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UUSGU Religious Exploration Monthly Newsletter October 1, 2023

It was wonderful to get to see everyone who came to the first three weeks of the program year. Those who came last Sunday had a good time making nature journals, coloring kites, and taking a tour of the RE classrooms. We’re planning to repeat our Open House RE space tour at the end of this month, watch the weekly newsletters for more details on that.


There are still some families who have not filled out their registration forms for this program year. While I can carry over most of the data from year to year, it is especially important that health information and allergies be kept up to date. Please get those forms in. It is as simple as stopping by my office during Fellowship Hour for five minutes.

Nature Journals

It’s not too late for your children to make their nature journals to participate in this year’s Nature Journal challenges. We have kits available to all families in “The Big Room” in the RE space. Everyone in the congregation is invited to participate. The challenge each month will be posted on the RE bulletin board in the Fellowship Space and on the red bulletin board in the RE hallway as well as in the newsletters.

This month’s challenge is symmetry. As autumn blows in, leaves blow down--beautiful examples of symmetry in nature. Pick a few gorgeous leaves and press or sketch them in your nature journal. Or perhaps you love marigolds, or mums, or other fall flowers. They also have wonderful symmetry, and can be carefully pressed or dried.

Coming up in Religious Exploration

We begin our regular schedule of RE classes on Sunday, October first. This month we will have three weeks with Spirit Play and CartUUns classes, our introductory Social Justice all ages class, and a special multigenerational service focusing on Samhain and Halloween. Youth Group will meet twice and will be greeting on the last Sunday this month.

Let's Fill the Wagon

Our food wagon has been moved up to the front of the sanctuary after a brief sojourn in the Fellowship Space. All families are invited and encouraged to bring a few food items each week. Children will be encouraged to place their family’s contribution into the food wagon on their way up for Time for All Ages. In the interest of time, please give your donations to your children in the pew before the service starts so they can bring them up in a timely manner. Our goal is to fill the wagon completely each month. This is a project for everyone, not just for families with children in the RE program.

What is Samhain?

Samhain (pronounced sah-when) is one of the eight festivals that make up the Wiccan/Pagan wheel of the year. Located in time between the Autumnal Equinox (which some call Mabon) and the Winter Solstice (Yule), Samhain marks the division of the warmer part of the year from the colder part. During times of transition like these, it is said that the veils between our world and the other world are thinner, allowing spirits to pass through. Traditions associated with Samhain include carving lanterns out of turnips, dressing up in costumes, going door to door throughout the neighborhood searching for treats and fun, and remembering and honoring ancestors. All of these traditions have evolved and been incorporated into our contemporary celebrations of Halloween, All Saints Day, and Dia de los Muertos. Each weekly newsletter during the month of October will have a short article talking about one of these traditions, then and now.

Safety Policy Training Postponed

The Safety Policy Training originally scheduled for Sunday, October 1st after services has been postponed due to Joy Nicholson’s funeral. This will allow the RE Committee and teachers to attend and to participate in the memorial service. Instead we will be holding mini-trainings during the Fellowship Hour on October 8th and October 22nd.


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