February ’19 nUUs from Religious Education

Our Service Learning class learning about Immigration from guest activist Maggie Fogarty.

Greetings and Salutations everyone!

Well, just like that it’s February. This short month is always a crazy whirlwind with school vacations, and fewer overall days, but there is some really excited stuff happening at church this month, so take a few minutes and read through the news below, and we’ll see you some Sunday soon!

Church Sundays and Other Important dates this month:

  • February 3rd: Children’s Chapel meets at 9 and 11(don’t forget your UU7 mission forms and a few coins for the collection!). Children’s choir second rehearsal at 10:15-10:50. Last class for 5th grade OWL. Coming of age meet at 11. Special guest in Senior Youth group today, and a parents of teens gathering happening concurrent to youth group (4-5:30) at Book and Bar. AND- there is a Tea Talk in our Sanctuary from 2-4 this Sunday, hosted by the Black Heritage Trail- exploring the topic of Land, Wealth and Policies of Marginalization. 
  • February 10th: *Normal Re program day (see below) Love Fest worship service with Children’s Choir at 9am! Parents of Teens are meeting during youth group (4-5:30) at Book and Bar, topic: teen independence and parent anxiety around teen independence.
  • February 9th: Families Tuugether at South Church 4:30-8pm. (please RSVP) Kirsten Hunter will lead the parent discussion in the sanctuary exploring trust in parenting. 
  • February 17th: Multi-Generational service today led by the senior youth! All children welcome and encouraged to attend. We will have a art and reading room downstairs for children who do not want to stay in the sanctuary, and worship resources for children who stay.
  • February 24th– All-ages RE Program (Feb Vacation week)
  • March 3rdChildren’s Chapel meets at 9 and 11. Coming of age meet with mentors at 11. Senior Youth group and 7th grade OWL meet at 4-5:30p.

[*Normal RE program day: Both services include Spirit Play and Theme workshops for grades 1-5. 11am worship also included: 6-7th grade religious exploration and Coming of Age for 8th grade.  OWL for 5th grade is currently meeting at 9:30 most Sundays. OWL for 7th grade and Senior Youth meet on Sunday evenings at 4-5:30 pm.]

RE Program Calendar: Did you know you can check the RE calendar for the WHOLE YEAR, any time you want!? It’s here, on the RE website 🙂

FYI: Shared Plate Voting starts now! Our congregation will be voting on which organizations will receive shared plate collections in the coming church year. Each member gets to vote for 5 orgs. For information about the 53 nominees: click here. You can vote at church any Sunday this month, OR here’s the link to vote ONLINE:   https://southchurchuu.wufoo.com/forms/x1wg8e2a0i1phgt/ Children at South Church will be learning about the finalists and voting for a Children’s chapel recipient next month!

Cross Roads House is looking for adult volunteers
They are kicking off our 10th session of Ready to Work at Crossroads House- a program designed to help residents optimize their success on the job market. Right now, they are looking for volunteers for one or both of our upcoming sessions:

  • Thursday Feb 21st 5:30-7pm: Resumes
  • Thursday Feb 28th 5:30-7pm: Interview Q&A

You don’t need to have a lot experience in resume writing or interviewing to be an excellent volunteer. A genuine desire to listen, empathize, encourage someone’s growth, and support them in the pursuit a healthy and productive career is all you need! EMAIL: Jenna Cooke <jennalcooke@gmail.com> if you are available to help! Read more on our church facebook page

COMING IN MARCH: The Senior Youth will be hosting a UU Book Fair as a fundraiser for their year end learning trip to General Assembly in Spokane, WA. Don’t miss it!

Family resources for February’s theme: A people of Trust

These resources help parents/guardians as they engage the question: “What does it mean to be a family of Trust?” 

With Your Kids(Ideas to engage Trust as a Family):

Family Adventure Idea:

Obstacle Course (indoors or outdoors) Trust Building: Create an obstacle course of a tunnel (under a table or bush with a blanket covering), over monkey bars, across “Lava” on stepping stones (pieces of paper), hanging from a rope, balancing on a curb, blindfolded partner walks around trees, etc. Invite your family to compete on the Obstacle Course, with points for:

  •  “Helpful comments through the tunnel,”
  • “Family problem solving through the Lava,”
  • “Trying again after falling off the balance beam,”
  • “Trying something new,” etc. 
  • Keep track of helpful points and make up some as your family goes along.
  • The points are trust points, so invite your family to enjoy how much they built trust.

Rock Game – as suggested by Liza Earle-Center, Director of Spiritual Exploration, UU Church of Montpelier, VT: “On night hikes I used to have a wide assortment of rocks, small, medium, smooth, rough… I’d pass one to each child as we sat close together in the dark.  They’d spend a couple minutes holding their rock as I guided them through really getting to know it… then I’d collect them all, and would slowly pass them to one person, slowly one at a time they would get handed around the circle.  When yours came to you, you kept it (while still passing the others to your neighbor. Eventually everyone has their rock back and is excited to have found it again!  It takes trusting that you really DO know your rock well.   This might be played in the daylight with blindfolds or an invitation to close their eyes as they pass the rocks.”

