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CYRE Taking It Home Nov 1

Our Whole Lives (K-1)

The CYRE Team is excited to offer Our Whole Lives (OWL) Sexuality Education to Kindergarten and First Graders at First Unitarian Church. Come to the Parent Information Session to learn more about this amazing, age appropriate, comprehensive program!

Date: Sunday, November 8, 2015
Time: 9:15-10:15am
Room: 29

The K-1 OWL program supports parents in educating their young children about birth, babies, bodies and families. It helps establish a life-long family pattern of communication around sensitive topics. Following the Parent Informational Meeting and a Parent/Child Orientation, the eight class sessions engage children with stories, songs and activities and include a short, weekly assignment for parents and children to do together at home. Focusing on the “Three R’s” of human sexuality—respect, relationships, and responsibility—it emphasizes that we believe every person should be treated fairly and kindly. The sessions are planned for January-March 2016 on Sunday mornings from 9:15-10:15am.

We encourage all parents and guardians to attend, especially if your family is new to the OWL program. The K-1 OWL class is also open to the community (for a nominal fee) so please encourage any families who might be interested to attend this informational session.

Looking for more information about OWL?
Click here to read information from the UUA!

Rainbow Walkers

You must leave righteous ways behind, not to speak of unrighteous ways. — Buddha

IN TODAY'S SESSION… participants learned about the Unitarian Universalist fifth Principle, which says we we all have a voice and a vote . The group heard a Sioux legend about the tradition of passing a talking stick from person to person so everyone has a chance to speak. Children made their own talking sticks and played a game that is believed to have originated with the Zuni or Hopi Native Americans. This session demonstrated how everyone should have an opportunity to speak up for themselves or have others that can advocate for them.

EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about… how you make decisions as a family. Does everyone get to vote? Do some people's votes count more than others? What are the reasons for this? How can we make sure everyone is heard in the family?

EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try… using the talking stick your child made today to reach a group decision in your home. It might be a simple decision such as what to have for dinner or what to do over the weekend. Make sure only the person holding the stick talks. Be sure everyone gets a turn holding the stick. Remind family members that only one person holds the stick to ensure only one person can speak at a time.

A Family Adventure. Spend time going through gently used toys. Ask each child in the family to choose at least five items to donate to a local non-profit that shelters children. If possible, have the children go to the agency when the toys are dropped off to help them understand what they are contributing to and how important it is. If the agency allows, tour where the children play and sleep. Afterward, discuss what the shelter was like. Would children want to live there? Why or why not? What would they miss most if they could not stay in their own home?

Family Discovery. Some schools have anonymous donation programs to help students who need school supplies or school clothes. Check with your child's school social worker or counselor and, once you discover the needs, ask the whole family to come up with a plan to help fill some needs. You may decide to contribute $1 a week anonymously—perhaps from children's allowance—to a fund to help.

A Family Game

. Ask everyone in the family to choose a possession that they cannot live without such as a cell phone, a special toy, or the television. This is to simulate what it means not to have a home or the money to have such possessions. Make sure everyone chooses something that they use or play with every day so that they feel the absence. Choose a day that everyone will not use that possession. You may try 24, 12, or 8 hours without the items. Make sure it is a day that will allow the strict non-use of the item. For instance, if you choose the computer, make sure that it is not the day before a big research project is due at school. When the time is over, talk about what it was like not to have that thing. Did you discover you could live without it very easily? Or not? Did you find alternatives for the item? How did it feel not to have something special of your very own?

A Family Ritual. Start a nighttime ritual of naming the things you are thankful for before going to bed. Each person should list things individually, aloud or just to themselves. As an alternative, each family member can have a “Thankful Book” to keep by their bed with a pen or pencil and write what they are thankful for about that day before going to sleep. Older family members can help younger family members write. Try to list at least five things each day and find at least one thing that is different each day. You can always write “family,” but maybe one particular day you may be thankful for the particular way a person helped you—a family member, or someone else such as a worker at a store or the library.

