CYRE newsletter

UUCPA RE newsletter: December, 2012

December, 2012, news for Children and Youth Religious Education (CYRE) at UUCPA

Lots of stuff in this holiday season newsletter, but you only have to read the things that apply to you!


1. December calendar
   1a. Senior High and Coming of Age calendar
2. From your Associate Minister of Religious Education
   No Rehearsal Christmas Pageant, and Christmas Eve candlelight services
3. OWL comprehensive sexuality education for gr. K-1 and 4-6
4. Guest at Your Table program
5. Family orchestra — Play a song of Christmas!
6. Junior choir at Christmas
7. Child dedications: Welcoming babies and new children

1. December calendar

Sun., Dec. 2, 11:00 a.m.: CYRE Committee meeting
   Info: Shannon Casey
   11-12: Parent Journey discussion group (note changed date)
Sun., Dec. 16, 10:30-10:55: Sing Christmas carols in the Fireside Room
   11:00: Owl parent meeting (see below)
   7:30-9:30 p.m.: Family Orchestra (see below)
Sun., Dec. 23: Intergenerational service (see below)
Sun., Dec. 24, 6:30 and 8:00 p.m.: Candlelight services (see below)

1a. Senior High Youth Group (SHYG) and Coming of Age (CoA) calendar:
   Sun., Dec. 2, 6:30 p.m.: CoA
   Sun., Dec. 9, 6:30 p.m.: SHYG
   Sat., Dec. 16, 6:30 p.m.: CoA
   Sun., Dec. 23, 6:30 p.m.: SHYG
   Sun., Dec. 30: No meetings

2. From your Associate Minister of Religious Education

On Sunday, December 23, we will have an intergenerational service — the annual No-Rehearsal Christmas Pageant. In this pageant, we will retell the old story of Christmas from our Unitarian Universalist viewpoint, and there will be opportunities for adults and children to don minimal costumes and silently take part in a very simple staging of the Christmas story.

This has been a favorite annual service for both kids and adults. (Preschoolers and toddlers sometimes have trouble sitting through the whole service, but there will be child care available as usual.) If you haven’t been before, I encourage you to attend.

Another service that you may want to attend is the Christmas Eve candlelight service. This is a traditional lessons-and-carols service — that is, we sing a carol together, then Rev. Amy Morgenstern or I reads a short passage from one of the Bible texts telling the story of Christmas, followed by another carol, another reading, etc. Amy and I tend to read from that monument of English prose, the King James Version of the Bible — its sonorous phrases are a part of our shared cultural inheritance as people who speak the English language. Amy also gives a brief homily, presenting a Unitarian Universalist perspective on Christmas. Then everyone gets to hold a lit candle (everyone who is old enough, that is, or old enough to do so with a parent’s assistance). There will be two candlelight services, one at 6:30 and one at 8:00, and children are welcome at both. These services are a great way to have a calm moment in the midst of the Christmas rush.

Hope you and your family have a pleasant and relaxing holiday season,
Rev. Dan Harper

3. Our Whole Lives (OWL) Sexuality Class for K-1 and 4-6th Grades:: Parent Meeting on December 9, 2012

Our team of teachers is excited to offer the highly acclaimed Our Whole Lives (OWL) curriculum for K-1 and 4-6 graders in Winter Term 2013. The OWL courses are offered periodically for varying age groups from youth to adults, helping participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. The OWL program embodies values including the dignity of the individual, the importance of personal responsibility and safety, and the essential interdependence of all people. The OWL courses for these younger age groups provides age appropriate information in six subject areas: human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. This class has lasting benefits for the kids who attend and promotes communication within families.

If you have a child in kindergarten, 1st, 4th, 5th or 6th grade, we encourage you to attend the PARENT MEETING on SUNDAY, December 9th at 11am. In the meeting, parents will have a chance to review the curriculum and the class calendar, learn about the teaching team, ask questions, and register their child(ren) for the course. In 9 sessions, participants explore age-appropriate topics with added discussion to tie our UU values into what they learn. Care is given to create a safe environment during these classes, where questions can remain anonymous and participants can share ideas and thoughts in confidence.

OWL classes are held from 11am – 12pm on Sunday mornings. Classes begin January 6th and continue through March 10th. It is recommended that children attend the entire series during Winter term. Questions? Contact Dan Harper or Maribea Berry.

4. Guest at Your Table program

Don’t forget to leave your Guest at Your Table box on the table at meals to remind your family of how we’re supporting the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee’s work for human rights around the world.

You can drop off your Guest at Your Table contributions on Sunday, December 23, the date of the annual No-Rehearsal Christmas Pageant. Please be sure to convert the coins and small bills from your Guest at Your Table box into a check. Make the check out to UUCPA, with “Guest at Your Table” on the memo line.

(If you won’t be at UUCPA on November 18 and/or December 23, you can drop off your Guest at Your Table box on another convenient Sunday.)

5. Family orchestra — Play a Song of Christmas!

Join the Family Orchestra to play Christmas carols on Sunday, December 16, 7:30-9:00, in the Fireside Room at UUCPA.

We have the music. You bring your instrument and play. If you have a music stand, bring that, too. We have music for everything from violin to cello, flute to trumpet to bassoon. The music is easy. All ages are welcome. If you are interested, contact Carl Skold at 650-965-1704, so that we will know how many copies of each part we will need.

6. Junior choir at Christmas

Paul Kostka will be going around to the Red (pre-K), Yellow (gr. K-1), and Green (gr. 2-3) classes in the weeks leading up to Christmas to teach those children two Christmas carols. We will send home words and music to the carols Paul teaches. Then on Sunday, Dec. 23, children who have learned the carols will be invited to sing them with the congregation at the 9:30 service.

7. Child dedications: Welcoming babies and new children

When a child comes into our church family, whether because just born, just adopted, or recently joined our congregation, we Unitarian Universalists (UUs) celebrate with a ceremony called a dedication. The purpose is to welcome the child, declare his or her name, and promise our support to his or her parents, and the ceremony is always very sweet and joyful — everyone in the congregation is smiling.

We celebrate dedications at the service right before solstice and Christmas, and again at Easter, so one is coming up at the December 23 intergenerational service. If more than one dedication is being celebrated, we give each child a separate ceremony within the larger one, so we can tailor it to your family.

If you know you’d like your child’s dedication to be celebrated on December 23, or you have questions, please contact our parish minister, Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern or Rev. Dan Harper by Sunday, December 9.