This past Sunday our amazing Preschool Teacher Jacy set up stations for the children to move between. One of the favorites was the block monument construction zone and the other was snack! Check out the monuments that included gems and candles. The watermelon was a sign of summer to come. The children did a beautiful job of working together and respecting each other’s space and ideas.
Thank you all.
This past Sunday our Neighboring Faiths group pulled off a thoughtful service that filled the congregation with a sense of purpose, pride, love and appreciation. Thank you to all of the youth for their dedication throughout the year and to the facilitators for helping to make the program happen. I hope that the RE elementary children could picture themselves up in the pulpit in a few short years and that the high school youth could think back on their time in the program and realize how much they have changed since they participated in the program. I hope all the adults in the room realized that one of our missions is to help our children develop their faith and feel a sense of belonging in our congregation.
5-20-18 NF Order of Service.docx
Thanks to Jason for coming to RE to help prepare a special Mother’s Day concert for the mothers of our congregation. Jason wrote a song especially for the occasion!
We practiced singing the song several times and then we wrote poems for our mothers to go with the song and flowers. Once the service was finished we assembled upstairs in the social hall and called for silence. The song was a big hit.
Thanks to Jason and to all the mothers out there!
In honor of the Gay Pride parade that happened on Saturday, May 5th, we read the book Pride by Robert Sanders. The book celebrates the 40th anniversary of the Rainbow Pride Flag and does a great job of providing an overview of Harvey Milk’s work, as well as the artistic flag work done by Gilbert Baker.
After reading the picture book we talked about how the UU has worked to provide guidance to its congregations through the Welcoming Congregation program. The concept of a welcoming congregation has changed since it was first conceived and it is now more radically inclusive than ever before. “Today, most Unitarian Universalist congregations are recognized Welcoming Congregations. The spiritual practice of welcome is a very important one to our faith community.” Before moving over to the art table we also talked about how it is important to act on our principles as we go about our daily lives.
After the discussion we got to work on our own rainbow flags – BEAUTIFUL!
Welcome is a spiritual practice. It takes constant doing and stretching for our welcome to grow. We practice welcome in our congregations by:
This past week I ran into Sue gardening around the UU and I blurted out , “Would you mind if the RE program did some planting?” Sue was enthusiastic. The next leap wasn’t hard to take – “Would you like to help us garden? I’ll buy the plants! How about this Sunday?” Who could say no to extra hands and plants? I arrived Sunday with three boxes of pansies and dark skies. By the time we got outside, it was showering and we moved as fast as we could, using all of Sue’s tools and some kitchen spoons too! By the time we got to the third box it was pouring. We decided to let Sue plant the rest when it let up.
Back inside we talked about why we want to keep the outside of our building looking nice and the consensus was that nice building make people feel welcome. We drew pictures of things that changed and Sue handed out baby sunflowers for everyone to take home to grow. Remember, don’t plant them before Memorial Day! And for those budding scientists, Sue gave instructions on how to do a bee count and turn over the data. I included the instructions below.
Thank you to all the kids who got muddy and cold for the sake of the flowers and thank you to Sue for maintaining our welcoming presence in the Town of Amherst.
Lemon Queen Sunflowers
These sunflowers like the sun and mature to a height of 5 to 6 feet. They have been started
indoors, so they will need some gradual acclimation to their growing spot outdoors. When the
weather has warmed into the 50 degree range, transplant the flowers 12 inches apart, or put your plant in an 8 inch pot. Keep the soil moist and well weeded. You can protect young seedlings from hungry birds with netting or plastic berry baskets, removing before the plants get crowded.
The Great Sunflower Project run by Dr. Gretchen LeBuhn of San Francisco State University uses
Lemon Queen Sunflowers. Participants count the number of pollinators that visit the Lemon Queen in a fixed period of time. When the data is compiled, a baseline number of pollinator visitations for the plant can be compiled for sites across the country. That number can then be used to track pollinator trends over time and determine their health. Bees need our support as they pollinate our vegetables and flowers!
To learn more about the project or participate, go to http://www.greatsunflower.org or firstname.lastname@example.org.