Monday, November 30, 2009

Shepherds Wanted!


We're short shepherds for this year's Christmas pageant. If your child is in the 1st grade and up and has been on the fence about being a pageant participant, please let him or her know that we need more shepherds, and that his or her participation would be a wonderful addition to the show. We'd love to have your child's participation, so please contact Sierra-Marie at 508 757 2708 x. 105 or s mg er fao @ fir stun ita rian .co m (take out all spaces).

Christmas Pageant Rehearsal Schedule


Christmas Pageant rehearsals for participating children in the 1st through 8th grade begin this Saturday, December 5th. We'll rehearse from 9:00am-12:00pm. Shepherds and angels need only attend from 10:00am-12:00pm. All cast members, please be sure to arrive promptly.

Our second rehearsal will take place on Saturday, December 12th at the same times, and our final rehearsal is our dress rehearsal. The dress rehearsal is held the morning of the pageant, and then the pageant takes place during worship later that morning.
Please note that there are still openings in the pageant, so if your child would like to participate but has not yet signed up, contact Sierra-Marie at 508 757 2708 x. 105 or s m ge rfao @ fi rstuni tari an. com (take out all spaces) right away.

For Children and Youth: Sunday, December 6, 2009

PreK, Kindergarten, and 1st Grades (Spirit Play classes): This Sunday we will learn about christenings in preparation for the child christenings that will take place during the worship service at the Christmas pageant. Our teachers in prek this Sunday will be Suzanne and Laura, in kindergarten will be Lee and Renee, and in 1st grade will be Vivian and Joonu.

**Important: please note that both preschool and kindergarten will rehearse songs together for the pageant from 11:35-11:50, so please pickup your preK and kindergarten students at 11:50 instead of 11:40. We will return to our normal schedule after the pageant on the 13th.

2nd-3rd Grades (Holidays and Holy Days): This Sunday we'll be celebrating a victory for religious freedom and a light that would not go out in a lesson on Hanukkah. This year the first day of Hanukkah is December 12th, so the first candle will be lit on December 11th. Our teachers will be Kim and Joyce.

4th-5th Grades (Jesus and the Kingdom of Equals): As we prepare for the Christmas pageant, we'll get a little out of order this week so that we can do our lesson titled "unto you a child is born," which covers Jesus' birth. See Matthew 1:18, 2:1-20, and Luke 2:1-20. Our teachers will be Cindy and Henry.

6th Grade (Amazing Grace): Let's work on our Church School video project! We'll do some filming, and we also might be taking a look at this article. Our teachers will be Scott and Brandt, and he will be accompanied by our special guest...the Rev. Thomas Schade.

7th-8th Grade (Popcorn Theology): Join us this Sunday as we watch and discuss the "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". You are welcome to bring some popcorn or a no-nut Christmas treat to share. Our teachers will be Jen and Gina.

**Note: BYKOTA (middle school youth group) meeting and OWL (middle school Our Whole Lives class) take place this Sunday. The BYKOTA meeting is at 9:00am as usual, and the OWL class is at 12:30pm as usual.

YRU2 (High School Youth Group): Please join us for check-in, music, discussion, and social time this Sunday. See you there!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Middle Schoolers Don't Forget Sunday's Event


(Originally a Save the Date post from November)
Updated Monday December 14th

This coming Sunday, December 20th, BYKOTA (our middle school youth group) will eat bagged lunches together after worship and then head over to the Little Store, a thrift shop on Chandler Street.

The Little Store is a collection site for donated holiday gifts for kids. Our youth group spends the afternoon (12:30-3:30pm) helping to get the gifts ready for the kids who will be receiving them. Our middle schoolers often say this is one of their favorite and most rewarding events of the year. You won't want to miss it!

Permission forms were distributed at the BYKOTA December meeting and will also be in your mailbox this week, in case your form is missing. You need only bring a bagged lunch and your form on Sunday.

Note: There will not be an Our Whole Lives 7th-8th Grade class (the sex ed class) again until January 3rd, so there is no time conflict for students of this class at that event.

Happy Advent!


Happy holidays from the Faith Development office! We have a "homemade advent calendar kit" for your family as a holiday gift. It will be waiting for you in the Bancroft Room Sunday November 29th or at the Green Christmas party in Unity Hall, Sunday, December 6th.

