September 7, 2021
Dear families with children,
Welcome to the 2021-2022 academic/church programming year!
Given the ongoing pandemic we will not be holding classes for children in our lower level rooms. Our current plan is for children (preschool – elementary grades) to gather outdoors during Sunday services.
Together we will light a chalice and share joys and concerns. Leaders will share a story, sometimes including images from a book. Often we will provide craft materials to create something related to the theme. Sometimes these items will be available to take home at the end of the session. Other times we ask that the items stay at church at least for a couple weeks until we conclude exploration of a particular topic.
For example, during September we are exploring some facets of Judaism, in particular the celebration of Sukkot, this year September 20-27. On Sunday, Sep 5, 2021 your children created paper chains for decorating a sukkah, which will be assembled later this month. Although making paper chains may not be novel, we did add a twist in that the children added good wishes by writing and/or drawing positive messages. One of the highlights of the morning was the enthusiasm the children displayed when their paper chain was (temporarily) hung from the canopy.
Given that we are continuing to gather outdoors for the time being, we will not have shelves of materials close by as we would in the Rosa Parks classroom. I trust that you understand that we are trying to only bring out what we need (and a little more, just in case…). It would help us plan a better experience for your children and volunteers if you could let us know when you plan to have your children participate on Sunday morning: https://forms.gle/VMritUkH4cbxwyZf6
Plenty of personal experience with children makes us aware that plans can change. Please understand that you and your children are always welcome whether or not you have let us know to expect you.
For youth, we are collaborating with other UU communities in the region to offer monthly virtual gatherings. We are also planning some outdoor events with input from youth. We will share details soon.
Looking forward to partnering with you for your children’s faith development journey,
Marie Inanli on behalf of the Religious Life Team