Many Rooms, Many Voices!

This past Sunday we had OWL going on in two rooms (K-1 and 4-6), Parent Group in the office and in the third classroom we had a preschool group and a comparative religion class of one going strong.

Upstairs during the Time for All Ages we heard Rev. Rachael tell a story about the Hindu Goddess Kali. Kali is the Goddess destruction and through her destruction she creates change. Rev. Rachael wrapped up the story by saying it is OK to be angry and that we can also learn how to calm ourselves down.

Downstairs we had a great Holy Recess of self-directed play and finger painting.

Gratitude for Those Willing to be Flexible

This past Sunday we had K-1 OWL and 4-6 OWL classes going on. In a different room the parents met with – surprise! – Rev. Rachael and in the Preschool room we had three 4-5 year olds, a mother and two twins under 2 and I had the pleasure of working with a third grader who requested a project on world religions.

Try as we might, we all know that what we plan might not work. That has always been the case, but during Covid-19 (post Covid-19?) we have had to learn to pivot quickly. Last week we had to cancel RE completely because of two possible adult Covid-19 cases. And then during our weekly meeting, Rev. Rachael and I counted backwards and forwards and discovered we had very few Sundays left and we decided that perhaps it was time for her to meet the parents to let them know what is what at the UUSA.

To prepare for the project with the third grader I found a few books at the public library and in my office. Fortunately he needed only a slight nudge for him to get completely into the idea of comparing religions using note cards, thumbtacks and an old bulletin board someone gave us.

As I sat on the floor listening to the buzz of the twins and the chatter of the preschoolers I felt very grateful to everyone involved in our program. I am thankful for everyone’s ability to never quite know how things are going to go and smiling and coming on time just the same. Thank you. Thank you.

April Showers bring OWL!

Good things come for those who wait, or so they say. We’ve been waiting many many months for the opportunity to start our OWL programs for K-3 and 4-6 and we have finally done it. Thank you to our adult facilitators and to the parents for putting on their masks and driving their kids in time for our 9:30 start. This year we also have quite a few preschoolers whose parents wanted their kids to have a little bit of OWL which Jacy is calling “OWLET” – as in OWL Light:) For those of you new to UU and RE, here is a link to the program: https://www.uua.org/re/owl

Preschool is a happening place these days with a range of kids under two to 5 years old children which, as you might be able to imagine, takes some coordination. Jacy is up for the task and I am there to assist her. Today we had a good time sharing our joys and concerns and reading a book about family. At the end we tried to come up with a definition for “family.” We kept thinking of all the different variations and settled on “a group of people who love each other and take care of one another.”

OWL DATES:

K-3rd graders start OWL this weekend in Classroom A

4-7th graders will be meeting in the Conference Room.  

Remember OWL will be taught during RE time from 9:30-10:25.  

Please save these dates, try to commit to all of them and come on time because class needs to finish before the service starts upstairs.

4- 6 OWL – Sunday April 3,10, 24, May 1,8,15,22, and June 5th.

K-3 OWL – Sunday April 10 (parents and children), 24, May 1, 8, 15, 22, and June 5th.


Parent Groups will be meeting in the UUSA Administrative Office and Rev. Rachael’s Office.

Each Person Has a Voice

This past Sunday we gathered together for the second time inside! We started off with some play time while families made their way in. Here we are exploring the activities…

Then we split into two groups. Preschool children read the book Swimmy, followed by circle and a community art project.

The K-6th grade group met and talked about the 5th Principle. In kid speak – Each person has a voice. Or, 5th Principle: We believe that all persons should have a vote about the things that concern them. We talked about who has power. President Biden was the first to be named, but eventually we made it down to our own town and UU community, and our own families. We talked about the difference between believing something and knowing something. And we talked about how we know something is true. When we got into unicorns and Santa Claus I decided it was not time to ruin anyone’s fantasies and we started a quick drawing session. The assignment was to draw a cartoon creature declaring something. Elves, unicorns, birds and fish were represented.

We’re back under the UUSA roof together!

This past Sunday we were able to get back in the building for religious education. This was the first time since March of 2020! First we met Rev. Rachael in the Sanctuary. After we lit the chalice together we took a good look at the space. According to a fifth grader in the bunch, the space seemed a lot smaller than it used to. I’m guessing this is because he’s probably a foot taller. From the sanctuary we took turns taking the elevator down, we checked out the RE spaces and then the parents went off to Parent Group and the children settled into circle.

During circle we read the book In My Mosque by M.O. Yuksel and we talked about how the mosque in the story was the same and different from our building. After reading the story we divided into age groups and did joys and sorrows, check in and some water coloring painting.

Following RE we provided Childcare. During this time the little ones stayed downstairs, but the older ones went upstairs for the beginning of the service and had Time for All Ages with Rev. Rachael. After Time for All Ages the children were sung out and the kids had free play for the remaining time.

8 UU PRINCIPLES TO LIVE BY

This past Sunday we talked about our UUSA’s 8 Principles and how we can use them when we are participating in our religious education classes at the UU (and on zoom) and when we are out in the world at school and with our families. To illustrate how we can apply our UUSA’s 8 Principles to our life, Jacy read the book Our Class is a Family by Shannon Olson. Please note that the UU has officially adopted 7 Principles and the 8th Principle will be brought to General Assembly soon.

Covenant

One could say that writing a group covenant is the cornerstone or perhaps the center piece or the touch stone for all UU’s.

Here is this from the UUA website, “Developing a Covenant of Right Relations is an important step in clarifying expectations and creating a safe environment for congregations. “Covenant” is Latin for “come together” and means a “solemn agreement” or “promise from the heart” regarding a course of action between parties. An article from Interconnections explains how covenants help members respect and hear each other.”

Today after a couple of months outside and zooming, we tackled writing a covenant for the children that participated on zoom.

First we read the book, “Counting on Community” which is linked below.

Then we talked about how we wanted to be in community with each other outside and on zoom. The nice thing about covenant is that it can always change! As the group grows and develops things can be added and taken away or edited. Here is the group covenant that we wrote today:

We will communicate with words and with hand signals like a thumbs up and thumbs down.

We will listen to each other carefully.

We will help each other.

We will share.

What a good covenant! See you next week.

Change

This past Sunday we read the book Change Sings by Amanda Gorman. The pictures are beautiful and the words are inspirational. UU’s have historically been all about change. Whether it is accepting new religious beliefs, promoting new public policies and democratic movements and accepting that as an organization we need to do better to become a more inclusive beloved community. I recommend reading this story with your child and talking about how they can be part of positive community change.