Director of Religious Education

Happy snow day!

Roots Class (kinder – 2nd grade) w/Marie:

Today was both magical because of snow falling outside our windows, meeting a classmate’s new puppy, thinking about sledding, and me holding space for the children to talk about the violence at the Capitol this week. We heard about school, about people getting hurt, and a woman shot, and Trump encouraging people to be hurtful to others and the building because of his own disappointment about not winning. They heard from me that so many of us grownups know that is scary and not ever okay, not from how a leader is supposed to be, not how we would even treat each other in our friendships or families. (This last part got several emphatic “yesss!!!”s to me in chat). They know that a new president is coming. I thank them for speaking about this this morning and to keep talking with our grownups about this. Being worried about hard things is something none of us have to carry alone. Many, many people are working hard to make things better, and talking together is part of that work we can all do. 

Seedlings Class (3rd – 5th grade) w/Piaf & Wildflower Youth (Middle & High School) w/Solveij:

In our joint class this week we began with our usual check-in’s and then discussed the events at the Capitol this week. The kids shared what they knew and what questions they had. Then, Solveij shared two quotes from our UU faith about how we must respond to these events and the kids discussed them. We also talked about a quote from youth organizers that led to an interesting discussion of what the youth would like to see changed to strengthen our democracy. Finally, we ended with a game.

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

After greeting each other in this new year, Rose and Thorn time became a time for us to talk about Reverend Sarah not being our minister anymore.

The children remember making a sign for Rev Brian’s going away party. I explained that usually when a minister leaves, it’s part of a careful plan, like when we knew a long time before that Rev Brian would be leaving, and the church could plan for that, with lots of time to say goodbye and feel all those feelings, and celebrate the time we had together. Rev Sarah’s leaving is different. We did not plan for her to have a short time with us, this change came suddenly, and the grownups have a lot of feelings around this. So, something we do together as a church is make time to talk together and listen to each other about hard things, and that’s why the grownups are having a meeting this afternoon.

We are still a church. Members will help do the minister jobs, like give sermons and be there for each other. Sunday school will meet together. We will keep working together on climate change, anti-racism work, and all the powerful things Wildflowers do as a community, even when covid means we’re doing all this through Zoom. 

We are sending three very deep breaths to our community as we make new plans together, something Wildflower are very good at.

Combined Seedlings Class (3rd-5th) & Wildflower Youth (Middle & High School) w/Piaf & Solveij:

We greeted the new year with our usual check-in and shared any New Year’s traditions that our family has. Then we held an open space for kids to ask questions and share thoughts and feelings about Rev Sarah’s departure. As with the new beginning of the 2021, our congregation is also having a new beginning as we transition to being lay-led. Please let me know if your child / youth is interested in participating in the services this year, either live on Zoom or with a pre-recorded video contribution.

After refreshing our memories on the 7 UU Principles we’ve focused on preciously in RE, we discussed the proposed 8th Principle, which states: We must work together for diversity and against racism and oppression. Where do we see overlap with the existing 7 Principles? Why might the 8th Principle be needed despite the overlap? The kids came up with several ideas about what such a principle could accomplish & possible reasons why it hasn’t been formally adopted yet, despite having been proposed in 2013. We’ll continue to think and share around this idea in the weeks to come.
Finally, we ended with a game.

Roots Class (k – 2nd) w/Marie:

In the spirit of bringing light to the darkness we celebrated with a virtual lantern parade.  

Everyone brought something that makes light, we made our spaces dark, and paraded along with last year’s solstice parade with the Minor Mishap Marching Band. Their parade will be a virtual this year too, and everyone is invited:

Much love, joy, and light to you all!

Seedlings (3rd-5th) & Youth Group (Middle & High School) w/Piaf:

We had a combined class today since Solveij is not feeling well. We began with our usual check-in and shared some holiday traditions from each of our families. Then we had a virtual holiday party of sorts and played games and enjoyed each other’s company. Finally, I shared an image of the almost-finished mural that the youth group has been working on and we discussed which finishing touches it may need. It is such a joy to work with your children every week!!

