CYRE newsletter

UUCPA RE newsletter: September, 2013

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

1. September calendar
1a. Senior High calendar
2. From your Associate Minister of Religious Education: Where we are now
3. Navigators
4. Pick-up intergenerational choir
5. About the Bass Lake weekend
6. CYRE Directory

1. September calendar
Sun., Sept. 1, 9:30 a.m.: Labor Day, no Sunday school, child care only
Sun., Sept. 8, 9:30 a.m.: Regular Sunday school
   10:45 a.m.: Pick-up choir, Room 9
   11:15 a.m.: Safety training for teachers
   12:00 noon: Second Sunday brunch
Thurs., Sept. 12 – Sun., Sept. 15: UUCPA Bass Lake weekend (see below)
Sun., Sept. 15, 9:30 a.m.: Special activities with Dan Harper
   10:45 a.m.: Pick-up choir, Room 9
Sun., Sept. 22, 9:30 a.m.: Regular Sunday school
Sun., Sept. 29, 9:30 a.m.: Regular Sunday school
   10:30 a.m.: Fourth Sunday brunch

1a. Senior High Youth Group (SHYG) calendar:
Sun., Sept. 8, 6:30 p.m.: SHYG meeting
Sun., Sept. 22, 6:30 p.m.: SHYG meeting
Sun., Sept. 29: Probable date when SHYG will serve dinner to Hotel de Zink; watch your email for details


2. From your Associate Minister of Religious Education: Where we are now

Now that we’ve started up a new year of Sunday school and youth group, I’d like to tell you a little bit about the state of the program.

First, enrollment and attendance numbers: As of the end of August, we have 118 children and youth enrolled in our programs. On Sunday, August 25, the first day of the new Sunday school year, we had 63 children and youth in attendance; an attendance above 50% of enrollment compares favorably with other Unitarian Universalist congregations. 63 is a nice number of children and youth to have in attendance in our programs. When we get above 60, we have enough children in each age that it’s fairly likely that every child can find a friend of the same age and gender. However, I’d like to get us up to a regular attendance of 100 children and youth; then just about every young person would be assured of finding a friend.

Second, our financial status: Most nonprofit organizations faced budget cuts in the wake of the recession which began in 2008, and most nonprofits have not yet fully recovered from the recession. UUCPA has done remarkably well; donations by members and friends have gone up every year for the past four years. Donations have not quite kept up with rising costs, however. Part of the increase in costs is due to the fact that two years ago, my position was increased from an assistant minister pay grade to an associate minister pay grade; the rest is due to inflation. Overall, funding for children and youth programming at UUCPA has increased somewhat. This increase compares very favorably with many nonprofits which have cut funding to key programs. We are doing quite well financially, although it would be nice to restore funding for a few things that got cut during the recession, such as child care for weeknight meetings.

Third, the status of those things that are hard to quantify: I hear pretty consistent feedback that our children and youth enjoy coming to UUCPA. Many of our families find UUCPA a supportive place, although some parents have found it difficult to meet and socialize with other adults. Many adults find our worship services meet their needs; those adults who are less satisfied by worship services seem to be able to meet their spiritual needs through small groups and/or teaching Sunday school. Overall, I hear a pretty high level of satisfaction with the “feel” of UUCPA. Of course there’s room for improvement (and I would love to hear your comments and criticisms). But generally speaking, the things that are hard to quantify are doing well.

We’re in a pretty good place right now. I’m hoping that means that we’re ready to increase our attendance by about 40 kids — I’d love to get us up to a regular attendance of 100 children and youth, so that we could feel pretty certain that every child and youth could find a friend of the same age and gender.

I look forward to seeing you at UUCPA sometime soon,
Rev. Dan Harper


3. Navigators

Don’t forget that the Navigators bias-free scouting program for kids aged 7-11 has started up again! They meet on Sunday mornings. Recent outings included a bicycle trip to Baylands. To get on the email list, or for information about joining, contact Nathan Harris unicycledaddy AT gmail DOT com.


4. Pick-up intergenerational choir

Want to help lead a song in the service? Dan Harper will be teaching a song — actually it’s more like a call-and-response chant — to adults and kids after the 9:30 service on Aug. 4 and 11. The idea is that you come learn the chant, and the moves that go with it, and then help Dan lead the chant in the 9:30 service on Sun., Aug. 18, and again on Sun., Aug. 25. We’ll spend about 10-15 minutes each week practicing and refining the chant.

This is a pick-up choir, so attendance requirements are loose — the only requirement is that if you want to participate on Aug. 18, you have to come either Aug. 4 or 11. If you can’t make it on either Aug. 18 or 25, feel free to show up on Aug. 4 or 11 anyway.


5. About the Bass Lake weekend

The annual UUCPA weekend at Bass Lake will take place Sept. 12-15. While all cabins are spoken for, there may be room for a couple more in the Purple class (gr. 7-8) boys’ and girls’ cabins. Please contact Dan Harper immediately if your 7th or 8th grader might like to attend this weekend.

Bass Lake fills up quickly every year. If you want to go next year, please look for an announcement in this newsletter in the spring about the 2014 Bass Lake weekend.

If you registered for Bass Lake this year, you should have received confirmation and information about the weekend by now. If not, please contact the coordinators, Diane Meier-Phelps or Mark Freeman Williams.


6. CYRE Directory

A printed CYRE Directory is available to all families enrolled in UUCPA’s children and youth programs. Note that the main UUCPA directory often does not include families with children, due to a bug in UUCPA’s database program (and yes, UUCPA’s Board of Trustees is working on getting a new database). Please contact Dan Harper if you would like a copy of the CYRE Directory.