations to church between now and Sunday, 12/12. There will be collection bins in the narthex. No glass containers, please. To see Gather’s wish list items, visit their website: https://www.gathernh.org/donate-food

Senior Youth families: Commitments and deposits for our June trip will be due soon! See the Senior Youth page for more info! (Click HERE)

Thank you to everyone who supported our high school youth by purchasing the wreaths they decorated! Proceeds will go toward their service learning trip to West Virginia in June.

Make sure to come to the beloved South Church Christmas Pageant on December 19th during worship! Everyone is invited to participate. No rehearsals, just show up and join the fun!

There are some important logistics changes to know about. In case you missed the email sent out last week, here are some things to pay attention to:

  • Beginning Dec 26th, we will likely move to one worship time. This means you won’t miss your friends that do to a different worship time! RE classes will remain in the same structure, just happening during that one time. NO time change for OWL 5, OWL 7, or Senior Youth.
  • We will be requiring proof of vaccination for all eligible people attending worship, beginning on Christmas Eve. Parents, we know that this is sudden for children who only just became eligible. We want to hear from you. If your child has not yet started the vaccine process, you don’t need to stop coming but please reach out to Jen DD or Kirsten. Masks will still be required for everyone in our buildings.

If you did not receive that email and would like to know all of the many details it contains, then reach out to any staff member.

These decisions have been made by our Board of Trustees, with the interests and safety of our church community as their priority. We understand the really difficult nature of setting these kinds of policies, as well as the wide range of emotions, opinions, and concerns connected to these topics. Board President Janis Wolak, Reverend Susan Suchocki Brown, and Director of Lifespan Ministries Kirsten Hunter are available to address your questions or concerns.

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

  • Friday, December 3rd:
    • Families Tuugether! 5:30-8:00. RSVP: jendeldeo@southchurch-uu.org
  • Sunday, December 5th:
    • Worship at 9:00a and 11:00a, Sermon offered by Reverend Susan
    • 9:00a service will stream live on YouTube
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA
    • Coming of Age meets 1:00-4:00 for service project with mentors! Piscataqua Room
    • 6th/7th grade Service Learning meets 11:00-12:00, Carson Room
    • OWL 5 meets 9:30-11:00, Court St classroom
    • OWL 7 meets 4:00-5:30, social hall
    • OWL 7 Parent Discussion Group, 4:00-5:30 in sanctuary
    • Senior Youth meet 4:00-5:30p upstairs at Court St building
  • Friday, December 10th:
    • Sparks and Flames Social Event! 7:00-9:00p. RSVP for location: jendeldeo@southchurch-uu.org
  • Sunday, December 12th:
    • Worship at 9:00a and 11:00a, Sermon offered by Rev. Susan
    • 9:00a service will stream live on YouTube
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA
    • Coming of Age meets 10:45-12:00, Piscataqua Room
    • 6th/7th grade Service Learning meets 11:00-12:00, Carson Room
    • OWL 5 meets 9:30-11:00, Court St classroom
    • OWL 7 meets 4:00-5:30, social hall
    • Senior Youth meet 4:00-6:30p upstairs at Court St building
  • Sunday, December 19th:
    • Worship at 9:00a and 11:00a, PAGEANT DAY!! All-ages worship.
    • 9:00a service will stream live on YouTube
    • Coming of Age, 6th/7th Service Learning, Sr Youth and OWL 5: These do not meet today–come to the pageant!
    • OWL 7 meets 4:00-5:30, social hall
  • Sunday, December 26th:
    • Worship at 10:00a only, offered by Worship Associates
    • Service will stream live on YouTube
    • No RE programming today
  • Sunday, January 2nd:
    • All-Ages Worship at 10:00a, sermon offered by Kirsten Hunter
    • OWL 5 meets 9:30-11:00, Court St classroom
    • Coming of Age meets 10:45-12:00, Piscataqua Room, with mentors
    • OWL 7 meets 4:00-5:30, social hall
    • Senior Youth–help with worship!

