Author Archives: Dan Harper

About 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.

CYRE newsletter for June, 2018

June, 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, OWL 7-9)
1c. Navigators
3. Registration form online now for 2018/2019
4. Summer Sunday School

1a. Sunday school calendar

Sun., June 3:
9:30 a.m.: Summer Sunday school

Sun., June 10:
9:30 a.m.: Summer Sunday school

Sun., June 17:
10:30 a.m.: Summer Sunday school
NOTE CHANGE IN TIME!

Sun., June 24:
10:30 a.m.: Summer Sunday school

1b. Youth calendar

Sun., June 3:
6:30 p.m.: Last SHYG meeting of the school year

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

June brings the start of Summer Sunday School, one of my favorite parts of our religious education programs for children.

During the summer, grades K-8 all meet together for Sunday school. We do activities that look more like summer camp than Sunday school (the complete list of activities is at the end of this newsletter). Kids like the low-key activities, and we manage to slip in some gentle teaching as well. Kids also seem to like hanging out with kids of other ages.

This year, Beth Nord is going to stop by periodically to do music with the Summer Sunday School. We’ve already started learning the round “Come, Come, Whoever You Are,” along with an ostinato part, and the children sound pretty good. Beth is hoping that the kids will be able to sing this song for the whole congregation during the Water Communion on August 12.

We adults like Summer Sunday School, too. This year’s teachers include me, Edie Keating (chair of the Children and Youth Religious Education Committee), and Barb Greve (Religious Education Assistant). It’s a great way for us to get to know the children better.

One more thing — don’t forget that beginning June 17, we go to one service, at 10:30 a.m. We’ll return to two services in August.

Hope to see you this summer!

See you soon,
Dan Harper

3. Registration form online now for 2018/2019

It’s time to register your children for religious education programs for the 2018/2019 school year. Please fill out the registration form here: goo.gl/forms/af1e7akeOWWNmUw52

4. Summer Sunday School

Here’s the schedule of activities for Summer Sunday School:

Date & Time Teachers Activity
June 3, 9:30 Dan, Barb Story from China, plus gardening
June 10, 9:30 Dan, Barb Story from China, plus gardening
June 17, 10:30 Dan, Edie Craft: pounding art
June 24, 10:30 Edie, TBD Make waffles!
July 1, 10:30 Edie, Barb Legos and mystery activity
July 8, 10:30 Edie, Barb Kids cook 2nd Sunday lunch
July 15, 10:30 Edie, Barb Craft: painting glass jars
July 22, 10:30 Dan, Edie Make waffles plus an art project
July 29, 10:30 Dan, Barb Trip to Mitchell Park
Aug. 5, 9:30 Dan, Barb Nature scavenger hunt

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CYRE newsletter, May, 2018

May, 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, OWL 7-9)
1c. Navigators
3. Registration form online now for 2018/2019
4. Evaluation form online now for religious education programs
5. OWL programs in 2018-2019
6. Coming of Age in 2018/2019

1a. Sunday school calendar

Sun., May 6:
9:30 a.m.: Last day of Judean Village program, with petting zoo
10:30 a.m.: Party for CYRE volunteers (with cake)
11:00 a.m.: Petting zoo closes

Sun., May 13:
9:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m.: Intergenerational flower communion services
12:00 noon: Second Sunday lunch

Sun., May 20:
9:30 a.m.: Coming of Age service

Sun., May 27:
No CYRE programs, child care only

Sun., June 3:
9:30 a.m.: Kids evaluate Sunday school with Dan

1b. Youth calendar
SHYG (Senior High Youth Group), CoA (Coming of Age), and OWL 7-9

Sun., May 6:
11:00 a.m.: Coming of Age, work on plywood sculptures
12:15-2 p.m.: Coming of Age, rehearsal for service
5:00 p.m.: OWL 7-9
6:30 p.m.: Senior High Youth Group (SHYG), work on service project