The Zipper Game ( a Trust Game which doesn’t involve risking a fall) Suggested by Soul Matters member Liza Earle-Centers, UU Congregation of Montpelier, VT https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/blog-posts/brent-vasicek/building-trust-in-a-classroom/

Trust Fall: Divide your family into pairs of roughly equivalent height and weight. In each pair, have one person stand directly in front of their partner, with their back turned toward them. Tell the person in front to close their eyes and fall backwards toward their partner. Their partner will catch them under the arms and take their weight gently to the floor, or lightly place the, back up to standing. Have the partners reverse roles.

(Trust Fall Fail – as a warning if you decide to try one!):

Stories To Read Together:

Belonging – Fannie Barrier Williams: “Fannie Barrier Williams helped start a home for girls in Chicago, and she started a center where people could live together, no matter the color of their skin. She was part of the group that started the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (the NAACP), along with Frederick Douglass, Ida Wells Barnett, Frances Watkins Harper, and W.E.B. DuBois. Fannie also worked with suffragists like Susan B. Anthony, helping women get the chance to vote. Because back then, remember, people thought that men were better than women. Women couldn’t own property or have a bank account or vote in elections.” –  from the story. https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/journeys/session4/132836.shtml

Nothando’s Journey by Jill Apperson Manly (Author), Alyssa Casey (Illustrator) Explores Trusting in one’s abilities. “NOTHANDO’S JOURNEY is a journey in self-discovery, told through the eyes of a young girl named Nothando. The book tells of the Reed Festival, an important celebration in Nothando’s country of Swaziland in Southern Africa. Nothando and her brother venture into the unknown hills, in order to get to the festival on time. As Nothando explores the hills of Swaziland, she visits with various animals–Nothando moves freely with the animals and begins to become comfortable with who she is.” – Amazon. The video is great! Book: https://www.amazon.com/Nothandos-Journey-Jill-Apperson-Manly/dp/0615892353/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1543337146&sr=8-1&keywords=nothando%27s+journey . Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-ZWfw2kknA

Family App Ideas:

My PlayHome: Theme Connection: Our families are places of trust. You can build a family like your own. “Parents need to know that My PlayHome is a highly interactive, dollhouse-style app for kids. Kids can choose from five “types” of family members in generic white, Asian, and African-American skin tones; the characters include moms, dads, boys, girls, and babies. Kids can add all 15 characters (each has a different outfit, hairstyle, etc.) to their homes, allowing for flexibility in creating a variety of family types. They can create a mixed-race family, one with two (or three) moms, or one with only sons.” – Common Sense Media https://www.commonsensemedia.org/app-reviews/my-playhome

Family Movie Night Ideas: 

Black History Month: Here are several movie suggestions which bring to life the paradox of distrust and trust which has marked the past history of racism in America. https://www.charlotteobserver.com/living/health-family/moms/article61781437.html

The Muppet Movie (G) Kermit has to trust in himself in order to undertake the road trip to Hollywood. “Parents need to know that The Muppet Movie is a pretty likeable road trip romp with singable songs, but with some guns and slapstick violence.” – Common Sense Review https://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/the-muppet-movie

Ruby’s Studio: The Feelings Show  (NR)- Strong emotions need to be understood and reflected on in order for children to trust themselves and their feelings. “Parents need to know that Ruby’s Studio: The Feelings Show walks kids through the basics of coping with a myriad of emotions, including sadness, frustration, and anger in a unique format that incorporates puppets, animation, and advice from a panel of youngsters. The show’s vibrant hostess creates an inviting atmosphere that appeals to kids’ imaginations and encourages them to express themselves to parents just as the cast members talk to her.” – Common Sense Media https://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/rubys-studio-the-feelings-show

How to Train Your Dragon (PG)-The boy, Hiccup, and his dragon, Night Fury, need to learn to trust each other. Vikings and dragons, in a moving Pixar movie. Some scary parts means it might not be appropriate for under 7 years old. https://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/how-to-train-your-dragon

Garrett’s Gift (G)

Garrett’s Gift is a thoughtful, inspirational look at the history of famous inventor Garrett Morgan and the origins of his idea for the traffic light. Kids will learn about his childhood, where the clumsy boy was often daydreaming, and how his offbeat way of looking at things led to a significant advancement in safety. There are a few moments of near-accidents that provide the backdrop for Morgan’s ideas. It offers historical information about significant achievements by African Americans and a discussion of where ideas come from. -Amazon . https://www.amazon.com/Garretts-Gift-Queen-Latifah/dp/097784871X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1454341659&sr=8-1&keywords=Garrett%27s%20Gift&tag=viglink125846-20

