Sunday, October 21, 2018

October 21, 2018 - Theme: Sanctuary


This fabulous toddler loves to help the staff clean-up the puzzle foam flooring!

This was a very peaceful Sunday to spend the morning with kids.
Theme: We continued our October worship theme: an inner peace, or inner sanctuary.  Children shared a place they feel calm...  their tree house, their bed, by their garden, by their fireplace, etc.  But if we can't be in our calm place when something frustrating or stressful is happening, we always have our breath as a tool to help us create an inner sanctuary.  (We even talked briefly about how oxygen helps calm the 'alarm center' of our brain--the amygdala! It's that so cool?).   

Activity: As a whole group in the Children's Chapel we practiced breathing with a "Breath Ball" (referred to as "Sphere Breath" in this link:  5 Easy Breathing Techniques to Calm Your Kid (And Relax the Whole Family.  Many admitted how much calmer and nice they felt after just 1-2 mins. of Breath Ball breathing.   

Pre-K and K: Noticed how cotton balls over their ears create more silence.  They listened to the singing bowl go from singing to silence.  They read a book called I Am Yoga  and had fun as they practiced yoga positions.  

Choice activity for One Room groups (preK-6th at 9am, 1st-6th at 11am):
  • walking the labyrinth in the side yard 
  • mindful stations in the Children's Chapel (Buddha boards, stained glass coloring sheets, books in the Cozy Corner, playing Jenga (with deep breaths when things got stressful).    
Continue the conversation / breathing at home
  • Will you teach me how to do deep breathing with a Breath Ball like Liza showed you?   
  • What is a time in the last week that was a moment of frustration or fear?  Do you think using the Breath Ball for 5-10 breaths could have helped?    
  • As a family, pick a time this week to try to do Breath Ball breathing together. (Maybe at bedtime, or maybe try passing the Breath Ball around at dinner with each person leading one or two deep breaths for the others).    
  • For just PreK-K: Can you show me one of the yoga positions you did? (Warrior and Peaceful Warrior are two.)

High School Youth Group finds enchantment!

The High School Youth Group had planned to start last Sunday's session with a sunset stroll up to Hubbard Park.  Little did they know the forest was enchanted with dragons, fairies, painted skies and lit pumpkins lining the path.  (It was the first year Enchanted Forest has offered a second night of magic, with self-guided tours through the park.). A fun bit of serendipity for the youth and their facilitators!  Next youth group gathering will be Sun. Oct. 28, with a chance for intercultural learning, including how to make homemade salsa from Yasser Antonio Hernandez Perez from Planting Hope in Nicaragua. 

Monday, October 15, 2018

October 14, 2018 -- Theme: Sanctuary

It was a really engaging day of Spiritual Exploration.  We looked at Sanctuary as a place of safety and shelter.  During the Story For All Ages, I told the story of The Umbrella Sanctuary.  Since it was a beautiful sunny day we did a group project outside.  We transplanted some flowers from our side yard for sanctuary inside during winter.  Each kid took home a potted plant, and many potted some to brighten our Children's Chapel space, to make it even more sacred and welcoming of a space.  Transplanting was followed by an impromptu game of tag (the labyrinth was the "safety/sanctuary"). GREAT to see siblings and older kids helping the littlest ones out, and friendships taking root. PreK / K I didn't get photos of at 11am but they had a blast creating safe sanctuaries (and villages, water slides, etc.) for stuffed animals.  We talked a little about how we might provide "sanctuary" for friends simply with a smile, checking on them if they trip, offering to walk them to the nurse's office, listening, or setting up a play date.  At the 11am service, we mentioned the Sanctuary Movement, and that some UU churches are an actual physical sanctuary for families who need it.  

Note:   Last Sunday we introduced our worship theme for October of Sanctuary.  We first discussed it as a sacred space, and specifically, that it is the term used in both Christian and Unitarian Universalist congregations to describe the space where people gather together for worship services.  We explored pictures of our own UCM sanctuary and then children chose to either make a model of a sanctuary or create stained glass images.  We discussed things we already do or MIGHT do at home--either inside or outside--to create a type of sanctuary space at home.  

Next Sunday:  How can we each find our own inner sanctuary when we need it.  We'll explore some mindfulness techniques to practice that allow us to center ourselves and take a break from the busy and topsy turvy world around us.   

Summer Events

  Thank you for your interest in connecting this summer. Below you'll find more details! Cookout for UCM Families & LSE Volunteers ...