Sun., May 13:
No Coming of Age
No OWL gr. 7-9
6:30 p.m.: Senior High Youth Group (SHYG)

Sun., May 20:
8:50 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Coming of Age leads worship services
12:30 p.m.: Coming of Age lunch
5:00 p.m.: OWL gr. 7-9
6:30 p.m.: Senior High Youth Group (SHYG)

Sun., May 27:
No youth programs

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

Mr. Barb Greve, who had been our sabbatical religious educator, will be rejoining us at UUCPA, filling in as Religious Education Assistant while we search for a permanent replacement for former RE Assistant Hong Bui. I’m especially pleased at this news, not only because Barb is so experienced, but also because I’ve been having some respiratory illness this spring and am behind in administrative tasks. It’s good to have Barb back with us.

In other news, we have two intergenerational services that are worth bringing your children to. First, there’s Flower Communion on May 13. During this enjoyable service, everyone brings a flower to share, and takes home a different flower than they brought. This is a uniquely Unitarian Universalist service, with its roots in the 20th century Unitarian church of Czechoslovakia between the two worlds wars.

Second, there’s the Coming of Age service on May 20, during which this year’s Coming of Age participants give their “credos,” or statements of religious identity. We do not schedule any programs during the Coming of Age service because parents have asked us not to — many parents want their children to see the “big kids” lead the worship service, knowing that today’s children will someday be those big kids. We will have child care available for younger children who need to move around.

We don’t offer any religious education programs for children or teens over Memorial Day weekend, except for child care. But I look forward to June Sundays, which will begin with a chance for kids to participate in an evaluation of Sunday school, and go on to lots of fun Sunday activities during the summer.

See you soon,
Dan Harper

3. Registration form online now for 2018/2019

It’s time to register your children for religious education programs for the 2018/2019 school year. Please fill out the registration form here: goo.gl/forms/af1e7akeOWWNmUw52

4. Evaluation form online now for religious education programs

Help improve our programs for children and youth! Please fill in the online evaluation form here: goo.gl/forms/HuWFmDcRCBo4NpD63

Or you can simply send email to Dan Harper expressing your opinions about religious education programs.

5. OWL programs in 2018-2019

OWL is our comprehensive sexuality education program, with units for grades K-1, grades 4-6, grades 7-9, and grades 10-12.
— Because we offered it this year, we will not offer OWL for grades 7-9 in 2018/2019.
— Because we offered it this year, we will not offer OWL for grades 4-6 in 2018-2019.
— We will offer OWL for grades K-1 in 2018/2019.
— We will offer OWL for grades 10-12 in 2018/2019.

6. Coming of Age in 2018/2019

The Coming of Age program, for grades 8-9, will be offered in 2018/2019. You can see the complete curriculum for this popular program online here: kj6zwr.org/coming-of-age/

CYRE newsletter for April

April, 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, OWL 7-9)
1c. Navigators
2. From your Associate Minister of Religious Education
3. Annual Easter Egg Hunt on April 1 (no fooling)
4. Planning for next Sunday school year

1a. Sunday school calendar

Sun., April 1:
9:30 a.m.: Easter intergenerational service
10:30 a.m.: Easter egg hunt
11:00 a.m.: Easter intergenerational service

Sun., April 8:
9:30 a.m.: Judean Village
12:00 noon: Second Sunday lunch

Sun., April 15:
9:30 a.m.: Judean Village

Sun., April 22:
9:30 a.m.: Judean Village
10:30 a.m.: Fourth Sunday brunch

Sun., April 29:
9:30 a.m.: Judean Village

 

1b. Youth calendar
SHYG (Senior High Youth Group), CoA (Coming of Age), and OWL 7-9

Sun., April 1:
No youth programs, Easter

Sun., April 8:
11:00 a.m.: Coming of Age, last chance to work on plywood sculptures
No OWL gr. 7-9
6:30 p.m.: Senior High Youth Group (SHYG)

