Break Out 2019!

For the fourth year in a row we have held an RE Break Out Service around Valentine’s Day.  This year we kept the same theme.

Here is our Order of Service:  Breakout 2019 OOS

The multi-age groups self selected and tackled their tasks with gusto!  And when the half hour was up we came back to sing and show and tell.  Several people asked that we do more services like this one.  If you liked the non-traditional format please let people who weren’t there know what you liked about it.


April Showers Bring May Flowers and So Does RE!

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
(Hellianthus annuus)

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 or