Green Slime and Gratitude

This past Sunday I knew UUSA member Janis Gray was giving the sermon and in it she was going to talk about a green slimy dessert that was a traditional part of her family Thanksgiving dinner.  Can you guess what I decided to do during RE?

Before I answer, I’ll let you know that during Joys and Sorrows we talked about how Thanksgiving is both a time of joy and a time of sorrow.  Many Native Americans call Thanksgiving the Day of Mourning and it is important that we acknowledge how terrible the Pilgrims were to the native people who lived on this continent before they arrived from Europe.  It is also important to remember that not everyone has enough food to eat or a warm place to sleep.  So, while we take the time to share a meal and family, let us not forget our past or our neighbors and friends who may not have enough.

Janis’s funny story about her family’s green dessert gave me the perfect excuse for us to make non-edible green slime!  It turns out green slime is easy to make and not surprisingly, a big hit with the children.  Here is the recipe:  two Tablespoons Corn Starch, one and a half Tablespoons dish soap and a few drops of green food coloring – mix, mix, add more soap, add more starch, keep mixing and kneading until you get the consistency you want.  The more you mix and knead, the better the slime becomes!

Once we got to the point where we could pull our slime and not have it stick to our fingers we took turns reading poems about gratitude in a book called Thanks a Million by Nikki Grimes.  The book has beautiful messages and pictures.

Between the slime and the gratitude poems I think the children are set for Thanksgiving!  Parents, you’ll be happy to know that this version of slime dries pretty quickly so you probably won’t be finding it all over your house.

Enjoy the time off school and work and remember, if you need help or support in any way, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

 

Tasting Grief and Gratitude

This past Sunday we had a Whole Congregation service led by Rev. Rachael.  It was good to see the children looking interested, sleepy some of the time, alert most of the time, participating in the taste meditation focused on grief and gratitude.  Listen – ding – chew bread – listen – ding – chew bread (repeat 10 times!).  The challenge was to chew slowly and make the bread last.  Many many people lined up to drop a glass stone in the Joys and Sorrows vase.

I believe that children need to learn to sit through worship and ritual that isn’t all about them.  As a teacher I told my elementary school students that one of THE MOST important skills in life is to be able to sit still and look interested even when you are not.  It is my hope that in learning how to sit through worship children will learn to appreciate more and more of the service until one day they too are taken through the arc of emotions the Sunday worship leaders strive for when planning the service.

I am hoping Rev. Rachael and I can work together to do these types of services more and more.  This service was all hers and I was grateful to participate in it and share it with the children.  It was a service that was truly good for all ages.

Our sanctuary had only three seats empty.  Amazing.  To be able to worship with so many is a joy.

 

Universal Signs of Love

This past Sunday we explored the Second Principle by learning about the Side With Love campaign work that UUs have embraced as integral to our work.

“SIDE WITH LOVE LOVE IS A PUBLIC ADVOCACY CAMPAIGN THAT SEEKS TO HARNESS LOVE’S POWER TO STOP OPPRESSION. IT IS SPONSORED BY THE UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST ASSOCIATION AND ALL ARE WELCOME TO JOIN.”

The Side With Love campaigners wear bright yellow t-shirts when they are out and about and I thought it would be fun for us to make our own.  We had a great time as you will see in the photo gallery below.

Talking About Race and Campaigning with Principles

This past Sunday we read the story Not My Idea, by Anastasia Higginbotham.  Not My Idea was difficult to read because conversations about race are hard, but oh so very necessary.  There are no easy answers, but the message is clear – children need to learn about our US history, white systems of power and supremacy and how racism affects people every day in every way.  Downstairs we talked about the book and the children talked about the fact that their parents often will not tell them what bad things are in the news and how this makes them feel.  I found this site which parents and guardians might want to check out.

Children’s Books

Following our check in we talked about voting and I read the book Vote FOR ME by Ben Clanton.  (Spoiler alert!)  Not surprisingly, the independent mouse who stuck to the issues won the storybook election.  After reading the story and thinking about the candidates’ behaviors I gave them the opportunity to crack open the dress up box, make up a character and pick a UU Principle to turn into a campaign slogan.  Since the Sunday’s group included children from Kindergarten up through 4th grade I was prepared for a wide interpretation of the activity, but in the end everyone got right to work and a few even took advantage of costuming to change their identities. 

What were the two top themes?  “Be kind in all you do and each person is important!

While the children were drawing I read the book Granddaddy’s Turn: A Journey to the Ballot Box, by Michael S. Bandy which is about a young boy who goes to vote with his African American grandfather who in the end was denied the vote because he could not read the constable’s illegal reading test.  At the end of the story the young boy, now an 18 year old young man goes to vote for the first time with a picture of his grandfather in hand.

Today is Election Day  – Go Vote!  Your voice counts!

“Vote for Purple Dog for President!!”