Native American Traditions and Earth Prayers

Books with meditations and prayers from American Indian traditions are A Grateful Heart edited by M.J. Ryan (Berkeley, CA: Conari Press, 1994) and Earth Prayers From Around the World edited by Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon (San Francisco, CA: HarperCollins Publishers, 1991).


Today we are focusing on our first principle:
Red – Respect People. Each person is worthwhile.
Respect the inherent worth and dignity of all people

We are going to hear a story based on an African folktale from the country of Zaire. Then we are going to make some masks and do a play of the story.

Ask your child:
Do you remember the first principle?
What does it mean?
Can you think of ways we can respect each other and show that we believe everyone is important?


Questers are exploring the problem of intolerance and discovering the Unitarian Universalist response to and celebration of diversity. This morning the Action Quest presents an experience in discrimination. Participants are divided arbitrarily and artificially into two distinct groups, and then exposed briefly to unfair treatment based on that division. We’ll discuss discrimination and how it felt to be discriminated against.

Questions to consider:

  • Are your schools tolerant places? Always? Most of the time? Not really?
  • If not, what are some of the problems?
  • What can be done about them?


The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.
— Albert Einstein

IN TODAY’S SESSION… We talked about curiosity, and we shared the story “Pandora’s Box.” We saw faith as one answer to the problems of the world, and we discussed different definitions for “faith.” We heard about the seven deadly sins and the seven heavenly virtues, and we made our own list of common sixth-grade sins.


  • The situation your group did in Ethics Play (if your group played that game). What do family members and friends say the Star should have done?
  • How important is religion to your family? Do you spend a lot of time with the members of your congregation? Do you participate in congregational activities during the week?


  • Reading a news story about a youth who got in trouble. Ask: How does our family try to avoid problems like that? How would we handle it if somebody in the family made a serious mistake?
  • Seeing a movie together. Have each person look for ethical decisions in the film. What was the hardest decision any character had to make? Did the character make a good decision?

Take some personal quiet time and think about the answer to this question: Do you have your own faith? Think of faith as your own important beliefs, your own ideas about all the big questions, like what is virtuous and what is sinful. Having faith does not mean you have all the answers. It does mean you have some good ideas that help you understand life, how you want to live it, and what is meaningful in it.
Having faith also does not mean you will not change your mind. As Unitarian Universalists, we believe that faith will deepen, grow, and change throughout our lives because of the new experiences, new people, and new ideas we are constantly encountering.
If you are journaling Mystery and Me, write down some of your beliefs and their source or sources (what causes you to believe as you do). If some of your beliefs have changed over time, note that, too.

Talk each day about the right and wrong you have experienced. Find a regular time if you can, when everybody is together. Did you each do something good you want to share? Is there somebody in the family you want to thank for a virtuous act? Or is there something you wish you hadn’t done that you need to talk about? How can you make tomorrow a better day?

Curiosity Continuum. Decide who the most curious members of your family are. Gather in the same room. Say that one wall stands for “very curious” and the opposite wall stands for “not very curious.” Have everybody at once go stand in a line between the two walls, wherever they think is right for their own level of curiosity. Does everybody agree that the order is right? Is it okay if you disagree? Let family members each talk about how curiosity has sometimes helped and sometimes hurt them.

Talk about where your family beliefs come from. Did your great-grandparents have the same religious beliefs your family has today? Does everybody in your family have the same important beliefs, the same faith? If not, can you help one another understand things better by sharing your ideas with them?

Andrews, Rev. Dr. Barry M. “Educating for Faith” in Essex Conversations: Visions for Lifespan Religious Education (Boston: Skinner House Books, 2001). Examines the idea of faith as a product of spirituality and religion.
Amery, Heather. Greek Myths for Young Children (Tulsa: EDC Pub., 2000). Despite its title, this beautiful book can be shared with sixth graders. Includes a version of “Pandora's Box.”
Colum, Padraic. Great Myths of the World (Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2005). Also includes a version of “Pandora's Box.”
Related content:
Essex Conversations

Coming of Age

We are exploring the diversity of our values. We’ll use two skits and several short questions to set up situations that test our values. We’ll consider how each person can draw the moral line between right and wrong in a different place. The youth have an opportunity to get comfortable with the idea that their values can be different than anyone else's values.