For Sunday, April 9, 2017
If you are a member of All Souls, please participate in the special congregational meeting on April 9 at 11:30 a.m. As you may be aware, a Relocation Task Force was commissioned by the Board of Trustees in May 2016 to evaluate the pros and cons of All Souls moving downtown. The findings of the task force were shared with the congregation during meetings in December and January. Those findings, the Board's recommendation to the congregation, and FAQs are available online at allsoulschurch.org/relocation.Your vote and your voice matter in this decision which will impact our church for the next 100 years.
Please attend our combined service for all at 10 a.m., then join us for the congregational meeting at 11:30 a.m. to cast your vote on April 9. Childcare will be available throughout the meeting, and lunch will be served.
IF YOU'RE A MEMBER, PLEASE COME, LEARN, AND CAST YOUR VOTE!
Here are a few highlights for this Sunday’s children and youth activities, followed by the day’s schedule, and notes on what our children and youth will experience in Religious Exploration.
- Our Book Drive continues, sponsored by Partners in Education to support the kids at Jackson and Gilcrease Elementary schools. Please bring your donations of new and gently used, easy picture and chapter books to the Family Room or West (Channing) entrance throughout the month of April.
- We are recruiting guides for next year’s classes. We want you to be a part of your children’s religious education. To find out how to get involved, contact Shannon Boston, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Children’s and Youth Choir, Rehearsal at 9:15
- Religious Exploration Classes, 10:00-11:00 a.m.
Our younger graded classes will continue working with their UUA Tapestry of Faith curricula this week and throughout the church-school year. There is detailed information about each classes’ lessons at the end of the email.
o First and Second grades meet in the Presidents’ Room (4)
o Third and Fourth grades meet in the Artists’ Atelier (124)
o Fifth through Eighth grades meet in Room 128
o Ninth Grade Coming of Age meets in Room 120 until 11:00 a.m., then will help prepare sandwiches for lunch.
o Tenth through Twelfth Grades will meet in the Sponge Room until 11:00 a.m., then attend the Congregational Meeting.
- Snack and Social Time,11:00-11:30 a.m.for Grades 1-8 on the West Playground unless weather is severe.
- Chapel, 11:30-noon, for pre-k and 1st through 8th grades. Family and friends are welcome as always.
- Spiritual Expressions in Creativity, noon to 1:00 p.m. for children and youth in Kindergarten through 8th grades.
We have an amazing assortment of classes to choose from this Sunday. Please look over the list and think of a first and second choice as these classes do have size limits and are on a first come, first served basis.
o Lego Freestyle (all ages)
o Visual Arts (all ages)
o Yoga Games and Poses (all ages)
o Ceramics (grades 3-8)
o Dungeons, Dragons and Divinity (grades 4-8)
o OWL for pre-registered Kindergarten and 1st graders
- 1:00 p.m.
o Children whose parents are in the Congregational Meeting will be fed lunch and provided with activities until the vote concludes. Others may be picked up in the Family Room.
o Middle School Youth Group meets until 2:30 in Emerson Hall.
o Youth Choir 4:00-6:00 p.m. Youth Choir (grades 8-12) rehearsal
o Children’s Choir 6:00-7:00 p.m. Children’s Choir (grades 4-7) rehearsal
o High School Youth Group meets at 6:00 in the Sponge Room; dinner is provided.
For more information on Youth Group activities, please contact our Youth Director, Tanner Phillips, email@example.com. For more information on any of our Children’s and Youth Choirs, contact David Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org and visit the website http://allsoulschurch.org/ccyc.
Please Volunteer - just 10 hours a year!
Our children and youth programs are free and cooperative in that they include very few paid staff and rely heavily on volunteers for leading and assisting classes almost every Sunday morning throughout the year. We ask that each family that participates in the program find at least 10 hours each year to donate to our program.
We have tons of volunteer opportunities, including
- supervising snack and social time and Chapel (11:00-noon)
- assisting in our Spiritual Expressions classes (noon to 1:00)
- subbing in the Sunday school classroom (9:45-11:00)
- assisting once a month with our Social Action Projects (9:45-11:00)
You can pick up a Parent Participation form at either of our two check-in desks. Thank you!