Sunday, November 29th: An Intergenerational Worship Service

This coming Sunday we will worship as a congregation of all ages. There will not be children's classes -- including OWL -- or high school youth group. Instead, we will go to the sanctuary together and worship through:
  • Singing

  • Lighting our first advent candle

  • Prayer

  • Bread communion (in addition to "regular" bread, we will have some gluten, soy, and dairy free bread...however, please note that this gluten/soy/dairy free bread does contain almond milk)

We'll need ushers in the 4th-7th grade. These individuals will have a special role in the worship service, so will need to arrive at 10am on the dot on Sunday to be trained.

When children arrive on Sunday, they should pick up a worship workbook on their way into the sanctuary. There will also be a quiet sensory/kinesthetic object that comes with the workbook.

Finally, it is helpful to speak ahead of time to your children about what a worship service is like. For very young children, it may be helpful to bring a couple small, silent toys or books for them to access as needed.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

From the UUA Bookstore

If you were thinking about purchasing any of the faith-affirming gifts for children, youth, and young adults on this list, you might be interested in this message from the UUA bookstore...

Dear Friends,

We've had a wonderful response to our ongoing free shipping offer (ends November 24)! Many of you are taking this opportunity to save on shipping for books that are not yet published, like A People So Bold: Theology and Ministry for Unitarian Universalists and Sunday and Every Day: My Little Book of Unitarian Universalism.

I've added new titles and products to our Holiday Gift Guide and to our list of new books, including one about Hanukkah for children.

Sincerely,
Rose Hanig, UUA Bookstore Manager

Monday, November 16, 2009

Buy a Pie


Planning your Thanksgiving celebrations? You can buy a pie for Thanksgiving and support our youth group at the same time. Please stop by the high school youth group's pie/bake sale table at fellowship ("coffee") hour on Sunday.

For Children and Youth: Sunday, November 22, 2009

PreK, Kindergarten, and 1st Grades (Spirit Play classes): This Sunday we will enjoy a small bread communion together, and hear the story of bread communion, in preparation for the bread communion that we will have together as a whole congregation during the all ages worship service on Sunday, November 29th. Our teachers in prek this Sunday will be Kelley and Suzanne, in kindergarten will be Carrie and Lee, and in 1st grade will be Amy and Jen.

**Important: please note that our preschoolers will be going to worship again this week with all other kids, at 10:30.

However, both preschool and kindergarten will be rehearsing songs together for the pageant from 11:35-11:50 this class and next, so please pickup your preK and kindergarten students at 11:50 instead of 11:40.

We will return to our normal schedule after the pageant on the 13th.

2nd-3rd Grades (Holidays and Holy Days): As Unitarian Universalists, we believe in the gifts of love and service to others which are especially celebrated at this time of year. This Sunday we will gather and enjoy the beautiful Swedish custom of the candle-crowned Lucia maiden who heralds the winter solstice and the arrival of Christmas with music. This holiday is celebrated every December 13th in Sweden. Our teachers will be Colleen and Dave.

4th-5th Grades (Jesus and the Kingdrom of Equals): Last Sunday we had a "special guest" visit our group, and this Sunday we will hear how he (John the Baptist) baptized Jesus. Come find out with us! See Matthew 3: 1-17, Mark 1:2-3, Luke 3:21-22. Our teacher will be Cindy, and she will be assisted by parent helper John.

6th Grade (Amazing Grace): Oops! We had a mix-up last week and started our lesson on "The First U: Unitarianism." This Sunday we will do what was announced for last week...the first of four sessions on Unitarian Universalism. The lesson is called simply "Unitarian Universalism." During this series, we'll explore Unitarian Universalist ideas about morality. We'll have a play to act out and bumper stickers to make, so you won't want to miss this! Scott and Jill will be our teachers.

7th-8th Grade (Popcorn Theology): We'll finish viewing Antwone Fisher during Church School on Sunday, and conclude our discussion of forgiveness. Our Whole Lives (OWL), our sex. ed. class, will happen at our usual 12:30pm time, and we will have a special guest panel visiting this class.

