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#1 of 60 Old 12-23-2010, 09:11 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Welcome to the Winter support, community, information, conversation, and fun thread for UUs and UU curious.

Here is the link to the previous Autumn thread.

Come on in and say "Hi", ask a question, tell a story, or feel free to just lurk for awhile.

Sorry this is late.  Winter Solstice was two days ago.  Did anyone/everyone enjoy that full moon on the solstice?  Awesome!

 

This is a very busy time of year for me, as I'm sure it is for most of us, regardless of which winter holidays we choose to celebrate.  I celebrate a secular Christmas that includes going to church on Christmas Eve and telling the nativity story as well as talking about Santa Claus and a big celebration involving light and warmth in the cold, dark days of winter.  What holidays do you celebrate and how do you celebrate them?  Does anyone celebrate Chalica as a real family celebration?

 

Here is a quote from Earth Bound by Brian Nelson


Quote:
The evergreens -- the pines and firs that provide winter color when the rest of the landscape is white and gray during this harsh time of year -- remind us that life perseveres.  Even in the most trying of times, the trees grow.  And so do you.

Wishing you all a season of peace, joy, light, and love.

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#2 of 60 Old 12-23-2010, 04:52 PM
 
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Love the Earth Bound quote!

We are going to our first UU Christmas Eve service tomorrow and looking forward to it!


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#3 of 60 Old 12-23-2010, 07:09 PM
 
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I am UU curious, I guess. innocent.gif

 

I was brought up in a secular home, with a culturally Jewish mother, and a lapsed Catholic father. My DH is non-practicing Protestant, I guess... 

 

I have been wanting to attend a UU service for years, but I guess I feel self-conscious about it, as I've never attended any church, or synagogue, of any kind. My motivation is to seek out a place to celebrate our spiritual lives and connections with one another & our community for our family. Also, I very much want my boys to have an initiation ceremony when they are older, of some kind, and figure we need a community to do it within. I think it would be a good fit for our family.

 

Maybe in the new year.

 


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#4 of 60 Old 12-23-2010, 07:55 PM
 
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Thanks as always Adele! I loved the quote- such a great reminder to me right now!

 

Similar story here as far as celebrations this time of year. I am really looking forward to the Christmas Eve service tomorrow. I have always loved going to church on this night for the carol singing, candle-light and abundance of uplifting energy. It is particularly exciting as it is our first Christmas Eve service in a new UU congregation.

 

We haven't taken on Chalica yet but I am interested to hear what others are doing.

 

Enjoy tomorrow night columbusmomma!

 

Daisymama12: if you don't have plans for Christmas Eve, I encourage you to go!!! It would be a lovely night to dip your toes in the water!

 

Wishing everyone a wonderful celebration, whatever form it takes for you!


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#5 of 60 Old 12-23-2010, 08:35 PM
 
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I'm new to the MDC UU threads... and also new to UUism :)  Last march I started attending a very large UU church (largest in the world, actually) and I love it.  It's kind of a challenge b/c I was raised Christian (Catholic to be precise) and I am not a Christian any longer.  I have not really gotten to a place where I feel comfortable talking about this with my extended family.  And now that Christmas is here, everyone keeps talking about Jesus' birthday and it just sort of makes me squirm.  Plus, I really really wanted to celebrate the soltice this year by lighting a fire in a chimenae or fire pit or something, but my FIL said, "it's the feast of St. Thomas and we're not doing a fire."  So instead I went out by myself and tried to view the lunar eclipse, but it was cloudy where we were and I couldn't see the moon.  I tried.

 

Anyway, I'm completely loving my new church.  It's really wonderful to be part of a community that is open and accepting of all different kinds of people.  My church has an AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME children's program, that I'm looking forward to being more a part of as DS gets older.  We also have a great MUMs group.  And I'm on the steering committee for our women's group.

 

Are any of you planning on going to the SWUUW conference in Dallas in March?


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#6 of 60 Old 12-23-2010, 10:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Welcome.gif to the new thread, everyone!

 

columbusmomma:  I'm glad you like the quote.  I have used quotes and excerpts I have found in Earth Bound for RSC meetings and suggested service readings as well as these threads.  It is a great book.