Families at Home: December’s Theme is “Opening to Joy

Our UU faith in practice and action:

  • UU 3rd Principle: “Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations.” Or, in kid friendly language, “We believe that we should accept one another and keep on learning together.” In Unitarian Universalism, spiritual growth doesn’t necessarily mean growing closer to god. Maybe it’s more like searching for truth and meaning within own selves, and supporting each other in doing that. This doesn’t happen only in church. While church can be the community part of our spiritual growth, and can inspire us to grow, we also should find our own spiritual practices outside of church. This includes helping our children develop sources of spiritual connection and rituals in daily life. Here are a few things kids can try, to find spiritual practices that they can connect to:
    • Go for a walk in Nature, and let natural curiosity inspire a sense of wonder and awe
    • Try meditation. There are some great guided meditations for kids on YouTube and various music streaming platforms. Start with something short as they build their endurance for meditating. Here’s a nice one as an example.
    • Gratitude practice. Find a time of day where you can start a daily gratitude practice. There are many ways to do this; you could take turns sharing your gratitude at the dinner table; keep a gratitude journal next to bed, where you write one large, medium and small thing you are grateful for when you wake up; set a 1-minute timer at bedtime and name as many things you are thankful for as you can before time is up. Here’s a great article related to this, including more ideas.
    • Explore spirituality through music together. You can listen to music (try tracks from Beautiful Chorus, or from our Director of Music Ministry, Jonny Peiffer, as Sojoy, for example) or make music. If you don’t play instruments you can drum a beat that matches what’s in your heart or what you want to invite in. Or try humming as a spiritual practice (read more HERE.)
  • Taking our monthly theme home: “Opening to Joy”
    • Do you find joy in the act of giving, sharing, spending time with family or friends? Where else do you find joy? Make a list together.
      • HERE‘s a book about someone sharing the joy they find in words, read aloud by Barack and Michelle Obama. Consider writing a secret poem to someone to share joy!
    • Have a joke telling session at home! Kids are great at making up their own. Or, HERE are some to get you started.

Chalice Lighting for mealtimes this month:

It’s Flung * 

By Rev. Scott Tayler (Permission secured by Soul Matters) 

Joy doesn’t simply arise 

It flies. 

It flings. 

No, it is flung. 

It is passed, 

it is spread, 

between you and me, 

between the one who just received a gift 

and the one that has been looking for it a long time. 

It’s a beautiful and elegant contagion, 

over which we have more control than we think. 

If only we share it. 

If only we notice that joy is not ours to keep, 

but ours to pass on. 

So let’s light up the world, friends! 

Joy blesses us with its exuberance, 

so we can make that blessing grow! 

November ’21 nUUs from Religious Education

“Parable of the Long Spoons”

Here we are, in November. Wow!

Natural cycles tell us that this is a time of year when we return from our outward, productive, adventurous work and move toward turning inward, reflecting, sharing the stories of where we’ve been. Giving thanks, storytelling, and honoring the wisdom of our ancestors all fall into this realm. Sometimes when we feel tension, friction, or overwhelm it can help to return to these natural cycles to remind us how of the flow that keeps us moving in gentler ways. A little centering can go a long way.

The church theme for November is “Holding History.”

There’s a painfully lovely excerpt in this month’s Soul Matters resources that ties it all together: “Let’s not just ‘remember’ this month. Let’s not just talk of telling truthful tales. Let’s prepare to grieve, to confess, to feel, to forgive. The world needs broken-open hearts, not just good historians. That is, indeed, the only way the past gets in.” So much to process, but this is a good place and time to do that.

At this point, there are lots of Religious Education programs underway: Senior Youth for our high school kids, 8th grade Coming of Age, 6th/7th grade Service Learning, OWL sexuality education for 5th grade and 7th grade, and Young Church for 5th grade and younger. If you are looking for a place for your kids to jump in, or if for any reason these programs don’t fit your kids’ needs, then PLEASE reach out so we can find fulfilling ways for every member of your family to be in community here. That can look like a whole lot of different things, and we are committed to creating positive spaces for everyone.

Covid Policy Update: There is a small new change. During worship in the sanctuary, the person who is speaking at the front of the church may choose to take their mask off. Everyone else is to keep masks on in the buildings at all times. As the covid situation changes in the community, there will continue to be shifts in our policy. We will communicate those changes so you are making informed decisions around your family’s health and safety. In Religious Ed classes, all volunteers are required to be vaccinated and everyone wears masks. When snack is offered in an RE class, it will happen outdoors.

