Director of Religious Education

Roots class (pre-k to first grade) with Marie:

It was a beautiful day to be animals building homes. What wonderful beehives, dens, burrows, and webs were made with blankets, leaves and collected branches. 

The children heard the Native American story Lizard’s Home and learned his song: zole zole zole, rock is my home. Bear learned she had her own song too: zole zole zole, den is my home. 

Seedlings class (2nd to 4th grade) with Piaf:

This week we read a book about the story of the Lovings, the couple who fought to overturn the ban on interracial marriage that prevented them from living together in their home state. The kids discussed how the story related to our UU principles and made connections to the more recent struggle for marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples. Finally, we created art pieces using overlapping hand tracings.

Wildflower Youth (5th grade & Middle School) with Solveij:

This week, youth practiced an awareness meditation together. They then checked in about how their experiences with it differed. We also brainstormed ways to call each other in when youth mis-gender other youth unintentionally, and youth brought up the idea of making pronoun buttons together.

Roots Class (pre-K to 1st) with Marie:

Returning to our discussion about our flaming chalice symbol, and a broader discussion about the concept of that symbols represent a bigger something you often can’t really see, like an idea, today we talked about the word faith. 

“Your faith has to do with the things you believe are true, and the way you try to live your life.  Children your age are not too young to have some ideas about your faith. Today you have a chance to think about some of the things you believe in, and the ways you think it is important to live every day.” 

We read the 7 principles in children’s language and then each child worked on their own faith symbol. “You’ll keep thinking about what’s important to you. As Unitarians we keep thinking about what’s important to us, and learning more, our whole lives.” 

I was so touched to see how much thought went into this work. There was much curiousity too in noticing how many different ways there are to represent the chalice.

Seedling Class (2nd to 4th grade) with Piaf:

This week we read a book about a young boy named Julián who wants to dress up as a mermaid and is lovingly encouraged by his grandmother. After discussing which of our UU principles this act embodied, we brainstormed about how we can bring our principles with us on Halloween. The kids came up with a whole variety of ideas, including picking up candy wrappers that have been thrown on the ground, comforting a friend who’s overwhelmed by scary costumes, sharing candy with younger kids, and letting each person choose what kind of dressing up feels right to them. We finished by playing several silly Halloween games.

Wildflower Youth (5th grade & Middle School) with Solveij:

Today the youth group was visited by a member of the ministerial search committee. They were asked to share what they would want in a future minister, and gave thoughtful reflections.

This Sunday we held an all-ages class where we discussed various fall traditions from around the world. We discussed some of the ways these celebrations are similar and different from the Halloween plans that many of our Wildflower kids have. Kids noticed that in many other cultures, loving spirits are welcomed, while in the United States, ghosts and skeletons are viewed as scary. Then, we made a loving spirit craft where we used white tissue paper to create these beings. It was wonderful to see the older kids helping the younger ones do the tricky part of using the pipe cleaner to create a head.

Roots Class (pre-K to 1st grade) with Marie:

Continuing our thinking together about symbols, today we heard the story of the Unitarians and the Universalists coming together and adding to the chalice symbol the Unitarian service committee began using during World War two. There are many ways to represent a chalice but when we look carefully on our hymnals, church pamphlets, and the order of service you’ll see the image of two overlapping circles (which we explored using the light circles from two flashlights, experimenting on the walls in our classroom) representing the coming together of the Unitarians and the Universalists, the chalice representing community, and the flame representing spirit. Look very carefully and you can see that the chalice is placed not in the middle but over to the side, reminding us that our Unitarian Universalist faith leaves room for more ideas. 

Seedlings Class (2nd to 4th grade) with Piaf:

This week our group met with Libby to discuss the search for a new minister. Children gave their input on what they ‘d like to see in a new minister, and shared why they thought that Wildflower would be a good place for a new minister to join. I heard elements from our 7 principles come up repeatedly, as kids articulated what a good minister means to them. It is so wonderful that this congregation values the viewpoints of every member of the community, including our youngsters. After all that talking and thinking, we got up and played some games to round out our time together!

Wildflower Youth (5th grade & Middle School) with Solveij:

Today, the youth brainstormed ways they’d like to connect with our natural world during their camping trip, including hiking and meditation. They also did a collaborative art project together, painting a piece on canvas for our room.

Roots Class (pre-k to 1st grade) with Marie:

This week the Roots class began learning Spirit of Life by singing and then dancing with scarves to this special song. Did you know our class name is part of the lyrics? Listen very closely https://youtu.be/EcFZ32EHexY, “roots hold me close, wings set me free/Spirit of Life come to me, come to me.” The wind was very helpful in making our many scarf colors so beautiful with our movement. We began talking about symbols, looking at a heart symbol compared to a drawing of a human heart and noticing the chalice symbol on the front of our hymnal for example. Be on the lookout for symbols you notice together and talk about this week. We’ll think more about the chalice next Sunday. 

Seedling Class (2nd to 4th grade) with Piaf:

This week we continued our exploration of identity by playing a preferences game, noticing our many differences and many similarities. Then we read a book about the role of melanin in skin color and brainstormed how this topic relates to our 7 UU principles. The kids had a lot to say about their understanding of racism and how the UU principles can guide us in creating an inclusive and welcoming space at church. We ended by crafting paper dolls holding hands.

Wildflower Youth (5th grade & Middle School) with Solveij:

This week, our youth group delved deeper into what restorative justice is and looks like, with a ‘madlib’ we wrote together. We created an unrealistic, wacky scenario where everything goes wrong… and then it was our group’s job to fix or ‘restore’ the situation. In figuring out how to make things right, each group looked at central restorative justice questions together. One outcome of our conversation was the reflection that those affected by harm are most important in coming up with a solution — it it’s not a solution to them, it’s not a solution at all.

Root Class (pre-k to 1st grade) with Marie:

We were so sorry to hear of the passing of a Wildflower member. Many grownups are grieving and we talked about that during joys and concerns today. The children had other losses to share about beloved pets and grandparents. We listened to anyone who wanted to share and I talked about how important it is to talk together about things you’re feeling and wondering about. This is what a community does for each other. Death brings up so many questions and I am encouraging the children to keep talking about what is on their minds.


The children also walked the labyrinth today, with careful steps, pausing in the center to take a deep breath. The center is a place to think about opening our hearts and our minds and then following the path back out again when you feel ready. Walking the labyrinth feels special and happy, kids thought, it feels like a rainbow. And are there other ones? Could there be a bigger labyrinth? How long does it take to walk a big one? 

Seedlings Class (2nd to 4th) with Piaf:

This week we discussed the recent youth climate strike. After looking at pictures of protesters around the world, we talked about Greta Thunberg’s role in sparking the events. Drawing on last week’s identity theme of how others see us compared to how we see ourselves, we brainstormed how Greta was perceived at the beginning when she was the only one striking compared with how she is seen today. Finally, kids worked on their self-portrait art. We also played a fun round of telephone!

Wildflower Youth (5th & Middle School) with Solveij:

During our meeting, we talked about the climate strike, played games, and learned about what restorative justice means and would look like in our group and our world. Questions we asked included: What would it look like if fossil fuel companies that polluted the waters of native communities practiced restorative justice? How do we practice restorative justice with friends and in our youth group?