Posted in Children and Youth

True Story Theater Brings Down the House

  • March 21, 2018


True Story Theater brought down the house on March 18th when a intergenerational audience of over 60 people came together to share stories about learning. Trained in the art of “playback theater,” six actors expertly used colorful scarves, musical instruments along with their bodies and voices to create evocative, multi-sensory interpretations of the stories shared by the audience. Camp chairs, coloring pages and construction toys were carefully placed to ensure that everyone could participate as they felt comfortable.

True Story’s director and co-founder, Christoper Ellinger, deftly created a safe space for personal sharing by inviting each actor to open Sunday’s performance with a story from their own experience. Children and adults were rapt with attention as the actors shared and then acted out their struggles with 
dyslexia, mastering a foreign language after failing to learn it in an academic context and a deep affection for a teacher who encouraged children to move in her classroom

A child talked about a favorite teacher who is silly and “looks like me” and adult with a hearing-impairment used a combination of sign language and voice to express her uncanny ability to share her joy with everyone regardless of communication style.Brave adults and children described the scary but ultimately beneficial decision to change schools when meet their needs were not being met. Everyone could relate to the difficult journey of learning healthier eating habits!


As more and more of us shared our stories and experienced the healing balm of being lovingly heard, the more connected we felt. It was as though the final words of the Hokey Pokey, one of the songs we used to open the gathering, were being acted out through all of us:

You put your whole self in,

You take your whole self out.

You put your whole self in and you shake it all about.

You do the Hokey Pokey and you turn yourself around.

That’s what it’s all about!


And really, isn’t that what Life should “be all about?”

Special thanks to all who attended, to Children’s Ministries, the WCUC Youth Group and to the members of the Sunday Fellowship Planning Team (Julie Beyer, Sue and Jack Faasse, Pat and Jane Fleming, Mary Jane Hall,  and Joanna Swain) for all of your work to make Sunday’s gathering possible.



Youth: Lessons in Love for Lent

  • February 27, 2018

“All you need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”     –  Charles M. Schulz


“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” –  Luke 10:27

“Love is a song that never ends.”     – Bambi

“Love can move mountains.”    – Celine Dion

“There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.”     – George Sand

“Hate cannot drive out hate.  Only love can do that.” – MLK Jr.

“Love is patient.  Love is kind.” – Corinthians 13:4

“Welcome everyone, to the love of God.” – WCUC

These are just a few of the “love quotes” generated by the youth to be used at WCUC’s Ash Wednesday prayer service:  “Marked by Love”.  The youth have been exploring the promise of God’s unconditional love and it’s power to inspire us to put our faith into action as we share that love with our neighbors.  During vacation week, several youth volunteered to help out at Household Goods in Acton, an organization that receives donations to be given to people who are in need of home furnishings.  Later in the week, even more youth came to church to paint some bulletin boards that will be hung in the downstairs hallway to hold pictures of our congregation.

“And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.” 

                                                                                                                                            Mark 1:12-13 

These verses from Mark, traditionally read at the beginning of every Lent, inspired a youth art project that illustrates the answers to two questions:  What “wild beasts” challenge you in life?  and Who are the “angels” that support you along the way?

Stop by the Youth Room when you get a chance to take a look at the creative results!


Happy 35th Anniversary Sunday Fellowship!

  • February 12, 2018

It was awesome to see so many people at the 35th Anniversary of Sunday Fellowship. There was standing room only in our sanctuary! I counted at least 50 SF members as well as many MMArc staff, past SF leaders, and lots of friends and family members! 

Everyone did a great job helping to lead the service. Here are a few of the comments we’ve received so far:

“Still basking in the glow and spirit of this morning. What a great service! So spirit filled, so fun, so energetic.”
“What a great service today! There were so many folks there. A great celebration of the heart of the congregation.”
“Everything came out great and Pastor John’s sermon was great.”
“Such an amazing service this morning! I like SF songs.”

Many thanks to MMArc residential director, Andrew Forti and all of the MMArc house managers for working with us to facilitate transportation. Special thanks to the MMArc staff who came in early for the 9am shift to make it possible for people to arrive before worship. 

Thank you junior and senior choir members, Jim Barcovic, Susan Davies, Chris Porth, Pete DeRosa, Julie Beyer and Jeff Tustin for working with us to make beautiful music yesterday.

I’d also  like to thank Andrew Southcott and the Hospitality Committee for providing all of the healthy snacks we enjoyed after worship as well as our guest preacher Rev. John Hudson. John told some stories about his experiences with Sunday Fellowship back in the day when he was senior pastor at WCUC. And David Swain took over 300 photos. Here are some of them! Thank you all!

Youth Advent Adventures: Joyful Noise, Completive Prayer, Inspirational Reflections

The youth are traveling through Advent with a variety of opportunities to connect with God and with one another.  Opening our hearts and minds to the messages of Advent, we find inspiration and encouragement to slow down, to be more patient in our “waiting”, and to trust that the light of God’s Love really does overcome darkness.

In early December, the youth visited Harvard’s Memorial Church to attend the Kuumba Singers Christmas Concert:  “Voice in the Night”.   This gospel choir, which has been singing since 1970 in celebration of Black creativity and spirituality, beautifully captured the power of Christmas story – both the peace that Jesus brings and the hope that he inspires to continue in the struggle for justice.

That same weekend, youth were invited to experience “Journey in the Light” at WCUC – an evening for contemplative prayer walking in a 12-circuit labyrinth that covered almost the entire floor in the sanctuary.  Youth members engaged the program as participants and also as helpers so that the younger children could enjoy the evening too.

In recent weeks, the youth have been learning about Advent in their Sunday morning classes, exploring its history and its context in the larger liturgical church calendar.  Themes such as “waiting”, “balancing stillness with active preparing”, and noticing “light in dark places” have all been prominent in our Bible study and class discussions.  Particular attention was given to the virtues represented by the candles of the advent wreath:  Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace as we wrote, reflected, and shared on these four prompts/questions:

  1. “I really hope that…”
  2. Where have you experienced love/kindness in recent days?  Given and received.
  3. What brings you joy?
  4. Who in your life especially needs to feel God’s peace right now?  (We held a minute of silence to pray for these people.)

Finally, we celebrated Gaudete (Joy!) Sunday in style with donuts and a viewing of this incredible documentary about Walden Pond and the life of Henry David Thoreau.  A local treasure and a man who was inspired by nature to believe in God’s transformative power as well as the power of people working together to transform the world.  If you have 22 minutes to spare, this will be well worth your time!

May you experience many blessings during this Advent season and may you find moments of unexpected Grace as the Prince of Peace arrives yet again.