 

daisymama:  When I first started attending church I hadn't been to any church at all since I went once or twice with my grandparents when I was about 3 and I was really nervous!  As I always say on this thread, it was soooo worth it!  And the church was very relaxed and welcoming and made it much easier for me.  Church has provided a wonderful community for my daughter as well.  My church just started a Coming of Age program last year.  My daughter is not old enough yet, but everyone I have talked to thought it was just wonderful.

 

shanniesue:  That is great that you have found such a  wonderful UU church for you!  I think this time of year must be particularly difficult when it comes to dealing with extended family spiritual issues.  Just yesterday I was talking with the DRE at my church.  Her parents are strict Lutheran and are coming for the holidays, which is causing her lots of stress.  I think I am very fortunate not to have to deal with that at all.  I think it's great you tried to observe the solstice anyway.  Sorry you couldn't see the moon.  Actually, I heard from several UU's for whom clouds or snow obscured the sky, so I guess I lucked out there too.  I hope you are able to enjoy the remainder of the holidays without too much stress or conflict!

 

Hi Stargirl!  Thanks for being so active and supportive to everyone on these threads and writing such great posts.

 

I hope everyone who is going enjoys the Christmas Eve services tomorrow!

 

Peace.

 

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#7 of 60 Old 12-26-2010, 03:56 PM
 
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Hi everyone, I'm glad to be here. Adele_Mommy, Earth Bound looks like a wonderful source!

 

We've been very happily attending our local UU church for about six weeks now (this is my first time going to a UU church). At first it was just dd1 and me as dd2 was sleeping later and staying home with Daddy. But now dd2's going to sleep earlier and waking earlier so she's come along for the past three Sundays, and dd1's girlfriend who frequently spends Saturday nights has come with us for a couple of Sundays also; I wasn't sure if her parents would want her to come, since the other church they've sent her to is fundamentalist, but I told her mom the name of the church making sure to add "Unitarian Universalist" and she was totally cool with it.

 

Both girls just love the children's program. It is just so very, very, very child-friendly. I think it helps that some of the other families that go are unschoolers like we are, so it's very play-based and dd1, who is ten, loves it that she can knit during storytime.

 

I've been enjoying each and every service and also the "coffee-klatch" time in the cafe during the first hour (adults have the option of Sunday School, a forum where social issues are discussed, or hangin' out in the cafe). I plan to get started soon volunteering 2x a month in the children's area as there is a big need for more volunteers.

 

Dd1 is really enjoying the children's choir. The choir leader is just wonderful -- a professional singer but also very fun and relaxed with the children, which I've heard is a pretty rare combination.


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#8 of 60 Old 12-27-2010, 05:31 AM
 
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Oops, I didn't mean to make it sound like I was dissing professional musicians -- just that I've heard that if you're really gifted in this area, it's sometimes hard to adjust your standards to children.

 

In the church choir that dd1 was a part of for a few months last year, I feel the leader tried to be nice to me but we just really weren't "her kind of people." Dd1 has had no formal voice training or formal musical experience, which I hadn't realized was so unusual for a 9yo. We also unschool and she's very active.

 

Well, the leader really tried to be nice but after the first or second practice, she took me aside and told me that she was wanting to help dd but it was really hard, because they'd all been a group for a long time, and were actually working on a song they'd sung the previous year. So they were all familiar with it and she said it was just really hard having this new child coming in who not only wasn't familiar with that song, but was also having a hard time even singing on-key.

 

I was about to just take dd out but then she added that she really wanted to work with dd but was just trying to help me understand how stressful it was for her. She didn't say any of this in front of dd or the other children. When I talked with dd later (not repeating all of this of course), she was really gun-ho for wanting to stay in choir, though she didn't like it that they had to stand for so long and didn't really appreciate the 100% classical music. So she stayed in a little longer, and actually went to the end of year party last May, and then we fell out of going to that church; dd1 just found parts of it really boring and it seemed there wasn't enough fun stuff to make up for the boring parts.