Additional notes on curricula …
World of Wonder. Grades 1 and 2 explore Session 15 of this UUA Tapestry of Faith curriculum on Sunday.
It's the little things citizens do. That's what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees... We can work together for a better world with men and women of goodwill, those who radiate the intrinsic goodness of humankind. — Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder of the Greenbelt Movement
IN SUNDAY'S SESSION... we’ll talk about working together cooperatively to care for the interdependent web. We’ll hear a story about the First Unitarian Church of St. Louis and how people of all ages are engaged in projects to become a "Green Sanctuary." We’ll play cooperative games and created a handprint garden mural together.
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about... times when your family has worked cooperatively with others. A project at school? At your congregation? In the wider community? Are there interfaith partnerships in your area?
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. The people at First Unitarian in St. Louis shared the bounty of their garden with a local food pantry and also served meals there. Organize a neighborhood food drive for a local organization. Sign up to prepare and serve a meal at a local homeless shelter.
A Family Adventure. Create your own handprint family garden mural or other cooperative project. Invite friends or neighbors to join you.
Family Discovery. Find out more about the UUA's Green Sanctuary program. Is your congregation participating? If not, are there other families who might be interested in working together to develop a Green Sanctuary proposal for congregational leaders?
A Family Game. Try cooperative storytelling or play other cooperative games. Invite your friends and neighbors too! Two great resources are the books Everybody Wins! and Win-Win Games for All Ages by Sambhava Luvmour and Josette Luvmour.
A Family Ritual. Many UU congregations celebrate seasonal communions—with water, flowers, or bread. With your family, try an apple communion, a rock communion, or a seed communion. Learn more from The Communion Book by Carl Seaburg or create your own.
Signs of Our Faith: Being UU Every Day. Grades 3 and 4 explore Session 15 of this UUA Tapestry of Faith curriculum on Sunday.
Our lives begin to end the day that we become silent about the things that matter. — Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King
IN SUNDAY'S SESSION... we’ll talk about public witness as a sign of our Unitarian Universalist faith. We should speak up when we witness a wrong and speak out to support those who need help. We’ll view posters that witness for justice. We’ll hear about John Cashin, an African American leader in Huntsville, Alabama who was a member of the UU congregation there. Cashin witnessed for the rights of Black Americans to participate in the political process. He is one of our UU ancestors.
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about... public witness events family members have experienced. Where did they go, what did they do, and why? Did they believe their presence made a difference? How?
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try... witnessing together. Attend a rally, march or public forum to support a cause your family believes in. Ask other families to join you and make a banner that says "UU Families For... " to further your witnessing presence.
Family Adventure. Explore the world of public witness art, online. If you use Pinterest, create a board devoted to your favorite social justice and public witness graphics. Start by pinning images from these sources:
- Ricardo Levins Morales is one modern artist who has designed many social justice posters. His graphic illustration of global inequity in access to clean water appeared in the Summer 2010 UU World Family pages.
- The Graphic Imperative was an art show presented by the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and Philadelphia University. It includes social justice posters from 1965 to 2005.
- The Syracuse Cultural Workers catalog has myriad items from tee-shirts and posters to CDs and DVDs to support public witness on a variety of causes.
Family Discovery. The University of Wisconsin's School of Education produced a list of 50 books for children on peace and social justice. How many have you read? See how many more you can read together.
Family Ritual. Do you know about Standing on the Side of Love, the Unitarian Universalist Association's campaign for justice? Research a variety of justice causes, learn how to support them with your family or congregation, and purchase tee-shirts from the campaign. When you attend social justice events, wear your shirts as a sign that you are a UU family working for justice.
Leadership Suggestion. Public witness can be about all kinds of issues and topics. Children may be inspired to think of their own witnessing ideas by watching Clara Huff's series of Kids Witness News videos on YouTube. She witnesses about many different topics, from favorite books to turning twelve.
Windows and Mirrors. Grades 5 and 6 explore Session 14 of this UUA Tapestry of Faith curriculum on Sunday.
