Monday, October 25, 2010

Church School Classes October 31, 2010

There will not be church school classes on Sunday, October 31st.

Instead, we will have a worship service for all ages.  The service will include a children's costume parade, so kids, come in your costume!

After worship the youth group will be hosting the annual fall UNICEF carnival.  All activities are $0.25-1.00, so please bring quarters. 

We still need Halloween or fall-themed coffee hour goodies for our carnival coffee hour spread, so make a contribution if you can.

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Church School Classes October 24, 2010

This week's classes are not to miss!  Very cool and interesting stuff in all grades.

Spirit Play
PreKindergarten, Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd Grades

The interplay between religion and the seasonal rhythms in regions throughout the world is an ancient one.  This Sunday's lesson is an introduction to that interplay for our children.  The story will be new to all our children, and will be a "circle of the year" as we experience in the Northern Hemisphere and specifically in the Northeaster region of the United States.  The circle will move through the equinoxes and solstices as lengths of day and night change. 

Children in the 1st and 2nd grades will have a "story extension" so that this lesson will also include the story of the "Moon Goddess" told in China in the autumn. 

NOTE: Parents, please remember to take your children to bathroom before class to minimize the number of disruptions during class for bathroom breaks and help us keep up with "best practices" as a Safe Congregation.

Stepping Stone Year
3rd-4th Grade

This Sunday we have two creation stories from the Hebrew people.  We'll explore how an important story, like that of Genesis, can arise out of two earlier stories.  We'll start, surprisingly, with a discussion of "Little Red Riding Hood."  If your child has a Bible she or he would like to bring to class for this lesson, she or he would be most welcome to do so!

Bibleodeon
5th-6th Grade

The biblical story of Noah and the flood is a culturally familiar one for most of us.  In this class, we will revisit the idea of covenant and explore whether there is a such thing as "fair punishment" as we ask questions about biblical "truth" and hear Noah's story.  We'll be making animal masks too!

Sacred Threads
7th-8th Grade

We begin our study of Asian religions this week with a look at Classical Hinduism.  We'll take an especially close look at the concept of dharma.  Among other new vocabulary words, we'll learn a word as fun as "henotheism!"  Through all of this we'll be able to ask "are there times when Unitarian Universalists should not follow the dictates of the seven principles?" "Do Unitarian Universalists feel a sacred duty toward anything?"  And "When would it be permissable for a Unitarian Universalist to lie, or even commit crimes in accordance of his or her 'dharma' (if such a concept was accepted)?"

YRU2 (High School Youth Group)
9th-12th Grade

After two weeks in a row of guest speakers, the youth are eager to have a little time to reconnect with one another.  Our time together in youth group this week will thus include check-in, hanging out and eating yummy food, playing some games together, a little business, a chalice lighting and a meaningful discussion. 
 
Please note that the teen choir meets 5:45-6:45PM at 90 Holden Street.

NOTE: Parents, if you missed the Parent Informational Meeting on the Coming of Age program but have an interest in this program for high schoolers, please contact the Faith Development Office right away using the "contact" tab above.   Parents who did attend the Parent Informational Meeting please be sure to get in your youth's application form if possible by this coming Sunday.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Teen Choir!!

Sundays
5:45-6:45PM
90 Holden Street


Teen choir rehearsals have begun.  The rehearsals take place 5:45-6:45 on every Sunday of the month except the first Sunday and performance dates/  High schoolers, why not just give it a try?  No experience necessary.  The choir's first performance will take place in our own church worship service on Sunday, November 21st.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Halloween Costume Parade & A Call For Stories

Sunday, October 31st
During Worship

Halloween falls on a Sunday this year!  We will worship together as a community of all ages, and during worship there will be a costume parade.  Children (and any adults who want to dress up in an all ages-friendly costume) are invited to wear their costumes to worship.  We need three parent helpers for the parade, so please use the "contact" tab above to get in touch with the Faith Development office if you can help.
Also, if any of you have great personal stories of Halloween adventures and experiences, please use the "contact" tab above to get in touch with Sierra-Marie.  These stories may become a part of the worship service.

Treats for the Fall Carnival

Sunday, October 31st
11:30AM

On Sunday, October 31st, we will have our annual fall carnival to benefit UNICEF, hosted by the YRU2 high school youth group.  The carnival takes place after worship at 11:30AM.  Games and activities are each $0.25-$1.00, so please bring quarters.  Invite friends and family!  This is always a fantastically fun Sunday.

The carnival is also "coffee hour."  We need lots of folks to bring in fall treats and Halloween goodies!  Can you bring in a "coffee hour" item to share?
Note: There will not be classes on Sunday, October 31st.  Instead, we will worship together as a community of all ages.  Worship will include a costume parade.

Children's Choir Has Begun!

