Sunday, September 6, 2015

Best Seller for the Ages

Have you ever seen in the bookstore or library a list of “Best Sellers?” It is a list of books that people are currently buying and reading. Who remembers people standing in lines to purchase the Harry Potter books when they were first coming out? Did you know that there is not just one “best seller list” in the publishing world? There are lists for the best selling fiction (made up stories) and best selling non-fiction (true stories or informational). There are lists of hard cover books, paperback books, children’s books, and I think now even electronic books! But there a book that has been a best seller for AGES--the Bible.

The Bible is actually a collection of smaller “books” without their separate covers. There were written by different people, at different times, and for different groups of people. They all have their special point of view about God and how people live in light of that. There is a Hebrew Bible. The first five books are called the Torah that is read during Jewish Shabbat services. And there is a Christian Bible with some of the same books, but more too. A group of Christians met together at the First Council of Nicaea in the year 325! and they decided which books would make up the Christian Bible. Even today different Christian Bibles aren’t all the same.

Inside the Bible's smaller “books” are so many stories! You will find stories of brave and foolish people, of wars and long journeys in the desert, kings and queens, beggars and thieves. There is trickery and family arguments, but there is also poetry and rules to live by. There are stories of miracles happening (when something happens that is amazing or hard to explain). Stories of something bigger, a mystery some call Yahweh or God. People have been telling these stories for a VERY LONG TIME. Whether you think the stories are possible in the real world or not, you might be surprised by the “truth” in them. People always have questions, fears, hopes and dreams no matter where or when they have lived. People always have had trouble getting along 100 percent of the time. Many people today like to read and discuss these stories and remember them to each other.

Over the year we will be exploring the characters and ideas in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles AND as Unitarian Universalists we will ask questions, compare them to our lives and other stories, traditions, myths. 
(from:  Our Roots and Perennial Questions: Important Names, Stories and Ideas from the Hebrew and Christian Bibles by Mary B. Collins, Director of Religious Education, UU Congregation of Danbury, CT)

Friday, September 4, 2015

Creating Space Part Two

Our Lighthouse renovations are nearly complete!  We now have beautiful new flooring in the hallway.

Our front desk area has been removed . . .

. . . . and will soon be replaced with a welcoming seating area, a place to visit and find information.

Here's what the floors looked like when the carpet was up and before the new flooring was put down.

Our youth group did touch up painting in the hallways

They added a new mural to their classroom

. . .  and beautified this bookshelf space.

The Dutch door on the nursery has also been repaired and improved.

Watch for more improvements over the next few weeks, and join us for the "housewarming" party on September 20 after the service to celebrate all the physical improvements that have been done this year.

Celebrating Ourselves as Super Heroes

Today's class was a celebration of all the superheroes we have learned about this summer.  We also celebrated our own superpowers:

Being kind to friends
Noticing things
Finding things that are missing
Learning new things
Running really fast
Creating new things and having interesting ideas

Talk with your child about the "superpowers" each of you have.  How do you use your superpowers to make the world a better place?

We also made super hero capes!  If you'd like to make your own no-sew cape from an old t-shirt, you can find instructions here:

We learned about superhero Christopher Reeve who played superman in the movies.  We talked about the accident that changed his life, and how he was a superhero because he never gave up.  If your child is interested in learning more about Christopher Reeve, you might like to watch this video of Christopher Reeve on Sesame Street talking about using a wheelchair:

It's been a great super hero summer!  I'm excited for a super fall together as well.