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UUSGU Religious Exploration. Newsletter April 1, 2023

Updated: Apr 4

“In spring,” it is said, “a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of love”. In spring a DRE’s fancy turns to thoughts of planning for the next program year. Younger children have been joining our RE program in droves this past month or so, and we are likely to need more volunteers come Fall to be able to staff classes for everyone. More about that to follow.

Our congregational theme for April is Enchantment. In RE the students will be exploring the Enchantment of Nature. Spring is when Nature is at her finest. Tiny buds appear on the trees, then blossoms, then leaves. Grass sprouts, and with it clover and dandelions. Forsythia and rhododendrons shake out their branches and bloom in yellows, pinks,

Photo by Redd F on Unsplash

and whites. Finally, the world has put on her fresh new green garb and all is glorious in the springtime sunshine. Even the rain in spring seems nicer than that of other seasons.

It is no wonder that most religious traditions have a holiday that celebrates the mystery and glory that is spring. We have plans for the students to plant flowers and peas in the play yard, to explore the new signs of spring each week, to learn about pollinators (especially bees), and to work together to create the Earth Day Birthday pageant which will be presented on Sunday, April 23rd. More on that to follow as well. Come enjoy this enchanting month with us!

Upcoming RE and Family Events April 2nd--Signs of Spring Sunday, 10 a.m. --RE classes, childcare available April 5th--RE’s online office hours, NEW TIME 6 p.m.

April 9th--Easter Sunday Service, 10 a.m. --Easter Bonnet Drawing (adults and children) --Egg Hunt and Easter “Bonnet” Visor making (RE students) --childcare available April 16th--Regular service, 10 a.m.; RE classes, childcare available --Youth Group April 23rd--Earth Day Birthday Multigen Service, 10 a.m. (see below)

April 30th--Beltane, 10 a.m.; RE classes, childcare available --Youth Group --RE Committee Meeting, 11:45 a.m.

Earth Day Pageant The theme for this year’s Earth Day pageant is “Happy Earth Day Birthday!” Children of all ages will be able to participate. In fact, the children are even going to help write the script. We’ll be hearing about all sorts of gifts that Mother Earth gives to us and how we can give back to her. Then we will be writing Earth Day birthday wishes for the next year and hanging them on our very own wishing tree beside UUSGU. Preparations for the pageant actually began on March 26th and will continue for the next few weeks. If your child wants to participate in the pageant, all they need to do is come on April 23rd--no lines to learn at all. This will also be another opportunity for kids to come dressed as their favorite animal, if they so desire.

Congregational Safety Policy After what felt like a very long process, our new congregational safety policy was adopted by the Board of Trustees at their March meeting. It can be found on the UUSGU website and here. Questions about the policy should be directed to the DRE at .

2023-2024 Program Year It’s time for me to start planning next year’s classes and curriculum. Yes, I really did just type that. In March. Based on the current registrations, I would like to be able to offer the following classes:

● Little Lights/Nursery (birth-preschool)

● Spirit Play (PreK*-2nd grade)

● CartUUns (3rd-5th grade)

● Crossing Paths/ChUUrchcraft (6th-8th grade)

● Coming of Age (9th-up**)

● Bridging Preparation (12th***) The Spirit Play class would be by far the largest class. *Spirit Play teachers and parents would decide when a child is ready to move up from Little Lights to Spirit Play. **We haven’t run Coming of Age in a number of years--all youth who haven’t had a chance to take the class would be welcome. This class would be taught as a series of twice a month mini-retreats of 2-ish hours, culminating in a youth-led service. ***This would be a single retreat in May to plan the Bridging Service.

Obviously, to run such an ambitious program, we will need more teachers and volunteers. Please consider joining our RE teaching staff next year. In upcoming newsletters I will be discussing more about each curriculum and its teacher needs to help you make your decisions.

I hope to have a tentative RE schedule and Registration Form for the 2023-2024 program year available by May 1st.

Check out the RE Children's Library located adjacent to the Fellowship Hall!

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