Sun., April 15:
11:00 a.m.: Coming of Age
5:00 p.m.: OWL gr. 7-9
6:30 p.m.: Senior High Youth Group (SHYG)

Sun., April 22:
11:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.: Coming of Age
5:00 p.m.: OWL gr. 7-9
6:30 p.m.: Senior High Youth Group (SHYG)

Sun., April 29:
11:00 a.m.: Coming of Age
5:00 p.m.: OWL gr. 7-9
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

Our Judean Village program began on Sunday, March 25, and more than one parent told me that their children insisted on coming to UUCPA because they like Judean Village so much. I’m not sure that we adults are entirely sure what the attraction of Judean Village is, but I tried to explain in in the sermon I gave on March 25, which is now online here.

I’m always interested in trying to figure out what kids like about UUCPA. Obviously, it differs from child to child. Equally obviously, children’s interests change as they get older. But I think there are some common strands.

Children and teens like UUCPA best when it is more like summer camp than like school. Not that they necessarily dislike school. But they spend a lot of time in school, and school can be stressful. At its best, UUCPA is fun.

Children and teens like UUCPA best when they can make connections across ages. Yes, they like hanging out with people their own age. But they also like spending time with adults who can serve as appropriate role models, and they like meeting kids who are older or younger than they are. At its best, UUCPA transcends age segregation.

Children and teens like UUCPA best when it seems meaningful. While they might say that they prefer fun over meaning, over and over again I watch as children and teens find something at UUCPA that helps them make meaning out of their lives. At its best, UUCPA is meaningful to kids.

Those are some of the things I have noticed that our children and teens like at UUCPA. But about your family? The Children and Youth Religious Education Committee and I are in the midst of planning for next school year. What does your family like best about UUCPA? Which programs do you like best? We’d love to hear from you.

See you soon,
Dan Harper

 

3. Annual Easter Egg Hunt on April 1 (no fooling)

The Easter egg hunt will take place Sunday, April 1st, on the playground behind Rooms 4/5 after the first service. Easter is an intergenerational service, but childcare is available in room 2/3.

Interested youngsters are encouraged to bring a small Easter egg basket (we will have extras on hand). Gather after the 9:30 a.m. service at the playground entrance to get organized by age before the hunt begins. Spectators are also welcome!

If you want to help with the Easter Egg Hunt, you can:
— bring a dozen hard boiled, decorated eggs (drop off no later than 10:15am at entrance to playground) AND/OR
— a dozen plastic eggs stuffed with small candies or stickers — Please, no items containing nuts!
— loose foil-wrapped candies (such as chocolate eggs, fair trade if possible!) that can be hidden individually
— bring a couple of extra baskets for children who forget theirs (clearly marked with your name so we can get it back to you).

Please contact Heather Chen if you are planning to bring decorated eggs and/or candy so that we can plan accordingly.

Older youngsters who want to help can come to the playground during the 9:30 a.m. service to help scatter/hide eggs and candies. Please note that helpers should not participate in the hunt.

 

4. Planning for next Sunday school year

The Children and Youth Religious Education (CYRE) Committee has begun planning for next year. They will meet on Sat., March 31, and again on Tues., April 3, from 7-9 p.m.

The Committee would love to hear your thoughts about priorities for next year. In addition, if planning programs is something you enjoy doing — and if you like serving on a committee that has fun and enjoys working with each other — consider joining the CYRE Committee. For more information, you can email the committee: cyrecommittee@uucpa.org

October, 2017, CYRE newsletter

October, 2017, 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, OWL 7-9)
1c. Navigators
2. Meet Mr. Barb Greve, Sabbatical Religious Educator
3. Halloween Parade on Oct. 29
4. OWL update

 

1a. Sunday school calendar

Sun., Oct. 1:
9:30 a.m.: Sunday school
10:30 a.m.: First Sunday community singing