For You (Support for Parents as Faith Formation Guides):

Being Brave Is Stepping Backward and Trusting Our Children – On Being  “As parents, we spend a lot of time worrying about our children. We fret about the degree to which our parenting affects their development and well-being. Yet children are actually emancipated individuals who would spare us the insecurities of raising them, if we would trust them…” https://onbeing.org/blog/being-brave-is-stepping-backward-and-trusting-our-children/

The Reality Wall– Michelle Richards, UU World Magazine: Reflections for parents on the balance of trust in an ideal world and a feeling of betrayal when reality bites. https://www.uuworld.org/articles/reality-wall

Helping Children Understand “White Lies”– Michelle Richards, UU World Magazine: Helping parents reflect on truth telling and the implications of a lie. https://www.uuworld.org/articles/understand-white-lies

How to Nurture Your Child’s Intuition (self-trust): https://themulberryjournal.com/writing-collective/how-to-nurture-intuition


January ’19 nUUs from Religious Education

Chili Fest Crew making it look easy! Thank you EVERYONE who participated!

Happy New Year everyone ♥

I am guessing most of you have heard the news at this point that our ministers are departing, January 20th will be their last Sunday. I know that with this news comes a lot of feelings and questions. It will take us some time to figure out some of the details in our next chapter, but we are a mighty family, and the best way forward is one that we all build together. Our congregation is strong and poised to burst into our larger community in incredible new ways. The collective heart of South Church is blindingly bright, so let’s shine, ok?

I invite you to think about this community of ours as practice space. We are working toward the vision of our principles, we are nourished by our sources, and we are bound in our covenant– our commitment to one another. Some of us are just starting to learn what that means, others of us have been practicing for years, and have become incredible mentors, and all of us continue to grow- with every joyful celebration, and every challenging loss. Our power comes from all of this. From those who are regrouping, those who are reaching, and from those who have found the next ledge from which they can reach back and help the rest of us forward.

Parents, you have an extra challenge right now, because you are navigating your own emotions, and are also tasked with helping your children to process this moment for themselves. Many of our kids have only ever known Reverend Lauren and Reverend Chris as their ministers, and seeing them leave is hard. When we shared space in children’s chapel last week, some children shared that they were feeling sad, confused, some felt this wasn’t enough time, or worried that other people at church would be leaving too, and some mentioned that they will miss Jack, and Ben, and Aliyah. They also expressed excitement for Reverend Lauren’s new job, and for the new adventures the Jablonski-Smith family have in front of them, and honestly, some kids seemed ok, and at peace with this transition.

There is no right way to feel in moments like this, and every one of us is different, but if you have not done so already, it might help to find a peaceful moment to ask your children about this coming change, listen to their feelings, and invite them to ask any questions they might have. Remember that you don’t have to have all the answers, our kids can surprise us in their ability to understand when we say we don’t know something. They also appreciate, “I’m going to think about that, can we talk more later?”

I hope that you all know I am here if there is anything I can help with. I have deep faith in the potential of our community, and I have some solid experience to draw on in this moment, so don’t hesitate to reach out if I can help in any way I am able. I would also like to invite everyone to share some messages and favorite memories to include in a journal we will give to Chris and Lauren at the end of the day on January 20th. I know it isn’t a lot of time, but consider sending along a message, memory, or drawing– you can email it to me and I will print it out, you can mail it or bring it to church (before the 20th, 4×6 paper or smaller, please) or you can grab the journal and write/draw directly into it this coming Sunday or next.

Finally, if you did not make it to worship this past Sunday, I think you may find some comfort in Reverend Chris’ story, and Reverend Lauren’s Sermon. They will both be on the podcast soon <–click here for that link. The Reverends are also mailing out a paper letter to your children directly, but you can find that letter HERE, as well.

Church Sundays and Other Important dates this month:

  • January 12th: Families Tuugether at South Church 4:30-8pm. (please RSVP) Reverend Lauren and Reverend Chris will be there for the parent discussion.
  • January 13th: Reverend Lauren and Chris will be hosting an open-to-all conversation about the current transition this Sunday after the second service (12:10pm- Childcare available in nursery). It is a *Regular RE program day. (see below)
  • January 20th: MLK Weekend. Children’s choir starts today! (SEE BELOW for more info), Spirit play, elementary, and 6-7th grade classes meet- No OWL or Senior Youth today. Extended social hours to say farewell to our ministers.
  • January 25th- Sparks and Flames social groups for 5th-8th grade go iceskating at Puddledock, 7-9pm!
  • January 27th: It is a *Regular RE program day. (see below) and the Annual Congregational Meeting will be held in the sanctuary at 12:15- childcare is available in the nursery. Coming of Age meets at 4:30-5:30 with their mentors today
  • February 3rd Children’s Chapel (don’t forget your UU7 mission forms and a few coins for the collection!). 5th grade OWL concludes today, with parents joining at 10:15.

