Children’s Faith Exploration Projects
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Sunday Service , June 4, 10 a.m., “Beauty Calls Us Together,” Rev. Heather Rion Starr and Julie Keefer, Director of Music Ministries: The children and youth participated in the annual tradition of the Flower Ceremony.
May 21: We will learn about our resources in nature. Using multiple techniques, Kath Johnson will teach the children how to paint trees in various seasons.
May 14: Alice Casey taught about talking sticks and how indigenous communities across the world for discussion, decisions, and sharing. The talking stick assures that all who wish to speak are included, and all others listen with attention. Each child made a talking stick to share with their family.
May 14: the UUSD Playground and Blessing: The playground installation is complete! Thank you to all the volunteers who made this happen! Rev. Heather led a playground blessing after the Sunday service.
April 30: Rosemary Weiland presented Scene 2 of the play she wrote based on the life of Rachael Carson. Scene 2 is called The Super Poopers. Did you know that whale poop feeds the phytoplankton which helps to remove carbon from our atmosphere?
April 9: Rosemary Weiland introduced a puppet show she writes, Fountain of Hope, based on the work of Rachel Carson. We learned about the important role bees play in pollination.
Egg Hunt on UUSD grounds! Thank you to the Connections Covenant Group for providing eggs and goodies for UUSD kids as well as West Rehoboth kids!
March 12: Bunny Guerrin read Henry Hikes to Fitchburg, by D.B Johnson. This wonderful book is based on Henry David Thoreau’s Walden.
March 5: The Explorers met and read The Whale and the Teeny-Tiny Fish, taken from a book of children’s stories written by Rev. Jamie Hinson-Rieger, minister at UU Church of Indianapolis. The story illustrates that each and every person is important. There was also a make and take activity.
Sunday, February 12: Our lesson concentrated on caring for others, and the kids made Valentine’s Day cards for the residents of Harbor Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Lewes.
Sunday, February 5: We presented a special program using the book, The ABCs of Black History by Rio Cortez and made paper Freedom Quilts.
Sunday, January 22: Rev. Cathy shared the book, “Is That For a Boy or a Girl,” by S. Bear Bergman. The book introduces some awesome kids who have gotten pretty tired of being told some things are for girls and others are for boys.
Sunday, January 8 CFE Explorers: One of our middle schoolers shared a book about Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Explorers did a related art project.
Sunday, December 11 CFE Explorers: We used the book Sing and Sign to learn to sign a holiday song, and drew the sign for “I love you.”
Sunday, November 20 CFE Explorers: We read and discussed the book Unplugged: Ella Gets Her Family Back by Laura Peterson. Paper robots were also be in play!
Sunday, November 6, CFE Explorers: Each child in our Explorers group created a personal chalice. We also enjoyed some leaf pile jumping last Sunday!
Sunday, October 16, CFE Explorers: Deb Davies introduced tai chi movements. We made paper bag pumpkins and items to sell at the craft fair including lanyards, necklaces, and miniature chalices.
Sunday, October 2, 10:00 a.m., “The Miracle is You,” Rev. Heather Rion Starr, Julie Keefer, and Dar Sellers: It was wonderful to have our UUSD kids in the sanctuary discussing the film, Encanto!
Sunday, September 25, CFE Explorers: In addition to a fun, hands-on project, George Porter (previous owner of UUSD property) will talk about growing up in this beautiful spot. We will also make a craft for the upcoming craft fair.
Saturday, September 24: UUSD Explorers and parents had a great time visiting member Jeri Berc’s farm. We had the opportunity to get an up-close-and-personal visit with the gentle creatures. The children enjoyed feeding her horses and chickens, gathering eggs, and picking apples and grapes. The adults had as much fun as the children. Such a great time!
Sunday, September 18: Thank you to Darlene Sellers and Cindy Arno for last Sunday’s session with the Youth Group. We practiced using “I messages” when dealing with conflict. We also built rafts with popsicle sticks to see which team’s creation could hold the most pennies before sinking!
Sunday, September 11: Thank you to Betty Kirk for the program on yoga and mindfulness. Thirteen children attended. Kids enjoyed the blessing of the backpacks. Cheri Garnet provided a glass heart for each child’s backpack. We covered topics of courage and how to take the right path in life (each child received a backpack compass); we made UUSD bead clips to remind us that we are not alone. We filled our backpacks with love.
Sunday, August 21: The children learned about a boy who built the first little library for his school so kids could read books all summer. Our UUSD kids want to build one near our new playground. They want it to be “low” so children can reach it. And if someone doesn’t want to play on the equipment they can read a book. One child suggested we have books in Braille for blind children and to include audio books for children who have trouble reading. These kids are fabulous! We also made book marks and stickers in our craft project.
Sunday, June 19: The children met at their usual 10:00 a.m. time for children’s faith exploration.
After that they did a fun obstacle course set up by Alicia and Kathy.
As a part of the Gratitude Picnic, the children had a plant sale as a fundraiser for their playground. They sold young plants that they had grown from seed as well as plants donated by adult gardeners in the congregation. They were so excited to have raised a total of $850!
