Roots Class w/Marie:

So nice visiting with everyone today. The children have exciting updates for each other about what Halloween looks like this year in a year of doing things differently. We heard joy about fall gardens and hopeful family gathering plans, sisters that play violin really well, and learning new skills like weaving. So much life in our rose and thorn weekly shares. Thank you for being with us this morning. 

Today’s read aloud is The Two of Them by Aliki, a little girl is born and grows up making many memories with her grandfather, and after he dies, remembers and cares for his apple trees in his memory. We talked about remembering those we love when we lose someone. A memorial service is something we do at Wildflower, the children remember the service held for Gerry. My best memory of Gerry is how kindly he greeted me in my first visit to our church and everyday after doing his job as a church greeter. Sharing our stories of those we have lost is a very powerful way we can do deep listening together. 

Seedlings Class w/Piaf: 

This week we continued with our theme of Deep Listening by remembering our ancestors, friends, or pets that have died. How can we keep “listening” to those who pass on? What role does sharing our stories and memories of them play in this listening? Then we made connections between celebrations that honor the dead and the Halloween traditions common in this country. Finally, we played a new game, 15 Monsters in a Row, and revisited a favorite listening/drawing game from past weeks.

Wildflower Youth Group w/Solveij:

Today in Wildflower Youth Group we began with a land acknowledgement: “This year, we recognize Indigenous People’s Day by making space to Honor Native Land. We acknowledge that we all sit on indigenous land. The Tonkawa lived in central Texas and the Comanche and Apache moved through this area. Today, various indigenous peoples from all over the globe visit Austin and call it home. We are grateful to be able to study and learn on this piece of Turtle Island.” We shared about how indigenous friends, neighbors and family members are part of our communities today, many of whom continue their traditional values and practices. We also talked about alternatives to policing when it comes to people experiencing a mental health crisis and unhoused community members. Finally, youth brainstormed ideas for how to bring new youth to join us, including hosting small, in-person events and making posters, folding posters into paper airplanes, and sending them flying towards people at a park. 🙂

Roots Class (K-2nd grade) w/Marie:

This week we continued thinking together about listening to nature as part of our UU identity. The Other Way to Listen by Byrd Baylor is such a very quiet, special book, one of my very favorites. I would recommend bringing it home from the library or finding a read aloud on you tube. You can read more about how her work- both on the page and off- can inspire all of us- here: 

Byrd’s advice for connecting with nature tells us “go get to know one thing as well as you can. It should be something small. Don’t start with a mountain. Don’t start with the whole Pacific Ocean. Start with one seed pod or one dry weed or one horned toad or one handful of dirt or one sandy wash.” In that spirit, we put on our snorkel gear and dove off the coast of South Africa watching a clip from the beautiful documentary My Octopus Teacher, getting a glimpse of the joy the filmmaker found in visiting with an octopus every day for a year.

Wishing you deeper connections with nature this week and always!

Seedling Class (3rd-5th grade) w/Piaf:

This week we continued our theme of Deep Listening with a mystery sound game and a discussion of International Coming Out Day. How could we use deep listening to be a good friend or ally to someone who is choosing to come out to us? After an interesting discussion on this topic, we played our listening / drawing game from last week by popular demand 🙂

Wildflower Youth Group (Middle & High School) w/Solveij:

Today the Youth Group played a youth-group favorite, Mafia, and brainstormed for our mural project! The word they chose is equALLity, and each youth will focus on creating and/or painting a letter to represent social justice messages and expressive symbols that are important to them. Youth can also brainstorm on powerpoint and add videos, articles, thoughts, or other content that interests them to our group pallet.

Roots (K – 2nd grade) w/Marie:

Today we thought together about the idea of listening to nature as a spiritual part of being Unitarian Universalists. We found an owl feather in the wonder box, and I shared how wonderous it feels to me hearing the sound of the Great Horned Owls that have returned to my neighborhood. Here is what we hear in the evening and early morning:
And here is another sound from my yard- the children guessed about this one. No picture in the video, just listen to the sound-

Did you guess? I captured that video earlier this spring in our pond and we think the tadpoles we’re bowing checking on each week are Rio Grande Leopard Frogs. 

Sometimes people talk about “listening with your heart” to nature, noticing that feeling of connection and wonder. One student says that she feels that way when she plays in a rainstorm. Another feels that way when he plays with his brother outside. This week try getting outside if you can and seeing what you “hear” with your heart.

