April 2018

Dear Families,

This month’s Service for All Ages is on April 22ndAs we celebrate Earth Day, new leaders are emerging to call us to care for the Earth. In Juliana v. US, 20 impassioned youth ranging in age from eight to 19 have asked a federal court to require the United States to intervene effectively to protect the Earth against climate change. All of them, even the youngest, have both a deep appreciation of the natural world and a track record of environmental activism. In this service for all ages, we share some of their inspirational stories and their legal “Prayer for Relief.” The young leaders are Kelsey (19), Xiuhtezcatl (15), Alex (18), Jacob (18), Zealand (11), Avery (10), Sahara (11), Kiran (18), Tia (18), Isaac (13), Miko (14), Sophie (16), Jaime (14), Journey (15), Victoria (16), Nathaniel (15), Aji (15), Levi (8), Jayden (12), Nick (14).

For more information: https://www.ourchildrenstrust.org/federal-plaintiffs/

I will be looking for many participants – please contact me if your child or youth wishes to participate!  There will be a variety of roles – ranging from one minute to five minutes! 

Please say hello and welcome new Sunday morning teacher assistant, Sam Popson!  Sam will be helping in the lower elementary class and this summer in the multi-age class at 10 am.  Sam grew up coming to faith formation classes and is a Junior at Roosevelt High School.

Also – On Sunday, June 3 Recognizing High School Seniors in one or both services at 9:15 and 11 am.  Please contact Tracy Beck  dre@ucdsm.org  if your high school senior would like to participate! 

Tracy Beck
Director of Religious Education

As we say good bye to Dana and wish her well on her move on April 15th, we welcome Devon McClurken as the new High School Youth Coordinator! More details to come!

April Soul Matters theme:

“What does is mean to be a parent or family of Emergence?”

For more resources on our theme, and ways to engage on this topic and bring our Unitarian Universalist faith home:


BOTANICULA is a point-and-click adventure game that puts players in control of a quintet of tiny beings that are a cross between insect and plant. Its wordless story — everything is presented through images — begins with one of these creatures encountering a spider-like monster intent on gobbling up the big, beautiful tree. Themes of emergence and environmentalism.

Toca Nature
What emerges from a walk in virtual nature? Parents need to know that like all Toca Boca apps, Toca Nature is totally open-ended, allowing for pure creative exploration. Kids can build natural elements — trees, lakes, and mountains — and observe what happens as animals move in and food sources abound. Interaction is slow and calm, just like a peaceful walk in a tranquil forest; kids will need to some patience to quietly observe everything that happens. Unlike a real forest, this one is entirely non-violent: usually omnivorous bears and foxes are content with mushrooms and berries and ignore the cute little bunny rabbits that are hopping around.


Celebrate the emergence of new life with these touching YouTube videos.
Swan Nest and Hatching of Cygnets
Share this 24-minute video together of a pair of Swans who take care of a nest and hatch their babies.

10 Amazing Animal Parents
A variety of animal parents and how they take care of their young.

Online Conversation as part of the emerging conversation in UU about racism

EmbraceRace Community Conversation
An EmbraceRace community conversation online, every 4th Tuesday, starting at 5:30 pm PT, 8:30 pm ET. A free, monthly online series providing information, insights, and resources to caregivers on a range of topics related to race and children. We invite guests with relevant experiences and expertise to join each conversation with the EmbraceRace community.
Resources for the emerging conversation in UU about racism
A great compilation by religious educators for UU’s. Why wait for a Teach In? Be a lifelong learner and educate yourself.

Kindergarten’s Radical Advocate
Elizabeth Palmer Peabody saw her educational work as part of a larger effort to reform human society.
She influenced Unitarian minister William Ellery Channing whose birthday was April 7.

The Peabody Sisters
More about Elizabeth Palmer Peabody and her sisters, who founded Kindergarten in the U.S.

Why I’ll Teach My Kids About All Kinds of Families

Reflection on Intention, Perseverance, Balance, Emergence

How has your family responded to each theme during these past few months? The arc of the themes is intentional. In January, you were invited to think about setting an intention. In February, the theme of perseverance gave you a lens with which to keep going on the intention you set. In March, perhaps it was time to balance the intention with real life, as well as balance the challenges of keeping your intention. This month, you are invited to reflect on what has emerged from your intention? Perhaps it is something totally unexpected. One part of emergence is that we can’t control what emerges.

As suggested by Bob Meiss, Livermore, CA
Movies for families about balance

The Prince of Egypt (animated, rated PG) for Passover
The story of the emergence of the Jews out of slavery as told in the Book of Exodus.
“Parents need to know that The Prince of Egypt is a 1998 animated musical feature based on The Book of Exodus …. There are scenes of slaves being whipped, hit, and verbally and physically abused. There are depictions of babies dropped and thrown into crocodile-infested waters. Moses kills a slave driver. While competing against Rameses in a chariot race, Rameses is on a road above the one Moses is on, and Moses looks up and says “it’s not much of a view” as Rameses’ short uniform exposes his rear. It’s worth mentioning that, unlike almost every Bible story presented on film, the characters in this movie are people of color.” https://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/the-prince-of-egypt

The Fox and the Child for Earth Day
The emerging friendship between a girl and a wild fox. Scenes with a bear and wolves might make this film too scary for children under 8. It feels a bit like “The Little Prince.”

Lemurs; Island of Madagascar (documentary) for Earth Day
The emergence and evolution of Lemurs in this film appropriate for children and families, 40 min.

A Beautiful Planet
Views of Earth from Space, as well as evidence of destruction caused by humans.

Boy and the World for Earth Day
Animated award winning Brazilian film about a boy’s emerging journey to find his father from countryside to big city, making it a good film for environmentalism, too.

Dates of Importance

Sunday, April 1

Easter Egg Hunt, 10:40 AM (Back patio)
NO YRUU Meeting this evening

Sunday, April 22

Service for ALL ages, 9:15 & 11 am

Friday, April 27 – Sunday, April 29

Coming of Age Retreat

Looking ahead…

Saturday, May 5

Coming of Age Celebration Dinner, 6 pm

Sunday, May 6

Coming of Age Services, 9:15 & 11 am

Sunday, June 3

Recognizing High School Seniors in Services, 9:15 & 11 am