Last Sunday our RE children could tell me which Principles related to cooking for Lucio Perez, a Guatemalan man who has been in sanctuary at the First Congregational Church for the past two years. In looking to link the corresponding principles I found this on the The First Parish in Lexington (MA) website:
Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet.
- Respect the importance and value of each person
- Offer fair and kind treatment to everyone
- Yes to spiritual growth and learning together
- Grow by exploring ideas and finding your own truth
- Believe in your ideals and voice your vote
- Insist on justice, freedom and peace for all
- Value our responsibility in the web of life
The RE children named Principles 1,2,4,5 and 6.
After a very quick explanation we got right to work and divided into three stations – one for salad making, one for lasagna making and one for pie baking. By the end of 45 minutes all of the children had taken a turn in the three stations and we had three significant dishes for one of our families to take home to bake and deliver on Monday. Thank you to those who donated the food for us to prepare. Lucio – we hope you enjoy the food!
This past Sunday was a whole congregation service centered on the UU United Nations Office, the work that the office does and the experiences of Ally (teen) and Kate (adult chaperone) at the past Spring Symposium. You can check out this year’s Symposium here. Rev. Rachael reflected on the work that the UUA has done, but also the work that remains to be done. We were encouraged to take some deep breaths because, yes, there is a lot of work we still have to do.
During the TIME FOR ALL AGES Kate Rice read Intersection Allies: We Make Room for All by C. Johnson, L Council, and C. Choi. I highly recommend this picture book for families interested in talking about how to be good allies.
Building bridges between our divisions, I
Reach out to you, will you reach out to me? With
All of our voices and all of our visions,
Friends, we could make such sweet harmony
During the service children had the opportunity to color in a visual Order of Service which had drawings that related to the different sections of the service, including the Gender Unicorn. The worksheet shown below was included in the regular orders of service.
When you wake up in the morning, what do you think of? Are you grateful? Annoyed? Happy? Sad? Grumpy? Silly? Then during the day what happens to that emotion as you go about your business? You probably start to feel more and more different emotions. Two Sundays (yes, I am behind) ago we had our first Mindfulness lesson with Lesley and she led us through this wonderful demonstration.
- Each child got to say a kind of feeling they have when they wake up, they chose a glitter to represent that feeling and they put some of the glitter in a vase of water. The vase represented our minds.
- When everyone had named an emotion, we each got to take a turn naming an emotion that we feel during the day and while we named the emotion we stirred the glitter. The stirring represented all the things we do during the day. As we passed the spoon around the glitter (emotions) swirled around the water. We are all very busy!
- Then we put down the spoon and we all took some deep breathes and noticed that when we did, the glitter emotions began to slow down and come back to the top of the water.
So, take some deep breaths in order to see how you are feeling! Don’t let your hectic day make you feel all mixed up inside.
This past Sunday was dedicated to the UU’s First Principle: The inherent worth and dignity of every person. Or as the children like to say, “Each person is important.”
We started the morning upstairs for the beginning of service. Reverend Rachael read a story about a snowflake that I have heard many variations of, but this particular version was found in the book A Lamp in Every Corner. The moral of the story (as they say) is that no flake is the same and many flakes are significant. Downstairs we continued the discussion, but instead of snowflakes we talked about people. I asked, if we are all important and worthy, then what do we do when someone is behaving badly? How should we deal with a person who is not being kind? Is someone who is a bully still important? Still inherently worthy? The children came up with a variety of strategies including asking an adult for help, avoiding the person and talking to the person.
We then split into two groups. The younger children read the story I’m New Here by Anne Sibley O’Brien which is a wonderful book about children from other countries coming to America and starting at a new school.
The older group started a people map which is an idea I got from Tapestry of Faith. In order to help them understand how important people are in their lives we started out by identifying everyone in our immediate family and then moving on to extended family, friends and people we know in town.
Principle Challenge! Learn the UU Principles by heart at some point this year! Younger children can learn the simplified version and I encourage the older children to memorize the more complex version. At the end of the morning I handed out a principle accordion flyer. If you and your child did not get one, come and find me!
This past Sunday we talked about the Jewish High Holiday of Rosh Hashanah. Rosh Hashanah is a time of rejoicing, a new year celebration and also a time for personal introspection. It is a time to forgive and ask for forgiveness. We were fortunate to have a mother from Israel come in to talk about her experiences growing up celebrating the holiday and to share our sweet treat of apples and honey.
We then did two different mindfulness exercises. The first exercise was centered around the Rosh Hashanah ceremony called Tashlich which means to “cast off.” For this activity we wrote down something we wanted to forgive ourselves for and forget on a little piece of paper and then we threw the paper into a bowl of water and watched our words float, wash out and sink. We incorporated quiet thinking time as we watched our words become soggy and unreadable.
The second exercise was based on mindful eating. I placed a plate of apples and honey in the center and asked the children to talk about eating and tasting and all the different parts of the body that help us smell and taste. (It was difficult with the food in the middle!) Then we took a minute and a half to chew and smell and taste our apples and honey. After one slice we spoke again and then we tried it again.
To end the day I read the book New Year At the Pier by April Halprin Wayland.