Sun., Oct. 8:
9:30 a.m.: Sunday school
12:00 noon: Second Sunday lunch

Sun., Oct. 15:
9:30 a.m.: Sunday school

Sun., Oct. 22:
9:30 a.m.: Sunday school
10:35 a.m.: Fourth Sunday brunch

Sun., Oct. 29:
9:30 a.m.: Sunday school
10:30 a.m.: Halloween Parade

Looking ahead:
Sat., Nov. 4, Annual UUCPA Auction (with Kids Auction)
Sun., Nov. 5, Daylight Savings Time ends

 

1b. Youth calendar
SHYG (Senior High Youth Group), CoA (Coming of Age), and OWL 7-9

Sun., Oct. 1:
6:30 p.m.: SHYG

Sun., Oct. 8:
6:30 p.m.: SHYG

Sun., Oct. 15:
11:00 a.m.: Coming of Age (plywood sculptures)

Sun., Oct. 22:
6:30 p.m.: SHYG

Sun., Oct. 29:
6:30 p.m.: SHYG

 

1c. Navigators
Navigators, our bias-free scouting group, meets most 1st and 3rd Sundays at 11:00 a.m., September through May. The schedule also includes field trips and overnights, so contact Ed Vail to be put on the email list. Continue reading

Sabbatical Religious Educator hired

The Sabbatical Seek Committee is excited to announce that we have hired a Religious Educator to serve the congregation during Rev. Dan Harper’s sabbatical.

Mr. Barb Greve will be filling in as a half-time Religious Educator, from Nov 1, 2017 to Mar 1, 2018. He will be supervising the Children, Youth, and Adult Religious Education Programs. Barb is a UUA Credentialed Religious Educator, at the Masters Level, with 11 years of experience as a Director of Religious Education at various UU congregations. The CYRE Committee will fill in for Dan during the month of October. The Sabbatical Committee (Maricia Scott, Edie Keating, Emma Grant-Bier, Wynne Furth) will be communicating more information about our new Sabbatical Religious Educator soon.

Posted for the Sabbatical Seek Committee: Heather Chen, Robert Neff, Audrey Erbes, Sally Ahnger, Tessa Swartz.

More about Barb Greve:

Barb Greve is one of the co-moderators of the UUA, the highest volunteer position within U.S. Unitarian Universalism — click here.

Not only is he an experienced religious educator, Barb Greve is a powerful preacher too, as you can see in this video:

Barb Greve is a strong advocate for diversity within Unitarian Universalism — click here.

With Rev. Sean Parker Dennison (who served as Sabbatical Minister while Amy was on sabbatical in 2910), Barb Greve co-founded Trans Unitarian Universalist Professionals (TRUUsT).

September, 2017, CYRE newsletter

September, 2017, 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, OWL 7-9)
1c. Navigators
2. From your Associate Minister of Religious Education
3. Safety training for teachers and youth advisors
4. Senior High Youth Group (SHYG) schedule set for the year
5. OWL for gr. 4/6 coming soon

 

1a. Sunday school calendar

Sun., Sept. 3:
No Sunday school, holiday weekend
10:30 a.m.: First Sunday community singing

Sun., Sept. 10:
9:30 a.m.: Sunday school
11:00 a.m.: Safety training for teachers and advisors
12:00 noon: Second Sunday lunch

Sun., Sept. 17:
9:30 a.m.: Sunday school
11:00 a.m.: Safety training for teachers and advisors

Sun., Sept. 24:
9:30 a.m.: Sunday school
10:30 a.m.: Fourth Sunday brunch
11:00 a.m.: OWL 4/6 parent orientation

Sat., Sept. 30:
8:45 a.m. – 4 p.m.: UU religious education conference, First Unitarian of Oakland

 

1b. Youth calendar
SHYG (Senior High Youth Group), CoA (Coming of Age), and OWL 7-9

Sun., Sept. 3:
No youth programs, holiday weekend

Sat., Sept. 9:
6-10 p.m.: CoA group #1 makes dinner for Hotel de Zink

Sun., Sept. 10:
6:30 p.m.: SHYG, plan menu for Hotel de Zink

Sat., Sept. 16:
6-10 p.m.: SHYG makes dinner for Hotel de Zink

Sun., Sept. 17:
No youth programs

Sat., Sept. 23:
6-10 p.m.: CoA group #2 makes dinner for Hotel de Zink

Sun., Sept. 24:
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.

