Monday, April 25, 2011

For Children and Youth: Sunday, May 1 2011

Spirit Play
PreKindergarten and Kindergarten Classes
This Sunday we will hear a story of the "lifecycle of a butterfly." In nature, children have some of their very first encounters with birth, change and growth, and death. 

Spirit Play
1st Grade
1st graders, come hear the story of a seed growing into a plant! The unfolding of a whole plant from a tiny seed is an everyday miracle of nature.

Spirit Play
2nd Grade
This Sunday we will hear the story of Muhammad's life.  This story has a direct connection to our April 3rd story called "The Stone in the Temple." 

Stepping Stone Year
3rd-4th Grade
This week, we will be introduced to Vilhjalmur Stefansson, a Canadian Unitarian adventurer who loved the arctic.  We'll be talking about perserverence, courage, and respect. 
NOTE: We need a parent to be substitute teacher in this class this week.  Can you help?

5th-6th Grade
We have spent most of this year studying the Jewish Bible, but before Easter we began talking about Jesus.  This week we will look at "Jesus the teacher" (next week "Jesus the healer"). 

Sacred Threads
7th-8th Grade
We have not had a "lesson Sunday" for a number of weeks, but before the break, we considered Popular Taoism.  This Sunday, we'll talk about Philosophical Taoism.  We'll survey the writings of Lao Tze and the Tao Te Ching.
NOTE: The following Sunday, May 8th, we will once again work on our video project.

YRU2 (High School Youth Group)
9th-12th Grade
Youth group is Sunday from 10AM-12PM.  Let's reconnect now that the school holiday has ended!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Thanks to Teachers, and Teachers Needed!

As we head to the end of our "Church School Year" together, parents please consider writing thank you notes for your children's teachers or advisors.  These volunteers have put in much love and many hours to minister to your children.  In fact, please consider helping your children write thank you notes as well!

In May we have a party for all the teachers and advisors, and their families.  If you may be able to help with party planning or hosting, please use the "contact" tab above to get in touch with the Faith Development Office.

Please consider also that a number of our teachers are due for a break from teaching!  If you have not yet taught, or have not taught for a while, please consider joining one of our teams in the coming year.  If you can help out, use the "contact" tab above to get in touch with the Faith Development Office to see if this might be the best volunteer match for you.  This is more important now than ever, as this summer we will be making a staff transition during a time when we are normally focused on making sure we have enough volunteers. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Curricular Selections

Tentative selections of next year's curricula have been made.  Please see below:

Prekindergarten, Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd Grades
These classes will all continue with Spirit Play.  1st and 2nd grades will have some more advanced lessons.  Some adaptations to the model may be made in 2nd grade (see below).  We have structured the Spirit Play classes to provide a spiritual home for our children, grounding them in the principles of our covenant as Unitarian Universalists, and introducing them to the sources of our faith, such as the world's many religions, the words and deeds of prophetic figures throughout history, and the teachings of science. 

3rd Grade
Third grade will continue with Spirit Play if we are able to find teachers who can make some necessary adaptations to the model to be more consistent with Montessori's model for children ages 6-9.  If we are unable to assemble the right team for this effort, this class will instead return to a traditional church school model and use a curriculum called "Experiences With the Web of Life," which fosters the development of a spiritually grounded love for the earth and the interconnected web of which we are a part.

4th-5th Grade
This class will be introduced to the Hebrew Bible this year through the "Bibelodeon" curriculum which was so well-liked by the teachers and kids in the next older class this year.  This will be the precurser curriculum to "Jesus and the Kingdom of Equals," which will be used the following year.

6th-7th Grade
After two years of Bible study, our 6th and 7th graders will explore their own emerging beliefs, our shared Unitarian Universalist faith, and their relationships with others and the world.  They'll be given ample opportunity to share their own ideas about life's big questions, while also continuing to build a foundation for a responsible search for truth and meaning.

8th Grade
As they head into high school, youth have the ability, desire, and often the scholastic background to discuss complicated issues of religion and philosophy. The curriculum we have selected, "Truth and Meaning," is designed to respond to many of the common questions Unitarian Universalist youth have at this stage as they attempt these discussions.  They are often the only Unitarian Universalist in their class, or even in their school. They sometimes have trouble explaining to their friends the nature of a religion with no creed and no dogma, and they are uncertain about what exactly their friends believe. "Truth and Meaning" helps youth uncover what they have in common with their friends, religiously, and where they differ.

Monday, April 18, 2011

For Children and Youth: Sunday, April 24, 2011

Note: This Sunday is Easter Sunday! After the 10:30 worship service, each class will be invited outside (weather-permitting) for an Easter Egg Hunt. Each class has an assigned area in which to do the hunt and an egg limit per child.  Parents will be responsible for the supervision of their children during the hunt.

Spirit Play
PreKindergarten and Kindergarten

This Sunday, come hear the story of a seed growing into a plant.

Semi-Advanced Spirit Play
1st Grade
Join us and hear about Jesus's life and ministry.  

