Important information for February 12th, 2017!
We are having a Children’s Chapel next Sunday, based on our fourth source of Unitarian Universalism: Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves, or in child-friendly language: Christian and Jewish teachings which tell us to love all others as we love ourselves.
As part of our lesson, we will be making Valentine’s Day cards to take to Vantage House, a retirement community in Columbia. We will be teaching the children some easy songs that retired folks will enjoy, and taking the Valentines and music to Vantage house at 12:30 to share some love with local elders. We would love you to join us at this event!
Please click here to sign up. We are asking for help with cookies and juice, carpooling, and would love to know if you can join us! All ages are welcome!
Make sure to read to the bottom for important news and events!
Yours in faith,
What happened in your child’s class this week:
In our Unitarian Universalist community we learn and respect other religions. We know we can learn from them. Today we will be hearing a story from Zen Buddhist literature. Zen is a Japanese word that simply means meditation.
“Michael! There’s a bear outside!” said Karl.
“A what?” called Michael.
(Karl) “A bear. He’s really big. And he’s in the backyard.”
(Michael) “What’s he doing?”
(Karl) “He’s sitting. And he has an umbrella.”
(Michael) “An umbrella?”
By the time the boys got outside, their sitter, Addy, was already talking with the bear.
“I’m sorry for arriving unannounced,” said the bear. “The wind carried my umbrella all the way from my backyard to your backyard. I thought I would retrieve it before it became a nuisance.” He spoke with a slight panda accent.
Michael introduced himself. Then Addy introduced Karl because Karl was shy around bears he didn’t know. And this is how Addy. Michael, and Karl met Stillwater, the panda bear.
Addy asked Stillwater, “Might you have some stories to tell us?” Stillwater, replied, “Well, you know pandas are noted to be quite good storytellers, I just happen to have time for three stories you may find quite interesting.”
My Uncle Ry lived alone in small house up in the hills. He didn’t own many things. He lived a simple life.
One evening, he discovered he had a visitor. A robber had broken into the house and was rummaging through my uncle’s few belongings.
The robber didn’t notice Uncle Ry, and when my uncle said “Hello,” the robber was so startled he almost fell down. My uncle smiled at the robber and shook his hand. “Welcome! Welcome! How nice of you to visit!”
The robber opened his mouth to speak, but he couldn’t think of anything to say. Because Ry never lets anyone leave empty-handed, he looked around the tiny hut for a gift for the robber. But there was nothing to give. The robber began to back toward the door. He wanted to leave. At last, Uncle Ry knew what to do. He took off his only robe, which was old and tattered. “Here,” he said. “Please take this.”
The robber thought my uncle was crazy. He took the robe, dashed out the door, and escaped into the night.
My uncle sat and looked at the moon, its silvery light spilling over the mountains, making all things quietly beautiful. “Poor man,” lamented my uncle, “All I had to give him was my tattered robe. If only I could have given him this wonderful moon.”
“Your uncle sounds nice,” said Addy. “I don’t think I could have given away my only robe.”
“I know how that is,” said Stillwater. “But there’s always the moon.
“That was a good story, tell us another one,” said Addy.
There was once an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day, his horse ran away.
Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit.
“Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.
“Maybe,” the farmer replied.
The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it two other wild horses.
“Such good luck!” the neighbors exclaimed.
“Maybe,” replied the farmer.
The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown off, and broke his leg.
Again, the neighbors came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. “Such bad luck,” they said.
“Maybe,” answered the farmer.
The day after that, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army to fight a war. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by.
“Such good luck!” cried the neighbors.
“Maybe,” said the farmer.
“I get it,” said Michael. “Maybe good luck and bad luck are all mixed up. You never know what will happen next.”
“Yes,” said Stillwater agreed. “You never know.”
“One more story, PLEASE,” said Michael.
Two traveling monks reached a town where there was a young women waiting to step out of her sedan chair.
The rains had made deep puddles and she couldn’t step across without spoiling her silken robes.
The young woman stepped down from the sedan chair and stood there, looking very cross and impatient.
She was scolding her attendants. They had nowhere to place the packages they held for her, so they couldn’t help her across the puddles.
The younger monk noticed the women, said nothing, and walked by. The older monk quickly picked her up and put her on his back, transported her across the water, and put her down on the other side. She didn’t thank the older monk, she just shoved him out of the way and departed.
As they continued on their way, the young monk was brooding and preoccupied.
After several hours, unable to hold his silence, he spoke out. “That women back there was very selfish and rude, but you picked her up on your back and carried her! Then she didn’t even thank you!”
“I set the women down hours ago,” the older monk replied. “Why are you still carrying her?”
“Wow,” said Addy, “those were really great stories.”
“I am glad you enjoyed them,” said Stillwater.
I wonder if you have ever seen or heard any of this before?
I wonder which part of this story is the most important?
I wonder which part you like the best?
I wonder where you might be in the story?
I wonder if there is a part of the story that we could leave out and still have a story?
I wonder why every religion has stories that tell us how to be better people?
I wonder if this lesson reminds you of any of our other Unitarian Universalist Promises?
I wonder where the Spirit of Love and Mystery might be in this story?
Elementary Our Whole Lives (OWL) classes for Grades K/1 and Grades 4/5 are starting! Please remind your OWL students to go directly to class and not enter the Sanctuary! Classes will run through April 2nd. Kindergarten and First Grade 9:00-10:00 am, Fourth and Fifth Grade 11:00 am-12:30 pm. All other RE Classes continue as normal.
Parents & Caregivers as Sexuality Educators! Next class Sunday, February 26th, 5:00-7:00 pm Facilitated by Doug Miller, Steph Silver, and Robin Slaw.
Adult OWL starts in February! Have your children’s classes made you curious about what you don’t know? Would you like a safe place to talk about Adult sexuality? Our Whole Lives: Sexuality Education for Adults helps you explore sexuality through your values and experiences. Enhance communication skills as you increase your understanding of healthy relationships, sexual diversity, and sexuality throughout the life cycle. It’s the sexuality education opportunity you probably never had growing up.
Adult OWL Orientation on Wednesday, February 22nd, 7:00-9:00 pm in Sanctuary A. Classes held Saturday mornings, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, March 4, March 11, March 18, March 25, and April 1. Facilitated by Steve Parr, Regina Verow, and Robin Slaw.