**6th, 7th, and 8th Graders please note that our next BYKOTA (middle school youth group) meeting is on Sunday, December 6th. On Sunday, December 13th, we'll be heading over to the "Little Store" to sort and or wrap donated Christmas gifts.

9th-12th Grade (YRU2, high school youth group): Join us for youth group on Sunday followed by a pie sale Thanksgiving fundraiser during coffee hour. Don't forget to bake some yummy pies to sell!

Pageant Openings

Kids, there is still time to sign up for the Christmas pageant, but please contact Sierra-Marie at 508- 757- 2708 x. 105 or sm ge rfao @fi rst un itari an. com (take out all spaces) right away if you want to sign up.

The openings at this time are:

1. 2 wisepeople
2. At least a couple more shepherds

Thank you to the many parents who have already signed up to help out with the pageant and rehearsals. We have only these slots left for this big production, and would love your help in filling them:
  • 2 "Kid Wranglers"
  • 1-2 "Holiday Crafts People"
  • 3 Snack Kings and Queens
  • 1 Costumer
  • 3 Props Assistants
  • 2 Hair Accessory Masters
  • 1 Directors Assistant
The Pageant sign-up table in the Bancroft Room during coffee hour has a volunteer sheet with more information about each of these positions, or you can see the volunteer sheet sent home to you via snail mail.

Rehearsals are on Saturday, December 5th and Saturday, December 12th from 9:00am-12:00pm for narrators and primary roles, and 10:00am-12:00pm for angels and shepherds.

Angles and shepherds are encouraged to come to both rehearsals for the most successful experience, but are only required to come to one. On Pageant morning, Sunday, December 13th, we have a dress rehearsal prior to our actual "showtime" during the worship service.

Thanks for your help. This promises to be a great year of the pageant!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Want to Know What the Teen Choir is Up To This Month?

Friday, November 13
  • Coffeehouse performance at the Holden Street church (90 Holden Street). If you are not a member of the teen choir, please come see this most excellent lineup and support the youth in their fundraising endeavor. Buy tickets at the door for only $5! The performances begin at 7:00pm. Teen choir members please be sure to go a little early for the extra rehearsal at 5:30pm.

Sunday, November 15-Sunday, December 6th
  • If you are a teen who auditioned for the Mummer's Play, please note that rehearsals begin Sunday November, 15th and continue straight through to December 6th, 6-8 pm every Sunday (INCLUDING Thanksgiving Weekend Sunday November 29).
~~Teen choir is open to all youth in 9th-12th grade.~~

For Children and Youth: Sunday, November 15, 2009

PreKindergarten, Kindergarten, and 1st Grade (Spirit Play): This week in each of our Spirit Play classes we will be hearing a simple story of Jesus' birth called "Miraculously Ordinary Story of a Baby." In this story the children will be introduced to Jesus' birth within the context of a stable, his naming, and things that people have said about his birth: that there were angels, that people traveled to see him, and that a star was fixed in the sky above where he slept. They will be introduced to Jesus as a great teacher who many people believe to be God's son. We have chosen to tell this story in November to coincide with our rehearsal of "Away in a Manger" for the pageant. We'll wonder about Jesus' birth story and, possibly, our own birth stories. We'll wonder about being important and feeling important.

Please don't forget our extended class time this week for preK and kindergartners so that we can rehearse our pageant songs with Madeline. Our preK teachers this week are Gina and Kelley, kindergarten teachers are Lee and Carrie, and our 1st grade teachers are Jen and Joonu.

2nd-3rd Grade (Holidays and Holy Days): Please join us this Sunday for popcorn and necklace-making as we are introduced to a Wampanoag ceremony of thanks. If you are able sometime this week, you are encouraged to research the Wampanoag nation a bit on your own. Your parents might be interested in looking at some of the questions on this link with you. As Unitarian Universalists, we believe that no one should force their own religion on other people. Dave and Gillian will teach.

4th-5th Grade (Jesus and the Kingdom of Equals): This Sunday in a lesson called "The Voice Crying Out in the Wilderness," we will be joined in class by a special and memorable "wild-eyed" visitor, "John the Baptizer." Come find out who John was, what he was like, and why he did the things he did. See Matthew 3:1-12, Mark 1:2-8, and Luke 3:1-17. This lesson will lead into one next week on Jesus' baptism. Our teacher this week is Cassie, with assistance from Parent Helper Matthew.

