August, 2017, CYRE newsletter

August, 2017, news for Children and Youth Religious Education (CYRE) at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto (UUCPA)

1a. Sunday school calendar
1b. Youth calendar (SHYG, Coming of Age, OWL 7-9)
1c. Navigators
2. From your Associate Minister of Religious Education
3. Openings for UUCPA’s Bass Lake Camp
4. Training for teachers and youth advisors
5. Pot of Gold Religious Education Conference Sept. 30
6. Coming of Age program
7. Senior High Youth Group (SHYG) begins


1a. Sunday school calendar

Sun., Aug. 6:
9:30 a.m.: Summer Sunday school
10:30 a.m.: First Sunday community singing

Sun., Aug. 13:
9:30 a.m.: Intergenerational Water Communion
12:00 noon: Second Sunday lunch
12:15 p.m.: Safety training for teachers and advisors

Sun., Aug. 20:
9:30 a.m.: First day of regular Sunday school
10:45 a.m.: Teacher training
12:15 p.m.: Safety training for teachers and advisors

Sun., Aug. 27:
9:30 a.m.: Sunday school
10:30 a.m.: Fourth Sunday brunch
11:00 a.m.: Coming of Age family meeting


1b. Youth calendar

Sun., Aug. 27:
6:00 p.m.: First meeting of the Senior High Youth Group (SHYG)


1c. Navigators
Navigators, our bias-free scouting group, meets twice a month, September through May. Contact Ed Vail to be put on the email list.


2. From your Associate Minister of Religious Education

I always like this time of year, when our congregation gets back into our regular schedule after the summer. We’ll be starting Sunday school on Sunday, August 20 this year. That means we’ll have the annual intergenerational water communion on Sunday, August 13.

Kids usually enjoy the Water Communion service, because they get to participate. Everyone brings an ounce or two of water that somehow represents their summer. For example, a child might bring water they got at a favorite summer camp or at summer school or on a trip to the beach this summer. Adults sometimes bring water that has deeper meaning, such as water from a rain barrel, water from an ill parent’s house, water that came from Hetch-Hetchy reservoir through our taps — or they, like the children, might bring water from a beach trip or a summer vacation.

Then we all get to pour our little bit of water into a communal bowl, while Amy reads aloud where the water comes from — kids love pouring their water into the bowl. (And don’t worry if you forget to bring any water, since there will be pitchers of water from which you can pour a few drops that represent the water you would have brought had you remembered.)

On a different topic, my sabbatical is getting closer — I’ll be away from UUCPA from Oct. 1 through Feb. 28. The Board plans to hire a 20 hour per week staff member to fill in for me while I’m on sabbatical. We are beginning to get applications, and I’m excited by some of the applicants we have so far. If you have any input regarding the hiring process, you can pass it along to Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern (as head of staff) or to Heather Chen, the chair of the hiring committee.

I hope to see you at Water Communion.

See you soon,
Dan Harper


3. Openings for UUCPA’s Bass Lake Camp

Bass Lake is full and our 2017 camp is almost full BUT we have 3 last minute cabin openings. This year’s camp runs from August 17th to 20th. Please take another look at your calendars, talk with your friends and see if you can join us for a wonderful weekend at Bass Lake. Partial and full scholarships are available and we can help arrange car pools to the camp. A registration packet is attached or point your friends to our web page . Please call Greg at (650) 279-5698 with any questions or to get registered.

— Greg Crider, Mei Yu, and Chaz Cassel, UUCPA Bass Lake Camp Coordinators


4. Training for teachers and youth advisors

a. If you’re teaching Sunday school this year, or thinking about teaching, join us for a teacher training session on Sunday, August 20, at 10:45 a.m. in Room 4/5. Whether you’re new to teaching, or an experienced teacher, this workshop will help you understand what makes our Sunday school special, and will give you tips and techniques to make you succeed as a Sunday school teacher.

b. All volunteers who work with people under age 18 must attend an annual safety training. This training takes less than an hour and reviews emergency evacuations, child protection, earthquakes, and more. There will be two safety trainings this month, on Sunday, Aug. 13 at 12:30 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 20, at 12:30 p.m., in Room B (Dan’s office).


5. Pot of Gold Religious Education Conference on Sept. 30

Pot of Gold, the annual northern California religious education conference, will be held on Sat., Sept. 30, at First Unitarian in Oakland. The keynote address will given by the renowned author and UU minister, Rev. Dr. Mark Morrison-Reed, who will speak on “The Ignored, the Naive, and the Innocent,” and will address different ways racism and white supremacy impact all of our children.

Following the keynote, there will be a variety of workshops, including workshops by our own Kris Geering and Dan Harper. If you sign up as a teacher or youth advisor, UUCPA will pay your registration fee!

More info and registration online here:


6. Coming of Age program

The UU Church of Palo Alto (UUCPA) will be offering the popular Coming of Age program in 2017-2018 for youth entering grades 8-9 in the fall. A description of the program, and the tentative schedule for 2017-2018, are online here:

If your child is thinking of participating in Coming of Age this year, please have at least one parent/guardian and the young person attend the family meeting on Sunday, Aug. 27, from 1 a.m. to 12 noon. (We may have to limit the size of the Coming of Age class this year, so be sure to have your child and at least one parent attend this meeting.)


7. Senior High Youth Group (SHYG) begins

Senior High Youth Group will have its first meeting on Sunday, August 27, at 6:00 p.m. As we get closer to the date, the youth advisors will send out a notice to everyone they know has a high school age youth — if you are not sure you are on the SHYG email list, please notify Dan Harper that you’d like to be included.


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