 

I liked alot of things about that church, but it just seemed that we didn't 100% fit there. I think we were probably the lowest income family there, and maybe most of the other children really had had formal voice training from an early age. They also seemed to be accustomed to sitting still more and listening to Bible readings and so on. Dd really likes the much more active and open style of the UU children's program. In other churches, they seem to discontinue the long free-play sessions once the children are past pre-school age, so it's nice to finally be part of a congregation where they understand that older kids still do most of their learning through playing, too.


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#9 of 60 Old 12-27-2010, 07:40 AM
 
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well the rest of our trip was pretty good!  Not too much pressure from the ILs.  I just sort of avoided specific talk about church and it was fine.  DS had a great time playing with his cousins so that was nice.  We did go to SILs church for Christmas Eve.  And even my Christian DH wasn't impressed.  The whole theme was "making room for Jesus" and they ended the sermon with a "Christmas" themed version of the "Jesus come into my heart salvation prayer."  There was also this solo that a young man sang that was all about Bethlehem sleeping while the king was coming.  It was fine, really, until he got to the verse about the United States of America and philosophies that "save trees and kill children."  Huh?

 

But really, once we got through that, it was all okay.  And we had a really lovely time over all.  I did get the oppportunity to watch my church's service online yesterday (we do live streaming).  And we had a guest preacher (Bishop Carlton Pearson) who gave a very insightful sermon.  The thing that I have really appreciated about my church is that EVERY sermon and service has seemed just so relevant to my life.  I swear, when our ministers sit down to write their sermons, I'm just sure they are thinking, "what does Shannan need to hear this week?"

 

We have a women's retreat coming up at the end of January.  Kate Braestrup (author of "Here when you need me," "Marriage and other acts of charity" and "Beginner's Grace") is our keynote speaker.  I got one of her books for Christmas, and I'm a few chapters into it... I'm really looking forward to hearing and talking to her in person!  We're also going to have workshops on art, singing, white crane silat, spirituality and sexuality, knitting, ecstatic dance, and I can't remember what else.  There are going to be pedicures and chair massage by appointment.  I'm really looking forward to it!  Last year's retreat was really fantastic.  And this year's is looking to be great as well :)

 

Adele_mommy:  Our church offers a coming of age program, too.  For the 9th graders.  As part of the program, the kids do a lot of self exploration and write their own credos that they present to the congregation at a special coming of age service at the end of the year.  I often wish that they had a similar program for the adults (although I would want to pass on standing up in front of the congregation).


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#10 of 60 Old 12-28-2010, 10:07 AM
 
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hi! I really need to start attending. i miss going to church every sunday. i just didnt have a church to go to since i changed my religion/beliefs. i am excited to read more about how your UU church does it. the closest one to me is 20 miles away but i plan to start going as soon as the driving gets beter.


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#11 of 60 Old 12-28-2010, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Your church sounds great, mammal_mama!  I'm glad you found a place where you feel like you fit in.  I love that your dd knits during storytime.  orngbiggrin.gif  I have been known to crochet or do needlework during meetings and forums at my church, and at Wednesday night activities there is usually a group hanging out in the gathering area talking with several people crocheting or knitting while they chat.  winky.gif


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#12 of 60 Old 12-28-2010, 01:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shanniesue2 View Post

well the rest of our trip was pretty good!  Not too much pressure from the ILs.  I just sort of avoided specific talk about church and it was fine.  DS had a great time playing with his cousins so that was nice.  We did go to SILs church for Christmas Eve.  And even my Christian DH wasn't impressed.  The whole theme was "making room for Jesus" and they ended the sermon with a "Christmas" themed version of the "Jesus come into my heart salvation prayer."  There was also this solo that a young man sang that was all about Bethlehem sleeping while the king was coming.  It was fine, really, until he got to the verse about the United States of America and philosophies that "save trees and kill children."  Huh?

 

But really, once we got through that, it was all okay.  And we had a really lovely time over all.  I did get the oppportunity to watch my church's service online yesterday (we do live streaming).  And we had a guest preacher (Bishop Carlton Pearson) who gave a very insightful sermon.  The thing that I have really appreciated about my church is that EVERY sermon and service has seemed just so relevant to my life.  I swear, when our ministers sit down to write their sermons, I'm just sure they are thinking, "what does Shannan need to hear this week?"