Continue reading

August, 2017, CYRE newsletter

August, 2017, 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, 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.

  Continue reading

July, 2017, CYRE newsletter

July, 2017, 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, OWL 7-9)
1c. Navigators
2. From your Associate Minister of Religious Education
3. Summer Sunday school schedule
4. Sept. religious education conference

 

1a. Sunday school calendar

Sun., July 2:
10:30 a.m.: Summer Sunday school

Sun., July 9:
10:30 a.m.: Summer Sunday school
12:00 p.m.: Second Sunday lunch

Sun., July 9:
10:30 a.m.: Summer Sunday school

Sun., July 16:
10:30 a.m.: Summer Sunday school
10:30 a.m.: Fourth Sunday brunch

Sun., July 30:
10:30 a.m.: Summer Sunday school

Sun., Aug. 6:
***Return to 2 services***
9:30 a.m.: Summer Sunday school

  Continue reading

June, 2017, CYRE newsletter

June, 2017, 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, OWL 7-9)
1c. Navigators
2. From your Associate Minister of Religious Education
3. Summer Sunday school schedule
4. Sabbatical update
5. Parent Journey needs coordinator
6. Please sign in for child care

 

1a. Sunday school calendar

Sun., June 4:
9:30 a.m.: Summer Sunday school
10:30 a.m.: First Sunday community singing

Sun., June 11:
9:30 a.m.: Summer Sunday school
12:00 p.m.: Second Sunday lunch

Sun., June 18:
Summer services begin — one service only at 10:30 a.m.
10:30 a.m.: Summer Sunday school

Sun., June 25:
10:30 a.m.: Summer Sunday school
10:30 a.m.: Fourth Sunday brunch

1b. Youth calendar

Wed., June 21:
OWL gr. 10-12 final meeting (and party), contact Dan Harper for details

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.

  Continue reading

May, 2017, CYRE newsletter

Contents:
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. Spring Project for gr. K-5: Ecology Experiments
4. Nature Camp for gr. K-1, June 12-16
5. Please sign in for child care
6. Flower communion service
7. Coming of Age service

1a. Sunday school calendar

Sun., May 7:
9:30 a.m.: Sunday school
10:30 a.m.: First Sunday community singing

Sun., May 14:
9:30 a.m.: Intergenerational Flower Communion service (see below)
11:00 a.m.: Parent Journey
12:00 p.m.: Second Sunday lunch

Sun., May 21:
9:30 a.m.: Coming of Age service and child care

Sun., May 28:
9:30 a.m.: No Sunday school, child care only
10:30 a.m.: Fourth Sunday brunch

1b. Youth calendar

Sun., May 7:
12:00 noon: Coming of Age (note later time)
5:00 p.m.: OWL gr. 7-9
6:30 p.m.: SHYG

Sat., May 13: SHYG hike (contact Robert Neff)

Sun., May 14:
No Coming of Age this week
No OWL gr. 7-9 this week
6:30 p.m.: No SHYG
6:30 p.m.: OWL gr. 10-12

Sun., May 21:
Coming of Age leads both morning services
5:00 p.m.: OWL gr. 7-9, final session
6:30 p.m.: OWL gr. 7-9 celebration dinner with families
6:30 p.m.: SHYG

Sun., May 28:
No programs, Memorial Day holiday

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

Continue reading