Thank you to all of our wonderful faith communities (AME Zion, Jewish Community of Amherst, Mercy Baptist Church, Newman Catholic Center, Islamic Society of Western Massachusetts, Insight Meditation Center of Pioneer Valley) who welcomed the UUSA 12 and 13 year old youth who participated in the Neighboring Faiths program for the 2015-16 year. The program culminated in a worship service led by the youth, with the strong and supportive volunteer crew to guide them. It was heartening to see the sanctuary packed with congregants open and interested in the what the youth had to say about their experiences. In between reflections on their visits and how the other faiths were similar to the UU, the youth played instruments and sang beautifully. It was truly inspiring for all ages.
Unitarian Universalists use poetry for inspiration and worship. This past Sunday we wrote poetry lines about our mothers and we made UU My Mother Believes posters using fabric scraps and markers.
Some of my favorite lines include, “My mother gives hugs like a panda” and “My mother is as smart as my dad.”
The children was very efficient with the project. We were done with time to spare and got out the games. Two upper elementary boys worked on Mother’s Day Mad Libs and we ended in circle time with one of the mad libs which I have to admit was pretty funny.
This morning our very enthusiastic children talked about the importance of clean water. We began by picturing our favorite places with water. Some pictured ponds, others lakes and some the ocean. Then, to really get to know our subject, I asked the children to be water. We moved like water, we waved like water, we froze like water and we melted. Eventually, we dropped like water into our chairs and I read The Wonder Thing, by Libby Hathorn which is full of images of animals, plants and people in water, using water and enjoying water.
Will this Sink or Float?
Pennies sink. Toothpicks float. Paper floats and then sinks.
The second part of our morning involved a piece of aluminum foil, a couple of pennies and toothpicks and random objects like pipe cleaners. I asked, how can you use your aluminum foil to float your pennies? It was astonishing how fast they figured it out. We went from there. Our boats got more sophisticated and sturdy as the minutes ticked by. Soon we were floating scissors and sailing our boats in their little tubs. Eventually boats were carrying other boats. And of course there was water everywhere!
We all agreed keeping Earth’s waters clean is important for all living things which is of course part of our seventh principle.