 

We have a women's retreat coming up at the end of January.  Kate Braestrup (author of "Here when you need me," "Marriage and other acts of charity" and "Beginner's Grace") is our keynote speaker.  I got one of her books for Christmas, and I'm a few chapters into it... I'm really looking forward to hearing and talking to her in person!  We're also going to have workshops on art, singing, white crane silat, spirituality and sexuality, knitting, ecstatic dance, and I can't remember what else.  There are going to be pedicures and chair massage by appointment.  I'm really looking forward to it!  Last year's retreat was really fantastic.  And this year's is looking to be great as well :)

 

Adele_mommy:  Our church offers a coming of age program, too.  For the 9th graders.  As part of the program, the kids do a lot of self exploration and write their own credos that they present to the congregation at a special coming of age service at the end of the year.  I often wish that they had a similar program for the adults (although I would want to pass on standing up in front of the congregation).


I'm glad your time with your ILs wasn't too painful!

 

I feel the same way you do about my minister's sermons - like he's talking directly to me.  I love that!

 

I have been wanting to read Here if You Need Me.    That is so cool you get to meet Kate Braestrup!  Please post here after your retreat and let us know what it was like.  loveeyes.gif

 

 


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#13 of 60 Old 12-28-2010, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LionessMom View Post

hi! I really need to start attending. i miss going to church every sunday. i just didnt have a church to go to since i changed my religion/beliefs. i am excited to read more about how your UU church does it. the closest one to me is 20 miles away but i plan to start going as soon as the driving gets beter.



Welcome.gif LionessMom!

 

 

Where in Iowa are you, if you don't mind my asking?  I attend the First Unitarian Church of Des Moines.  The Prairie Star District Conference is going to be in Des Moines this year, so I will be meeting people from lots of other UU churches around the state too.


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#14 of 60 Old 12-28-2010, 07:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adele_Mommy View Post





Welcome.gif LionessMom!

 

 

Where in Iowa are you, if you don't mind my asking?  I attend the First Unitarian Church of Des Moines.  The Prairie Star District Conference is going to be in Des Moines this year, so I will be meeting people from lots of other UU churches around the state too.



 i am closest to cedar rapids and iowa city. the one i was thinking about starting at is in cedar rapids. i really think my kids would enjoy going.


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#15 of 60 Old 01-01-2011, 10:23 AM
 
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Hi ladies!  I've been away from MDC for a while but when I came to check things out (holy cats is the formatting all different) the first place I wanted to go was the UU thread.  Thank you so much Adele for always keeping on top of starting a thread.  For those of you new to UU and this thread, I'm a rarity here... a life long UU lol.gif over 40 years as of last summer.  My dad is a UU minister, I took a break from going to church (except foo things like Christmas eve) when he moved to another part of the country when I was in my mid 20's and suddenly I realized going to church hearing someone other than my dad preach was a really weird thing for me.  I had grown up going to many different congregations but always had the same minister.  I started going back to church regularly when i was 33 and 8 months pregnant with my son.  He's going to be 7 years old in two weeks. The only time we miss church now is if one of the kids are sick.

 

Much has been happening this year.  Our congregation welcomed a new part time minister.  She's good, but change is difficult for many, me too sometimes.  At the same time I love that she and our new church president, who started her term the same month our new minister arrived, diving in and creating forums to get the congregation to discuss what it wants to be.  I know that sounds very 70's but our church needs to define itself.  At least I think so, and once it does it needs to move in that direction.  For the last 9 years we have gone through a lot of changes in that we moved from twice a month meeting at 4 in the afternoon to every wk, then a new location that allowed us to meet in the mornings, a more traditional time, and then another move to a location that allowed us to have up to three RE classes or two classes plus baby and toddler care.  We grew in numbers slowly and steadily to support these changes, our previous minister was working 3/4 time.  But things sort of stalled out.  We stopped growing, we struggled to get people to volunteer to teach RE.  The same people who always did it were getting burnt out.  We tried to reorganize things and doing things differently worked for about a year.  But now I think it wasn't really a great system, it was just a different one so that's why it got participation for a while.  We lost people, families.  And that bothers me the most.  Because I go to church for my kids.  I go to this church for my kids it's close to us and some of the kids that were in the RE program lived in the neighborhood and went tot he same school.  And I loved the idea of my kids growing up and not having to repeatedly hear the words, "You're a Uni-what?"  So anyway I'm having a bit of a hard time with it.  I'd love to hear about how you congregations go about teaching sunday school. 

