What was the creator thinking as she added oceans, rivers, mountains, and streams to that new planet called Earth? And what about those humans? Come find out during this special Earth Day worship service, designed for all ages.
Our religious education programming will be a little bit different today. Children will stay in the service for a story then will be “sung out” to their classes as usual. Classes will be shortened to make room for our Easter “egg” hunt where children will hunt for cans of food that will be donated to Inter Parish Ministries. Click through on the links below for more information.
Preschool, Chalice Children: #35 Easter
Children will hear a story about Jesus as a beloved teacher. The significance of Easter for our youngest children is its joy and hope and the returning of new life in the springtime. They also will make baskets to hold plastic Easter eggs.
Kindergarten/1st grade: Creating Home Session 10: Tango
Children will hear the true story of Roy and Silo, two male penguins who partnered and raised a chick named Tango. This will be our starting point to discuss how families come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. We’ll not only discuss what makes families different from each other, we’ll also talk about what makes them the same.
2nd/3rd grade: Moral Tales Session 10: Footprints: Treading Softly on Earth
We’ll talk about the importance of balance in nature after hearing a true story about unexpected consequences after scientists sprayed DDT in Borneo to get rid of mosquitos. A chain of subsequent events led to an overpopulation of rats, which was solved by parachuting 20 cats into Borneo!
4th/5th grade: Sing to the Power Session 10: The Power of Passion
The children will hear the true story of the Salwen family who, at the urging of their teenage daughter, sold their mansion, bought a smaller house with half the proceeds and donated the other half to an organization the family chose together with great care and deliberation. They will focus on finding and choosing an organization that they feel passionate enough about supporting to ask our congregation to support them through our Sunday offering.
Our younger children are talking about ancestors, both from within their families and their faith ancestors. Older groups are talking about generosity and how to use the power of direct action for good. Click the links below for more information.
Preschool: Chalice Children Session 23: My Shadow
UU educator Sophia L. Fahs identifies playing with one’s shadow as one of the 12 main types of experiences connected with natural religious development in young children. Shadows also can bring mystery into our world, and might be frightening. We will talk about how sharing our fears with friends can help us feel less afraid.
Kindergarten/1st grade: Creating Home Session 9: Our Ancestral Home
Today we’ll talk about ancestors — both family and faith ancestors — and the legacies they leave for future generations. We’ll also create an altar and learn a body prayer to help connect us to our Unitarian Universalist faith ancestors.
2nd/3rd grade: Moral Tales Session 9: Generosity: Give and Ye Shall Receive
Children will hear a true story about Uthman ibn Affran who gave away all of the goods on his caravan to the starving villagers of Medina during a drought. We’ll talk about the rewards of being generous and make gifts for some younger friends in our congregation.
4th/5th grade: Sing to the Power Session 9: The Power to Shine
As we enter into our discussions about the power of fire, children will hear a true story of two boys who responded to a younger child being bullied by organizing all the students in their school to respond too. Fire is the power of direct action, showing others your beliefs, and saying “no” to injustice.
Another wonderful day is on store for our children and youth at Heritage. Click through on the links to discover more.
Preschool: Chalice Children #20 Rainbows
Today’s theme is “we wonder about rainbows.” In this session the children will learn about rainbows and paint rainbow pictures.
Kindergarten/First grade: Creating Home Session 8: Hare’s Gifts
The focus this week will be on community and the gifts that each of us bring when we come together as a community. The children will hear the story of Hare’s Gifts, an African fable of the origin of village communities, and will make log drums to make music for dancing, as Hare did.
2nd/3rd Grade: Moral Tales Session 8: Do Unto Others
Children will hear the story, “The Good Samaritan” and talk about the fact that everyone is our neighbor. They’ll explore the idea that when someone else needs help, we should treat them the way we would want to be treated. They will play a game that involved helping each other, role-play some situations in which we or someone else might need help, and make a “Who Is My Neighbor?” collage.
4th/5th Grade: Sing to the Power Session 8: The Power of Listening
The children will learn about Unitarian Universalist minister Don Robinson, who partnered with community leaders in Washington, D.C.’s inner city to create an after-school program that responds to the needs of children and youth. The group will practice intent listening with a counting exercise and by listening to a partner talk about a pet peeve.
The sources of our Unitarian Universalist faith include Jewish and Christian scripture and teachings as well as wisdom from other world religions. Today our children will hear stories from the Bible as well as different faiths. Click through on the links for more information.
