Nonstick, grease resistant paper-based food ware such as pizza boxes & pastry bags, microwave popcorn bags can contain the toxic chemical PFAS (polyfluoralkyl) found in Teflon products. Keep this info in mind when getting food to go or delivered.
Create a ritual at home!
While we are spending more time together at home with our families, why not use this time to create some family rituals that center our UU faith?
Here are some elements to consider including:
A Chalice Lighting
If you have a chalice at home, you can use that one. If not, consider making one out of objects around your house – anything that you can safely burn a candle in can be a chalice!
Choose a reading or words to say. If you have a copy of Singing the Living Tradition (our gray hymnal) you can choose one from there, or another book or readings or poetry that you like. There’s also an app for that! You can download the WorshipWeb app on your phone or other device to access a lot of UU readings, including chalice lighting words. The app also includes a virtual chalice that you can use. You can also access the WorshipWeb library via this link: https://www.uua.org/worship
Here are some chalice lighting words that I like:
We are Unitarian Universalists
A people of open minds,
And helping hands
(Use the hand motions if you know them!)
“We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.”
For each child that’s born, a morning star rises and sings to the universe who we are.
We are our grandmothers’ prayers and
we are our grandfathers’ dreamings,
we are the breath of our ancestors,
we are the spirit of God.
We are the mothers of courage and fathers of time,
we are daughters of the dust and the sons of great visions,
we’re sisters of mercy and brothers of love,
we are lovers of life and the builders of nations,
we’re seekers of truth and keepers of faith,
we’re makers of peace and the wisdom of ages.
-Ysaye M. Barnwell
Check in is a familiar element for many UU’s. You can do a 90 second check in like we do at staff meetings at UUCA where everyone has a certain amount of time to say how they’re doing or what they’re been up to. Family members can check in with what their personal weather is today and why, for example “My weather today is sunny because I had a good day and got to do things that I liked” or “My weather is cloudy because I’m feeling uncertain about what is happening in the world”. You can also use the Rose, Thorn, and Bud method where each person says something they are happy about, something they are sad or mad about, and something they are looking forward to. You can do something as simple as having everyone say what their favorite flavor of ice cream is. Having a set time to check in everyday can help provide some stability for everyone.
Family Story Time
Each day, families can take turns choosing stories to read to each other. It can be a treasured book from your own collection, or a choice from this comprehensive list of stories from Tapestry of Faith curriculum program: https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/stories
Need a break, parents?
Check out this great website for kids from the San Diego Zoo! https://kids.sandiegozoo.org/ Kids can spend some time on this website on their own, while you can get some work done (or do the dishes, or take a shower). You can even talk together about our 7th Principle – Respect for the interdependent web of existence of which we are a part – and what that has to do with caring for animals during family time.
I invite you to think about how it is that you show up for Unitarian Universalism. Think of the ways, large and small, that you come back to this place, that you do the work, that you share the good word. Now think about what it would be like to do that in the company of thousands of other UU’s.
I attended my first GA in 2017 when it was held in New Orleans, LA. It was hot, crowded, and involved lots of walking. I hate being hot, get anxious in crowds, and have chronic foot pain. And I loved it.
So what happens at GA? Well, if you think the committee meetings that we have here are exciting, just wait until you experience your first general session! Seriously though, GA is where a lot of the work of our faith happens. Sometimes it happens on a large scale in a big hall filled with congregational delegates who are voting on items like making the language of our bylaws more inclusive, or giving religious educators the right to automatically be voting delegates at GA just as ministers are. It’s also happening on a smaller scale through workshops and lectures. Sometimes it is happening in a very public way through our demonstrations of public witness.
Last year in Spokane, the public witness was a demonstration to show support for ending cash bail and putting a stop to building more jails in Spokane. The youth are there working, too. They are delegates and they help determine which Actions of Immediate Witness are voted on. They caucus together and do a lot of other activities together as well. There is also a middle school day camp that goes on expeditions in the host city, and child care for younger kids as well. There is even a child-friendly area in the main hall where all of the big events take place. There are workshops and lectures galore, for every different interest. The worship services are plentiful and diverse. The best part though, the best part is being together with so many other people who are showing up in all sorts of ways for Unitarian Universalism.
Kim Collins, Lifespan Religious Education Coordinator