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#16 of 60 Old 01-02-2011, 09:42 AM
 
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There's been no RE for the last couple of weeks, so we haven't been attending. I just can't manage two little ones in service by myself. Still, I'm looking forward to start going again. Happy 2011! Any predictions or resolutions for the new year?


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#17 of 60 Old 01-02-2011, 12:39 PM
 
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Well, we missed this morning. Dd1's girlfriend spent the night, the one who'd been enjoying coming with us (I'd thought), then last night she told dd that she thought it was bad that they don't pray at our church. When dd told me about it this morning, I said that everyone has a right to their own opinion, and her friend doesn't have to come to church with us if she doesn't want to. Dd's friend said she'd rather stay at our house, and at first dd was still wanting to go to church, so I offered to drop her friend off at her house while we went and then pick her up when we came back, but she said she didn't want to go home because it's boring at her house.

 

Dh was intending to drop us off at church, do the grocery shopping, and then come back, and I didn't think it would be a good idea to either leave dd's 8yo friend at our home alone, or have her spending time with just dh alone (because of the way our society can be when it comes to men spending time alone with kids who aren't their own, just seems like a road we don't need to go down) ... so I said if she didn't want to go to her house for that time, she'd need to come along. It was really her choice.

 

Then dd1 said she'd actually kind of like to stay home. Dd2 really likes church, but was pretty happy to go out with dh to get a milkshake and then do the grocery shopping. And I've been having a lot of back and leg pain for the past couple of days, which is unusual for me, so I've been very tired and decided it'd be great to just stay home and relax.

 

But I don't want to miss again next week, so I'm not sure how we'll handle the fact that dd wants her friend to come nearly every weekend, and her friend wants to come, too. But I guess our church doesn't match her idea of what a church should be doing. When I change my work schedule in late March (I work from home doing English training over the phone), I can start doing overnights on Friday nights but for right now I work so many hours on Friday nights that this just won't work.


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#18 of 60 Old 01-04-2011, 12:59 PM
 
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Hi All,

 I started a blog about being UU and a homeschooler.

It is just a beginning, but i thought it might be helpful to some.

 

 

http://uuhomeschooling.blogspot.com/

 

I will eventually write about raising kids UU as part of homeschooling curriculum, we are also nature oriented (well Pagan really but I don't always use the Pagan description on public things).

 


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#19 of 60 Old 01-05-2011, 10:17 AM
 
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Mammal-mama I'm sorry that DD's friend prevented you from going to church. My kids aren't yet flexible about church.  My son will be 7 this month and my daughter is 3.5 and one of the worst threats I can make on a Sunday morning is that if they don't move to get dressed faster I'm leaving them home and going to church without them.  They LOVE going.  And so far I am not willing to mess with that.  We go every week.  I'd have given the little girl the option of joining us or dropping her of at her own house.

 

 

Revolting I'm lucky that they provide some sort of child care even if there is not RE.  Last week the regular teen that watches the toddlers and babies was unable to be thee, so the church president watched/played with my 3 year old.  It wasn't always like this and I still think in many ways the congregation struggles with how to make families with children feel welcome. 

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#20 of 60 Old 01-05-2011, 07:38 PM
 
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artgoddess, dd actually told me the other day that she doesn't want her friend to spend the night this weekend because she's been getting on her nerves. She also wants to go to church. So we haven't called her and I suppose if she calls we'll tell her not this weekend.

 

I will really be glad in late March when my schedule changes so that it's easier to do overnights on Friday nights instead of Saturday nights -- not that I'm not cool with taking children along, but then the parents need to know what church we're going to and give permission, and so on. And I really feel proud to be UU, it's not like there's any shame or anything, but I feel like it can kind of make religion an issue in my children's friendships when it doesn't need to be.