We still need lots of kinds volunteers! This applies to many areas of church life, in addition to Religious Ed groups. We have a rich program, and it takes a lot of people to make it wonderful. We would LOVE to help you find a role that will fill your spiritual cup to overflowing. Please reach out to any South Church staff member to see how you can help–we can fit a role to match your availability and interests.

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

  • Sunday, November 7th:
    • Worship at 9:00a and 11:00a, Sermon offered by Reverend Susan
    • 9:00a service will stream live on YouTube
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA
    • Coming of Age meets 10:45-12:00, Piscataqua Room
    • 6th/7th grade Service Learning meets 11:00-12:00, Carson Room
    • OWL 5 meets 9:30-11:00, Court St classroom
    • OWL 7 meets 4:00-5:30, social hall
    • Senior Youth AND PARENTS meet 4:00-6:00p upstairs at Court St building
  • Friday, November 12th:
    • Sparks and Flames Social Event! Campfire Fun, 7:00-9:00p. RSVP for location: jendeldeo@shouthchurch-uu.org
  • Sunday, November 14th:
    • Worship at 9:00a and 11:00a, Sermon offered by Rev. Ariel Aaronson Eves
    • 9:00a service will stream live on YouTube
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA
    • Coming of Age meets 10:45-4:00 for Fall Retreat Day 2
    • 6th/7th grade Service Learning meets 11:00-12:00, Carson Room
    • OWL 5 meets 9:30-11:00, Court St classroom
    • OWL 7 meets for extended class 1:30-5:30, social hall
    • Senior Youth meets 4:00-5:30p upstairs at Court St building
  • Saturday, November 20th:
    • Senior Youth trip to HOME
  • Sunday, November 21st:
    • Worship at 9:00a and 11:00a, Sermon offered by Reverend Susan
    • 9:00a service will stream live on YouTube
    • Young Church meets downstairs following TFAA
    • Coming of Age meets 10:45-12:00, Piscataqua Room
    • 6th/7th grade Service Learning meets 11:00-12:00, Carson Room
    • OWL 5 meets 9:30-11:00, Court St classroom
    • OWL 7 meets 4:00-5:30, social hall
    • Senior Youth Wreath Sale during Social Hour!
  • Sunday, November 28th:
    • Worship at 9:00a and 11:00a, Sermon offered by Cathy Wolff
    • 9:00a service will stream live on YouTube
    • All-Ages RE program meets downstairs following TFAA!
    • No meeting for OWL, Coming of Age, or 6th/7th Service Learning today–join the All Ages RE program today!
    • No meeting for Senior Youth today

Families at Home: November’s Theme is “Holding History

Our UU faith in practice and action:

  • UU 2nd PrincipleOn Nov 21st, our Young Church participants will learn about the 2nd UU Principle: “Justice, equity and compassion in human relations.” In kid-friendly language, “We believe that all people should be treated fairly and kindly.” Explore this idea together at home, and bonus points for adding the “Holding History” theme by talking or reading a book about Thanksgiving from an Indigenous People’s perspective. CLICK HERE for a link to a list of books.
  • Remembering Those Who Have Died: Many people have lost loved ones in a time when we haven’t been able to hold our regular rituals around death and saying goodbye. There are ways we can hold our ancestors and other people who have died actively in our lives. Some UUs can be uncomfortable about knowing how prayer fits in their lives. Here is a great story that gives us a lot to think about on these topics: “Grandad’s Prayers of the Earth”
  • Gratitude Tree: A regular Gratitude practice is shown to benefit both our physical and emotional hearts, and to improve our general wellbeing. Try making a family gratitude tree that everyone can add to daily. HERE is a link to several ideas for creating a gratitude tree.
    • Try adding prompts some days, such as “What’s a memory you are grateful for?” or “Who is a person who has helped you that you are grateful for?”

Chalice Lighting for mealtimes this month:

For What Shall We Give Thanks?

Rev. Laura Horton-Ludwig 

Full piece at https://www.uua.org/worship/words/opening/what-shall-we-give-thanks 

“The wheel of the year has turned again. 

Once more the Thanksgiving season has arrived. 

How shall we sing our song of gratitude now? 

For what shall we give thanks?…”