RE News

Summer at USSB – Seventh Principle MakerSpace

The Seventh Principle MakerSpace is concurrent with our single worship service at 10:00 a.m. Children will explore our Seventh Principle (We believe in caring for our planet Earth, the home we share with all living things) by learning how to repurpose items in a makerspace housed in Jefferson Hall.

Centers include a Deconstruction Zone to take apart safe electronics and machinery, an Electronic Zone for making simple electronics, a Sewing Zone for making new items out of old, a Cardboard Zone where children can build any number of items from cardboard, Art Smart Zone for making art from scraps and a ‘Zine Zone for repurposing magazines and recycled paper into new books and magazines.

Children begin the morning with their parents in the Sanctuary and will be sung from the service after the Time for All Ages. Children may work on a project that can be completed in a single Sunday or save their project to work on each week.

Recruiting Teachers for Fall CRE

It’s that time of year again, when we staff up our volunteer teams to teach religious education classes at The Society. We will use theme-based lesson plans again next year, linking the theme explored in worship and in small groups to the theme explored by children in most classes. Our middle school youth will explore world religions. All teachers will be provided with detailed lesson plans, supplies and support as needed. The time commitment is twice a month or eight times a year. More if you have as much fun as we expect you will! Teaching is open to USSB members and active visitors with over six months of interaction with our congregation. Please click here for more information or to sign up.

CRE Plan Ahead

Parents of Middle School Youth! Is your teen enrolled in our OWL Summer Day Camp? The Society will host a week-long human sexuality day camp for 13 to 15-year-olds from August 13 to August 17, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This is the same award winning, comprehensive Our Whole Lives curriculum reworked into a convenient day camp. No need for weekly classes for months and months! Click here for more information. Please share widely!

You can access the lesson schedule for all classes for the first half of 2018 on the church website here.

Sara L. Sautter, Interim Director of Religious Education: sara@ussb.org; (805) 965-4583, x227

The Sweet Spot

On Sunday, April 22, forty members of the Society spent a morning and an afternoon with Unitarian Universalist Association consultant Rev. Sarah Gibbs-Millspaugh to answer the following questions:

  • How can the Society create a place where people of all ages thrive in a beautiful and heartbreaking world?
  • Where do the strength of this congregation and the heartbreak of the world intersect?
  • What is our vision for a religious education program that builds upon these strengths?

We were new parents and grandparents. We were singles and large families. And we were together to create a vision for an inclusive multigenerational faith community.

And darn! We had some pretty phenomenal ideas!

First we used the Society’s Mission Statement and Ends, those objectives that guide our actions, as a starting point.

Then we brainstormed the ills of our society – racism, isolation, consumerism, gender bias, alternative facts to name a few. But we didn’t stop there. We were dreamers!

We brainstormed the antidotes to those ills – community, authenticity, compassion, integrity, mindfulness, generosity, gratitude… and much more.

And then we went on to identify the Sweet Spot, the place where the Society’s assets, and the joy of belonging, come together to nourish people of all ages.

THAT is where the magic happened.

Working in small groups and as a whole, Sarah guided us toward the creation of Actions to Move Us Toward Our Vision. They are:

  1. Create intentional families from the multigenerational wealth of our society.

It’s hard to raise a family in high- cost Santa Barbara. Many of us don’t have extended family here and our friends are moving away. We love that the Society will always be here for us. 

  1. Do social justice work together as families and as a larger church community.

We want to do social justice work grounded in spirituality. Help us weave social justice regularly into family events.

  1. Worship together, regularly, as a whole community.

We want multigenerational worship that includes children and youth. We want children and youth right there up on the dais, as worship associates. Worship is religious education.

  1. Pass our beloved Unitarian Principles to the next generation.

Ours is a faith that is guided by seven principles that have emerged over the years. We want our children to know and honor them.

  1. We love how music can transform us … and so do our children!

Let’s utilize the deep talent that we have here at the society.

  1. We are here because we want to be together.

We want engagement across the generations. Let’s start with the strength of the auction and design other multigenerational events (camping!) to create and strengthen Beloved Community. Children are natural guides to wonder. Grandparents have wisdom to share.

It was an AWESOME day. And a productive one. We came away ready (and willing!) to make this an intentional multigenerational community that teaches our Unitarian Universalist faith and supports ALL as we grow within it.

It’s not too late to comment or to jump on board.

Got a comment?  An idea to make our vision a reality? Email Sara Sautter.

LIVING WITH INTEGRITY, WE:

  • Support each other in life and life’s transitions with loving care, joy, celebration and gratitude.
  • Care for the earth and its rich web of life for current and future generations.

NURTURING WONDER, WE:

  • Experience the transcendent that opens us to deep connection and life’s mystery.
  • Cultivate spiritual practices and engage in lifelong learning, utilizing our hearts and minds.

INSPIRING ACTION, WE:

  • Shift the larger culture toward justice and compassion through bold individual and congregational endeavors.
  • Welcome and connect with people across differences of ethnicity, class, sexual identity, religion, politics and education.

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