June 14, 2017
June 13, 2017
I’d like to thank you all for a wonderful year! I have been thinking about how fortunate I am to have got to spend time with every class, every child, and our Coming of Age Teens and Youth Group. This past Sunday we had to say goodbye to our graduates, but I look forward to hearing all the exciting news of their adventures in the world. I also look forward to seeing your adventures this summer , perhaps on social media or email! Keep in touch, please.
We begin back on the second Sunday of September 2017 with our annual water service. Please bring your friends and neighbors and help us spread the word about the exciting programs and community we have here at UUCW.
This coming Sunday we will offer nursery to age 5 for families with children- all other children may attend the service.
Summer services then begin – there is no childcare during these services, but children are welcome. The services are in a small format held in the lounge. There will be activity baskets and “Busy Packs” for children if needed.
I know all of the summer services are not filled yet. Please contact Rev Aaron Payson if you are willing to lead one!! firstname.lastname@example.org. Our summer services are 45 min-1 hour , an intimate setting, and lay-led. If you have an interest or activity that you’d like to share- summer services are a fun way to do that. I hope you can attend or even lead or co-lead one!!
Please keep your eyes open for our new RE Prospectus for 2017 /2018 that I will be finalizing this week and sending out.
Also, look for the teaching and coffee hour schedule for next year coming to your mailbox soon!
I so appreciate the way our UUCW families participate so generously throughout the year. It makes us a solid church, brimming with energy and love. Thank you for that.
Love and Peace to You All!
I know it seems early, but it is very important that we know what approximate numbers of children we will have in each class for planning purposes. If you could please register your child online HERE , it will be wonderful for us !!
Here is what we are planning by age/ grade. for Sunday mornings and evenings.
Nursery- Up to age 3 – with Kris Johnson and a teen helper. Nursery is free play in a safe space with familiar people each week!
Prek and K- Spirit Play- Montessori- based classroom , hearing stories focussed on UU principles and sources and then breaking out for independent “work.”
Grades 1 and 2- Moral Tales – ( Grades 1 and 2 will also do OWL in the Spring)
Moral Tales will:
- Provide participants with an ethics- and faith-based framework for thinking about what it means to be just and good, introducing and reinforcing concepts such as interdependence, conscience, faith, empathy, forgiveness, compassion, awe, respect, non-violence, responsibility, courage, perseverance, cooperation, ecological balance, fairness, and being welcoming.
- Strengthen participants’ Unitarian Universalist identity by demonstrating the connection between the choices we make in our lives and the beliefs and attitudes we hold as Unitarian Universalists, including our Principles
- Introduce participants to stories drawn from a range of our Unitarian Universalist Sources including Christian and Hebrew scripture; worldwide cultural and religious sources; and biographies of Unitarian Universalists and others who have demonstrated Unitarian Universalist values in their actions
- Provide explication and experiences to acquaint participants with some key tools and resources we use to search for truth and make moral decisions, including conscience, faith, prayer, empathy, and external help from wise others
- Nurture spiritual growth by fostering spiritual practices such as generosity, forgiveness, empathy, faith, non-violence, living in balance
- Empower participants as agents of justice and goodness by providing them with opportunities to share real life dilemmas and solutions — including their own, concrete actions — that reflect their learning in the Moral Tales sessions
- Encourage participants to be responsible, courageous, and persistent in working for goodness and justice in the world
- Foster the creation of a learning community in which everyone is respected, welcomed and honored, diversity is embraced, justice is practiced, and children can learn, grow and have fun together
- Promote participants’ understanding of the world’s interconnectedness, reinforcing cooperation, non-violence, responsibility, and balance as necessary to moral, ethical and spiritual health.
Grades 3 and 4- Spirit Of Adventure-
- Spirit of Adventure teaches UU Identity with a different set of modalities and themes.
- Modalities and themes include: sports, medicine, food, winter holidays, science, building, exploration, web of life
- Each theme is connected to a UU source or principle or famous UU person.
- Activities used to teach are different and adventurous- great for an active class and interactive fun.
Grades 5-7- Building Bridges- Adapted
This class will be focussed on world religions and how the UU religion engages in the diversity. This curriculum will be adapted for a grades 5-7 and will include some field trips and guest speakers.
- Increase knowledge of religions practiced around the world and in local communities
- Understand how religion addresses basic human needs
- Fosters acceptance of the diverse forms that religious expression takes
- Build awareness of the diversity of followers within every faith; understand that to know someone’s religious identity is not the same as knowing what that person thinks, believes, or practices
- Support the faith development of participants
- Empower youth to better appreciate human diversity and connect with others and be able to respectfully discuss important matters with people with whom they disagree
- Nurture open-mindedness and critical inquiry.
Grades 8 and 9- COA Grad Class- Will be doing Teen OWL from Sept -Feb
( after church 12-3 )
Also, they will be able to meet Sunday mornings as a part of Rainbow R.A.T.S small group. all year with once a month gathering with Senior High Youth Group.
Grades 9 -12 Senior High Youth Group– Sunday evenings 6-8pm All Year
Fun, Outreach, Exploring New Topics, Discussions, Worshipful Experiences, Interaction with Other Youth Groups.