6th Grade (Amazing Grace): This Sunday we will have the first of four sessions on Unitarian Universalism. During this series, we'll explore Unitarian Universalist ideas about morality. We'll have a play to act out and bumper stickers to make, so you won't want to miss this! We may also do some more work on our video project. Our teachers are Brandt and Scott.

7th-8th Grade (Popcorn Theology): We'll watch a second segment of the PG-13 movie Antwone Fisher, which is a biographical drama about a member of the Navy who confronts his past in order to overcome it. Eventually he becomes an acclaimed writer and Hollywood producer. In our discussions, we're exploring the theme of forgiveness. For parent information on the movie, click on the movie title above, but please note that we are not showing select portions of the film. For more of a description, see: http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1808396051/details. Helen and Ken will lead our class.

**7th-8th grade Our Whole Lives (sex ed class) will meet as usual at 12:30pm.

9th-12th Grade (YRU2 Youth Group): Please join us for check-in and social time, for a game or two, and for a possible discussion on some messages in music. Note that next week, Sunday, November 22nd, we will be doing a Thanksgiving bakesale/pie sale during the coffee hour. Please plan ahead to bake some pies, and contact advisor Ted if you have any questions or concerns.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Christmas Pageant Upates


Last updated 11/10/09

This Sunday, November 15th, several things happen:

1. We continue sign up for the children's Christmas Pageant. Children in the first grade and up are eligible for various parts. Parent helpers of all types are very much needed.

2. We continue teaching our kids in preschool and kindergarten two songs: "Away in a Manger" and "Jingle Bells." These kids will have the opportunity to be in our pageant's Growing Times choir, and meanwhile, all of them learn the songs during Sunday School.

For preschool and kindergarten, please note adjusted class times this week to accomodate learning these songs:


  • Preschool: Will begin at 10:30 and end at the normal 11:40.

  • Kindergarten: Will begin at the normal 10:45 and end at 11:50.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

For Children and Youth: Sunday, November 8, 2009

Preschool, Kindergarten, and 1st Grade: On Sunday we will have a special introduction to our class "church corner," which will contain our liturgical work. We'll begin with a lesson on the water ceremony that we did on ingathering Sunday this fall, upon returning from our summer adventures. As always, the children will have independent worktime following the morning lesson. Parents, please be sure to remember to take your children to the bathroom in advance to minimize potty breaks during class and help us stay within Safe Congregation guidelines. Preschool teachers will be Laura and Gina, kindergarten teachers will be Lee and Diane, and 1st grade teachers will be Joonu and Vivian.

2nd-3rd Grade (Holidays and Holy Days): This Sunday in a lesson on Sukkot, we'll reenact the Biblical thanksgiving harvest celebration. This amazing lesson involves building a Sukkah, and is not one to miss! Our teachers will be Gillian and Colleen.

4th-5th Grade (Jesus and the Kingdom of Equals): This Sunday we'll be talking about the boy Jesus and his world. What was Jesus early life like? Did he go to school? Where did he attend religious services? What might he have thought about? We'll learn together. See Exodus 20:8-10a, Deuteronomy 5:12-14a, and Luke 2:41-52. Our teachers will be Cassie and another teacher TBA.

6th Grade (Amazing Grace): This Sunday will be our fourth out of four lessons on religious perspectives on right and wrong. We'll further explore ways people decipher right and wrong actions. Our teachers will be Brandt and Jill.

7th-8th Grade: We'll begin watching and discussing the PG-13 movie Antwone Fisher, which is a biographical drama about a member of the Navy who confronts his past in order to overcome it. Eventually he becomes an acclaimed writer and Hollywood producer. For parent information on the movie, click on the movie title above. For more of a description, see: http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1808396051/details.

**7th-8th grade Our Whole Lives (sex ed class) will meet as usual at 12:30pm.

9th-12th Grade (YRU2 Youth Group): This Sunday we will have a business meeting in which we finalize a covenant and firm up our plans for the year. This is an important meeting, so please do your best to come this Sunday if at all possible. Also please bring your personal calendar of any type so you can record important dates.