[*Normal RE program day: Both services include Spirit Play and Theme workshops for grades 1-5. 11am worship also included: 6-7th grade religious exploration and Coming of Age for 8th grade.  OWL for 5th grade is currently meeting at 9:30 most Sundays. OWL for 7th grade and Senior Youth meet on Sunday evenings at 4-5:30 pm.]

Children’s Choir! Children of all ages are invited to join two amazing music makers, Pam Felber and Sally Hirshberg, for our first of two children’s choir offerings this year. Rehearsals will be: Sundays between worship services from 10:15-10:50- Jan. 20, 27, and Feb. 3rd, and on the day of the performance from 8:15-8:45. The Children’s choir will Perform during the ‘Love Fest’ worship on Sunday, Feb. 10th at 9 and 11am. For more information, or to RSVP: Sally Hirshberg at salsings@hotmail.com

Family resources for January’s theme: A people of Possibility

These resources help parents/guardians as they engage the question: “What does it mean to be a family of Possibility?” 

With Your Kids (Ideas to engage Mystery as a Family)

Family Adventure Ideas

  • Day Trip to Boston!! There is an incredible exhibit at the ICA right now, William Forsythe has created work that engages children and adults in deep and playful ways- Possibility plays a large role in the experience, and I highly recommend it! The exhibit is showing through February 21st. https://www.icaboston.org/exhibitions/william-forsythe-choreographic-objects
  • 30 Days of Love Family Calendar: Practice the Possibility of kindness and love with this calendar of family activities, one for each day  from Mid-January until Valentine’s Day. https://resouthchurchuu.files.wordpress.com/2019/01/eb378-30DOL2018AllAgesCalendar.pdf
  • Create a New Year’s Resolution together
    • Focus on the Possibilities….
    • One thing I want to learn more about…
    • One thing I want to stop being afraid of…
    • I want to improve my …
    • I want to spend more time….
    • I want to spend less time…
    • I want to be more…
  • Game: Play “Sorry,” the board game. “Sorry! is marketed for two to four players, ages six and older. The game title comes from the many ways in which a player can negate the progress of another, while issuing an apologetic “Sorry!” – from the game description. Practice your humility as you are jumped over and sent back in this classic board game.
  • Books To Read Together:

Family App Ideas

  •  Curious About Me with Curious George (preschool)- (Theme Connection: What are the possibilities of you?)“Curious About Me features preschoolers’ favorite monkey, helping kids create movies that let them think and talk about their own lives and experiences. Kids take photos of themselves, their families, friends, and pets; record audio and video to add to their stories; or create their own art. The movie incorporates these contributions into the stories, which are automatically saved in-app or to the device’s camera roll. Note: It requires quite a bit of storage space to hold all the pictures and videos kids can add to their stories.” – Common Sense Media   https://www.commonsensemedia.org/app-reviews/curious-about-me

Family Movie Night Ideas

  •  Ratatouille (G) Theme Connection: Celebrating the impossible possible, even in fantasy. “Parents need to know that, like all of Pixar’s other films, Ratatouille includes nuanced humor (about the French, haute cuisine, food critics, and so on) and references aimed directly at adults. Kids will miss most of these references but most likely will still enjoy the plot and animal characters. Not surprisingly for an animated kids’ movie, the protagonist, Linguini, is an orphan — although at least he’s a young adult and not a child. There’s some moderate peril involving the rats and weapon-wielding humans that may frighten sensitive and younger viewers; the sewer sequence is particularly tense and potentially scary, as is the gun-toting grandma. There are a few mild insults, such as “stupid” and “loser,” and one “hell.”” – Common Sense Review  https://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/ratatouille
  • A Goofy Movie (G) Theme Connection: The possibility of being wrong and restoring a relationship. “Free of the pressures that sometimes smother the big Disney releases, this movie has a refreshingly casual feel, with some sly humor, even daring to poke fun at Disney itself. The teen characters are contemporary without the prepackaged feel of other Disney productions (like “The New Mickey Mouse Club”), and there are lively songs performed by Tevin Campbell. It’s a shame that the G rating might scare off the film’s optimal audience, the 10-14 age group. If you can persuade them to take a look, they will find much to enjoy and identify with. At the center of the story is Max, struggling through the torturous insecurity and self-consciousness of adolescence. Like all teens, he is humiliated by his father’s goofiness. But the movie’s great joke is that in this case, his father is not just goofy, he is Goofy, the Goof of all Goofs, the Uber-Goof!” – Common Sense Media.  https://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/a-goofy-movie
  • Gym Teacher: The Movie (age 6+) Theme Connection: The possibility of change. “Parents need to know that this made-for-TV movie touches on themes like teamwork, perseverance, and self-perception and examines what it means to be a winner. There’s some poor sportsmanship and bullying (tweens tease a classmate, putting him down and throwing things at him), but it could prompt family discussions about respecting others and being tolerant of differences…” – Common Sense Media   https://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/gym-teacher-the-movie 

