February 2018

Dear Families,

As you may have noticed, we have added a monthly Service for All Ages. We are using these services to engage all ages with a variety of senses and hope to be creating engaging and spiritually fulfilling worship experiences to be remembered, and reflected upon. Children do learn lessons about spirituality from witnessing their family members, as well as others feeding their hunger for spirit. (Story, Song and Spirit by Erika Hewitt)

Research has shown that about half of high school students who grow up in church will likely leave their faith after graduation. It turns out that two of the keys to building lasting faith in students are intergenerational relationships and intergenerational worship experiences. In their study of nearly 500 youth group graduates from around the country, Fuller Youth Institute revealed the following important insight about the power of intergenerational relationships in building sticky faith.

Involvement in all-church worship during high school is more consistently linked with mature faith in both high school and college than any other form of church participation.
Furthermore, by far, the number-one way that churches made students in our survey feel welcomed and valued was when adults in the congregation showed interest in them.

Service for All Ages will offer a time for families to have a shared worship experience they can take home, talk about and learn from.

February’s Service for All Ages, February 25

In this service for all ages, we share a tale of tenacity: the story of Esther. This true story is the centerpiece of the Jewish celebration of Purim, which this year begins on February 28. In many ways Esther was a true superhero: a seemingly ordinary person who saved many lives through her persistence and courage. We consider how our own narratives intersect with this tale of tenacity.

Birthday Box Collection Project

We are from Soul Matters for Kids. We are fourth, fifth and sixth graders who meet on Wednesday nights. We talk about our lives and also think about the Soul Matters themes just like the adult groups. We have also brainstormed a variety of social justice issues that we want to learn more about, and try to think of ways we can have a positive impact in our world.
We are asking the congregation to help us with a Birthday Box project. We want to create Birthday Boxes for kids living with homelessness or for families who might not otherwise be able to afford to have a birthday party for their children.
What we will do is fill a box or bag with stuff that a family member might need to give their child an awesome birthday party. Some of the things you could consider donating: candles, plates, candies, napkins, cake mix, frosting, streamers, balloons, wrapping paper, bowls, utensils, birthday hats, Little Debbie cakes and large gift bags to put the items in. 
If you could donate by the 4th of March, please do! Items will be donated to Family Promise and Bidwell Riverside Center. We will have boxes in the Gathering Space for you to leave your donations, or you can leave them in Tracy Beck’s office. Thank you for helping us make our Birthday boxes, and make someone’s birthday better!

February Soul Matters theme: Perseverance

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

Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame Street
Smartphone App using Sesame Street characters to help young children keep calm and carry on – persevere in the face of difficulties.

Best Apps for Children
Apps can turn your smartphone or tablet into a learning tool, an entertainment system, or a way to dig up almost anything you want to know. This guide makes finding the best apps for the task (and your kids’ needs) easy. Detailed reviews and suggestions. Children already persevere while playing online, so find some good ones.

How to Encourage Your Child to Take on Challenges and Develop a “Growth Mindset”
Research shows that young children who are willing to take on challenges are more successful in school and life. But how can you encourage your child to develop this important skill?

How to Teach Kids Perseverance and Goal-Setting
To encourage perseverance, teach preteens how to set goals and work to meet them.

12 Tips To Raise a Persistent Child
Suggestions to support parents with effective ways to encourage their child in going after what they want.

Movies for families about perseverance
Homeward Bound, rated G
Three pets escape from a California ranch to find their owners in San Francisco.

Finding Nemo, rated G
After his son is captured in the Great Barrier Reef and taken to Sydney, a timid clownfish sets out on a journey to bring him home.

Wall-E, rated G
In the distant future, a small waste-collecting robot inadvertently embarks on a space journey that will ultimately decide the fate of mankind.

Eagle Huntress, rated G (recommended for 8+ yrs. old)
Thirteen-year-old Aisholpan trains to become the first female in twelve generations of her Kazakh family to become an eagle huntress.

One Night With the King, rated PG
The story of Purim, celebrated at the end of February, and Queen Esther.


Wee Worship Space

You may have noticed the new area set up in the back corner of the auditorium near the windows. This is the newly created Wee Worship space is set aside to welcome and create a comfortable space for families with infants and toddlers, not yet ready or not interested in going to childcare downstairs, into our worship space. The Wee Worship space was created by our Play UU group as well as our Religious Education Council. It has be equipped with quiet toys, a rug to define space and a rocking chair. We look forward to seeing all ages levels worshiping together!

Dates of Importance

Sunday, February 4

High School OWL, noon – 4 pm

Sunday, February 25

Service for All Ages, 9:15 & 11 am (No Faith Formation Classes)