 

I also want to start sometimes visiting the Gaia community which meets at around 4 on Sunday afternoons at another UU church in our area, a little bit farther out in the suburbs. But I hesitate to do so when dd's friend is with us because I know we'd be enjoying earth-based rituals that would seem strange to dd's friend (this would also be very new to my girls and me), and of course I'd need to ask parental permission and I'm not really sure how to explain Gaia. All in all, doing overnights on Fridays seems like the easiest way to protect our freedom to explore spiritually in the ways that we want to on Sundays. The Gaia community sounds very child-friendly by the way.


Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#21 of 60 Old 01-06-2011, 06:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Welcome.gifback, artgoddess!

 

It's great to see you here again!  hug.gif

 

My church was growing so fast for awhile and then a couple years ago we still got lots of new members, but we lost enough old members that we didn't really grow at all.  Now we are still just kind of maintaining in terms of membership I believe.  I don't know if this is because things just go in cycles or we got complacent or if we are just experiencing a different type of growth now.  That's a shame that your church seems to be losing families.  I am totally with you about a big part of going to church being for my daughter.  Luckily my church does have a really strong and vibrant RE program right now.

 

I don't know if it is "70s" or not, but my church did something similar a couple years ago to define our vision of what we wanted to be.  One thing that either came out of that or came about shortly after was we divided our RE staff so we have a Director of Religious Education for Children and Youth and a separate person in charge of adult RE.  We had grown enough so we were large enough to support this.  I think this was helpful for us because our church had kind of "contingents" - the "old guard" who have been members of the church for years and years and are very tied to a humanist and intellectual discussion and grown-up view of a spiritual community, and the faster growing family contingent.  A much larger proportion of our new members have been families with young children.  With the separation of RE responsibilities both groups feel like they are represented.

 

Our DRE for children works really hard and she is incredibly dedicated.  Just last month I received a letter that we now have more than 160 children and youth registered for RE!  We are now going to try to hire an RE assistant to support the increased size of our RE program.

 

Regarding Sunday school, we have our staples that we return to time and again:  OWL for the young teens and pre-teens, Free to Believe for first and second graders, Neighboring Faiths for 5th and 6th graders.  We also try a couple new things each year.  And we have our new Coming of Age program which we did for the first time last year.  We have an RE council that works with the DRE to make decisions about curriculum.  We have done several Tapestries of Faith courses, but frankly, I am not very impressed with this curriculum.  My daughter prefers some of the multi-age classes she has taken such as You the Creator last year and SUUper Plays this year.  Honestly, I am not that involved with the RE side of things at my church, as important as it is to me.  I contribute in other ways better suited to my skills and personality.  I am just endlessly grateful that there are such talented and dedicated people at my church who are skilled in that area and that my daughter can reap the benefits.


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#22 of 60 Old 01-06-2011, 07:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeress View Post

Hi All,

 I started a blog about being UU and a homeschooler.

It is just a beginning, but i thought it might be helpful to some.

 

 

http://uuhomeschooling.blogspot.com/

 

I will eventually write about raising kids UU as part of homeschooling curriculum, we are also nature oriented (well Pagan really but I don't always use the Pagan description on public things).

 



Hi Aeress!  Thanks for sharing the link to your blog.  It looks like it will be a really interesting and useful resource for homeschoolers.  I get the impression homeschool resources that include a spiritual component, but that are not fundamentalist Christian, are pretty hard to find.  Is it OK if I share your link with the members of my church who homeschool?

 

Adele


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#23 of 60 Old 01-06-2011, 10:06 AM
 
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My daughter love the RE program, but after the change in leadership, the church lost almost half of its members. We are down to only two children's religious education classes: spirit play for children 3 year old to third grade, and UU Explorers (I'm not sure the age range on it). My daughter loves the religious education program, but I do hope that it gets stronger as she ages. I worry that when she's 8, the class will be less at where she's at, considering they have to cater all the way down to preschoolers.