Advanced Spirit Play 
2nd Grade
On Sunday we will be introduced to the Christian resurrection story.

Stepping Stone Year, Bibleodeon, and Sacred Threads
3rd-4th Grade, 5th-6th Grade, and 7th-8th Grade

This Sunday we will have a special children's chapel worship service in which we tell the Christian resurrection story.  The children are invited to bring money of their own for the chapel offering.  

Note: 7th and 8th graders have three options on Sunday. They can either attend chapel or attend worship in the sanctuary with family, or they are invited to hide eggs during worship for the younger children's Easter Egg Hunt. We need a lot of hiders to make this event a success, so thanks in advance to the youth who choose to help with the hunt!

YRU2, High School Youth Group
9th-12th Grade

For Easter Sunday we will attend the worship service in the sanctuary (anyone who chooses not to do so may help hide Easter eggs).  Keep in mind that we will be planning an activity to do on Friday, April 29th.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Easter Eggs Needed

We are collecting Easter eggs for our children's Easter egg hunt.  We need all eggs by Sunday, April 17th.  Thank you in advance for your donations. 

Please bring in plastic Easter eggs  filled with:
  • small toys
  • stickers
  • money
  • or wapped candy
Please no candy with nuts, including peanuts and tree nuts!! This is very important because a candy with nuts can contaminate a whole bag full of eggs.

Once you've filled your eggs, place them in a bag or basket and label the bag or basket with your name, the number of eggs, and what you've filled them with (this last item is because we divide the eggs up by classes and can address allergens and age appropriateness for groups where this is an issue).   This event is a lot of fun for the children, so thank you very much for the eggs.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

For Children and Youth: Sunday, April 17 2011

Note: This Sunday is Palm Sunday!  As is tradition, our children will be invited to distribute palm leaves in the congregation before heading to class. 

Spirit Play
PreKindergarten, Kindergarten, and 1st Grades

Come hear the exciting and mysterious story of the minister John Murray and the farmer Thomas Potter.  This is one of the great stories of our Universalist history, even if perhaps apocryphal!  The story hails from the 18th century, involves a ship getting stuck in a sandbar and winds that do not turn, and as a result, the birth of Universalism in America. 

Advanced Spirit Play
2nd Grade

Having heard the story of exodus last Sunday, this week we will rejoin the Hebrew people in the desert.  Our story is called the "Ten Best Ways" and it follows Moses to his reception and dissemination of "the ten commandments."  Because the children are now familiar with Moses and "the people of God" who fled Egypt for the desert, this would be an especially good year to consider attending the annual Passover Seder at church with your 2nd grader. 

Stepping Stone Year, Bibleodeon, and Sacred Threads
3rd-4th Grade, 5th-6th Grade, and 7th-8th Grade

This Sunday we will have a special children's chapel worship service in which we tell the story of Passover.  This is an important story in its own right, and will also be helpful to the children next week when we have a second children's chapel worship service and hear the story of the end of Jesus' life.

YRU2, High School Youth Group
9th-12th Grade


BYKOTA Food Drive

Did you know that we are one of the Carty Cupboard food pantry's biggest donors?!  Many families count on us to have enough food to get through for a few days when times are rough.  Our middle school youth group, BYKOTA, takes a collection of food and money for Carty Cupboard just one time per year.  Last year due to the doubling of all money collected by a generous donor, we were able to contribute about $2000 to the pantry in addition to hundreds of non-perishable food items.  Imagine what we can do this year if we set our minds to it? 

Please bring donations of food and money to worship on Sunday, May 1st.  As is tradition, the middle schoolers will push a grocery cart through the aisles to take up this special collection. 

See you there!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

For Children and Youth: Sunday, April 10 2011

Spirit Play
PreKindergarten, Kindergarten, and 1st Grades
Our prekindergarten, kindergarten, and 1st graders will hear the story of Moses and the "Ten Commandments" this Sunday.  The story is called the "Ten Best Ways" and it is organized into three components: "Love God," "Love People," and "God Loves Us." 

Advanced Spirit Play
2nd Grade
Our story this Sunday in second grade is the Jewish story of Exodus, with references to Passover.  The children will be introduced, among others, to Joseph, Moses, and Miriam.  The following Sunday this same class will hear the "Ten Best Ways" story described above as the continuing story of Moses and his people.

Stepping Stone Year
3rd-4th Grade
Wondering about death is a universal experience that weaves together the entire history of humanity.  This week we will continue our class conversation about death.  We will hear a story from the Wintu people of Northern California, one story that seeks to explain death.  We'll ask, what is the role of love in death?

There will not be class or youth group meetings for 5th-6th, 7th-8th, or 9th-12th Grades this Sunday. Instead, we will all attend the annual "Senior High Sunday" worship service in honor of graduating seniors Kaitie, Reina, Noah, and Melina. 

However, the BYKOTA (middle school youth group) will be attending a movie together after church.  If you have a youth in BYKOTA, please see your email for more details.  A permission form will arrive in your mailbox later this week.