Seedlings (3rd – 5th) w/Piaf:

This week we began exploring this month’s theme of deep listening. First, we heard and discussed a story about how a white Unitarian church desegregated in 1948. Who was listened to? Who wasn’t even invited to the conversation? While the ultimate result (integrating that congregation) was positive, we all agreed that this congregation was missing the important step of listening deeply to the people of color they hoped to invite in. We brainstormed other situations that this reminded us of, including how many white people did not listen to the Black community who were speaking up about police violence until quite recently.

Finally, we played a listening/drawing game that resulted in some silly images.

Wildflower Youth (Middle & High School) w/Solveij:

This week the Wildflower Youth look back over a year of learning about restorative justice, service vs. activism, youth leadership in organizing for climate justice, anti-black racism in policing and schools, historical solidarity to fight racism and local efforts to defund the police for community safety alternatives. Then, they brainstormed for the message they wanted to include in the mural and talked about current events — the election, whether the president is capable of change, and what qualities they’d want to see in leaders.

Roots Class (K-2nd) w/Marie:

We are continuing our learning together this week about racism and what we can do together to become antiracist. Today’s story is Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi. Many of us grownups are learning from  his book for grownups, How to Be Antiracist. This is his book for children (but really of course it’s for the grownups just as much!) “Antiracist Baby is always learning, changing, and growing. Antiracist Baby stays curious about all people and isn’t all knowing.” 

Learning, changing, and growing is something we believe is so important as Unitarian Universalists, and antiracism work is part of why we gather together at Wildflower. Growth is big work we can do together. 

And speaking of big growth, here is a glimpse of where the tadpoles in my pond are at this week. The children met them in my pond tour last week as part of our water service and we are curious to check in with them more as they do their big interesting work of becoming frogs. Right now they are only funny squiggly swimming things with tails. Watch here:

Seedlings class (3rd-5th) w/Piaf:

This week we explored our theme of renewal by focusing on our first source, wonder. How does it feel to ponder the night sky? What does it mean to say that we are made of stardust? We discussed this concept from both a science and a faith perspective and then watched a video about it. Finally, we played a star-themed drawing game.

Wildflower Youth Group (Middle & High School) w/Solveij:

Today in Wildflower Youth Group we checked in, did brainstorming for the mural project, and played a game. We looked at murals for inspiration, including these murals by youth. We also talked about the process of making a collaborative mural and started to make a plan with a timeline, supplies we’d need, and ideas about where the mural can be. At our next meeting, we’ll be brainstorming for the social justice message!

Roots Class (K-2nd) w/Marie:

Hello everyone, happy Water Communion Sunday from the roots class. We watched Cory turn water and dish soap into bubbles with a straw (something kids could try at home I bet!), took a visit to the pond in my backyard where you can see my rose for the week… I have tadpoles! Here is a link to the video if you’d like to peek too. You’ll see minnows and tiny, squiggly tadpoles swimming by.

Our story this week is the beautiful book Julian is A Mermaid by Jessica Love. I got a little teary reading this aloud to everyone- I explained to the children I was happy/sad- because like Abuela in the book, our Wildflower church is a place where you can be seen and loved for exactly who you are and that is a wonderful, wonderful thing. I hope water renews your spirit and brings you joy and connection too. 
Pond link:

Seedlings Class (3rd – 5th grade) w/Piaf:

This week we discussed our UU Water Communion, including what we remembered from past communions, how the water cycle works, and what that might symbolize in a UU setting. In addition, we watched/listened to a video of a flowing stream while taking deep breaths and noticing how we felt afterwards. Finally, we had some silly fun creating a “rain storm” with our hands and feet (which worked surprisingly well in a virtual environment) and playing a couple of games. It is so good to see each and every one of you on Sundays!

Wildflower Youth Group (Middle & High School) w/Solveij:

Today we talked about what we do to renew our spirits–art, being mindful when eating, making change with others, reaching out to friends, speaking our mind, taking walks, yoga, etc. We also watched a spoken word, and did some more brainstorming for our mural! Here’s an example that youth felt inspired by. As we plan our mural, your youth can add to our brainstorming under the purple section on our Padlet. (Email Solveij for a link & password at