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#24 of 60 Old 01-08-2011, 10:42 AM
 
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My church is very large (somewhere around 1800 members), so it supports a very large and active RE program.   Our program ranges from infant through adults (with separate directors for infant/toddlers, children, and adult).  The programming is based on stages of faith development.  So infants/toddlers focus is on meeting the children's needs... nurseries are staffed by paid and trained workers.  Once children turn preschool age, they join the children's program.  Early childhood focus is based on helping children develop the concept that god (spirit, truth, etc) is good and that church is a good place to be.  Grade school age is focused on helping the children explore monthly theological themes (the same ones explored in Sunday service and adult RE classes/groups) through use of stories/parables.  This age group does explore bible stories because we feel that it's important for children in our society to be bible literate even if they aren't Christian (there are so many references to bible stories in our culture).  Middle school age focuses on learning about different faith traditions.  And I think that we also include some sex ed in this age group.  High school starts with a coming of age year in 9th grade, and then the older high school kids do youth group activities (I think).  Each age group is further divides into grade levels.  And Sunday mornings are split into 3 time periods.  During the 10:00 service, kids have an activity that is structured more like a class.  Then, in the time space between the two main church services, there is a chidlren's chapel service when children go to chapel with their families.  After chapel, there are other activities scheduled for each grade level to explore spiritual themes through things like music, art, and yoga.

 

I've never been one to go to a really big church.  But when I was looking for a church home and found out about the RE program at this church, that was one of the big things that sealed the deal for me.  And I've found lots of wonderful opportunities for myself as well.


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#25 of 60 Old 01-08-2011, 06:49 PM
 
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All I can say is WOW! :)


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#26 of 60 Old 01-09-2011, 01:22 PM
 
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I'm very happy that we made it back this morning after missing last week. I've started attending the Road to Membership class.

 

It was kind of neat when one of the leaders mentioned that our city's mayor was at the forum this morning, and she said it's very common for political leaders to choose our church to speak at, even with all the really huge megachurches around the city, because of how politically active our members are -- people who want to succeed in politics know that this is a church that can make or break them.

 

This morning's topc (in the forum and worship service, not in the membership class) was immigration reform. And it really makes me excited to be part of a church that is working so hard to bring us back to a realization that the statue of liberty says "Give me your tired, your poor....", and we are a nation made up of immigrants.


Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#27 of 60 Old 01-11-2011, 03:24 PM
 
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I finally went and checked out the nearest to me UU church. i LOVED it! i felt so welcome. i got to look around and even talk to the minister. he was very understanding of my social anxiety and explained everything to me. i cant wait to go on sunday. they are having a new members get together. i know my children will love it. i really hope that having this community can help my 15 yr old DS. something is not quite right in our family life. i really think this will help alot!!


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#28 of 60 Old 01-13-2011, 02:34 PM
 
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Nice to read about everyone's UU experiences here. I am still sort of in questioning mode about staying with our church (have been there 10 years now). But I am getting closer and closer to leaving. I have questions about that, and I wanted to ask you mamas about it.

 

Background:  We live less than 5 minutes from a UU church where we are members. I was heavily involved in volunteering there (even on the board) until last February when I started making life changes, mostly to accommodate some health problems. I am still working on the health issues, but they are improving. DD also was bullied at an alternative school last year and ended up in therapy. We are working with a therapist for DD's anxiety and depression. The depression seems to have lifted but the anxiety still makes life difficult. We are back to unschooling now.

 

Our church situation: DH likes going when he drags his butt there but he isn't motivated to go. DD hates going to RE and won't sit quietly in a service even though she can read novels or draw or whatever. She just says she wants to get out of there and she hates it when the congregation sings. I was going twice a month because I was singing in the choir, but I've traded choir practice for belly dance classes so I am not really going anymore either, even though now we are actually getting up on time to get there. I don't really feel like I gain any spiritual growth from the sermons. They are interesting, thought-provoking even. But what makes me feel spiritual is doing art or dancing.

