CYRE newsletter

CYRE newsletter, August, 2018

August, 2018, 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. Registration form online now for 2018/2019
3. About the intergenerational Water Communion service
4. Training for teachers and youth advisors
5. Our Whole Lives for grades 10-12
6. Coming of Age

1a. Sunday school calendar

Sun., Aug. 5:
9:30 a.m.: Summer Sunday school — painting chalices with Dan and Edie

Sun., Aug. 12:
9:30 a.m.: Intergenerational Water Communion service
10:45 a.m.: Teacher training
12:00 noon: Second Sunday lunch

Sun., Aug. 19:
9:30 a.m.: First day of Sunday school
11:00 a.m.: Safety training for teachers

Sun., Aug. 26:
9:30 a.m.: Sunday school
10:30 a.m.: Fourth Sunday brunch
11:00 a.m.: Coming of Age meeting

Sun., Sept. 2:
No Sunday school, child care only

1b. Youth calendar

Sun., Aug. 26:
11:00 a.m.: Coming of Age meeting
6:30 p.m.: Parent meeting for OWL gr. 10-12
6:30 p.m.: 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

It’s going to be another fun year for children and youth programs at UUCPA. Here are some of the highlights:

We’ll be offering the acclaimed OWL comprehensive sexuality education programs for the following age levels: gr. K-1 and gr. 10-12. There’s an announcement about the gr. 10-12 unit in this newsletter. Watch the CYRE newsletter in the fall for news about the gr. 4-6 unit.

We’ll be offering the popular Coming of Age program for teens in gr. 8-9 again this year. There’s an announcement about Coming of Age elsewhere in this newsletter.

Middle schoolers will be able to choose between the Ecojustice class, which involves hands-on projects relating to environmental justice, and the Neighboring Faith Communities class, which involves 5 or so field trips to other faith communities. I recommend that young people take at least a year of each class. I think Neighboring Faith Communities works better for 7th grade and up, so families might think about Ecojustice class for 6th graders, Neighboring Faith Communities for 7th graders, and a choice in the 8th grade year.

And for elementary age children, the Curriculum Review Committee is working on finding fun supplements for our various classes. This year, we’ll see the addition of more fun board games that can be played in class, and help supplement the curriculum.

However you participate, please be sure to register your child or children, using either a paper form which you can pick up on Sunday morning, or the online form here:

See you soon,
Dan Harper


3. About the intergenerational Water Communion service

Many our of children and teens really like the annual intergenerational water communion, which will take place this year on Sunday, August 12.

Kids 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.)


4. Training for teachers and youth advisors

a. If you’re teaching Sunday school this year, or thinking about teaching, join Kris Geering, M.Ed., for a teacher training session on Sunday, August 12, at 10:45 a.m. (note change of date; room to be announced). 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:
(1) Sunday, Aug. 19 at 11:00 p.m., in Room B (Dan’s office); and
(2) Wed., Aug. 22, at 7:00 p.m., either in person in Room B, or online (you must pre-register with Dan Harper to take the training online).


5. Our Whole Lives for grades 10-12

UUCPA will offer the grade 10-12 unit of the acclaimed Our Whole Lives sexuality education course this year. OWL 10-12 will meet once a month on Sunday evenings (see schedule below). This year’s teachers will include Kevin Bourillion, experienced OWL teacher, Audrey Erbes, trained OWL teacher and retired social worker, and Robert Neff, trained OWL teacher and former SHYG advisor.

If you would like your child to participate in OWL gr. 10-12, please be sure to have at least one parent attend the parent orientation on Sunday, Aug. 26. (Both parents should plan to attend if no child in your family has taken either the gr. 7-9 or the gr. 10-12 unit of OWL before.) We expect this course to fill to capacity this year, so if you can’t make the meeting be sure to email Dan Harper BEFORE the meeting.

OWL gr. 10-12 meetings (all second Sundays except April-June):

Aug. 26, 6:30 p.m.: Parent orientation
Sept. 16, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Oct. 14, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Nov. 11, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Dec. 9, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Jan. 20, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Feb. 10, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
March 10, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
April 7, 6:30-8:30 p.m. (first Sunday)
May 5, 6:30-8:30 p.m. (first Sunday)
June 2, 6:30-8:30 p.m. (first Sunday)


6. Coming of Age

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 is 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.


7. Registration form online now for 2018/2019

Please register your children for religious education programs for the 2018/2019 school year. The registration form is online here:

Please register every year, so we can be sure we have updated information for your child/ren, and so we can plan our budget and volunteer staffing. Also, be sure to fill out your child’s birth date, so our ministers can send your child a birthday card each year!