Solstice – We Are of the Stars

img_0073Last Sunday the RE children led the solstice service and it was beautiful!  Click here for the order of service so you can see what we accomplished: 12-18-16

I am so proud of the children who read the different selections – your voices were clear and strong.  The singing was wonderful and the poem was sincere.  I want to thank Lesley Smith for playing the guitar and singing and also her daughter Lilah for accompanying us.  We are so appreciative of the love and mindfulness Lesley has brought to our group every month.  I also want to thank Augusta who read the homily written by Rev. Cindy (feel better soon!) and Anna who stepped in to read the closing words.  Finally, I am grateful for the help from Alyson and Susan for volunteering the last few weeks.

Thank you to all of the parents who made these special children and help them come to RE!

I will end by paraphrasing one child’s comments … it is so cool that we are made of the same stuff that makes the stars!

The photo shows the star book marks the children passed out to the congregation during the offertory.

Thank you all and Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

Planning for an Intergenerational Solstice Service

sun-chartLast Sunday we spent the morning planning our Intergenerational service for the 18th.  You may wonder what “planning” means?  For the older elementary students it entailed getting to know the index, the hymns and the text included in the UU hymnal called Singing the Living Tradition and looking at the way the UUSA Order of Service is constructed – and then changing it!  It also meant some hymn sight-reading and some wondering about our relationship with the stars and the importance of light.

For the younger elementary children it meant talking about the sights and sounds and feelings associated with the longest night of the year and then the creation of a poem that I hear involves some movement.

Our pre-school is up and running!  We have gone from no pre-school to a bustling room in a little over a month and it is wonderful – welcome new families!  Jacy is busy helping the youngsters acclimate and get to know the room and each other.

Thank yoUU,

Rebecca

December ’15 Solstice Service

We had a lovely whole congregation service led by our elementary students with the help of five adults and five youth from our UUSA youth group.  It took us three Sundays to plan the service and make the lanterns and congregational gifts and the result was a service that I think touched everyone.

The lanterns we made were based on a project I had done before.  You can read about how to do it on the blog Mango Theory.  We used electric tea lights for safety concerns.  You can see our lanterns in the home banner of this website.  All of the youth and adults involved in creating this service brought the lanterns into the sanctuary at the start of the service.  The lights were left off.

IMG_3601We also made 120 star dough hangings which took a week to dry before we painted them.  This idea came from the internet and I can’t remember the exact website, but the blog PinkMomBlueMom might be the one I was looking at.  The classroom paint we used did not encourage precise strokes and we concentrated on speed and splashes of color!  We handed these out during the offering.  Giving is definitely one of the secrets to happiness.

Below is the order of service we followed.  The service was based on the December Solstice and to celebrate the children wrote reflections and a skit based on on LOVE, LIGHT and HOPE. In each group there were a few elementary kids (preK-6) and a few youth.  It was truly a wonderful experience from the start to the finish.

THE UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST SOCIETY OF AMHERST ORDER OF SERVICE

Sunday, December 20, 2015 10:30 AM

“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” Albert Camus

SINGING BOWL

PROCESSION OF LIGHT RE Children, Youth & Adults

The Holly and the Ivy UUSA Choir trad. English Carol, alternate tune alternate words by Julie Cavacco

BELL AND GREETING

LIGHTING THE CHALICE  To face the world’s coldness: a chalice of warmth. To face the world’s terrors: a chalice of courage. To face the world’s turmoil: a chalice of peace. May its glow fill our spirits, our hearts, our lives. by Lindsay Bates

READING The Shortest Day by J Cooper

IN COMMUNITY

SHARING OF JOYS AND CONCERNS

A TIME OF SILENCE

LIGHT – Skit “Where did the Sun go?”

HYMN This Little Light of Mine No. 118

LOVE – The microphone was passed from child to youth down the row and then back.  Every child said what love was to them.

HYMN Love Will Guide Us No. 131

HOPE – Three youth (11-16) read their interpretation of what each verse of the hymn Come, Sing a Song with Me meant to them.

HYMN Come, Sing a Song With Me No. 346

REFLECTION The Rev. Alison Wohler

INTRODUCTION TO THE DEDICATED OFFERING OFFERING Our offering today will benefit the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee’s Guest at Your Table program, an annual fundraising and education program that supports UUSC’s human rights work. This year they will be highlighting the empowerment of refugees and displaced people. Please make checks payable to “UUSA” and write “UUSC” in the comment section. Thank you for your generosity!

OFFERTORY Winter UUSA Choir by John Krumm and Congregation

EXTINGUISHING THE CANDLES AND THE CHALICE

CLOSING CIRCLE AND SONG (see back of white insert)

CLOSING WORDS Rebecca Fricke, Interim D.R.E.

May all that is good within us, among us and between us fill us always with sun power: the possibility of faith, the warmth and love of community, the solace and quiet joy of peace, and the sustaining light of hope. Blessed be. by Karen Fisk

POSTLUDE Winter Solstice, by Bela Bartok *