Oh God, if there is a God, save my soul, if I have a soul. — Joseph Ernest Renan, French philosopher and historian
Prayer helps us to identify our motives, our pains, our cravings, and joys. As we come to know ourselves, we are changed beyond selfishness into harmony with those Presences from which we spring and to which we return. Prayer is not a request to shape the future to our desires, but a way for us to offer ourselves to the Larger Process. Martin Luther said that we pray not to instruct God but rather to instruct ourselves. — Vern Barnet, minister emeritus, Center for Religious Experience and Study (Kansas City, Missouri)
Christians pray, Buddhists pray, Jews pray, Muslims pray, humanists pray, atheists pray, agnostics pray, philosophers pray, the righteous pray, the unrighteous pray, some Unitarian Universalists pray and some do not, in the formal sense, but I believe, in the broader sense, Unitarian Universalists, of all the people I know, pray hard and long. We are praying people. Emerson, remember, called prayer "the soul's sincere desire." I've never heard it put better. — Rev. Thomas Mikelson, in a January 7, 2002 sermon at the First Church in Cambridge (Massachusetts)
DURING SUNDAY'S SESSION...
We’ll test Unitarian Universalist versions of prayer practices based on a variety of religious traditions to discover what feels comfortable and useful in our personal search for truth and meaning. We’ll use our bodies, words and music in different ways to open ourselves to a sense of awe and wonder, exploring the use of prayer and meditation practices to connect with a larger force inside or beyond us. From the story, "Letter to Nancy ," the children learn that three purposes of prayer and meditation are to express thanks, regrets and hopes.
EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about...
Ask your child what a labyrinth is, its purpose, and how to use the finger labyrinth. If your child has not brought home a finger labyrinth, find one online . A labyrinth offers a journey of self-discovery. Because there is only one path in and out, a labyrinth does not require you to think about anything in particular.
Ask your child about the prayer stations they experienced today. Which were memorable? Comfortable? Challenging? Satisfying? At which stations did your child feel most open? Most loved?
Talk with your child about prayer in your life. Mention any prayer practices or rituals that have meaning for you. If this is the first time you have shared with your child something as intimate as your relationship with prayer, this could be one of the most important conversations you ever have with your child.
EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try...
Talk with people who use various prayer or meditation practices to learn what they do, why they do it, and the rules or customs related to the practice in its faith or culture of origin. The children received a handout today, Respecting Others' Spiritual Practices. Review it together. If prayer does not offer you any possibilities and you do not intend to explore or practice prayer or meditation with your child, do reinforce ways we can show respect for others' prayer traditions.
A FAMILY RITUAL
Whether or not you pray or meditate or have ever found such a practice meaningful, consider how you celebrate gratitude, reflect on regret or focus on your deepest hopes. Talk with your children about ways to be intentional in these expressions. Perhaps there is a prayer ritual your family can practice together. Ask your child whether they discovered a practice in this session your family could try.
Many families say a grace or blessing at mealtimes. If you do, do you consider these words a prayer? Make a conscious choice of grace or blessing words to use. Talk together about how the words are a prayer. Why, and to whom or what, do you say them? If you are looking for words, one multi-faith resource is Simple Graces for Every Meal by Ingrid Goff-Maidoff.
Search "prayer" on the UUA online bookstore website for Unitarian Universalist prayer and meditation resources. The online UUA WorshipWeb provides blessings and meditations, searchable by topic. On the Beliefnet website, find guidelines for prayer practice in a "Family Prayers FAQ."
A FAMILY GAME
Play Hide and Seek to practice listening to one another and listening for clues about a person's location. In some ways, prayer and meditation can be like playing Hide and Seek with the Divine, a deity or your deepest self.
Choose a daily prayer practice that everyone in the family can do. Make a commitment to follow it for 30 days. Discuss your goals and expectations for the practice and how children and adults can help each other try it. At the end of 30 days, evaluate how it felt and how it met your expectations. In what ways is a regular practice different from a practice you try just once? How is a commitment to pray different from other motivations, such as emotional urgency or spiritual need? Family members may wish to continue the practice, or try another one.