Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Helping Others

Today the Explorer's Class made chalice cookies that the Caring Team will include in care packages being sent to recent graduates.  One of the important things we do at our church is care for others and give service, both to people within our congregation and to people in the wider community.

Want to make chalice cookies at home?  Here is the recipe we used:  http://tressabelle.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/uu-chalice-cookies/
We didn't have a chalice shaped cookie cutter, so improvised with a half-moon and a triangle (with red-hots for the flames).

The Middle School class also learned about helping others.  Children and Youth will trick or treat for UNICEF in the sanctuary following the service on October 27.  All are encouraged to come for costume.  If you child would like to trick or treat for UNICEF at home, we will have extra boxes available to take home.  Read more about trick or treat for UNICEF at http://www.trickortreatforunicef.org/

Tuesday, October 8, 2013


The forgiveness ritual can help us transform our hurt or angry feelings.  All ages gathered in the sanctuary today to participate in our annual community ritual of forgiveness.
"We forgive ourselves and each other, we begin again in love . . . " 
After the forgiveness ritual, the children and youth met with their leadership teams, to work together on projects that support the work of our church.
The Loving Hearts Team addressed birthday cards to children and youth with fall and winter birthdays.
Sending birthday cards is one of the ways we let each other know that each person in our community is valued and important.  We celebrate the growth of each of our young people.
The Helping Hands Team learned about the work of Hospitality House in supporting women who are homeless. 
The children thought up yummy, healthy dinner ideas that they and their families might bring to help the residents of Hospitality House.  Helping others is one of the important things we do in our church.
The Open Minds Team made "papel picado"--cut paper designs that are a traditional decoration in Mexico for celebrations and holidays.  Intricate cut tissue paper designs in purples, pinks, and oranges are used to decorate altars built to honor those who have died.
In November, our next intergenerational worship will be to remember those we love who have died.  We will build an altar together in the sanctuary, and it will be decorated with these beautiful tissue paper banners.  Remembering the gifts of those who are no longer with us, and supporting each other in times of loss are important things we do together in our church.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Discovery class practiced the forgiveness ritual today.  The children talked about how it feels when we hurt someone else, or when someone hurts us.  We talked about how it feels to say you are sorry and try to help the person you hurt, or when another person apologizes to you.  The children wrote or drew something they would like to forgive someone for, or be forgiven for on small pieces of paper, then burned those in the flame of the chalice.  We used tongs to be extra careful with the fire.  Next Sunday we will participate in the forgiveness ritual with the whole congregation.

The Explorers class has been learning about the five activities we do at church:  Welcoming, Worship, Learning, Service, and Creating Caring Community.  Today as service to our church, the children did a clean up of our art supply closet.  They tested markers to find ones that no longer work, and put away items that were not where they belonged.

Ideas to expand the learning at home:

In preparation for next Sunday's forgiveness ceremony, talk with your child about things that you might want to forgive someone for, or ask forgiveness for.  Is there something someone did that hurt you that you are still upset about and find it difficult to forgive that person?  Have you done something that hurt someone else that you would like to be forgiven for?  When we place that in the flame, it burns away, and helps us to feel a little better. Maybe the flame helps us to be brave enough to say “I'm sorry” to someone we haven't been able to say that to. Or maybe the flame helps us be less angry about something we wish someone else would say they were sorry for, and haven't.

How is your family involved in the 5 areas of church?  What do you do to be welcoming to new people?  When do you engage in worship?  How and when do you learn?  In what ways do you give service, either to the church or to the wider community?  What do you do to help create a caring community? Talk with your child about what you enjoy about our church and the ways you are involved.  Are there other ways you would like to be involved?