Sundays
9:00AM-10:00AM

Children's choir rehearsals began last Sunday, and we would like to have our full group gathered this coming Sunday.  Rehearsals will take place weekly at 9:00AM in Diane Mirick Room (room 1).  For this first session of choir, Noel Cary will direct and Cindy Bizzarro will accompany on piano.  If you have not signed your child up to participate, but your child would like to be involved, please use the "contact" tab above to contact the Faith Development office as soon as possible.

The teen choir also has begun rehearsing.  The teen choir is a joint choir of the First Unitarian Church of Worcester and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Worcester.  This choir will rehearse Sunday evenings at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Worcester. 

Youth Calendar Updates

The following are upcoming events for BYKOTA (middle school) and YRU2 (high school) youth groups.  Youth and families, please mark your calendars:

BYKOTA
  • Sunday, October 24th: After church, middle schoolers are invited to come downstairs to the classroom level of the building to help the Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) move into the Church School classrooms.
  • Sunday, November 7th: The BYKOTA monthly meeting will take place at 9:00AM in the "Bride's Room."  We will also go to the Corn Maze at Davis Farmland Sunday afternoon! 
YRU2
  • Sunday, October 17th: Teen choir rehearsals begin.  Rehearsals take place 5:45-6:45PM at 90 Holden Street.
  • Sunday, October 24th: After church, high schoolers are invited to come downstairs to the classroom level of the building to help the Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) move into the Church School classrooms.
  • UPDATED Saturday, October 30th: Cake Bake!  A cake baking and decorating extravaganza for the carnival cake walk.  Also, meal preparation/meal hosting for the Interfaith Hospitalit Network.  12:00PM-7:00PM.
  • Sunday, October 31st: This is the Sunday of our fall carnival, and this year, it happens to also be Halloween!  We will set up the carnival during worship, and the carnival will take place during "coffee hour."  Please plan to arrive by 8:30AM.
  • UPDATED November 5th or 6th: A "bounce party" at Pump It Up!  Day (Friday or Saturday) and time TBA on Tuesday, October 19th.

High School Cake Bake!

Saturday, October 30th
12:00-7:00PM

The high school youth group has decided to have a cake baking and decorating extravaganza on Saturday, October 30th (note that this is a change from the earlier plans to do baking on October 29th and decorating on October 30th).

All cakes will be donated to the cake walk at the fall carnival to benefit UNICEF. 

The event will begin at noon.  In the late afternoon, the group will also be preparing dinner for the Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) guests.  The event will end after cleanup at 7:00PM.

Youth please bring two boxes of cake mix, any flavor.  We will provide the eggs, butter, and oil.  We will also need folks to bring in contributions of pasta noodles, pasta sauce, salad fixings, meatballs, bread, and garlic butter spread.  Parents of youth or youth, please use the "contact" tab above to contact the Faith Development office with a dinner item you can bring.

Church School Classes Sunday, October 17th

This post is a placeholder for class descriptions that will be posted on Tuesday, October 12th.  Please check back at that time.

Spirit Play
PreKindergarten, Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd Grades

This Sunday our Spirit Play classes will have one of the major lessons of the year: the sources and promises of our faith.  In this lesson, we discover the covenant of the congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, which expresses our faith values.  Though we have modified the language to be more accessible to children, the covenant in the original words can be found at this link.  This same lesson was split into two parts in these classes last year, but as many of the children are now familiar with the material, we will try it in a single lesson.  It will be a slightly longer (non-narrative) story than usual, but the children will be invited to participate in its telling.  Afterward, we will have worktime as always.

NOTE: Parents, please remember to take your children to bathroom before class to minimize the number of disruptions during class for bathroom breaks and help us keep up with "best practices" as a Safe Congregation.

Stepping Stone Year
3rd-4th Grade

Our story this week will be an early Greek creation story.  This story will center on Gaia, a female-creator Goddess.  We'll appreciate the diversity of human wonderings about creation as we weave on simple homemade hand looms and re-enact parts of the story.

Bibleodeon
5th-6th Grade

This Sunday we will come across and make a news report on a "crime scene" as we uncover the mysteries in the Cain and Abel story of the Hebrew Bible.  This lesson is an opportunity for us to explore the source and nature of evil, and our own understandings about "making right" in our modern world.

Sacred Threads
7th-8th Grade

The 7th-8th graders are sure to be glad to return to our curriculum this week.  Walt Cunningham will visit the class as a "resident expert in statistics."  We'll be taking a look at demographic trends in religion before we move onto specific Asian religious traditions.  This will help us understand the influence of modern religions on the world, and it may even challenge some of our own assumptions based on our American Jewish and Christian heritage.  The following week we will begin our religion-specific studies with Classical Hinduism.