For You  (Support for Parents as Faith Formation Guides)

December ’18 nUUs from Religious Education

Senior youth volunteer weekend with H.O.M.E in Orland, Maine

Hello! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, and that you were able to share some time with those whom you hold most dear. December is upon us. Happy Hanukah to those of you who celebrate, may you have a warm and wonderful holiday filled with joy and laughter♥

Bring RICE to church! this month our 6th-7th grade service-learning class is learning about food scarcity in the Seacoast. They’ve paired up with Gather, our local food pantry, to support the Meals 4 Kids program. They are planning a recipe, and collecting bagged rice for the project. You can leave donations at the front desk until December 16th.

Church Sundays and Other Important dates this month:

  • November 30th: Sparks and Purple Flames social groups (5th-8th grade) meet at South Church 7-9pm. (please RSVP)
  • December 2nd: Spirit Play, Children’s Chapel (don’t forget your UU7 mission forms and a few coins for the collection!). Coming of Age meets with their mentors today, Senior youth group meets at 4pm, and both OWL classes continue this week.
  • December 7th: All church Holiday Party and Auction, 6-8pm!
  • December 9th: Normal* RE program day. (see below)
  • December 16th: Normal* RE program except: time change for Senior Youth <-click for details
  • December 23rd: Holiday Pageant~ No RE classes (nursery remains open)
  • December 24th: Christmas Eve Candlelight services at 5pm, 7pm, and 9pm. (the early ones are very full, so come early if you want to sit!)
  • December 30th: All ages Holiday program during RE
  • December 31st: Chili Cook off fundraiser during First Night! Please plan to attend, make a croc pot of chili to donate, or donate shredded cheese to help make it happen!

[*Normal RE program day: Both services include Spirit Play and Theme workshops for grades 1-5. 11am worship also included: 6-7th grade religious exploration and Coming of Age for 8th grade.  OWL for 5th grade is currently meeting at 9:30 most Sundays. OWL for 7th grade and Senior Youth meet on Sunday evenings at 4-5:30 pm.]

Coming in January: Children’s Choir! Children of all ages are invited to join two amazing music makers, Pam Felber and Sally Hirshberg, for our first of two children’s choir offerings this year. Rehearsals will be: Sundays between worship services from 10:15-10:50- Jan. 20, 27, and Feb. 3rd, and on the day of the performance from 8:15-8:45. The Children’s choir will Perform during the ‘Love Fest’ worship on Sunday, Feb. 10th at 9 and 11am

Family resources for December’s theme: A people of Mystery

These resources help parents/guardians as they engage the question: “What does it mean to be a family of Mystery?” In addition to families using them at home, you might also use them to engage parents collectively, for instance in a Parent Circle that meets on Sunday afternoon or mid-week.

With Your Kids (Ideas to engage Mystery as a Family)

  Family Adventure Ideas

  Kitchen Crafts

  Books To Read Together

  Family Movie Night Ideas

  Songs to Add to Your Family Playlist:

  For Parents/guardians (Because you are Faith Formation Guides)

November nUUs from Religious Education

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Clocks Change on Sunday, November 4th!! Also, don’t forget to bring something for the Dia de los Muertos/Day of remembrance worship. There will be an alter set up and you are invited to bring a photo or memento of an someone important in your life who has died.

Hello! What a full and wonderful October we have shared together! Big thanks to everyone who joined us for the Halloween social and help to support our High School youth group, they raised about $300 for their end of year service learning trip!

Church Sundays and Other Important dates this month:

  • November 2-3rd: 7th grade OWL overnight
  • November 4th: Spirit Play, Children’s Chapel (don’t forget your UU7 mission forms and a few coins for the collection!), and Coming of Age meet your mentors today! Senior youth group time change- 6-8pm so they can attend the vigil in market square!
  • November 10th 4:30-8pm: Families Tuugether for parents with young children (rsvp required).
  • November 11th: Normal* RE program day. (see below)
  • November 16-17th: Youth overnight service trip to Orland, Maine
  • November 18th: Normal* RE program day. Wreath sale today! (see below)
  • November 25th: Wholly family service with Special RE guest program! (no Coming of Age, Owl, or Senior youth)
  • November 30th at South Church 7-9pm: Sparks and Flames <-click for more info

[*Normal RE program day: Both services include Spirit Play and Theme workshops for grades 1-5. 11am worship also included: 6-7th grade religious exploration and Coming of Age for 8th grade.  OWL for 5th grade is currently meeting at 9:30 most Sundays. OWL for 7th grade and Senior Youth meet on Sunday evenings at 4-5:30 pm.]