Preschool, Chalice Children: #17 Wondering About Stars
In today’s session the theme is “wondering about the stars.” According to religious educator Sophia Fahs, contact with the natural world is one of the 12 main types of experiences connected with religious development in young children. Today we’ll celebrate the beauty of stars and the awe we feel when we look at stars.
K/1st Grade, Creating Home: #7 Book of Ruth
Children will talk about why families live where they do, and what it is like to move and re-establish home. They will hear two stories: the story of Ruth and Naomi, from the Book of Ruth in Hebrew scripture, and the story of Owen and Mzee, an orphaned hippopotamus and an old tortoise that bonded together at a wildlife refuge in Kenya.
2nd/3rd Grade, Moral Tales: #7 Seeing Others with Awe
Today children will hear a story about a very argumentative third grade class. The school teacher asked his rabbi for advice. The rabbi visited and told the children that the messiah was among them, which caused the children to think about and treat each other differently. We’ll imagine that someone in Moral Tales is a messiah and create affirmation portraits, with each person contributing things they recognize or like about their peers. We’ll talk about the importance and benefit of seeing others with awe.
4th/5th grade, Sing to the Power: #7 The Power of Silence
This Sunday the children will hear about Gordon Hempton’s One Square Inch of Silence campaign to preserve spaces in which the only sounds are the sounds of nature. We’ll tour our surroundings, listening for every sound we could hear, and categorizing sounds as mechanical/electronic, human, or non-human. We’ll talk about how the sounds around us affect us and test our familiarity with the sounds of nature by trying to identify particular sounds. We’ll practice creating our own square inch of silence, in a meditation.
Preschool, Chalice Children: #19 The Wonder of Weather
Exploring science is part of our Unitarian Universalist heritage. This week children will learn some scientific reasons for changes in the weather. Through water play, children will experiment with cloudy and rainy weather.
K/1st Grade, Creating Home: #6 Hearth and Home
This week our group will explore the idea of “hearth and home,” including the literal and metaphorical meanings of a hearth. In addition to building their own hearths, which children will take home, they will talk about the ways we share warmth in our homes when we gather together as a family.
2nd/3rd Grade, Moral Tales: #6: Welcome One and All
Children will hear a story in which Middle Eastern folk hero, Nasruddin, was unwelcome at a feast when wearing dirty, ragged clothes. When he changed into his finest clothes, he was greeted warmly. Nasruddin proceeded to feed his coat, making the point that it was his clothing which had been welcomed and not himself. We’ll play a game in which participants enact both unwelcoming and welcoming behaviors. The children will be reminded that Unitarian Universalists believe all people are important, which means everybody is welcome at our congregation, without prejudgments. Finally, we’ll enjoy a welcome table feast.
4th/5th grade, Sing to the Power: #6 The Power of Presence
In today’s session the children will hear about Unitarian Universalist Kat Sinclair, who organized a peaceful protest in which participants blocked potentially hateful signs and speech by wearing giant angel wings. We’ll talk about air power as the power of presence, our power to offer our attention and listening as well as our physical presence. In a game, the children will try to sense the presence of another person. The group also explores the Quaker practice of “holding in the light,” offering prayers in the form of envisioning individuals surrounded by warm, healing light.
Our youngest children continue their exploration of nature while our older children explore letting go of past hurts and meditation. Follow the links for more information. Preschool, Chalice Children: #18 Wondering About the Moon
The moon is part of our natural world and connecting with nature is part of growing religiously. Children will share their wonder about the moon, learn natural facts and imagine what images seen in the moon could be in reality and in their imaginations.
K/1st Grade, Creating Home: #5 Home in Nature
Connecting our human homes to nature is something we often try to accomplish. Whether by using houseplants and fish tanks inside our homes or by using our yard to portray beauty, we immerse ourselves in the healing power of natural surroundings. Today children will explore the life of Henry David Thoreau and have their own experience of observing and appreciating nature.
2nd/3rd Grade, Moral Tales: #5 Forgiveness
The children will hear a story about two friends who journey across the desert. During an argument one of the friends slaps the other in anger. The friend who had been slapped writes in the sand, “Today my best friend slapped me.” The wind quickly blows the words away. Later the friend who had slapped the other saves him from drowning. This time the man carves in stone, “Today my best friend saved me.” We’ll share this story to teach about forgiveness, and the value in letting go of past hurts and focusing on the kindnesses others have done us. After the story, the children will have a chance to write their own hurts and kindnesses in sand and stone.