 

We started attending the UU church because we agree with the values and UUism fits us well. DH is former non-practicing Catholic. I used to be Methodist, then Wiccan. Now I am more humanist with occasional pagan leanings. The church we're at fits this part well - they tend to be predominantly humanist with several pagans and a little bit of everyone else thrown in. But our main reason for joining a church was because we wanted to have a community for our future kid(s). Fast forward several years and we have one child who will remain an only. I do not feel like we have a real community at this church. We have a community of acquaintances there. And I do really like the people, but I don't really feel like any of them are actual friends. Not the kind of people that we can seem to arrange to do things with outside of church. Everyone is very busy and there's the whole suburbia thing going on.

 

DD hates the RE program. It is very schooly, often with worksheets and stuff. She kind of likes the kid service they have once a month. I tried to talk to the DRE about DD's anxiety and depression issues as they relate to RE, but she basically just blew me off. I thought she would try to work with me or something. Instead, she was like "oh, too bad. Well, you should just make her come to church." Ummm.... that doesn't really work for me. We have other issues we need to use pressure on. This is not one of them. DH and I both find the DRE to be patronizing. I suspect DD does as well. I think the DRE thinks DD is stupid or something because we homeschool and she is behind the PS kids in writing. Well, she is 7 years old and reads 8th grade books. She is not stupid. She does have some emotional issues, but the DRE doesn't seem interested in helping me find a way to deal with them in a way to help DD tolerate, let alone enjoy church. I am pretty much fed up with this DRE at this point but she seems very popular, and I don't feel like trying to fight my way through here. We have been working with DD's homeschool nature program to help her stay there despite her anxiety issues. They have been nothing but helpful. Realistic about our options, but helpful. I just feel shut out by the DRE.

 

There is also a brand new minister. I am interested in getting to know her, but I just have a lot of other things going on in my life right now.

 

So that's a lot of babbling. I have decided to take a break. I have felt a lot of pressure (self-imposed) about this because DH and DD will follow my lead. But I have decided to move from being a member to a friend at this church. DH is on board with this as well. I am also going to lessen our pledge significantly. We have other charities we'd like to support and many medical bills to pay.

 

I guess my question is this: Is it inappropriate for us to have a loose connection with this church, maybe not even attending services but possibly only social events? I could maybe see myself going to a pagan service once in awhile, but it hasn't happened in a long time. I don't want to burn any bridges but I also just don't feel very much at home there anymore, mostly due to the RE issues.

 

Or maybe it would be better to just keep in touch with a couple of people I like there and let the rest fade away. Any suggestions? The only other times I've left a church (OK a pagan group) was because I was moving to a new state.


I am a 40 year old unschooling, belly dancing, artist-mama of one almost 8 year old. I just had brain surgery and blogging.jpg about it a bit because it's just so surreal.
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#29 of 60 Old 01-18-2011, 01:30 PM
 
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I say start with the social connections and see how it goes.  At social functions it may be a good way to bring up your dissatisfaction with the way RE is taught (worksheets ARE a drag) in a non-confrontational manner that other church members would be more open to hearing an if more than one person speaks to the DRE she will hopefully make changes.  It's also a good way to maybe get to know the new minister. If you aren't inclined to eve go back after a year or so then it will just naturally fade away for you.

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#30 of 60 Old 01-18-2011, 01:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adele_Mommy View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeress View Post

Hi All,

 I started a blog about being UU and a homeschooler.

It is just a beginning, but i thought it might be helpful to some.

 

 

http://uuhomeschooling.blogspot.com/

 

I will eventually write about raising kids UU as part of homeschooling curriculum, we are also nature oriented (well Pagan really but I don't always use the Pagan description on public things).

 



Hi Aeress!  Thanks for sharing the link to your blog.  It looks like it will be a really interesting and useful resource for homeschoolers.  I get the impression homeschool resources that include a spiritual component, but that are not fundamentalist Christian, are pretty hard to find.  Is it OK if I share your link with the members of my church who homeschool?

 

Adele



Hi Adele,

 Sorry it took me so long to get back here. Yes, it can be hard to find. UUA puts out some parent/child resources but nothing of course, specific to homeschooling.

 

Yes, you are welcome to share witth the members of your church.

 

I will try to get a comprehensive list of resources put together this month.

 


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