Annual Wreath Sale: Sunday, November 18th after each service. The senior youth group take an annual trip north to Orland, Me each November to volunteer for a community shelter and resource center called H.O.M.E inc. A part of the time is spent helping to assemble holiday wreaths, which are a significant fund raiser for the organization. We bring some back to sell to you! Bring $25 and bring one home! Support H.O.M.E, and support our H.S. youth!

Family resources for November’s theme: A people of Memory

These resources support parents as they try to live out and engage our themes with their children. In this sense, our question for this section is : “What does it mean to be a parent of Memory” or “What does it mean to be a family of Memory?” As you use these resources to engage these questions, keep in mind some additional ways to use them with other parents or your church community:

  • Reflect with those in your family.
  • Share and discuss them with other parents or another family.
  • Use them in a Parent Circle that meets on Sunday afternoon or mid-week.

Sankofa – stories we need to remember-

In Music… During this month, some of our elementary aged students at church will be visiting the African Burying grounds up the street from South church, where the symbol of Sankofa is embedded in the walking path. Here are some links that invite your family to celebrate the Ghanaian culture from which we find the Adinkra symbol of “Sankofa” meaning “Go Back and Get It.”  Let the music and drums move you into your own memories.

In Stories and Books…

Belonging Fannie Barrier Williams -A story from the UUA Tapestry of Faith resources. “… Fannie went to Washington DC to study painting. She had to hide behind a screen so no one could see her. “If the other students know you’re here,” the teacher told Fannie, “they’ll want you to leave.” Over and over again, all through her life, Fannie was told she wasn’t wanted and couldn’t belong, just because she had dark skin…” – from the story

Milo’s Museum by Zetta Elliott  (Author), Purple Wong (Illustrator). “Milo is excited about her class trip to the museum. The docent leads them on a tour and afterward Milo has time to look around on her own. But something doesn’t feel right, and Milo gradually realizes that the people from her community are missing from the museum. When her aunt urges her to find a solution, Milo takes matters into her own hands and opens her own museum!” – Amazon

Remembering the Shoulders We Stand On

Our Unitarian history has roots in Transylvania, where the Edict of Torda was written 450 years ago. It is fascinating to think about how our UU principles today- nearly half a century later- remain tied to that time in history.

Article: The Edict of Torda, a landmark in religious freedom, by Eric Cherry.

Video: 2016 Transylvania Tour – Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation Adult Choir. Watch minute 9:00 – 17:47 for footage of Unitarian Churches in Transylvania.

Movies for families about Memory

  • The Peanuts Movie  “Nobody says what time period the movie takes place in, but the characters use rotary phones (and don’t have devices/screens everywhere). Did you notice the lack of technology in the kids’ lives? How does that compare to what you’re used to? Do you think one way is better than the other?” – Common Sense Media
  • Kubo and the Two Strings (PG) “…has more darkness and edge than many average kids’ movies and is best suited for tweens and older, rather than the preschool and early-elementary set. It has scary characters and epic battles that can be quite intense and that lead to character injuries, an entire village burning (though the villagers survive), and even deaths. …Despite the peril, this epic adventure set in an alternative fantasy Japan has strong themes of courage and teamwork. And at heart, it’s a mother-and-son love story, as well as the tale of a young artist learning how to be a hero.” – Common Sense Media, as suggested by Lynnie Lynn, Topeka, KS
  • Inside Out – Family Movie
  • Coco – Family Movie “Coco’s rich visual pleasures are matched by a thoughtful narrative that takes a family-friendly — and deeply affecting — approach to questions of culture, family, memory, life, and death…” Engages Day of the Dead – Oct.31 – Nov. 2

Halloween Social and Jack O’Lantern contest!

Hey all! Halloween Jack O' Lantern drawing

Our Annual Halloween Social is in the works once again! We’ll be gathering on the front lawn of South Church on Halloween night to watch the parade march past. The parade starts at 7pm, and our Youth group will be selling baked goods, warm drinks, and facilitating the Jack O’Lantern contest!

Maybe you or your family want to bake something for the bake sale?

Maybe you want to enter a pumpkin in the contest?

Maybe you just want to come join us for the sweet gathering?

EVERYONE who attends gets to vote for their favorite pumpkin creation and winners will be announced at the end of the parade!

WHAT FUN!!  See you there!  (Oh! And spread the word! Invite friends!)

Microsoft Word - PUMPKIN Carving Contest

Moving forward after the Supreme Court Hearings

Hey folks,

This has been a difficult week for me, and many people in our country– It’s been hard for people on both political sides. It’s been hard for people of all gender identities, sexual orientations, and it’s been really hard for those folks who have experienced sexual assault.

There has been an insane amount of commentary surrounding the Kavanaugh hearings last week. There has been massive amounts of anger, venting, and side-taking. For me, personally, this week has been deeply triggering. I’ve felt raw and spacey and it’s been really hard to get things done. I haven’t been great at stepping away from it all and finding ways to restore my heart, but I am aware of that need. I’m working on it.

