Lesley continued to help the children with their mindfulness practice. Children focused on the present moment using their sense of taste and tried a simple mindful eating experience.
The lesson concluded with the children making fruit kabobs for the congregational social after the worship service. Generosity and mindfulness – what a great way to spend a Sunday morning!
First the UUSA Religious Education program – kids young and old, parents old and older – gathered to share pizza (five food groups in one dish), games and to build our strength for what was soon to come.
Then we set aside our fears and hesitance and we went upstairs to learn to Contra Dance! What a great time was had by all! Thank you to the Grossleins and Anne Louise White for playing and calling. When my teen wanted to leave, I asked her, do you have something better to do than this? She had to admit that no, the dancing was fun and she stayed and partnered up with the six year old who was pulling at her to join in to dance with her again. It is hard not to smile during the dances. I smiled so much my face hurt by the end of the night. And it is good the dance steps repeat themselves over and over until everyone has had a turn. I figured by the sixth repetition I generally knew what was going on, until then, well that’s what smiling is for! That same six year old told her mother that she didn’t want the dancing to end. She wanted it to go on forever and ever.
But wait, that was Saturday night and I’m really supposed to be writing about Sunday. Sunday we talked about how food is an important part of religion. I found some websites, including 9 Religious Foods with Religious Symbolism and an Australian Food and Culture Educational resource to rely on for some of my information, but we spent most of our time talking about what the children knew and can you guess what we ended up eating?
Between bites we discussed why we were talking about Passover when we were worshiping in a UU and they all agreed that people come to the UUSA because people of all faiths are welcome and it is fun to celebrate different holidays. We ended our morning taking turns hiding and looking for the Afikomen. Next Sunday we will celebrate Easter!
Last Sunday part of the UUSA Youth Group led the morning service. The theme was The Circle of Life. It was an amazing experience for both the youth and the whole congregation. What was incredible about the service was that the youth planned it the night before! (Note to self – maybe planning it the week before would be better considering the storm that blew through the day before which could have potentially made coming together impossible.) We literally started with a blank poster paper and after fueling ourselves with pizza, the youth made a list of the sections of the service, they assigned themselves the parts and then they went off to different corners of the room and used the wild web and stacks of books from the RE library to fill in their blanks. Forty five minutes later we came back together, talked about what we found and worked out the flow of the service based on the wording of the readings. Emelia brought her laptop, began a google document and each youth cut and pasted their section into place. That night the youth who needed to polish had access to the doc and were able to go in and work on their reflections. This in turn allowed me to work on the Order of Service and the next morning they came early to fold the orders of service and walk through it up in the sanctuary. I am so proud of this group of youth!
And I am proud of the children who sat through the entire service. Not only did they listen, they participated! They shared during the memory sharing and they came up to share joys and concerns. They sang and even though they had pipe cleaners for fidget toys, I did not see much fidgeting.
So many people came up to me to congratulate us on a job well done. I think what this past Sunday showed everyone is that coming to the UU on a regular basis really does add up to thoughtful, purposeful and well trained UUs. Religion takes practice and I feel so lucky to be able to work with such a dedicated team. Thank you!