Subject: Welcome! A new program year at UCV begins…
Welcome to a new program year at the Unitarian Church of Vancouver! I had a very full summer, but I’m actually happy to fall back into routines this month. I hope you are all able to find moments of calm and connection amid the hustle and bustle of life. Church should be a component that feeds our spirit and strengthens connections, a place for both giving and receiving. For that to be true, we busy families pick and choose what to be involved with and how often–we must set our priorities. I do notice that the children who attend Sunday mornings regularly are forming some truly significant friendships–thank you parents for supporting them in this community. I hope you also find connection and food for your soul.
Here are some dates and opportunities to be aware of:
Sunday Children’s Religious Education 11:15 am to 12:15 pm; Youth Group 11:15 to 12:30 pm
1st Sunday of each month: Whole Congregation Worship (all ages together in the sanctuary). In response to parent feedback, the nursery playroom will be staffed for childcare on 1st Sundays for any children that find an hour in the Sanctuary too much.
Messy Church Potluck Dinners:
1st Saturday of each month 5-8 pm–open to all ages, all family sizes. Next date is October 6th.
Winter Pageant will perform on December 23rd this year. Dress rehearsal on December 22nd.
Our Whole Lives for ages 13-15 will run this winter beginning in January–dates TBD
For adult connections you may be interested in checking out the Earth Spirit Council (hosts Earth based pagan gatherings, rituals, and events open to all-ages); or to connect with either your Neighborhood Group (all-ages inclusive)–or one of the many Small Group circles.
A note about Children’s Program Goals and Choices:
Spirit Play and Jams will be designed by monthly Themes with different developmental stages in mind, but the children are free to choose which focus area they want to join that morning. This freedom of choice encourages them to take agency within the children’s learning community and it acknowledges that age is not always the best indicator of developmental stages, needs, and learning.
Our main goals are to create a welcoming community modeled on family structure; to foster wonder, awe, and truth seeking; model ethical action, and instill a sense of home in the larger church community. As teachers and leaders, we let the children bring their whole selves on Sunday by modeling living, leading, and teaching with our whole selves.
We now have Buttons for RE volunteers!
Green “Children’s Program” buttons, Orange “Toddler Watch” buttons, and Yellow “Youth Adviser” buttons so we can be easily identified on Sunday morning.
The Flow of Sunday Morning:
- After the Story for All Ages: Children and Youth exit Sanctuary with lantern lit from the Chalice flame.
- Everyone gathers in Lindsey-Priestly for Reflection words and Chalice Lighting from the Lantern
- The lantern is passed to the Youth who carry on to Hitschmanova.
- Opening continues with a mindfulness practice and check-in.
- Jams (activity choices) and Leaders are introduced and chosen
- Spirit Play story or Wonder Box + games/art/play time.
Toddler Watch will be connected with this stream.
- Two Activities designed with middle and upper elementary in mind–Spirit Jams: a Focus Activity followed by exploration of our theme in various forms–garden, games, art or craft, music, special project.
Kiersten E. Moore
Director of Religious Exploration, Unitarian Church of Vancouver
UCV Children and Youth on Facebook
604.261.7204 x225 (UCV office)