Category: Children

News related to children (younger than high school age)

Join Climate Action Day at U-Hill Elementary School – May 24th, 2019

From Hanno Pinder, Unitarian Church of Vancouver member

Dear friends,

As you know, I live fairly close to U-Hill Elementary School (located on Chancellor Boulevard), and was invited a couple of weeks ago to walk with the Children of their Nature Club in Pacific Spirit Park.

The club was very well organized, the children were very knowledgeable (ranging from grade 1 to grade 5), and the leader Jen Capell McCutcheon was delightful. I am invited to attend all their future Nature walks, which I will do whenever possible.

Now Jen, who is the president of the parent association of the school, has asked me for support with their plans for May 24th which is Climate Action Day world wide, inspired by Greta Thunberg. All the children from U-Hill Elementary School will walk with posters, noisemakers or instruments in a protest demonstration. They will walk from the school up to the Village on University Boulevard then on past the Book Store to Main Mall and walk down Main Mall. Jen has asked me to help her find as many adults as possible to join and walk with the children to show their support. 

The children will stop their classes at noon and are expected to start marching at 12.15.

I am now asking you to come and support U-Hill Elementary School and their children.

We all know the catastrophic situation we are in by now, and I personally am happy that with this event I can demonstrate my willingness to accept the drastic changes that are required if we want to prevent the worst. As always: The people have to convince their governments, so they will finally do the right thing.

I hope to see many of you on the 24th at noon at the School on Chancellor Boulevard.

Also, if you can, spread the word and bring more friends or neighbours, and let me know that you are coming (hannopinder@gmail.com).

Jen is suggesting that if possible we should wear black, to symbolize the pollution which is ubiquitous.

Until then, Hanno (UCV member)

P.S. Jen is working to involve Norma Rose Point School and U-HillSecondary School as well.

 

Registration open for Harry and UU Summer Camp!

Another year at Hogwarts

Plans are rolling for a second year at Hogwarts. August 12-16 will see Hewett Centre once again transformed into the Great Hall and Hogwarts classrooms.

Harry and UU summer camp is theatre in action for kids ages 7-12. There are volunteer leadership opportunities for youth ages 13+ with a Red Cross first aid certificate. Visit our Summer Camp page to register now to hold your spot in the 2019 Hogwarts West experience.

This year our social justice focus will centre around water inspired by the national Canadian Unitarian Ripple Effect project. We will identify two local water issues to explore and learn about Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed techniques. The DA Creators will create a theatre as social action piece to fight our Horcrux. It becomes a week of living theatre, social justice, and a unique summer camp experience for Vancouver children and youth. (more…)

May Days – Take a staycation this weekend at UCV

Celebrate May Days – Keep this list!

UCV has many celebrations lined up to celebrate the coming of the May! You can plan a staycation and hang out at our campus for most of the weekend! And the weather report has changed from 60% chance of rain to “sunny”. (May the 4th be with us indeed!)

  • Fri. May 3 – 6:30 pm – Potluck and Film Screening “She’s a Boy I Knew” – all welcome. (sponsor: UCV Genders & Sexualities Alliance)
  • Sat. May 4 – 1-5 pm World Labyrinth Day & Jane’s Walk VancouverWalk as One at One – painting/colouring the plants on the labyrinth (pastels, crayons and paper provided).
    • Tara Bonham plays her harp on the labyrinth at 2:30 pm
    • Wish Tree and Flower Crowns 4 – 5:30 pm
  • Sat. May 4 – 5 – 8 pm Messy Church potluck dinner
  • Sun. May 5 – 10:30-11 and 12-12:30 pm Maypole dancing before and after the service in the courtyard
  • Sun. May 5 – 12 – 1:30 pm Mexican Taco lunch by Environment and Refugee committees
  • Sun. May 5 – 2 – 3:30 pm Maypole dancing with instruction
  • Sun. May 5 7:30 pm – Donna’s Favorites Choir Concert $20 or pwyc
  • Tues. May 7 – 6 pm Beltane/May Day Earth Spirit Circle – Make flower garlands with Mairy Beam
  • Tues. May 7 – 7-9 pm Maypole Dancing with the Circle Dance group, coordinated by Mary Bennett

All events are on the web with additional details. http://vancouverunitarians.ca/eventlist

Family Plots Available for Veggie Gardening

There are three and could be six small plots available for UCV familes to plant a small vegetable garden. Each plot is about 38″ square–a manageable size!

Mary Bennett is available to encourage and mentor on an ad hoc basis including at Messy Church nights or immediately after Sunday service.

Contact Mary if your family would like to have a plot for vegetable gardening.

Now is the time to plant peas and lettuce!

The vegetable garden is on the north side of Hewett Centre.