4th/5th grade, Sing to the Power: #5 The Power of Stillness
Today’s story connects Henry David Thoreau seeking stillness at Walden Pond with the biblical story of Elijah finding God in the “still, small voice.” We’ll talk about air power as power that comes from stillness and listening, and discuss how sometimes very small things we do can have a big impact. The children will experience a meditation which focuses on breath, and create prayer flags from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition to send their prayers/wishes out on the wind.
How does Unitarian Universalism teach our children and youth about caring for each other, for our world community, and our planet? One way is through the metaphor of our “inner compass.” Click through on the links below for more information.
Preschool, Chalice Children: #28 Teddy Bear Month – Teddy Bear Picnic!
This session will conclude Teddy Bear month by talking about all we learned. All children and their stuffed friends are invited to celebrate their friendships with a Teddy Bear picnic!
K/1st Grade, Creating Home: #4 Animal Houses
Children will spend time learning about animal homes of all kinds. They will explore farm animals and our relationship with animals we have taken out of the wild to provide food. They’ll talk about how humans provide farm animal homes for rest, shelter, and a place for growth. They’ll also talk about how wild animals make their own homes that provide the same functions. Safety and respect for the homes of wild animals will be part of the discussion.
2nd/3rd Grade, Moral Tales: #4 In Another’s Shoes
Today the children will learn about empathy as a tool for treating others with caring, compassion and respect, and for making moral decisions about how to act in the world. They’ll hear a folk tale from Scotland about a seal hunter who wounds a seal and then is given a chance by the seals to “step into their shoes” and experience how it feels, from their perspective, to be hunted. We’ll extend our exploration of empathy by acting out various scenarios where we stepped into other people’s shoes to see things from their point of view.
4th/5th grade, Sing to the Power: #4 The Power of Place
The children will learn about Project Harvest Hope, a UU organization which promotes economic development in Unitarian villages in Transylvania (ethnically Hungarian Romania). This project, which was started as a partnership between the Unitarian Universalist congregation in Oakland, California and the Unitarian church in Ok’land, Transylvania, shows earth power in honoring both our own location and the different locations that are dear to others.
Junior Youth, Families: #4: Family Photos: The Art of Photography
In today’s session, youth will learn about several elements of photography, including how to frame a subject. They’ll plan the first Family Event and review all that is involved, including the need for a consent form for subjects.
Many of our religious education classes center on helping our children and youth understand our greater American culture, especially cultural ideas surrounding families and religion. Click through on the links below to find out more.
Preschool, Chalice Children: #27 Teddy Bear Month — Lost!
The session theme today is “Sharing our fears with friends makes us feel less afraid.” Using a third party—teddy bears—helps the children talk about some potentially scary situations (being lost, being sick) in a nonthreatening way. Please have your child bring their teddy bear or other favorite stuffed animal to the next session, Feb. 26, when we celebrate our last day of Teddy Bear Month with a party!
K/1st Grade, Creating Home: #3 Beehive
This session explores what happens inside a beehive and how bees carry out certain functions of a home, such as providing a place to prepare and eat food, rest, or sleep, and car for the young and elderly; sheltering inhabitants from storms, heat, and cold; and providing a place for all to be together.
2nd/3rd Grade, Moral Tales: #3 Faith, Hope and Prayer
The children will hear the story, “A Sword of Wood,” about a Jewish man whose faith is tested by a shah. The Jew holds fast to his faith and relies on prayer as he meets various challenges. We’ll talk about prayer as an important practice in many world religions. For the purposes of this session, prayer was presented as a two-step practice: first, naming what is in your heart, and second, engaging in deep listening.
4th/5th grade, Sing to the Power: #3 The Power of Growth
In today’s session the children will hear about Michael Covington and the Georgia Street Community Garden, an urban gardening and community center in Covington’s home neighborhood in Detroit. We’ll explore the earth power of growth by decorating pots and planting herbs, and investigate the journeys our food takes on its way to us. We’ll learn about the impact that producing, transporting, and selling food has on our environment and communities.
Junior Youth, Families: #3 Our Families
Youth will share more information about their own families and talk about how a congregation might feel, or act, like a family. They’ll also talk more about how they will work together on their photo-documentary.