A Fond Farewell

A Fond Farewell

Friends,

As you have probably heard by now, I will be moving away this summer to pursue a new career opportunity in Texas.  
I want to thank you all for your support and love during the past few years. It has been such an honor to serve as your DRE.  As I head off on a new adventure in the Lone Star State, I hold you all in my heart. You are a truly special congregation and have so much to share with the world. 

My prayer for you is that you support one another, especially the children and youth in your midst. Don’t assume that someone else is doing the work of teaching the young people. It takes a village to support healthy growth. You are an important part of that village.

Thank you for a wonderful experience, and taking a risk on a brand new DRE three years ago. You have meant the world to me, and I will miss you. I’ll leave you with these words from Laila Ibrahim:

“It’s a blessing you were born

And it matters what you do

What you know about God

Is a piece of the truth

May the beauty you love

Be what you do

And you don’t have to do it alone”

c/edit

Peace and Laughter, my friends.

Bridget

Options for Children

Options for Children

If you have been wondering what options children have at WUUC right now, here are the answers you’ve been looking for!

Mini-worship on Zoom: We have a 15 minute mini-worship service each Sunday over Zoom which begins at 9:30 (before the main worship service).  It is geared toward children, but all are welcome to attend. 

In Person Worship: If you have attended a service in the sanctuary recently, you may have noticed a new feature: The VIP (Very Inquisitive People) Area!  This carpet at the front of the sanctuary is designed for vaccinated children to have a comfortable spot just for them during the worship service.  The space contains cushions and lap desks and foam blocks.  Additionally, there is a “fidget library” with other quiet activities that people (kids and adults) can choose from to occupy their hands during the service. We ask that if your child sits in the VIP area during the service that you sit near them in order to answer any questions or handle any situations that may come up, and that you help clean up any fidget materials at the end of the service.

Outdoor Play During Worship: Unvaccinated children and all children who would rather not stay in the service with their parents are invited to play outside with our childcare staff.  There are multiple activities and games planned for all ages of children.

Monthly Craft Events:  Children ages 2-10 are invited to attend our monthly outdoor crafting events.  We have done activities such as making terrariums, snow globes, Holiday decorations, and personalized play-doh.  These are great events to meet up with other parents and children in person!

We ask that if your child sits in the VIP area during the service that you sit near them in order to answer any questions or handle any situations that may come up, and that you help clean up any fidget materials at the end of the service. Stay tuned to the calendar and email list for the next events!

Summer RE: This summer we will begin offering in person RE classes for our elementary aged children during Sunday Services.  We will be offering a “Getting to Know WUUC: RE Edition”.   Leaders from many of WUUC’s teams and committees have volunteered to share what they do at WUUC, and why it is important for our community and the world.  More details and registration information will be sent out soon.

I am so glad to be meeting in person with so many of you.  If you have any questions, suggestions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Peace and Laughter,
Bridget

Tending The Flame: The Art of Unitarian Universalist Parenting

Tending The Flame: The Art of Unitarian Universalist Parenting

The Religious Education committee has started a book group/support group for parents on the first and third Thursdays of each month at 6:30 p.m. We will be starting with the book “Tending the Flame: The Art of Unitarian Universalist Parenting” by Michelle Richards. 

Knowing how to incorporate religious values and spiritual beliefs into our children’s lives is a difficult thing to manage, especially if you were not raised in a religious household or the religion of our childhood is very different from your current faith tradition. Come join a group of WUUCie parents in the exploration of ways to raise Unitarian Universalist children, developmentally appropriate ways of answering questions about religion, teaching the Principles, and including spiritual practices into family life.

Copies of the book are available at no cost to you, or you can purchase both electronic and hard copies of it on Amazon.com

If you have any questions, please reach out to Amelia King at AKing@wuuc.org.

Here’s How to Practice Being Thankful

Here’s How to Practice Being Thankful

It has been my practice for the past few years to share something I am grateful for each day in November. And in December, I post a virtual Advent Calendar of Kindness. Each day in December, I post something small that people can do to make the world a better place.

This year, as I posted my daily gratitude posts, I was very aware of how much I need to practice being thankful.  Gratitude has been essential to my mental health and has helped me have enough motivation to continue my work.  In this busy time of the winter holidays, I encourage you to take some time to remember what you are grateful for.  Share your gratitude with others and, if you can, give other people something to be grateful for as well. 

If you are having a hard time feeling grateful or joyful, here is a meditation that may help.

Meditation on Gratitude and Joy

By Jack Kornfield (https://gratefulness.org/resource/meditation-on-gratitude-and-joy/)

Let yourself sit quietly and at ease. Allow your body to be relaxed and open, your breath natural, your heart easy. Begin the practice of gratitude by feeling how year after year you have cared for your own life. Now let yourself begin to acknowledge all that has supported you in this care:

With gratitude I remember the people, animals, plants, insects, creatures of the sky and sea, air and water, fire and earth, all whose joyful exertion blesses my life every day.

