(Please note that Rev. Caitlin is on sabbatical until April 2018. Her monthly column will return when she returns! Until then - here's what she had to say in December....)
All Souls Unitarian Universalist religious education
nurtures liberal religious discovery and the spiritual development of children and youth.
Religious Education News from Reverend Caitlin
From Nursery through High School
We follow a different rhythm of connection in December at All Souls, with fewer Sunday School sessions, but more multi-generational celebrations. Please note in "dates to remember" below, the Make-Your-Own-Craft Fair and our multi-generational services: the Paper Bag Pageant, Solstice, and Christmas Eve.
In our Paper Bag Pageant service on December 10th, we will transform Unity Hall into a living nativity scene, where all congregants (children and adults alike) will be given the opportunity to wear a costume and play a part in the story narrated by Missy Macca-Barnes and myself. After the service, I will have a chance to say goodbye for now at a special coffee hour, as this will be my last Sunday before my 4-month sabbatical.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the congregation for the respite and renewal that a sabbatical period offers a minister. When I return in April, I will be rounding out 6 years of ministry in Religious Education at All Souls. It has been an honor and an adventure. While I am away, you will enter into a stewardship campaign that will decide, among other things, whether or not to increase the budget to increase ministerial staffing in the areas of worship and pastoral care. If this financial goal is reached, I will stay on as your Associate Minister to provide that increased staffing. My professional development efforts during the sabbatical will focus most especially on pastoral care models and spiritual counseling (through a certification program at The Mercy Center in Madison that concludes in April). I’m looking forward to having this dedicated time, and also to re-joining the mission and ministry of All Souls in the spring.
Below, please take a look at what we have planned for December 3rd’s Sunday School sessions, and I will look forward to celebrating with you in so many ways in the coming month:
The "Big Ideas for Little People" class will experience a Spirit Play story about the symbol of light in Solstice, Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa celebrations. This story helps to broaden the children’s awareness of winter holidays and to see that light is a common in-spiration for all humans.
1st & 2nd Grade
The "Creating Home" class will hear a story about one of our Unitarian ancestors, Henry David Thoreau. They will decorate an image of Walden Pond and will take a walk to the Peace Garden to sit and observe nature, and color what they see.
3rd to 5th Grade
The "Harry Potter and UU" class will tackle the "horcrux" (persistent evil) of hunger in our area, by collecting food donations for the Greater New London Food Pantry in front of the Waterford "Stop & Shop" during Sunday School time.
6th & 7th Grade
The "Bibleodeon" class will learn about the Biblical sources of the Christmas story and will explore a Nativity Scene together while discussing Unitarian Universalist views of Christmas. They will enjoy some Christmas music while making ornaments.
The "Heeding the Call" class will explore ways that we can be courageous through small acts. They will learn the story of Juliette Hampton Morgan, a white woman who took simple steps to be an ally to people of color in the context of bus segregation.
High School Youth Group
The "Our Whole Lives" class will conclude their sexuality and faith course with a discussion of sexual consent, the concept of date rape, and ways that consent is now discussed in the public sphere. This is particularly relevant, given the recent "Me too" movement ex-posing perpetrators of sexual assault. The youth will wrap up their OWL course with final questions and feedback.
Dates to Remember
December 2: "Make-Your-Own-Craft Fair" in Unity Hall, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
December 10: one 10:00 a.m. multigenerational ser-vice, "The Paper Bag Pageant," no Religious Education classes
December 17: one 4:30 p.m. multigenerational service, with childcare for 2nd grade and younger, no Religious Education classes
December 24: Christmas Eve services: 4:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. (nursery care and activity blanket during the 4:30 service)
December 31: one 10:00 a.m. service, no Religious Education classes
Thank you to:
Sandy Geaman for coordinating the wonderful annual "Make-Your-Own-Craft Fair"!
Kyle Murray for substitute-leading our 1st-2nd grade class and Lynette Gardner for providing support.
Ben Parent, Nick Evento, and Karen Ethier-Waring for stepping in to teach for their teammates.