How many signs of new life have you spotted this past week? Every single day our landscape is changing – sometimes imperceptibly, sometimes dramatically – and our brown, bleak scenery is slowly and surely filling with life and color. The annual miracle of life from dry bones! A true gift for us temperate forest, northern hemisphere dwellers each year before Easter. Enjoy the photos of some folks’ outdoor discoveries this week!
Posted in Children and Youth
In these times of physical distancing, it’s more important than ever to find social connection and solidarity. Our youth group is Zooming into connection every Saturday at 4pm, for sharing what’s hard and what helps, playing games, and joining together in mindful meditation. Laughing and breathing together has been a remarkable way to bond and to find some calm in these challenging times.
It also helps to have some recent memories of being together in person. The middle schoolers spent over two hours running around at Boda Borg in Malden, solving mental and physical challenges to successfully complete several rooms. And the high schoolers managed to “escape” their 13th floor apartment room with 6 minutes to spare at Puzzlescape in Hudson. Teamwork was key in both of these outings!
We also enjoyed some outside time at our last youth class. This memory of walking the labyrinth together is one that is keeping hope alive that better days are ahead!
At our most recent Zoom Youth Group meeting, we closed with these words from Carrie Newcomer and then closed our eyes and listened to our own breathing, alone and together. With God and with each other, we can do this hard thing!
Check out the great pics from last week’s interactive worship activities! Folks were asked to find rocks and build outdoor shelters to remind us of God’s everlasting love, strength and protection – especially in tough times. As always, thank you for sending your photos!
Last Sunday I asked folks to interact with some special resources during and after worship, and I got some great pictures showing all different innovative ideas! In connection with our Scripture story about Jesus at the well with the Samaritan woman, I asked you to color and fill up a Living Water jug and then work to build some creative wells in your house. Enjoy the pictures highlighting the amazing creations!
Enjoy the pictures from our Ash Wednesday soup supper and interactive prayer service!
We began the evening together dining on delicious soups, bread, cheese, and fruit, then talking about Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent.
After supper, we moved upstairs to the sanctuary to explore our interactive prayer stations. Our theme this year was Metamorphosis: Practices of Transformation. Can you notice transformations to the sanctuary space? What else did we transform?
Praying in color together…
…and transforming our prayers into art.
Transforming sand while we considered how God has made and remade us.
We transformed clothespins into caterpillars to “munch” our Lenten intentions this season.
And we transformed lanterns into amazing chrysalises to be displayed on our communion table this Lent!
What transformations will you consider practicing this Lent?
On Sunday, all of the children in our Sunday school classes came together to learn about Habitat for Humanity and the very exciting building project that will be happening right down the street from our church later this year! We learned how Habitat for Humanity helps families build or renovate their homes, we discovered on a map exactly where the new home will be built (just two minutes from church!), and we talked about the fundraising effort our whole church is engaged in to help raise $20,000 for the project and reach 60 participants. This coming Sunday I am asking the children to consider what they might want to contribute to our fundraiser, and we have set a 20-person participation goal for gifts in any amount. I am confident we’ll reach it!
After telling our related scripture story from the book of Matthew about the parable of the wise builder who built his house on a strong foundation of rock and the foolish builder who built his house on soft sand (the “rock” is the foundation of Jesus’ teachings!), we learned an awesome song and then explored a large variety of building activities in each classroom. Check out the pictures to see our busy builders!
Thanks to everyone who came together to make our 2020 pageant possible!
Over 40 children, parents, and grandparents joined us on Saturday, December 7th for our annual Children’s Ministries Advent in the Light event. Our theme this year was prophets – both ancient and modern – and how they help us wake up to hope and pay attention to God’s message during Advent. Prophets are carriers of the messages about how God longs for our world to be, and they share these messages loudly (check out this video of Greta Thunberg at the UN Climate Action Summit in September, furiously calling out world leaders for not doing more to tackle the climate crisis). We asked children and parents – what do you hope, pray, and imagine for our world this Advent? Can you think about what God wants for our world and imagine how you can be a part of that change? Before entering the labyrinth, people wrote their prayers on gold stars and then carried them into the center (these stars of hope are now hanging outside the sanctuary!). Children and adults also engaged in making play dough stars, creating 3D star ornaments for our Gift Tree in the sanctuary, painting kindness rocks, and decorating our Imagine poster. As always, the evening was filled with warmth, light and delight in coming together during this dark season to share hope and peace as a community. Enjoy the pictures from our evening together!
For three years running, the children of WCUC have been eager and enthusiastic participants in our church’s Congregational Giving campaign. Beginning in October, our children learned about our church’s finances – where our money comes from and where our money goes. And we talk about giving. What does Jesus say about money and possessions? How do people decide how much to give away? Why is giving such a good thing? Our children also want to participate in the financial health of our church and experience the gift of giving. So once again, the kids worked hard to create cards and crafts to sell at our third annual Congregational Giving sale, with all the proceeds being offered back to WCUC as our Children’s Ministries pledge for 2020. Because our giving theme this year was “Bind Us Together,” we decided to use yarn, twine, and lots and lots of needles to create our beautiful cards and our woven bracelets. Please enjoy the pictures, which show our crafting process and tell our giving story from sewing to sale! Thanks to ALL who came to support the children’s amazing efforts!
Last weekend, WCUC hosted a book sale to support children in Honduras who need medical, financial, and educational assistance. We raised over $600.00 and had a great time doing it! To read more about Emily and Tom Collins’ non-profit organization click here.
A huge thank you to all of the volunteers from WCUC that helped to make this possible – those who donated or bought books, helped with set up, the sale itself, and clean up! The left over books were donated to More Than Words, a local non-profit book store that is managed and operated by foster care youth and young adults. A special shout out to those who helped box up all of the books after the sale ended on Sunday – a great joint effort by the Youth, Sunday Fellowship and other WCUC adults.