And finally, as something new next year- we will have a one room experiences called ReUUNITE happening in January. Each week we will explore one of the seven principals using story and different experimental stations. It will be a great way to bring children all back together after the holidays. Stay tuned for more info!!
Robin and the REC
May 10, 2017
Coming of Age – The Beginnings and the Endings
May has always been a very emotion-filled month for me. It is a month of beginnings and endings. Spring is here (sort of), my own children’s birthdays land at the end of the month, we start planning for summer, for a garden, and this year for me, my first grandchild (May 30??!) May is also the time when I remember my mother, who passed away 22 years ago on May 31st. In May, I remember those who are still here to mother me alongside the memories of my mother’s wisdom that will always stay with me.
Every other year, I am honored to run our church’s Coming of Age program. This year, we will graduate 14 extraordinary young people on Mother’s Day, May 14th. My heart is so happy for this group- because this ending of a year- long journey for them is really major rite of passage and a very new beginning.
The process began over a year ago, as we talked about the commitment it took to go through this program with the young folks and their families. I asked them to tell me more about themselves and what type of person they thought they would like to have as a mentor.
I then “vetted” the mentors for the young participants and by the end of the church year teens were to “invite” the adult mentor to accompany them through their Coming of Age Year. You have to know, that every adult who was asked in our congregation, said yes. This is a testament to our community. This is how we stand up with our young people – but also, I know it is also a spiritual practice and avenue for personal growth for our adults as well.
So the COA participants, both young and adult, traveled together all year- getting to know and trust one another , discussing the big questions, the deep things, the personal wonderings of “Who am I, what do I believe, and what do I stand up for in the world?”
The young participants were challenged every step of the way. They broke through their awkwardness, shyness, lack of words, and practiced, practiced, and practiced. They practiced how to care about another’s view and show that care so that another may speak up. They, in turn, got to practice speaking up for themselves. They got to practice being tolerant and supportive of someone who was different from them. They practiced conversing with adults about who they were inside and what they cared about in the world. They had many opportunities to face fears and work to overcome them. They did, and with flying colors.
The young COA participants volunteered with their mentors throughout the church and in the community. Some had never met a person who was hungry or homeless. This was yet another way they practiced their humanity.
Their final weekend is coming up this Friday-. They will travel with me, Aaron, and their mentors, to the “Initiation Ground”. In some cultures, when it came time for a child to come of age, they would be sent away from their parents to be tested- sometimes for years- and then return to enter back into their communities as adults. We will only be gone overnight, but the testing has been going on for a while now.
At the initiation weekend they will be asked to leave their old child-selves behind and to return transformed. The weekend is their final challenge, we like to keep it very secret, and it is definitely one of the most awesome and special experiences to witness. Alas, this weekend adds to my emotional May. I get teary just thinking about it.
I am proud of this group, made up of all very different types of young people. They came together and kept their minds open, and were willing to open up their hearts as well. Since last year, they have grown by huge leaps, not only in maturity and wisdom but most importantly in compassion and kindness. I will miss facilitating the COA class; yet look forward to continuing to work with all of these fine people during our future teen programming like OWL and “Rainbow R.A.T.S” and Youth Group.
Congratulations to the COA class and their mentors on your transformative journey.
COA Class of 2016/17
Althea Bediako Melissa McKeon
Ava Bogosian Vickie Cox Lanyon
Lois Divoll Nancy Baffa
KC Johnson Erikson Jane Houghton
Cheyanne Martin Gonyea Claire Breyton,
Jack Hastings Bart Hill
Charlie Heffernan Joe DelGizzi
Conrad Homan David Miller
Alanna Keyo Lee Hill
Rhane Lenanhan Beth Posner-Waldron
Samuel Murillo Paul Vigneau
Joshua Napoleone Fred D’Angelo
Ziehal Stephenson- Sweeney Bart Hill
David Stone Bruce Leshay
With Peace and Happy Travels,
April 3, 2017
This coming Sunday , April 9th will be the last regular RE class for Connections, OWL, Wonderful Welcome and Spirit Play. Also- Please remember it’s the ALL CHURCH PHOTO directly following the service on the front lawn!!
Next week- on April 16th- We have Easter Sunday and a Egg Hunt.
Then we begin our wonderful RE Rotation Workshops on April 23 . This year the theme is Mindfulness. from April 23rd- May 21st- the classes (split by grade) will rotate through a different class each week exploring the theme of mindfulness via changing modalities. One week it will be Mindfulness though Art, then the next will be Mindfulness through Movement, then the next will be Mindfulness through Meditation/Yoga. Finally (after we take a break for Mother’s Day Sunday ) we will come back to review all ways we experienced mindfulness in a One Room Experience.
Memorial Day will be a One room experience , then it’s RE FUN DAY on June 4th and RE Sunday Service on June 11th where we honor our teachers and RE graduates.
The year has flown by and I want to take time to thank all of our wonderful lead teachers for making this a successful RE curricula year. There is a lot of dedication, love and care that goes into teaching- We are truly lucky and blessed to have such a devoted group of RE teachers!!! ~~~ Robin and the REC