YRU2 (High School Youth Group)
9th-12th Grade

Our time together in youth group this week will include check-in, hanging out and eating yummy food, playing one game or another, a little business, and two guest speakers.  The guest speakers will be speaking about Judaism from their own personal experiences.  One is a recent convert to Judaism, and the other was raised Jewish. 

Please note that the teen choir will begin meeting also on this date, 5:45-6:45PM at 90 Holden Street.

NOTE: Parents, please don't forget the Parent Informational Meeting on the Coming of Age program.  This meeting will take place from 12-1:00PM in the youth lounge.  Please do not delay at coffee hour...refreshments will be served.

Monday, October 4, 2010

"Coming of Age" Parent Meeting

Sunday October, 17th
12:00-1:00PM

Parents of high schoolers are invited to attend a parent meeting from 12:00-1:00PM in the youth lounge.  We will provide information about a new ministry of the church: the Coming of Age rite of passage program.  This is a no-obligation meeting.  Come and find out program goals, scope and sequence, dates, and participant responsibilities and opportunities. 

Church School Classes October 10, 2010

Happy Holiday Weekend!

Spirit Play
PreKindergarten, Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd Grades

This Sunday we have a meditation and prayer "work" to (re)introduce to the children: the finger labyrinth.  We will talk about journeys, and take a journey with our fingers through the labyrinth.  We'll even try a marble!  And, of course, as with all Sundays, we will have worktime.

NOTE: Parents, please remember to take your children to bathroom before class to minimize the number of disruptions during class for bathroom breaks and help us keep up with "best practices" as a Safe Congregation.

Stepping Stone Year and Bibleodeon
3rd-4th Grade and 5th-6th Grade

Our 3rd-6th graders will be attending a children's chapel worship service this week instead of class.  As with all weeks, we begin our morning in the sanctuary, but after dismissal from the sanctuary we will go to the chapel on the third floor.  The theme of the morning will be "friendship."

Sacred Threads
7th-8th Grade

The 7th and 8th graders have chosen the children's chapel theme (friendship) for the younger children and next week will assist in leading chapel.  Several students have volunteered to be the chapel musicians, one has volunteered to be a reader, and there are other jobs still available.  Assistance would be welcome from any 7th or 8th grader who can come a little early to church on Sunday (10AM).

YRU2 (High School Youth Group)
9th-12th Grade

The high schoolers have a guest visiting youth group this week: Bunny Guerrin.  Bunny is a congregant who has a wealth of knowledge about Unitarian Universalism, including childhood experiences in this very church and adult experiences here and elsewhere.  Bunny will chat with the youth about Unitarian Universalism, and is glad to answer any questions.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Mt. Wachusett Climb

Sunday October 10
After Church

We’re climbing Mt. Wachusett after Church. We’ll use Mountain House Trail, which an easy trail, about a mile long, on the easterly side of the mountain. Little ones, senior citizens, and everyone in between can do this walk, which is a gradual trail with lots of stopping places for anyone who needs to catch their breath. It takes about 30 minutes, or a little longer if you stop frequently to admire the view on the way up. The other option is to take the chair lift from the ski area, but there’s a fee. There is not access to the top by vehicle.  The road is being reconstructed and is closed.

When we get to the top, views of the countryside should be magnificent. Fall foliage should be at its peak. If you bring binoculars, you’ll probably see migrating hawks, and possibly eagles. Little ones (and others) will enjoy hunting for garnets that have eroded out of the rock – not gem quality, but still fun to find.

Mt Wachusett is in Princeton, about 25 minutes north of Worcester. I-190 to Route 140 is the quickest route, but Route 31 through Holden is also an option. Maps will be available. We’ll start from the parking area for Mountain House Trail, on Mountain Road at the intersection with Gregory Road.

The plan is to leave the Church shortly after noon in individual cars or informally arranged carpools. Pack a lunch and eat it when you’re hungry – before leaving the Church, on the way to Mt Wachusett, or on top. The Church will provide cider and cookies on top of the mountain.

Wear boots or sneakers. Dress in layers, with sweaters or sweatshirts and windbreakers. A small backpack is handy for carrying extra coverings, a water bottle, and lunch. If it’s a really chilly day, you may want a hat and gloves. It can be windy and chilly on top. Mt Wachusett is the highest point in Massachusetts east of the Connecticut River, so the wind comes sweeping up the westerly side. Princeton’s Municipal Light Department has two wind turbines on the westerly slope, which supply about 40% of the Town’s electricity.

For those who want a more rigorous climb, there are many other trails up the mountain. Don’t feel that you have to take the short route, but look for us on top when you get there.

Rain Date: We’ve been blessed with many sunny days this fall, but if it rains on October 10, we’ll push the mountain climb to the following Sunday, October 17.

Questions? Call John Mirick 978-464-2313