CYRE newsletter

UUCPA RE newsletter: August, 2016


1a. Sunday school calendar
1b. Youth calendar (SHYG, Coming of Age, OWL)
1c. Navigators
2. From your Associate Minister of Religious Education
3. Summer Sunday School Schedule
4. Middle school classes
5. Grade 4-5 classes
6. Coming of Age family meeting
7. Teacher workshops

1a. Sunday school calendar

9:30 a.m.: Summer Sunday school
10:30: Community singing on the patio

Sun., Aug. 14:
9:30 a.m.: Summer Sunday school
10:30 a.m.: Teacher workshops (see below)
12:00 p.m.: Second Sunday lunch

Sun., Aug. 21:
9:30 and 11:00 a.m.: Intergenerational Water Communion service
12 noon: Youth advisor meeting

Sun., Aug. 28:
9:30 a.m.: First day of regular Sunday school

1b. Youth calendar

Sunday, Aug. 21:
12 noon: Youth advisor meeting

Sunday, Aug. 28:
11:00 a.m.: Coming of Age family meeting
6:30 p.m.: Senior High Youth Group meets

1c. Navigators

Navigators will return from summer break in September. Contact Ed Vail for info.


2. From your Associate Minister of Religious Education

It’s hard to believe that school is going to start up in just a week or two. And that means Sunday school and youth programs will be starting up soon at UUCPA. We have an exciting year ahead of us, and here are some highlights:

We’ll be offering the acclaimed OWL comprehensive sexuality education programs for the following age levels: gr. K-1, gr. 4-6, and gr. 7-9. We’re also working on offering OWL for gr. 10-12 this year. Watch the CYRE newsletter to learn when to register.

We’ll be offering the popular Coming of Age program for teens in gr. 8-10 again this year. This is the keystone of our CYRE programs, and it’s a lot of fun.

Special events this year will include a Palo Alto peace walk in September, Dias de las Muertos in October, Christmas candlelight service in December, and more.

Plus we’re looking forward to the usual array of stimulating, thought-provoking, and fun Sunday school programs.

See you soon,
Dan Harper


3. Summer Sunday School Schedule:

August 7, 9:30: Mystery Project with Dan Harper
Come do a mystery project with Dan Harper.
August 14, 9:30, Games and Puzzles
Play cooperatives games, and figure out how to solve some group puzzles.
August 21, 9:30 and 11:00, Intergenerational Water Communion Service
August 28, 9:30, Regular Sunday school and youth programs resume


4. Middle school classes

This year there will be two different Sunday morning classes for middle schoolers in grades 6-8: “Neighboring Faith Communities,” and “Eco-justice.” Although we had thought about limiting these classes by grade level, now middle schoolers sign up for whichever class they prefer.

In “Neighboring Faith Communities,” participants get to visit other places of worship, including another UU congregation, a dizzying array of Christian churches, and other faith communities ranging from Judaism to Zoroastrianism and beyond. There are about 6-8 field trips per year; most field trips take place on Sunday morning.

“Eco-justice” is a project-based program that includes projects relating to environmental justice, nature study, and campcraft. Projects may include urban/suburban farming and gardening, creating habitat for non-human organisms, learning how to cook outdoors, and studying environmental justice heroes like Rachel Carson and Cesar Chavez.

Middle schoolers are asked to commit to a class for at least a semester (Aug.-Dec., Jan.-April), so you can change classes after the Christmas break. We recommend that each middle schooler take at least one year of each class, though this depends on the individual interests of each middle schooler.


5. Grade 4-5 classes

We have so many fourth graders enrolled this year that we do not have a room big enough to hold them all. So we have to split the grade 4-5 class into two approximately equal sections.

As we divide up children into classes, we would like to put friends together. If your 4th or 5th grader wants to be with certain friends, please let us know who their friends are.


6. Coming of Age family meeting Aug. 28

If you have a teen in gr. 8-10 who is interested in participating in the Coming of Age program this year, please plan to attend a meeting for parents and teens on Sunday, Aug. 28, at 11:00 a.m., on McFadden Patio.

In the Coming of Age program, teens explore their own spirituality and learn more about Unitarian Universalism through group meetings, projects, field trips, and meetings with mentors. In 2016-2017, Coming of Age will be at 11 a.m. on Sundays from Jan.-May, with monthly meetings Sept.-Dec., and a few meetings at other times. Coming of Age is the keystone of our religious education programs. Young people reflect deeply on who they are and their own personal religious identity. They use skills in group process, critical thinking, and public presentation to lead an entire worship service in the spring. We encourage all teens in this age group to participate.


7. Teacher workshops

Save the dates! There are two fabulous workshops coming up for Sunday school teachers and youth advisors.

A. Sunday, Aug. 14, 10:30-12 noon: Two workshops: (1) For new teachers, or more experienced teachers who want a refresher, Kris Geering will go over basic classroom management techniques. (2) For experienced teachers, Dan Harper will look our top-level educational visions and goals, and how we can creatively implement those visions and goals. Child care will be available. AND if you stick around for Second Sunday Lunch, the CYRE Committee will buy lunch for you and your whole family!

B. Saturday, Oct. 1, 9-3:30: Pot of Gold, the Pacific Central District religious education workshop, will be held at our church this year. This annual conference has hands-on workshops for Sunday school teachers, youth advisors, and RE committee members. Plus the keynote speaker will be Dr. Mark Hicks, the Angus Maclean Professor of Religious Education at Meadville Lombard Theological School, one of our UU graduate theological schools.

Dr. Hicks’ address is entitled “Teaching As Spiritual Practice.” His presentation aims to help teachers see themselves as capable of opening up spiritual spaces for their children and youth. A workshop will follow the keynote in which Dr. Hicks will use the notion of “teaching race/ethnicity” to children as an object lesson. Participants will get to put into practice ideas from the morning’s keynote.

For more about this conference, please see the conference Web site: