December: Religious exploration

When I was a little girl, my dad used to use his gloved fingers to create reindeer hoof prints in the snow for us to discover Christmas morning. When my own children were little, we would carefully choose several of our most skillfully decorated cookies for Santa’s plate to wait for him to enjoy alongside his beer. Yes, beer. My husband explained to the kids that by the time he got to our place, Santa had had himself a night already, with Rudolph’s nose on the blink, pea soup fog to navigate through in England, a package too big to fit down the chimney at some kid named Grover’s house across town. Santa needed a beer! It was always part of the tradition at our house to read the battered copy of Twas the Night Before Christmas together on Christmas Eve. I suspect the tradition of adults conspiring to create the magic of Santa for the children is one my offspring will
want to continue in whatever form of their own making it takes as they
create families of their own.

This year, our church’s children and youth will conspire to re-create the magical experience of Santa for the congregation during our annual holiday pageant service on December 16th. Parents: There is no need for special costumes this year, but a special practice may be scheduled depending on how well we do the next couple of Sundays during our time together in R.E. classes, so please keep watching for an announcement of that in the Monday Meridian Bulletin. Both before and after the service, our youth will be having a bake sale in the fellowship hall. Proceeds will go towards their Heifer Project goal, which is within sight! As of this writing, they only have about $1000 left of the original $5000 goal to go! Similarly, Youth Parents: Watch for the announcement of a youth group baking party, the details of which haven’t quite been worked out yet as of this writing.

To get everyone ready and in the spirit for the season of giving, this Sunday, December 2nd, we will be preparing for the Lafayette Urban Ministries’ Jubilee Christmas, an event annually sponsored and held at this church to benefit local area families in need. Members of the congregation are asked to purchase child-sized gloves, hats, and mittens, which our children will then use to decorate our Jubilee Christmas tree during the Time for All Ages portion of the service. After the service, the items will be harvested for distribution during the Jubilee Christmas event. Also this Sunday, please remember to bring back Unitarian Universalist Service Committee Guest At Your Table boxes and envelopes. These will also be collected.

Finally, please note that children will stay in the sanctuary for intergenerational services on the 23rd and 30th of December. When religious exploration classes resume January 2013, we will switch over to the new (for this congregation) workshop rotation model, a model that many of our children who participated in the Harry Potter camp in early August have already had the opportunity to experience. Anyone who is interested in teaching or simply learning more about how R.E. will run second semester is invited to join RE Council members and me at noon Sunday, January 13th in the Forum, rooms 101/103 for an informational meeting and to sign up to volunteer. Refreshments will be served.

This month’s RE volunteer shout out goes to Kat Braz, who has taken on the job of coordinator for our youth Social Justice CONference, a regional event hosted at this church, and with as many as 100 youth expected from all over the UUA MidAmerica Region. It’s a huge coup and wonderful learning opportunity for our youth to host this event, so thank you in advance for supporting this effort.

As you can see, we have a lot going on! Even so, I hope each of you will take a moment to stop and simply breathe in the magic of people coming together in celebration of the season, most especially your family and your church family.

See you in church,
Sheila

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