New plots will need a bit of time to get going. The three that were assigned last year are ready for planting.

 

Mystery Pals – They’re Back!

Make a Friend at Church

Back after an amazing 2018 launch: create connections across generations!

The mystery only lasts a little while, but the friendship can be much longer.

Sign-up to be a Pal to someone older or younger than yourself—we would love to have everyone involved and will match any pair from different generations (roughly 20 years apart). To facilitate anonymity, each pair will be identified by a Canadian Civil Rights Activist  with a corresponding “mailbox” envelope in the Hewett Centre Hall.

Celebrate May 5th after the service with a Mystery Reveal Party.

(more…)

Multifaith Calendars are Here

Multifaith Calendars are a great gift!

Multifaith Calendars for 2019 are available in the Library

The calendar is an inclusive and comprehensive source of information for those who want to learn more about world religions. The Multifaith calendar facilitates understanding of these religious occasions and festivals important to our diverse cultural society, providing a basis for discussion and involvement. Buying a Multifaith Calendar also supports the religious education program.

Calendars are only $15 and 2 for $25. They make a great gift!

Kids, Youth, and Justice

What are UCV kids doing with Social and Environmental Justice?  

Justice work is integral to Unitarian Universalism; for many of us justice work—whether social or environmental—is spiritual work. When we take a good look at living the seven principles, we find that they call us to act for justice, equity, compassion, and democracy and we are called to take interdependence seriously.   

We bring these values of justice, equity, compassion, and democracy into our children and youth programs through stories, games, activities, discussion, and outdoor explorations. Our upper elementary students worked with the CUC’s Truth, Healing, and Reconciliation Reflection Guide last year. We are looking for more opportunities to build relationship and learn about our indigenous neighbors. The Harry and UU Summer Theatre camp group chose to focus on “Waste” as the Horcrux (societal ill) they would fight, and we brought the Zero Waste Challenge to class in October under the theme of “Abundance.” We are continuing the challenge this month with “Courage.”  

The UCV Youth Group is currently exploring a focus for an Environmental Justice action project. Zero Waste and fighting the pipeline expansion are top of their list. Stay tuned for more information from our Youth! 

Justice Work Philosophy

My philosophy regarding doing social justice with children and youth is evolving. Sometimes we adults have a passion to bring knowledge and awareness of big issues to our kids; we want to make sure they are culturally, socially, and environmentally aware. I certainly have had this tendency with my own kids. However, I have recently noticed a sense of overwhelm in some of our middle elementary students. There’s a tendency to joke about wrecking the world which seems to be defensive humour in the face of very real problems. Adults are failing to protect the world, how are kids supposed to help? Why should they take on that burden? Where is the hope? 

Erin Leckie, from Be the Change, sent me a 1998 article from Yes! Magazine by David Soebel after I talked to her about kids and hope. I was inspired by Mr. Soebel’s perspective. He has important points to keep in mind as we feel excitement around bringing justice work into our programming with children and youth.   

What Shapes an Activist? 

“If we prematurely ask children to deal with problems beyond their understanding and control, then I think we cut them off from the possible sources of their strength.” 

“… there are healthy ways to foster environmentally aware, empowered students. One way to find the answer is to figure out what contributes to the development of environmental values in adults. What happened in the childhoods of environmentalists to make them grow up with strong ecological values? A handful of studies like this have been conducted, and when Louise Chawla of Kentucky State University reviewed them for her article, “Children’s Concern for the Natural Environment” in Children’s Environment Quarterly, she found a striking pattern. Most environmentalists attributed their commitment to a combination of two sources: “many hours spent outdoors in a keenly remembered wild or semi-wild place in childhood or adolescence, and an adult who taught respect for nature.” Not one of the conservationists surveyed explained his or her dedication as a reaction against exposure to an ugly environment.

What a simple solution. No rainforest curriculum, no environmental action, just opportunities to be in the natural world with modeling by a responsible adult.”  –David Soebel, 1998 YES! Magazine 

My takeaway goals for social and environmental justice with children and youth are: 

  1. Early Childhood: foster awe, wonder, and connection with the natural world/real people 
  2. Middle Childhood: Explore wider–neighborhood, city, learn about the world/people 
  3. Early Adolescence and up: Take initiative for Social Action–saving the world 

Within this outline, any idea for action that a child brings up independently is worth exploring and supporting. We believe in our ideas and act on them, that is our 5th principle after all! 

Go well, 

Kiersten E. Moore 

Director of Religious Exploration with Children and Youth 

Annual Ancestor Shrine–October 28th

Origins of Our Tradition

Mary, Catherine, Nancy, Terence, Morgan and Jen first created an Ancestor Shrine with the children’s program back in the fall of 2013. Transforming the meditation room into a place of remembrance at the end of October has become a firm tradition since then. It is something our children remember and connect with over the years.

