CYRE newsletter for December, 2018

December, 2018, news for Children and Youth Religious Education (CYRE) at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto (UUCPA)

Contents:
1a. Sunday school calendar
1b. Youth calendar (SHYG, Coming of Age)
1c. Navigators
2. From the Associate Minister for Religious Education
3. Christmas carol sing along Dec. 2
4. “Who’s Knocking?” intergenerational service Dec. 2
5. Winter solstice celebration Dec. 21
6. Family Orchestra Dec. 22
7. No Rehearsal Christmas Pageant Dec. 23
8. Christmas Eve candlelight services Dec. 24
9. Social justice for the holidays
10. OWL comprehensive sexuality education for gr. K-1

1a. Sunday school calendar

Sun., Dec. 2:
9:30 a.m.: “Who’s Knocking?” intergenerational service (see below)
10:30 a.m.: Christmas carol sing along (see below)

Sun., Dec. 9:
9:30 a.m.: Sunday school
11:00 a.m.: Parent meeting for OWL gr. K-1
12:00 noon: Second Sunday lunch

Sun., Dec. 16:
9:30 a.m.: Sunday school

Fri., Dec. 21:
7:00 p.m.: Winter Solstice service

Sun., Dec. 23:
9:30 a.m.: No Rehearsal Christmas Pageant (see below)
10:30 a.m.: Fourth Sunday brunch

Mon., Dec. 24:
6:30 and 8:00 p.m.: Candlelight services (see below)

Sun., Dec. 30:
9:30 a.m.: No Sunday school, child care is available

1b. Youth calendar

Sun., Dec. 2:
6:30 p.m.: Senior High Youth Group (SHYG)

Sun., Dec. 9:
6:30 p.m.: OWL gr. 10-12
No SHYG

Sun., Dec. 16:
11:00 a.m.: Coming of Age first class session
6:30 p.m.: Senior High Youth Group (SHYG)

Sun., Dec. 23:
6:30 p.m.: Senior High Youth Group (SHYG)

Sun., Dec. 30:
No programs due to school holiday

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 the Associate Minister for Religious Education

It’s December, so as usual there are a lot of holiday events at UUCPA. This edition of the CYRE newsletter lists most of the kid-friendly holiday events at UUCPA this year.

I’d like to particularly mention the No Rehearsal Christmas Pageant on Sunday, Dec. 23. This service gives a Unitarian Universalist view of Christmas, with a bit of social justice awareness, a bit of ancient Near Eastern politics, and a bit of poetry. This service is a good antidote to the two extreme versions of Christmas that dominate our society — on the one hand, a completely commercialized Christmas that’s all about conspicuous consumption, and on the other hand a rigid fundamentalist Christian interpretation of Christmas.

We Unitarian Universalists take a more creative approach — reinterpreting the old story of Christmas with its core message of peace and love, while rejecting that which is unbelievable, hateful, or rigid. That’s the message underlying the No Rehearsal Christmas Pageant. But most importantly, the No Rehearsal Christmas Pageant is fun. Where else will you get to see adults pretending to be sheep, and children who become Magi?

See you soon,
Dan Harper

 

3. Christmas carol sing along Dec. 2

From 10:30 to 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 2, come sing Christmas carols and other holiday songs. All ages are welcome. Young children will have learned a couple of the songs in their Sunday school class. Older children can follow along with the song books we pass out. And plenty of teens and adults join in, too.

If you or your teen likes to sing carols in four-part harmony, we’ll have sheet music. You can practice your part by taking a look at the sheet music online here:
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1RFuLlIaql3YABC_pLq6FnbISgl7ZoDEk?usp=sharing

 

4. “Who’s Knocking?” intergenerational service Dec. 2

Led by Rev. Amy Morgenstern and children’s librarian Beth Nord, this service is inspired by the Posadas tradition of Mexico. With songs and stories, this service should appeal to most children. Of course, there is always child care if your children can’t make it through the whole service.

 

5. Winter solstice celebration Dec. 21

Led by Edie Keating, a long-time Sunday school teacher, this low-key event will take place in the Main Hall on Friday, Dec. 21, at 7 p.m. The service will have music, readings, and a time to light candles, and there will be food and conversation afterwards.

 

6. Family Orchestra Dec. 22

Bring your instrument along to play Christmas carols with other adults and kids. Musicians will gather in the Main Hall on Sat., Dec. 22 from 7-9 p.m. Notify Carl Skold if you plan to come, so he can have sheet music ready for you — email him care of uucpa@uucpa.org

 

7. No Rehearsal Christmas Pageant Dec. 23

For many people, this is their favorite intergenerational service of the year. People from the congregation can choose to join a tableau representing the various characters in the Christmas story (don’t worry, no one has to speak). We’ll also act out the Hannukah story, and mark the winter solstice.

 

8. Christmas Eve candlelight services Dec. 24

The perfect way to have a moment of calmness and beauty on hectic Christmas Eve. Come to the Main Hall on Monday, Dec. 23, at either 6:30 or 8:00 p.m. to sing carols, hear the Christmas story (with a UU spin on it), and light candles in the darkness.

Every year, there’s coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and potluck snacks in the kitchen after both services. If you plan to bring potluck snacks to share (cookies always go over well), let Dan Harper know which service you’ll be coming to.

 

9. Social justice for the holidays

UUCPA offers two ways your family can help others during December.

(1) “Guest at Your Table” — This is a program of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC). You take home a Guest at Your Table box to put on your dining table. Then when your family sits down to dinner, ask everyone to place some money in the box — the money will go to help people in need here in the U.S. and around the world, wherever the UUSC has partners. After the holidays, count up the money your family has collected in your Guest at Your Table box, and write a check for that amount payable to UUCPA, with “Guest at Your Table” on the memo line. If you have questions about UUCPA’s participation in the program, contact Beth Nord. For more about this year’s UUSC projects, visit this Web page:
https://www.uusc.org/resources/congregations/guest-at-your-table/

(2) “Undie Sunday” — Help people who are homeless in and around Palo Alto. On Dec. 2, 9, or 16, please bring a set of underwear, and a pair warm gloves, socks, or a hat. Place your items in one of the big, bright collection boxes outside the Main Hall during both Sunday services. If you prefer, you can make a monetary donation instead — write a check payable to UUCPA, with “Undie Sunday” on the memo line. For more information about what items are needed, see the collection boxes, or contact Undie Sunday coordinator Jenny Robertson.

 

10. OWL comprehensive sexuality education for gr. K-1

UUCPA will be offering the OWL sexuality education program for gr. K-1 this year. The OWL program is a respected and research-based program, with age-appropriate units for gr. K-1, gr. 4-6, gr. 7-9, gr. 10-12, and adults. You can learn more about the program here:
https://uucpa-cyre.org/owl-program/

There will be a mandatory parent meeting on Sunday, Dec. 9, at 11:00 a.m. in Room 1 for the upcoming OWL gr. K-1 program. The program will run on Sunday mornings from mid-January through March (see the above Web page for exact dates).

Author: Dan Harper

Dan Harper is Associate Minister of Religious Education at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto. He is also Camp Director for Ecojustice Camp in Palo Alto.

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