CYRE newsletter

UUCPA RE newsletter: May, 2013

May, 2013, news for Children and Youth Religious Education (CYRE) at UUCPA

1. May calendar
1a. Senior High and Coming of Age calendar
2. From your Associate Minister of Religious Education: About the Coming of Age intergenerational service
3. May Day events on May 5
4. About the Flower Communion intergenerational service
5. Navigators scouting program: new time

1. May calendar
Sun., May 5, 9:30 a.m.: Last day of Judean Village
  10:30 a.m.: Maypole dance and ice cream
Sun., May 12, 9:30 a.m.: Flower Communion service (see below)
   11:00 a.m.: Parent Journey
Sun., May 19, 9:30 a.m.: Coming of Age service (see below)
Sun., May 26: Memorial Day weekend, no Sunday school, child care only

1a. Senior High Youth Group (SHYG) and Coming of Age (CoA) calendar:
Sun., May 5, 6:30 p.m.: CoA
Sun., May 12: Contact SHYG advisors for meeting time
Sun., May 19, 9:30 and 11:00 a.m.: CoA leads worship services

2. From your Associate Minister of Religious Education

On May 19, the participants in the Coming of Age program will be the worship leaders at both services. I’d like to encourage you to bring your children to this intergenerational worship service. Here’s why:

Back in 2009, at an open meeting here at UUCPA, Sam Neff told about how when he was a child, he saw some older kids leading the Coming of Age service. Sam said he thought to himself, “I could do that.” Sure enough, a few years later, Sam participated in the Coming of Age program himself, and spoke from the pulpit in the Main Hall during a worship service. Not only that, but Sam went on to become a worship associate, and spoke regularly in Sunday morning services until he graduated from high school and went on to college.

One of our four big educational goals is to teach children the skills associated with liberal religion, including working in groups, committee and leadership skills, and public speaking. The Coming of Age program for grades 8 through 10 helps young people learn all these skills. In the Coming of Age program, the young people first develop a “credo,” or statement of religious identity. Then the young people work together to plan and create a worship service together. They figure out how to present their credos to the congregation, sometimes in innovative ways (as you will see during the Coming of Age service on May 19). The whole process helps them develop skills in collaboration, leadership, and public speaking.

Like Sam Neff, younger children can be inspired by seeing the big kids put on an entire worship service. That’s why I hope you’ll bring your children to the Coming of Age service. And we can all encourage the younger children to imagine that some day, they too will present their credos to the whole congregation.

Hope to see you, and your children, at the Coming of Age service on Sunday, May 19!

— Rev. Dan Harper

3. May Day events on May 5

We’ll have several May Day events at UUCPA on Sunday, May 5:

(a) Purple class (middle schoolers) are invited to come at 9:30 to learn Morris dancing from Robert Neff. Morris dancing is doen by teams around the world, traditionally on May Day (May 1), to “dance the sun up.” Robert usually teaches a stick dance, which involves hitting sticks — it’s hard to explain, so you should come and see what it’s like.

(b) Maypole dancing will take place at about 10:40 on the grassy area. All ages are invited to participate.

(c) During the Maypole dancing, ice cream will be available for a donation (or free to visitors and anyone who can’t afford it).

(d) Purple class will meet at 11:00 on the grassy area for more ice cream (no donation required this time!), and for a closing celebration at the end of the Sunday school year.

4. About the Flower Communion intergenerational service

Each year, we have a “flower communion,” a ritual developed in Czechoslovakia by the Prague Unitarian church in the 1920s. Everyone who comes is invited to bring a flower to share. All the flowers are gathered in large bowls and vases, and at the end of the service everyone takes home a different flower. Each flower is unique, symbolizing the uniqueness of each individual human being; and the sharing of flowers symbolizes the way we are all interconnected. Children tend to enjoy this intergenerational service, and it’s good for them to experience a uniquely Unitarian Universalist ritual.

5. Navigators scouting program: new time

Please note that the Navigators socuting program is now meeting at 11:00 a.m. on the first and third Sundays. When there are field trips, meeting times may vary somewhat. Send email to navigators at g mail dot com to be put on the email list for up-to-the-minute information.