Friday, October 25, 2013

CELEBRATE: Halloween, All Hallow's Eve, Samhain

Whatever you choose to call this time of year, we have rituals of celebration and transformation around it. A great online resource I have found to connect with many of the ways seasons are acknowledged and celebrated is called Living in Season.

At the Unitarian Universalist Society of Schenectady we have long celebrated local Halloween traditions with games and parties. This Sunday is an opportunity for an REC- led fun community celebration!

Children and adults of all ages are welcome to participate in our All Souls/Halloween parade. We will all begin together in the Great Hall. During the Prelude marchers will be lead around the Great Hall and out and over to Waters House. Children and youth are not required to participate. All RE activities will start after the parade.

Grades preK -5 will circulate to different activities in Waters House. Grades 6/7 will have treats in their room as they work on their "public service announcement." We hope to show the film at the November 10 service!

Coming of Age meets for an extended class. They will be watching a movie and beginning a period of time of both acting on and thinking about, the issue of hunger. This Sunday will be a movie. November 3 they will be participating in a poverty-awareness activity. Also, in November, the COA youth will have an opportunity to work at a local soup kitchen.

Another important practice for this time of year are additional opportunities to give to local social action groups.

Children who go trick or treating and collect candy have the option of giving some of their candy to an organization that  leads birthday celebrations for children at local homeless shelters. That candy will be collected at the Children's Chapel worship Sunday, November 3. You can also buy and donate the candy as well.

We are collecting toiletry products to make "Welcome Bags" with on Nov 10.

There are of course lots of other wonderful things going on at Unitarian Universalist Society of Schenectady!

Celebrating Indigenous Peoples

Dennis Yerry teaching Alligator Song
Song for Children
Round Dance

Saturday, October 5, 2013

RE-thinking Columbus Day

All Religious Education programs meet tomorrow.

Our theme for grades 1-5 thru is Native Wisdom. We will start in children's chapel. The children will learn a song we will sing next Sunday in worship. They will also learn some words of the Mohawk language and Native American social dancing. Children should come should come prepared to go outside.

Please check out the Waters House library for a special section on Indigenous Peoples. There you will find books for all ages, information, and a brochure, REthinking Columbus Day and Thanksgiving. Since at least 1970 the Unitarian Universalist Association has been involved in supporting and promoting Indigenous Rights. There is much we can learn just in our own geographical region.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Social Action and RE

We had our first Social Action Sunday this year with grades 1-5. The children began in children's chapel where we connected Unitarian Universalism's Seven Principles to animal rescue work. The children met some of the volunteers of local Companion Animal Placement Program. They had an opportunity to make toys and cushions for the rescued animals. One of the highlights was four rescued puppies the group brought. Wisely, the puppies already had homes where they would soon be placed!

The children were excited by the toy- making project. With our new dedicated art space we decided to keep supplies available for children to make more toys during RE that we can collect and then donate.

Our next Social Action Sunday will be our Service2Service multigenerational worship on November 10. REC will again collect toiletries to make Welcome Bags for Sojourn House and Bethesda House.