UUCPA RE newsletter: January, 2016

Contents:

1a. Sunday school calendar
1b. Youth calendar (SHYG, Coming of Age, OWL)
1c. Navigators
2. From your Associate Minister of Religious Education
3. “Peace Experiments” coming soon
4. Ecojustice Camp 2016
5. Bill Wilson Center “Adopt-a-Family” report
6. Guest at Your Table wrap-up

1a. Sunday school calendar

Sun., Jan. 3:
9:30 a.m.: Sunday school
10:30 a.m.: Community singing

Sun., Jan. 10:
9:30 a.m.: Sunday school
11:00 a.m.: Parent Journey
12:15 p.m.: 2nd Sunday lunch

Sun., Jan. 17:
9:30 a.m.: Sunday school

Sun., Jan. 24:
9:30 a.m.: Sunday school
10:30 a.m.: 4th Sunday brunch

Sun., Jan. 31:
9:30 a.m.: Intergenerational service

1b. Youth calendar (SHYG, Coming of Age, OWL)

Sun., Jan. 3:
9:30 a.m.: SHYG
11:00 a.m.: Coming of Age
6:30: OWL gr. 7-9

Sun., Jan. 10:
9:30 a.m.: High school drop-in group
11:00 a.m.: Coming of Age
6:30 p.m.: OWL gr. 7-9
6:30 p.m.: SHYG

Sun., Jan. 17:
9:30 a.m.: SHYG meeting
11:00 a.m.: Coming of Age
6:30 p.m.: OWL gr. 7-9

Sun., Jan. 24:
9:30 a.m.: High school drop-in group
11:00 a.m.: Coming of Age
6:30 p.m.: OWL gr. 7-9
6:30 p.m.: SHYG

Sun., Jan. 31:
9:30 a.m.: Intergnerational service
11:00 a.m.: Coming of Age
6:30 p.m.: OWL gr. 7-9
6:30 p.m.: Mandatory parent meeting for OWL parents
6:30 p.m.: SHYG

N.B.: Coming of Age will begin meeting weekly as of Jan. 3.

1c. Navigators
Navigators is our bias-free scouting program. Junior Navigators is ages 7-11 (approx.), and Senior Navigators is 11-17. Both groups usually meet at 11:00 a.m. on first and third Sundays, but often do special activities. For meeting dates, please contact Ed Vail to be put on the email list.

Thanks to James Sperry for suggestions on how to make the calendars more readable!

 

2. From your Associate Minister of Religious Education

January is a good month to look back at the previous year, and make plans for the year to come.

First, some numbers: At the end of 2015, we had 120 children and youth registered in our programs — down from 131 at the end of 2014, but up from 102 at the end of 2013. We had a big influx of new children and youth in the fall of 2014, but we lost some of them because we didn’t have enough classes and youth groups. To address this, we added additional youth programs and another Sunday school class in 2015.

Some more numbers: Year-round average attendance, including children, youth, and adult leaders, was 65 in 2015 — up slightly from 63.5 in 2014, and up from 57 in 2013. So even though our enrollment dropped in 2015, our attendance went up slightly. So it looks like we got better at making room for new children and youth.

Looking ahead, the UUCPA Board of Trustees has begun to talk about how to continue growth in our children and youth programs. We are up against space limitations at the 9:30 service, and the Board will explore what our options are. I’d like to note that growth is both good and bad. If we add more children and youth, we’ll be able to offer a greater variety of programs. However, growth also means we’ll need more volunteer hours, and a bigger budget. These are issues the Board will have to wrestle with.

In the mean time, the Children and Youth Religious Education (CYRE) Committee and I are tackling more immediate issues. We’ll be doing our annual review of curriculum soon, to see which programs are working, and what needs improvement. I continue to oversee development of new curriculum resources, including ongoing development of our “Neighboring Faiths” curriculum for middle school, and new projects like an upper elementary curriculum on ancient Egyptian religion.

I’d love to hear from you about our programs. Which children and youth programs do you think work well? What needs improvement, and what is missing?

See you soon,
Dan Harper

 

3. “Peace Experiments” coming soon

Our spring project in the Sunday school this year will be “Peace Experiments” (March 20, April 3, 10, 17, 24, May 1, 2016). The idea behind “Peace Experiments” is that instead of talking about how war and violence are bad (a negative approach) or teaching peacemaking skills (a deficit-based approach), we want children to have fun doing inherently peaceful activities (peace as positive and fun).

We are looking for adults and high school-aged youth who would like to lead positive, fun, peaceful activities. Could you teach any of the following?
— baking cookies for social hour
— outdoor cooking on a grill
— theatre games
— skits and plays on the theme of peace
— meditation
— quilt-making
— weaving
— other fabric arts
— cooperative games and group initiatives
— making origami
— tie-dye
— juggling
— unicycling

If you’d like to lead a fun and peaceful activity during “Peace Experiments,” please contact Rev. Dan Harper.

 

4. Ecojustice Camp 2016

UUCPA’s Ecojustice Camp is a fun community of campers — a place to learn outdoor skills — and a time to connect with the natural world. We believe humans can have a positive impact on each other, and on the natural world. For more info, see the Ecojustice Camp Web site — http://www.ecojusticecamp.com

Week-long day camp, with one optional overnight, for kids completing grades 2-5 will be June 20-14, 2016.

And we’re adding a middle school day camp, with one optional overnight, for kids completing grades 6-8 from June 13-17, 2016.

(Don’t forget Peace Camp at First Unitarian Church in San Jose, for gr. 1-5, from June 13-17, 2016 — https://uupeacecamp.wordpress.com/ )

 

5. Bill Wilson Center “Adopt-a-Family” report

he final results of our participation in the Bill Wilson Center Adopt-A-Family Program, as reported by Kris Geering:

We got each of the three foster children a pair of pants, a shirt, a warm coat, a toy (Lego set), AND a Target gift card for $130!

Thank you all so much for your donations, your time, your warm thoughts, your encouragement, and for helping to make these boys’ holiday a little brighter.

 

6. Guest at Your Table wrap-up

A reminder from beth Nord: If you participated in the Guest at Your Table program, don’t forget to turn in the money you put in your Guest at Your Table box. The easiest way to turn your money in is to write a check for the amount of the donation to UUCPA with “Guest at Your Table” in the memo line. Remember that a contribution of $40 or more will get you a subscription to UUSC’s newsletter “Rights Now.”

 

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