Friday, January 30, 2009

Waters House Paint Party!!!

Kim Schnell will lead a team of painters Sunday afternoon, Feb. 22nd from 1PM - 4 PM. The room to be painted is currently our 7th grade OWL room. It's very blue with lots of peeling paint.

We need your help! Please contact Kim: or myself: if you are able to work for any amount of time.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Today our RE classes are running. PreK - 4th, 6th grade start in the Great Hall with their families. They leave for class after "the child in us" portion of the service. 5th, 7th and 8th graders all start in class. our senior youth 9th-12th meet in the senior lounge.

Friday, January 23, 2009

O.W.L. overnight help needed

Tomorrow, Saturday, January 24 the 7th grade OWL class has an overnight. We need one more person to help and be awake from 11 pm - 3 am. There is nothing else involved except for staying awake with another adult, either John Glaser or me. Please e-mail Wade Beltramo at if you can help out.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Our Senior Youth

Our Senior Youth are hosting a conference at FUSS beginning tonight. The conference, called a "con," is organized and led by the youth and our senior youth host one here every other year.

These youth conferences provide an opportunity for UU youth in our St Lawrence District to meet, worship, learn and socialize together. Our youth plan the workshops, meals and other programs and get adult volunteers to help.

This year's con includes a coffee house, a ballroom dance workshop led by Frank and Angela Calabria, an Our Whole Lives class for senior youth led by trained facilitators Randy Jennings and Jackie Citriniti, yoga with yours truly (me!). The youth are planning an interactive Candyland game. They'll plan and lead worship services together. They will have the opportunity to hear Union College student Taif Jany speak on his experiences living in Baghdad during the Iraq war and talk with him about it. Taif is one of only 15 students from Iraq allowed into the United States to attend college.

Our youth-led Cons are a great example of youth empowerment and creating opportunities for youth leadership. Cons connect our UU youth with other like-minded UU youth in an environment that is safe and well supervised. The importance and power of those connections can not be underestimated.

"Hat's On" thanks to you!

Our congregations collected over 200 hats, mitten, gloves and scarves on our mitten tree this year! I took the remaining items to Sojourn House and Bethesda House Tuesday. With the expected colder temperatures they were very, very grateful for the items.

It really struck me when I spoke with Susan, the director at Sojourn House, and heard the gratitude in her voice. They were really worried because mitten and gloves are something that they need regularly and often do not have. And, children tend to lose such things...When I talked with Susan in December she told me about a time when she gave a resident the socks off her feet to wear.

What we do matters so much. Thank- you.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Services and RE on for this morning

A quick update. Services and RE classes are on.

Additionally: 7th grade OWL meets 9 - 12 noon.

OWL 5th grade parent orientation from 10:30 - 12 noon.

8th grade COA meets in the morning. This is a change because the evening trip has been postponed.

Friday, January 9, 2009


Our first Children's Chapel of the New Year was on labyrinths! Grades preK - 5th learned about meditation in motion with with a walking labyrinth. Spirit Play teacher Judy Clough brought in her large, canvas walking labyrinth for all the children to try. The children walked the labyrinth in small groups and almost every child chose to participate.

During this time the children also experimented with labyrinths in others ways. There were lots of finger labyrinths to try. Children could build their own labyrinth with blocks or beans. There were labyrinths to color.

As a spiritual practice, labyrinths are a tremendous tool for reflection and focus. They are used by children and adults all over the world. If you are interested in learning more, you can check out this site for a start.

Finger labyrinths and labyrinths to color will continue to be part of spiritual practices available every week in our Spirit Play classrooms.

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Friday, January 2, 2009

RE Classes for January

Happy New Year!

We have a new and beautiful website! I am working with RE Council member Lisa Chistenson to get everything up to date.

There is no Wintersession this year. Classes will begin Sunday and run through June 14. This is a brief synopsis outlining our current religious education program for children and youth.

PreK/K Spirit Play. This Sunday they will start in their classroom where we will begin Children's Chapel. They will learn about and walk a large floor labyrinth that their teacher, Judy Clough, will bring and have out. We will also have new finger labyrinths for them to try and labyrinths they can color and take home. Using labyrinths is a spiritual practice we introduce in all the Spirit Play classes.

For January the class will here the story of our flaming chalice. The story introduces an important symbol of our faith and the agreements we make with each other to be in community together. The stories they hear in class over the coming months will focus on our seven promises or Principles.

They will also hear about Martin Luther King Jr. and celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year beginning January 25.

1st & 2nd grade Spirit Play - This Sunday they will start in the preK/K classroom for Children's Chapel. See above description of Labyrinth Walk.

The class will hear the story of the flaming chalice and focus on our seven principles, or promises, over the coming months.

They will hear about Martin Luther King Jr. and celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year beginning January 25.

3rd and 4th grade Spirit Play- This Sunday the class starts in the preK/K classroom for Children's Chapel. See above description of Labyrinth Walk.

The class will hear stories from our UU Sources. They will explore some of the wisdom traditions, beginning with a Parable of Jesus. They will celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year and hear about Taoism in January as well.

In the upcoming months they will explore Buddhism, humanism, earth-centered traditions and the work and words of prophetic women and men..

They do this in the context of Spirit Play class which brings them together for a story and then allows them to explore the story they just heard, or a different one, on their own or in groups.

5th grade O.W.L.- The 5th grade will start this week in Children's Chapel at the preK/K room. They will learn about and walk the labyrinth. Then they will go to their classroom and meet their teachers for Our Whole Lives, the new curriculum they are beginning the following week.

If you have a child in 5th grade and have not heard from me about this class please contact me at 377-0002 or This class requires parental consent and an orientation.

6th grade The Questing Year- They will begin in their classroom and continue on their Questing Year journey with their teachers.

7th grade O.W.L.- Our Whole Lives class does not meet this week.

8th grade Neighboring Faiths- Meets in their classroom for a celebration! In January, as part of their Neighboring Faiths curriculum, the group will visit a Hindu Temple, discuss politics and religion on January 18 and make plans to visit a Baptist Church.

9th - 12th- meet in the senior youth lounge. They are busy planning for their youth con that they will host at FUSS January 16 -18. Look for signs as you enter the main building for ways to help. I know they are still looking for folks to bring food for meals.