Roots Class (K – 2nd) w/Marie:

We are talking in the big group about the harm it has done to our understanding of our history when Thanksgiving has been presented as a story about a friendly encounter between cultures. This sounds like a kind story of helpful sharing but it hides the truth about the great harm done to indigenous people when white settlers came to this land. We have learning to do to recognize hurt that has been done and commit to learning about native cultures to honor indigenous people.
 In that spirit we watched a beautiful video of na

tive dancers, hearing about the meaning and sacredness to the people. My class then pulled up the website Native Lands. If you put in your address it shows you the tribes who were there before you were:

Learning more about the Coahuiltecan tribe in our area, we listened to a creation story featuring the San Marcos River and saw children and grownups performing some of the dances from their tribe.

With more time I would share the book Fry Bread by Kevin Noble Maillard

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

We began by sharing our impressions of the video of native dancers that Marie shared with the entire group. Why is it important to know the true story of Thanksgiving as Unitarian Universalists? How can knowing and teaching the true story be part of this month’s theme of Healing? We then discussed where we would want to send our healing energy around the planet, to people around the world, to our country and in our own selves. We listened to a beautiful healing song ( as we thought about what we wanted to heal in ourselves and sent our healing energy to each other. 

Finally, we discussed activities we might like to do at our December park day, including making kites, racing paper airplanes, and playing games.

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

This week, youth began by sharing their thoughts about Thanksgiving and the video of young indigenous dancers that we saw all together. Then, we discussed the ongoing mural project that the youth have been working on for two weekends so far. Finally, we ended with a new game.

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

Check-ins this morning included news of lost and growing teeth, a treasured in-person play date, upcoming birthdays. So much life! We read Me on the Map by Joan Sweeney, connecting our country to the bigger world we are a part of. So much time peering at maps of our country this past week as we experienced the presidential election and the grownups have been “cray cray” about it. Celebrating the election of our first black woman Vice President registers with our group. Voting- how you make your choice- is something we believe is so important as Unitarian Universalists as this is the process we use to decide important things at church in our congregational meetings. There is so much more to unpack here about fairness and being heard, and the ongoing work for all of us together for the world we want to live in, wherever you fall on the map. 

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

This week we discussed the recent elections and how everyone was feeling about it. We looked at and discussed an image of Vice President Elect Kamala Harris with a shadow in the shape of young Ruby Bridges. What message is the artist trying to convey? What is the symbolic connection between these two women? Then we watched a short video of grown Ruby Bridges remembering her experiences and what she learned from them. Finally, we finished with a game.

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

Today the youth talked about how they feel in this moment and about the future with election news–we heard celebration, relief, hope, and a desire for meaningful change. We also have sign-ups ready for the mural!!! A muralist visited us to talk all about the process, youth came up with an amazing mock-up design, and we’ll be getting started this upcoming weekend on constructing a base and painting the primer. 🙂

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

Hello all, it was so fun hearing about the creative and safe ways people have found to enjoy Halloween this year. I am so inspired by how our community thinks and cares for each other.

We spoke more about traditions to remember loved ones and the children had a lot to say about what they already know about Dia de los muertos. We read I Remember Abuelito by Janice Levy and Loretta Lopez, and traveled to Mioachan Mexico in this beautiful clip:
Having been to that pine forest where the Monarchs spend the winter, I can tell you that standing among the trees with my eyes closed and being able to then *hear* the sound of hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of butterfly wings is one of my most treasured memories of time with my family, and my father, whose spirit I miss and celebrate very much. 
We can remember our loved ones together.

Seedlings & Youth Group w/Piaf:

Solveij was not feeling well today so we had a combined class. We began with our usual check-in and heard from the Youth Group about their ongoing mural project. Then we discussed how we are feeling about the upcoming election and what self-strategy strategies we use to help us when we feel anxious or overwhelmed. Several ideas were shared, including hugging your pet, deep breathing, singing, and exercising. Finally, we played several rounds of the game Mafia. We hope Solveij feels better soon!