The Sunday morning programs for grades Pre-K through sixth grade begin with a time of community chalice lighting. This is a meditative experience that reflects the common theme of the month, allows all students to connect with each other and actively participate in a short worship experience.
The Nursery is open during worship services to serve those 3 and a half years and under. Children are welcomed with open arms and engaged in gentle play. The staff provides consistent familiar faces for the youngest among us to feel comfortable.
Some beliefs are like walled gardens. They encourage exclusiveness, and the feeling of being especially privileged. Other beliefs are expansive and lead the way into wider and deeper sympathies. Some beliefs are like blinders, shutting off the power to choose one’s own direction. Other beliefs are like wide gateways opening wide vistas for exploration. Some beliefs weaken a person’s selfhood. They blight the growth of resourcefulness. Other beliefs nurture self-confidence and enrich the feeling of personal worth. Some beliefs are rigid, like the body of death, impotent in a changing world. Other beliefs are pliable, like the young sapling, ever growing with the upward thrust of life. – Sophia Lyon Fahs
A note from Rhonda Wingfield, Director of Religious Education:
“The generosity in this expression by the beloved Unitarian Universalist religious educator is enormous! Every time I read this quote, I am grateful that we teach the “other beliefs.” Around the Chalice Lighting Circle, I see students listen respectfully, bow, and bless one another after a discussion on differing religious beliefs. Teachers and I hear questions and concerns about how students strive to be fair and kind in their daily lives, lives that often include incidents of bullying, illness of a family member or loss of a pet.
In a recent Chalice Lighting Circle, the students in grades 1-6 were asked what they valued about being a UU, or what made them thankful they came to First UU. Here were the responses:
- Seeing friends.
- Being able to have an open mind on different things/topics.
- That everyone is welcome.
- Work to treat each other fairly; offer fair and kind treatment to all.
- Having arts and crafts.
- That we are thankful for each other. We learn together.
Through all our learning, we are constantly reminded that we are the church of the ‘open mind, loving heart and helping hands.’ Generosity is a deep part of our value system.
I encourage you to talk freely at home about the value of generosity, the value of being part of First UU. Share with your children what it means to you. Ask them to expound on what it means to them. See you in Church School!”