Monday, December 29, 2008

Our Whole Lives for 5th grade starting

Beginning this January thru June, we will run an Our Whole Lives (OWL) course for fifth graders. This is an 8- week course and requires parent participation in two orientations and a signed consent form.

OWL is an age- appropriate sexual education course that considers the whole person. Our OWL programs have become an important cornerstone in our religious education programming for children. Our teachers for these classes are exceptional and dedicated. Currently we offer this program at the 4th -6th grade level and 7th-9th grade level.

My training as an OWL facilitator was one of my first UU training through FUSS. The more I watch our children go through this program and talk to parents about their experiences and their child's experiences because of this program, the more I realize how valuable this offering is. What better place to teach moral values around sexuality but our faith community?

For more info check out the UUA website at the following address:

Monday, December 8, 2008

Guest at Your Table

This past Sunday at Children's Chapel the children heard a story from the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee's (UUSC) Stories of Hope. These stories are about real people and groups that our past donations have helped. If your child attended Children's Chapel, ask him or her about a struggle in South Africa over everyone's right to water.

UUSC is an important social action arm of Unitarian Univeralism. Donating to the UUSC is one of the ways we spread our light during this season. Guest at Your Table is one fundraising program we do whose monies make a valuable contribution to our social justice work in the world.

Hopefully you have a Guest at Your Table box at your home. If you don't, extra boxes are located under the membership table that you pass (or stop at!) as you enter the Great Hall. We will collect the boxes beginning January 4.

Children at Sojourn House need your generousity

Today I visited the Sojourn House and talked with its coordinator, Susan Kahn. Sojourn House is an old Victorian home on Union Street in Schenectady that serves as a temporary residence for homeless women and their children. You can read more about it here.

FUSS RE is collecting gifts to fill Christmas stocking for all the children and small gifts for the mothers.

Susan is thrilled that we are bringing gifts for the children who are living there. This is a transient group that changes often and so they have a hard time connecting with specific organizations to get gifts. They are families headed by single mom's trying hard to get permanent housing.

Right now the majority of children are ages 5-7. There are two boys, ages 10 &11.

I asked Susan for some suggestions about gifts. Her first response was arts and crafts supplies. She said most children don't even have a box of crayons. Rescue Heroes, Spiderman, Legos and dolls are also popular items.

Moms can use socks and gift cards to Price Chopper or Target

Please consider bringing in an item to contribute. We are collecting the items this Sunday, December 21st. Look for the Sojourn House banner that our third and fourth grade Spirit Play class made hanging in the back of the Great Hall.

After the service we will wrap the gifts or put them in the stockings. We'll bring the gifts to Sojourn House Monday, December 22nd.