Please come explore the Ancestor Shrine after Sunday service on October 28th. You may bring a photo or remembrance to leave on the altar if you wish (to be returned the following Sunday), and there will be paper and twine with which to write your own remembrances and hang from the willow branches.

May we remember where we come from, and how the tree of life shows us that truly all that exists on Earth is related. Further back we find that we have evolved from the dust of exploded stars–what great mystery!

Rise For Climate-International Day of Action

What:  Rise for Climate   https://riseforclimate.org/ is organized world wide by 350.org .

When:  September 8, 2018.  

Where:  Different events at different venues.  Go to the link above and type in your city for local events or check out the following events:

  1. At UCV, faith leaders and community from Metro Vancouver will gather for a meaningful, multicultural dialogue on the power of ‘spiritual activism’ to engender global peace, sustainability and harmony in the face of an uncertain future. Sat. Sept 8, 9:30am,-3:30pm.

 https://multifaithaction.jimdo.com/

2) Burnaby: BROKE will have music, speakers, graphics on “Suffering Salmon” in streams on Burnaby Mountain at the Watch House , Sat. Sept 8, 11am-3pm.  

https://www.facebook.com/events/328347781240170/

https://actionnetwork.org/events/suffering-salmon-climate-change-and-trudeaus-pipelinetanker-project

3) Downtown Vancouver:  Climate Convergence and UBCC350  are organizing a rally and march at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Sat. Sept. 8, 4 pm

http://www.ubcc350.org/

 https://www.facebook.com/events/328347781240170/

Why:  We need people to step up and let leaders know what we are already doing to prevent climate catastrophe.  The Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco, Sept. 12-14 needs to hear from the grass roots: us.  https://globalclimateactionsummit.org/about-the-summit/  We need to join forces to fight the Kinder Morgan / Trudeau Pipeline Expansion (TMX). “ 

Who:  Everyone who cares about the impacts of Global Warming.

How: RSVP and show up!

Harry Potter’s World at UCV

Magic Arrives…

Harry Potter Camp at Vancouver Unitarian campus was a huge success this summer. How do I know? Mainly because the kids were talking about “next year at Hogwarts” at the end of day one and were still talking about it at the end of the week. They also arrived each day with smiles and excitement bubbling up and together built a real sense of community. They worked through conflict and resolution as well as through games, classes, and creativity.

Sorting Ceremony

We had 20 attendees who came from the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, North Shore Unitarian, and others who were drawn to the “Hogwarts” page on the website. New friendships were formed, and old friendships strengthened.

Theatre in Action

We approached the camp with the intent to create an immersive theatrical experience for the kids from which they could explore real, pertinent, issues and develop their own power, abilities, and agency. The kids reveled in the opportunity to let their imagination of the Hogwarts world come to life, being sorted into Houses, the decoration of the Great Hall, and the re-naming of rooms—Dormitory of Democracy, Room of Retirement, Chamber of Choice. They were initiated into a chapter of Dumbledore’s Army and, through dotmocracy, chose to focus on fighting the Horcrux of Waste. The theme of how to approach zero waste will be carried through our Sunday activities this fall.

Herbology, Prof. Kiersten

Shape of the Week

Classes were held throughout the week, taught by both our local UCV Professors and local Guests:

Herbology—with Professor Kiersten, exploring the UCV gardens and grounds for “magical” medicinal plants and creating a healing salve from plantain and calendula with olive oil and beeswax.

Potions—with Professor Jannika, creating a Cold-Away Potion from echinacea and an Elixir of Euphoria from Orange Blossom Essential Oil.

Potions with Prof. Jannika

Charms—with Professor Douglas, exploring acting skills through Professor Douglas’ own charms: Interiofocus (stilling the mind and focusing inward), Accion (finding personal power in action), and Connectisaurus (connecting with another person and working together).

Special Guests

Quidditch—with guest Quidditch players and Kidditch instructors from the Vancouver Vipers Quidditch Team.

Defense Against the Dark Arts—with guest artist and actress Professor Bailey, exploring how to face our fears through humour using poetry and spoken word.

Charms lesson with Prof. Douglas

Two Guest theatre artists turned the ground floor of Hewett Centre into Diagon Alley and made appearances as familiar ghosts Moaning Myrtle and Nearly Headless Nick. Together they delved into the complexity of what to do when public art lifts up one culture and ignores oppressions.

Patronus Workshop—with Professor McGonagall, exploring core aspects of their personality and identifying a strength of their own that brings something positive into the world.

Finale

The week ended with a Feast and Sharing with family and friends of all that they had been doing and learning—including spells, skits, games, and a haunted house of their own creation.