Edited by Callimom - 2/11/12 at 6:41pm
Hello Karenwith4, I wish were getting back into a routine, but we have not been able to attend our UU in quite some time. I am hoping we will make it back at the end of the month or Nov., but due to a busy fall schedule we have missed it :( The sources supper looks like an interesting idea; have you participated in one? This article linked off your link http://www.uuworld.org/life/articles/90610.shtml is really interesting and I totally relate to having a hard time not being wishywashy with the kids about beliefs. Thanks for sharing good things to think about.
Good Morning! Nice to see a UU thread.
I am chairing the Building Committee this year as well as RE.
I agree, I try not to be wishy washy, but it is hard since my personal beliefs are pagan in origin, but I was raised Christian. I share my beliefs to my kids in ways that I hope makes sense to them, but I am careful not to use certain words (like pagan) since my Mother made it pretty clear she doesn't agree with those beliefs. We do talk about the principles and living tradition a lot, which seems to give them a good sense of our religion. Still, I wonder if they could explain it to someone else?
I logged onto Mothering for the first time in months and I was so happy to find a UU Fall thread right on the first page in the Spirituality forum! Thank you very much for starting this thread Karen.
I have not participated in a Sources Supper, but it sounds like a great idea. Did you end up doing it? How did it go?
At my church we have done various meal "things" over the years. For a few years we had "Silver and Gold Suppers" a few people who were long-time church members would be connected with a few people who were relatively new to the church and the group would meet for dinner four times over the course of the year. This year they are doing "Hanging in the Hood". Our church is the only UU church in a pretty large metropolitan area and people come from all over, so the idea is to connect people who live close to each other geographically and they will get together for a meal once a month.
Our church has a lot of families with young children and that segment of our congregation is growing fast. We have parenting discussion and support groups and we also have parents nights out occasionally when the church provides childcare and parents gather at the church or a restaurant for a meal or just fun and conversation. The biggest on-going family activity at my church though, is Wednesday Night. Each week there is a meal at the church that is cooked by volunteers. After dinner there are activities and classes for kids, adults, and mixed groups. Right now my daughter is doing children's choir and children's drama workshop and I decide what to do when I get there. I may watch the weekly movie, attend a discussion group, or just use the time to do volunteer work in the church office. There are also always a few gatherings of people just talking and relaxing and being together. It is very casual and wonderful!
Wow Adele, your congregational offerings are amazing. We have a new(ish) Spiritual Development Coordinator and she's got tonnes of great ideas. But we are a very small congregation and I think we are hoping to start small. There's definitely a hunger for connecting and supporting parents in the congregation, as young families are what is driving the growth.
We are hoping to do a discussion group/parenting book club and another program that connects 3 families/members who might otherwise not connect to get together 3 times, with each family/member planning and/or hosting one gathering.
We haven't done the sources supper. I have emailed Bill Doherty who is leading the team that wrote it, and they are test driving a version for younger kids. We are hoping to be one of the piloting groups for that.
On a somewhat related note, I am doing a talk at our congregation in 2 weeks on developing and sustaining family traditions, when your celebrations aren't necessarily what the mainstream/dominent culture celebrates. Or how to meld or tweek them into meaningful rituals for your family. I'd love to hear what people on this list do around celebrations, (Christmas/solstice/winter festivals, birthdays, every day rituals,) which make them meaningful, and possibly reflective of the 7 principles. Care to share? I originally had til the end of November but dates got shuffled and now, well I've got 2 weeks to write this. (And in there I am teaching a workshop, we have an international exchange student for 2 weeks, I have a craft swap, 2 birthday parties.....lol now I am whining)
Would love to see some more chatting here!
I love to here about what other churches are doing! It is inspiring to here that small churches are growing. We are a small congregation but we have few families with young children, so that is an area that we want to expand. Finding a way to connect with families has been challenging. Currently we rent a space just on Sundays and it isn't the most family friendly space. If we want to host other events, we need to rent space from either another church or facility, which can be costly and a bit confusing since it isn't OUR building.
Our church embraces many non-traditional traditions, which I appreciate, since our family also celebrates the wheel of the year as well as main stream Christian holidays.
For the winter solstice, I know of several families who host a soup/bread/salad dinner where people bring ingredients for helping make the soup as well as a donation for either a local charity or other organization. They do a short meditation/prayer before eating, light candles and eat by candlelight. Incorporating pagan principles/earth centered traditions like the solstice (Yule) often appeals to families who feel connected to the earth. Decorating with natural items like pine cones, berries and winter greens as well as candles is not only a "green" practice but is an old tradition of bringing the outside in.
I am giving a talk with a friend for Samhain. We are discussing different cultures and their traditions of honoring those who have passed, by having a place setting in honor of the dearly departed. We will also discuss the Day of the Dead, which many pagans also recognize.
I am not fully awake this morning, but I would be happy to share more about the Samhain sermon I am giving once I finish writing it.
I was raised without religion by atheists, but we always celebrated secular versions of Christmas and Easter, and that is what I have continued in my family. For me, holidays are much more about family traditions than about religion. I do think rituals and cyclic and/or seasonal activities and events are very important both spiritually and emotionally. Our UU religion and church activities have been incorporated easily into our family Christmas celebrations. My daughter and I attend the service Christmas Eve. Our church also has a winter holiday party early in December where we eat a potluck meal and then do activities and crafts with Winter Solstice, Chanukah, and Christmas themes. We also have a big party near Valentine's Day when we celebrate love in all its myriad forms. And then there are annual "special" church services. We do a flower communion in the Spring and a Blending of the Waters service in the Fall, but we also have a special Day of the Dead service (coming up this Sunday!) and an Earth Day Service.
Michelle Richards, the author of Tending the Flame: The Art of Unitarian Universalist Parenting, has a blog, updated monthly, that frequently talks about celebrating holidays with kids and creating UU-oriented celebrations and holidays for your family.
That's great, DandelionWine! When do you perform?
I have heard of Chalica, but I am not a big fan to be honest. Seems kind of artificial and contrived to me, but I don't have any real objections to it. If people can make a meaningful family tradition out it, good for them! Here is an article about Chalica in UUWorld online, revolting.
I think it is fine to post a link to your church website unless mothering.com has changed its rules or the other posters on this thread object.
Tonight the children's drama workshop that meets each Wednesday evening at my church is performing an adapted version of "Junie B. Jones: Monkey Business" for parents and friends. My daughter is playing Junie B. Jones. I love my church.
Hope all you UU Mamas are doing well!