Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Our Church and Ourselves

The middle school youth group made "mirror boards".  These will be added to throughout the year, creating reflections of who we are--those parts that can be seen by a mirror, and those which can't.

The youth also had a discussion about helping others, and ways we are each called to help.

The Discovery Class learned about some special rituals and celebrations in our church.   They practiced with some objects we use--a bell chime, a song book, candles and stones for sharing joys and sorrows.

The Explorers class also learned about special celebrations in our church.  We talked about how rites of passage are celebrated in our church to mark important milestones in people's lives.

Ways to extend the learning at home:

Look at the calendar in the church newsletter together and talk about any special events or celebrations that will be happening at our church.

If your child participated in a child dedication ceremony in our church, tell him or her about the dedication.  (If you are interested in having your child dedicated in the church, contact Rev. James).

Talk about how there are things about people we can see and things we can't see.  Look in a mirror together and describe who you see.  Then make drawings or collages of the qualities you can't see about yourselves just by looking in the mirror.  Talk about how everyone has aspects to themselves that we can't see just by looking at them.

Read the story Old Turtle together.  Talk about how important it is to learn from one another.  Unitarian Universalists believe that no one person has all the answers, and that we can all learn from each other.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Off to a Great Start!

Our classes for children and youth are off to a great start!  The Explorer's class talked about some of the different things we do at our church.  Two things we do are learn together and worship together.  As part of learning about worship, the Explorers wrote new chalice lighting words to be used in their class each week.

Explorers also made special candle holders that were used in a mini-worship at the end of class, and then taken home for personal or family chalice lightings.

The middle school youth group made personal aliens as part of their first Quest of the year.

Throughout the year, part of their challenge will be to explain what Unitarian Universalism is and what their personal beliefs are to their alien.

The Discovery class heard a story about our seven principles and the flaming chalice.  We make promises to one another (our principles) to help us all be in community together and to help us to be our best selves.

The Treasure Hunters class made cardboard houses representing each person's individuality.  Check our our village of individuals!

Ways to extend the learning at home:

Light a family chalice at dinner time or another special time each day.  
Here are some resources for chalice lightings for younger children and for youth.  Or write your own.
If you don't have a family chalice, consider making your own.  

Talk about our first principle:  The inherent worth and dignity of every person (Red Promise:  Respect All People).  Why is it important to respect to everyone?  When can this be difficult?  What can we do to remind ourselves that each person is worthy of respect?