As a parent, I have also been mindful of the need to find appropriate ways to find teaching moments to share with my child, and also equally mindful of the need to put this stuff away and be present and joyful for my child- to the best of my ability.

I’m going to guess that many of you are experiencing similar things, and so I’m going to share some resources that you may find helpful in navigating this moment and trying to figure out where to go from here.

If you have come across a resource you think it worth sharing here, please send it along and I will add it to this post.

  •  Unburdened Podcast In this hour long program, in this episode a group of black fathers grapple with challenging toxic masculinity- the divides that fathers have when fathering their daughters vs. fathering their sons. This whole podcast series is awesome.
  • Here is a great article for folks trying to cope as a sexual abuse survivor. 
  • For folks who are trying to better understand why this week has been so difficult for many people, I found this interview was a really concise explanation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lskN-de5Z2U&app=desktop
  • Related, here’s a group of men talking about the challenges of dismantling sexism/misogyny from a straight-male perspective (there is a whole series of these talks, too!): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ufQSF3mpQ6k
  • NPR: How to Talk to Young People About the Kavanaugh Story Some great reminders for parents, It’s your job, it’s not too soon, give them the information, be the askable parent…  A lot of this article reminds me of OWL parent discussions-
  • Comprehensive Sexuality education is an important part of our path forward, so if you are able to volunteer time with an OWL program- do it. If not, Be an askable parent. Have a hundred hard conversations- don’t worry about saying the perfect thing- do your best, keep doing your best, lean on fellow parents. This is why good Sex Education is so important
  • Do you (and your children) know about the freeze response? I have heard many people say, over past two years as sexual assault has moved in and out of the focus of conversation, that they are just realizing how common it is for people to freeze when they are confronted with sexual assault. We say ‘no means no’, and perhaps talk to our children about the importance of consent, but we don’t always lift up how common it is for a person to freeze when they feel fear in a situation. It is relevant, particularly, in teaching children and teens to be advocates for themselves and to be respectful of those with whom they might be intimately involved. There are two sides to this:  1.  We need to learn that silence isn’t consent- if a person finds themselves in a sexual situation and their partner becomes very quiet and unresponsive, STOP.  2. We need to know that if, when confronted with a sexually threatening situation we ourselves froze– that was not a failure. To freeze is a completely normal biological response. It does not mean you gave consent, and it should not prevent you from reporting what happened.
  • Finally, here are some children’s book recommendations-  The article is specifically speaking to parents of sons, and offers some kids books to prevent sexual assault. I think this framing is a little tricky– sexual assault can experienced by any person and perpetrators are not always men. That said, the underlying message is valuable, toxic masculinity in our culture is real, and the book suggestions are worth sharing. We need to think about what messages we send our children in the media they consume, and recognize that we can plant seeds for a healthier culture if we are intentional about what our little ones are learning about gender and sexuality. ♥

Ok. I’m going to stop there.

Sending love to all of you, and resilience, and hope. We are not alone. Let’s move forward together.

October nUUs from Religious Education


Hello dear families and RE volunteers, Thank you to everyone who helped to make the food drive last week a great success! It was an amazing day, with some of our youth leading worship, other’s collecting food, and so many returning faces. Our community is creating change in many ways, and though it sometimes feels like a lot of work, it’s really important to remember that it’s all worth it- so thank you everyone who is stepping up in all kinds of ways to make our church happen ♥♥

In this post:

  • If you haven’t already, it’s time to REGISTER your kids for the 2018-19 church year!
  • This month:
    • September 30th: *Regular RE programming.
    • October 7th:  Holiday weekend- All ages Children’s Chapel
    • October 10th: 7th grade parent OWL orientation– 6pm
    • October 13th: Families Tuugether– a night out for parents of younger children!
    • October 14th: *Regular RE programming
    • October 19th: 5th grade parent OWL orientation 6pm
    • October 21: *Regular RE programming- 7th grade OWL begins tonight!
    • October 23: Online Theme talk for November- A community of Memory
    • October 26-27:  Coming of age fall retreat
    • October 28th: *Regular RE programming (except- COA)
    • October 31st: Come One, Come all!! The Halloween Social and pumpkin carving contest are SO much fun! 
      • Sparks and Flames social groups at 5p- Pumpkin carving
      • Pumpkin carving contest! Entries due between 6-7pm ($5 to enter, 3 cash winners!)
      • All Church Halloween Social on the front lawn/portico 7-8pm

*Regular RE Programming= Spirit Play at 9am, Theme workshops at 9 and 11, 6th-7th service learning class meets, Coming of Age meets at 11am at Court St. Senior Youth meets at 4-5:30 at Court st. 