With gratitude I remember the care and labor of a thousand generations of elders and ancestors who came before me.

I offer my gratitude for the safety and well-being I have been given.

I offer my gratitude for the blessing of this earth I have been given.

I offer my gratitude for the measure of health I have been given.

I offer my gratitude for the family and friends I have been given.

I offer my gratitude for the community I have been given.

I offer my gratitude for the teachings and lessons I have been given.

I offer my gratitude for the life I have been given.

Moving Forward in Gratitude

Moving Forward in Gratitude

It’s hard to believe that it is already November!  It has been my tradition for the past few years to share a daily gratitude post on social media throughout the month of November. It feels like right now there is so much to be grateful for! 

We will soon be able to regather for church services and activities in person. Most of our children will soon be eligible for Covid-19 vaccinations. Life feels so valuable and precious, and I am grateful for so many things.

I have so much gratitude for the WUUC congregation and your commitment to maintaining the connection of our beloved community throughout the past year and a half. I have witnessed so many instances of love, compassion, kindness, creativity, and hard work from you all as we have navigated this new world we live in. I want you to know that your contributions have been seen. Your dedication is appreciated, and I am so grateful for you.

As we move forward into the next phase of our congregational life, I rejoice in this beloved community and am deeply grateful for all of you.

Peace and Laughter,

Bridget

An Overview of RE

An Overview of RE

Hello WUUC! 

Below is a summary of the programs that we are planning on offering for the children and youth this year at WUUC.  If you have any questions or would like more information on any of these offerings, please let me know.

Elementary and Preschool Programs:

Mini-worship:  Mini-worship is an online 15-minute worship service geared toward children that takes place at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings prior to the large WUUC worship service. 

Twice monthly in-person (outdoor, masked) events: These events will feature a main project as well as other options for the kids. They will primarily be a chance for the kids to connect with other kids and families, and will not utilize a specific curriculum.  

PNWD Collaborative Online RE: The leaders from several churches in the PNWD are collaborating to offer a weekly online RE class for students in Kindergarten – Fifth grade. This will offer our children a chance to be in class with more than just one or two students. And we will be able to take advantage of resources from several congregations. The elementary class will explore UU values and identity through stories and discussion while building caring community with one another.

Middle School Programs:

1. Monthly in-person (outdoor, masked) events:  These events will primarily be a chance for the youth to connect with one another, and will not utilize a specific curriculum. The youth may choose to do some fundraising events, social justice projects or other community projects, or they may just want to get together to have fun.  

2.  Crossing Paths:  WUUC is offering a year long class on Sunday evenings called “Crossing Paths.”  Crossing Paths was designed for middle school students, but we will open enrollment to all members of the congregation ranging from Middle School to Adult. We will learn about nine faith traditions: Unitarian Universalism, Judaism, Catholicism, Protestant Christianity, Evangelical Christianity, the Quaker tradition, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism.  Each section is made up of four weekly classes and will include a visit (virtual or in person) to another faith community and/or a discussion with a faith leader from that tradition.

3.  PNWD Collaborative Online Junior Youth Group: The leaders from several churches in the PNWD are collaborating to offer a weekly online middle school youth group. This will offer the youth a chance to be in a youth group with more than just a few students. They will get a chance to know UU Youth from other congregations around the region and form connections. During our time together, our focus will be on building community and having fun together while deepening our understanding of how we live our values in the world and how we answer the “big questions” for ourselves.

High School Programs:

1. Monthly in-person (outdoor, masked) events: These events will primarily be a chance for the youth to connect with one another, and will not utilize a specific curriculum. The youth may choose to do some fundraising events, social justice projects or other community projects, or they may just want to get together to have fun.  

2.  Crossing Paths:  WUUC is offering a year long class on Sunday evenings called “Crossing Paths”.   Crossing Paths was designed for middle school students, but we will open enrollment to all members of the congregation ranging from Middle School to Adult.   We will learn about 9 faith traditions: Unitarian Universalism, Judaism, Catholicism, Protestant Christianity, Evangelical Christianity, the Quaker tradition, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism.  Each section is made up of 4 weekly classes and will include a visit (virtual or in person) to another faith community and/or a discussion with a faith leader from that tradition.

3.  PNWD Collaborative Online Youth Group: The leaders from several churches in the PNWD are collaborating to offer a weekly online youth group. This will offer the youth a chance to be in a youth group with more than just a few students. They will get a chance to know UU Youth from other congregations around the region and form connections. The first few sessions will focus on getting to know one another and exploring meaning making and our beliefs. Youth will have the opportunity to choose what they would like to explore for the remainder of the year after the first couple of months. 

4. Trip to GA in Portland in June: The youth will have the opportunity to travel together to Portland, OR in June for the Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly.  Fundraising and preparation meetings for that trip will also happen throughout the church year.