Sunday, June 12: Rev. Heather led an outdoor chapel service with our children, who found items for the altar outside. The kids designed and made their own prayer flags.
May 22: A special Harry Potter presentation by Mac Goekler, assisted by Susan Goekler, entitled Defense Against the Dark Arts was offered! We learned how to deal with unkind remarks and bullies…without fighting back. We’ll be ready when these ugly events occur in our lives. We also made anti-bullying wands!
May 8: We learned how to keep mosquitoes away without using insecticides with a project that celebrates the 7th Principle. (We must care for our planet Earth and every living thing that shares it.) The kids planted seeds of mosquito-repelling plants as well as sunflowers to honor Ukraine. Plants will be sold as a fundraiser at the UUSD family picnic!
April 17, UUSD’s First Spring Egg Hunt: The Children’s Faith Exploration Program focused on the 7th Principle by examining spring changes in nature. They also made bunny baskets to hold the eggs they collected in an exciting spring egg hunt after the Sunday service. Covenant groups had filled the eggs with delicious goodies! Watch the video of all the fun!
April 3: Deb Davies presented a program that focused on how spring affects our energy/Qi. The children did a hands-on seed planting project and looked for signs of spring outside.
March 20, 2022: Using the children’s book Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea by Meena Harris (inspired by a true story from the childhood of Vice President, Kamala Harris), UUSD children learned how kids can make a difference…a big difference! The children brainstormed ideas for a play area at UUSD and made models of the equipment.
March 6, 2022: After exploring who makes up a family using the book,Who’s in a Family, Rev. Cathy explained that prayer beads are used by many different people, including Buddhists, Muslims, and Catholics, in their religious practice. The UUSD children strung beads that represented family, then blessed each other’s beads.
February 27, 2022: Kathy Trusty, the author of Black Inventors: 15 Inventions that Changed the World, taught about how people like Marie Van Brittan Brown, Mark Dean, Garrett Morgan, and Shirley Jackson made our lives easier.
February 13, 2022: Sharon Herb helped us understand how faith is what we believe and hold in our hearts. The children made valentines for the residents of Harbor, an assisted living facility.
January 31, 2022: Families recently received a kit focused on the 6th principle: We believe in working for a peaceful, fair, and free world. Each child created a collage from the materials and photographed their work.
December 19, 2021: The Explorers learned about the 7 principles of Kwanzaa and wove paper mats, called mkeka, which form the base for the other six symbols of Kwanzaa, and represent the foundation of traditions. Sue Greer taught about winter solstice. Everyone left with a candle to light on winter solstice, December 21, as well as a pine cone wild bird treat.
December 5, 2021: Joanne Saltzberg led our program and shared stories about Hanukkah, and then we played the dreidel game. Each child went home with a dreidel! We also learned about Christmas Advent and made a wreath.
November 21, 2021: After the Chalice Lighting, Deb Davies introduced The Explorers to CHI and movements that guided kids, teachers, and helpers to recognize our energy and to feel centered and grounded. Vicki Nichols and Mac Goekler told us about Guest at Your Table and how this annual UUSC intergenerational program raises support for and awareness of justice and human rights. With great enthusiasm the kids handed out the Guest at Your Table boxes to the adults leaving Sunday’s service.
November 7, 2021: The children participated in a wonderful scavenger hunt in our backyard, finding lichen, feathers, spiders, bird nests, and many other items in nature! They read the book The Water Protectors, which refers to the pipeline as the “black snake,” and discussed how Indigenous peoples took care of the land, The children then wrote a letter to President Biden urging him to stop the spread of more poisonous “black snakes” and to stop the pipeline.
October 24, 2021: Sue Greer shared her collection of drums and rattles from all around the world. We enjoyed hands-on fun as everyone got to play rhythms on drums and rattles. We listened to our own heartbeat, played with that internal rhythm, made rain sticks, and learned that drumming can be a way to feel peaceful and connected.
October 10, 2021: Mac Goekler made peace pole kits that the kids assembled and decorated. Susan Goekler tied this craft experience to Peace Week. Alicia Mickenberg taught rock painting with the help of Kathleen Fitzgerald. Alicia shared that she hides painted stones with positive messages at different places in the community so people can find them and it can brighten their day.
Saturday, September 25, 2021: This outdoor event for our EXPLORERS focused on the UU 7th Principle—Nature and Caring for Our Earth—stations included butterflies, bees, trees, and storytime.
August 8, 2021: Children created personalized name tags and beaded lanyards, then decided on their own group covenant based on UU principles and had a lively discussion. Kids and adults enjoyed this time outdoors!
July 25, 2021: Children in our Faith Exploration class had a wonderful time creating individual Coats of Arms with their teachers and helpers. These shields were created by the kids to illustrate what was important to them.
These amazing kids also created a note to send to Rev. Dr. S. Ron Parks to thank him for the beautiful orange masks he provided for each child after his service in July. Everyone signed the card. Aralynn was the artist for this project.
If you have any questions about our Faith Exploration Program, please contact Darlene Sellers at ChidlrensFaithExp@uussd.org. Beginning August 1, 2023, contact Chris McCann, Director of Faith Exploration for Children & Youth at DFECY@uussd.org.[ /fusion_text]