Director of Religious Education

Roots (pre-k to 1st) & Seedlings (2nd-5th) Class w/Piaf:
We began with a Winter Solstice story and then created sun/moon ornaments and collaborated on a giant paper sun for our classroom. We finished up with some silly fun on the playground.

Wildflower Youth (Middle & High School) w/Solveij:
This week, the youth began with a lively discussion of some of the pressures they face in our current times that sprang from our usual check-in. Then, we created star jars.

Roots Class (pre-k to 1st grade) w/Laura:
Today in Roots, we read the book “The Name Jar” by Yangsook Choi. In the book, a little girl that has newly immigrated from Korea struggles with people pronouncing her name and explores changing her name to an American name.  With the help of her friends and family, she decides to keep her Korean name.  This story brought up discussions about the meaning of names, ancestral names, respecting people’s name choices and speaking foreign languages.  Then the students decorated their names for us to put up on the wall in our classroom. 

Seedlings Class (2nd-5th grade) w/Piaf:
This week was all about forming new or stronger ties with each other as the basis for our learning and play together going forward. We used a ring toss-inspired game to learn each other’s favorite books, foods, color, and animals, which was quite lively. We also discussed the concept of harm – what can we do to repair it and how can we heal from it in our Seedlings group. We ended with some open-ended fun on the playground 🙂

Wildflower Youth (Middle & High School) w/Solveij:
Our focus this week was on connection and community. In this spirit, we played a new game called “What You Bean Up To” where youth were given 10 beans to place on various papers around the outdoor classroom to indicate things they had experienced. Round One was reflective and individual while Round Two gave youth a chance to discuss their experiences with others who had also placed a bean on the same spot. It was great to see everyone become progressively more comfortable and chatty as the time went on.

After so long of pandemic-related disruptions, it was great to have a semi-normal service and Children and Youth Religious Education classes! Our younger group played a gratitude game and painted fall leaves while our older group discussed recent attempts at book banning in Texas schools and made a “Welcome Back” poster for the adults.

Wildflower children and youth gathered yesterday to celebrate fall and also work on the Youth-Led Worship Service that’s coming up in a couple of weeks. The children and youth worked on recording videos to be part of the 8th Principle service coming up, including personal reflections, collaborative art, and inspirational readings. We also had some silly fun by painting pumpkins, making witch hat cookies, and doing a pumpkin craft.

We are all so excited to be able to return to a more normal schedule soon! Stay tuned for more details on how we will be crafting our CYRE program to support our young people and allow parents to enjoy in-person worship and adult conversation 🙂

Roots Class (pre-k to 1st) w/Laura:

This week we watched a video of Common, an activist and rap musician, reading Julius Lester’s book “Let’s Talk about Race.”  One of the main components of the book was that if we took off all of our skin, we would all look the same.  In order to explore that idea, our activity was to draw our skeletons. We also reviewed our covenant and talked about how we can add new ideas to it whenever we think there is another promise we need to make to each other to help us all feel safe.  Then we talked about how our congregation might adopt an 8th principle that would add a new idea to the 7 principles, our Unitarian Universalist covenant.  The 8th principle is about diversity and helping to end racism and oppression.  

Seedlings Class (2nd to 5th) w/Piaf:

This week we reviewed our UU Principles, including both the 7 that are officially approved, and the 8th Principle, which our congregation will be voting on in December. We did a vocabulary check on three key words that appear in the kid’s version: diversity, racism, oppression. Then we learned about the origins of Indigenous People’s Day and read “We Are Water Protectors.”
We finished with a silly scavenger hunt game and got to know each other better!

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

This week the group continued their discussion of the 8th Principle with a particular focus on how institutional racism and oppression relate to the situation that our unhoused neighbors find themselves in. We explored ways to put our values into action in a variety of ways.

Roots Class: This week, we followed the Tapestry of Faith Wonderful Welcome curriculum in which we share intangible gifts each week.  This week we opened up our gift box and found the gift of covenant.  We played Simon Says and talked about rules versus promises.  We read the ebook “I Promise” by LeBron James.  Then finally we started our class covenant, which will be a living document that we look at regularly to see if we are keeping our promises to each other.

Seedlings Class:This week, we played a fun scavenger hunt game and reviewed the 7 UU Principles. Then we looked at the text of the 8th Principle and focused in on some of the key words, like diversity, racism, and oppression. Knowing that the youth will be leading a service on the 8th Principle in November, we brainstormed what kinds of things each student would be interested in contributing to that service.

Wildflower Youth Group:This week, the youth discussed their understanding of the 8th Principle and what they would like adults to do and learn about it. They had insightful contributions to how they would like to persuade adults of the congregation to vote for adopting this Principle, including ideas about the line between education and shaming, the importance of accountability, and the need to emphasize that adopting the Principle is just the first step and that action needs to follow on a daily basis and in all areas of life, not just at Wildflower. They’ll continue to build on these ideas as they prepare to lead a Nov 7 service on this topic.