Family resources for October’s theme: A people of ‘Sanctuary’

These resources support parents as they try to live out and engage our themes with their children. We can ask “What does it mean to be a parent of Sanctuary” or “What does it mean to be a family of Sanctuary?” As you use these resources to engage these questions, keep in mind some additional ways to use them with other parents or your church community:  

  • Reflect with those in your family.
  • Share and discuss them with other parents or another family.
  • Use them in a Parent Circle that meets on Sunday afternoon or mid-week.

TED talk: What we are missing in the debate about immigration  “Between 2008 and 2016, the United States deported more than three million people. What happens to those left behind? Journalist Duarte Geraldino picks up the story of deportation where the state leaves off. Learn more about the wider impact of forced removal as Geraldino explains how the sudden absence of a mother, a local business owner or a high school student ripples outward and wreaks havoc on the relationships that hold our communities together.” – TED A background for why UU Churches consider offering sanctuary. We need to look at the bigger picture.


Inspired Traveler’s Guide Spiritual Places by Sarah Baxter (Author), Zanna Goldhawk (Illustrator), Harry Goldhawk (Illustrator)  “Travel journalist Sarah Baxter has carefully curated a selection of the 25 most spiritual destinations from around the world – places that hold the promise of rare and profound experiences, whether areas of natural beauty imbued with spiritual significance or sites constructed for worship.” – Amazon

Spiritual Places: The World’s Most Sacred Sites by Antony Mason (Author). “Spiritual Places combines awe-inspiring photography and memorable narrative to tell the stories of the holiest temples and ancient ruins, the most hallowed churches, and the places of ancient power. Each location has been handpicked for its breathtaking scenery and its uniquely humbling qualities. Spanning every continent on the planet—from the Mayan pyramids of Chichen Itza in Mexico, through the Carnac stones in France, and on to the idyllic ancient temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia—acclaimed travel writer Antony Mason has carefully selected the most uplifting places the world has to offer.

Encompassing belief systems past and present—via the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, and Uluru in Australia—this collection of stunning images, enlightening text, and essential travel tips will inspire and inform armchair aficionados and seasoned travelers alike.” – Amazon


10 Commandments for talking to your kids about religion – PBS.  One of the lenses for the theme of sanctuary is as a place of worship. What are secular and humanist parents to do when sanctuary has overtones of Christianity?

What Makes a Place Sacred?  “Sacred places are where we meet something beyond ourselves. They are not always conventionally religious places…” – from the article

UU Prayers and Meditations From Tapestry of Faith, Signs of Our Faith, Seeking Knowledge

Movies for families about Sanctuary
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame – Disney, G (recommended for 8+). “Disney’s recreation of Victor Hugo’s novel is rich in visual and musical sensation. But deeper beneath the rich production lie questions about normalcy, how sanctuary confines us as well as protects us, and what punishment is.” – Common Sense Media Review

Here’s another review: https://www.bustle.com/articles/167960-19-things-i-noticed-rewatching-the-hunchback-of-notre-dame-as-an-adult

Be aware that this movie is not appropriate for young children.

  • The Urban Elephant: Shirley’s Story (13 min). From ArgoFilm’s “The Urban Elephant” comes the touching story of Shirley and her keeper, Solomon James. Trapped in a man-made world, Shirley’s life at the Louisiana Purchase Zoo was a lonely one, bereft of the company of other elephants. Follow Shirley and Solomon through a life of captivity to release in the Tennessee Elephant Sanctuary. This two-time Emmy Award winning film was produced for PBS’s Nature Series.
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh “THE MANY ADVENTURES OF WINNIE THE POOH brings to life several chapters of A.A. Milne’s The House at Pooh Corner that were turned into Disney shorts in the 1960s and ’70s. The film opens with a scene from Christopher Robin’s non-animated bedroom [a sanctuary!] where we see the stuffed animals that come alive in the animated tales. As the narrator introduces a book, viewers slip into the story as the characters come alive on the page. The first chapter details Pooh’s attempt to steal honey from a tree and his subsequent escape from a swarm of bees. Later he eats all Rabbit’s honey and gets stuck in the doorway where he must stay until he slims down and can be pushed out of the narrow hole [when a safe place becomes a stuck place]. In later chapters, Rabbit tries to teach Tigger a lesson to get him to stop pouncing on everyone but ends up getting lost in the Hundred Acre Wood. Tigger and Roo end up atop a tree and unable to get down until their friends help rescue them.”  – Common Sense Media
  • PBS – Cathedral– David Macauley (1 hr.)“Author David Macaulay hosts CATHEDRAL, based on his award-winning book. Using a combination of spectacular location sequences and cinema-quality animation, the program surveys France’s most famous churches. Travel back to 1214 to explore the design of Notre Dame de Beaulieu, a representative Gothic cathedral. The program tells period tales revealing fascinating stories of life and death, faith and despair, prosperity, and intrigue.” – YouTube
  • BBC – How to Build a Cathedral (1 hr.)