Children and Youth

For Week of June 8, 2020:

Poetry and Readings for Inner Strength

In This Place (An American Lyric)

by Amanda Gorman (first-ever National youth poet laureate)

There’s a poem in this place—
in the footfalls in the halls
in the quiet beat of the seats.
It is here, at the curtain of day,
where America writes a lyric
you must whisper to say.

There’s a poem in this place—
in the heavy grace,
the lined face of this noble building,
collections burned and reborn twice.

There’s a poem in Boston’s Copley Square
where protest chants
tear through the air
like sheets of rain,
where love of the many
swallows hatred of the few.

There’s a poem in Charlottesville
where tiki torches string a ring of flame
tight round the wrist of night
where men so white they gleam blue—
seem like statues
where men heap that long wax burning
ever higher
where Heather Heyer
blooms forever in a meadow of resistance.

There’s a poem in the great sleeping giant
of Lake Michigan, defiantly raising
its big blue head to Milwaukee and Chicago—
a poem begun long ago, blazed into frozen soil,
strutting upward and aglow.

There’s a poem in Florida, in East Texas
where streets swell into a nexus
of rivers, cows afloat like mottled buoys in the brown,
where courage is now so common
that 23-year-old Jesus Contreras rescues people from floodwaters.

There’s a poem in Los Angeles
yawning wide as the Pacific tide
where a single mother swelters
in a windowless classroom, teaching
black and brown students in Watts
to spell out their thoughts
so her daughter might write
this poem for you.

There’s a lyric in California
where thousands of students march for blocks,
undocumented and unafraid;
where my friend Rosa finds the power to blossom
in deadlock, her spirit the bedrock of her community.
She knows hope is like a stubborn
ship gripping a dock,
a truth: that you can’t stop a dreamer
or knock down a dream.

How could this not be her city
su nación
our country
our America,
our American lyric to write—
a poem by the people, the poor,
the Protestant, the Muslim, the Jew,
the native, the immigrant,
the black, the brown, the blind, the brave,
the undocumented and undeterred,
the woman, the man, the nonbinary,
the white, the trans,
the ally to all of the above
and more?

Tyrants fear the poet.
Now that we know it
we can’t blow it.
We owe it
to show it
not slow it
although it
hurts to sew it
when the world
skirts below it.

Hope—
we must bestow it
like a wick in the poet
so it can grow, lit,
bringing with it
stories to rewrite—
the story of a Texas city depleted but not defeated
a history written that need not be repeated
a nation composed but not yet completed.

There’s a poem in this place—
a poem in America
a poet in every American
who rewrites this nation, who tells
a story worthy of being told on this minnow of an earth
to breathe hope into a palimpsest of time—
a poet in every American
who sees that our poem penned
doesn’t mean our poem’s end.

There’s a place where this poem dwells—
it is here, it is now, in the yellow song of dawn’s bell
where we write an American lyric
we are just beginning to tell.

***

Social Justice

Teaching Tolerance
Teaching Tolerance is an excellent organization with many online resources to choose from related to issues of racism, LGBTQ rights, and many other social justice issues. The following link is specifically related to ways to teach your children and youth about the importance of why Black Lives Matter.
https://us15.campaign-archive.com/?u=a70584d3e4f0d3a97e412cdfe&id=e43cd0cbc0&e=b5eae8e1f4

Summer Stories and Movies for All Ages

The following list of books and movies all have an environmental focus. During the summer months, we try to focus upon our 7th Principle: Respect for the Interdependent Web of All Existence of Which We Are a Part (adult version); We believe in caring for our planet Earth and every living thing that shares it with us (child’s version).

The Lorax  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfO-3Oir-qM
Our Planet: One Planet (49 minutes)

Where the River Begins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BVW6eoe9bI
Animals Building Skills (50 minutes)

A River Ran Wild https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqS35WMrCZg
Bizarre Animal Appearances (50 minutes)

Brother Eagle, Sister Sky https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7667jwwX00
Desert Seas (46 minutes)

Animal Videos New!

Beavers https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/videos/awesome-animals/#/393959491944

Eastern Gray Kangaroo https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/videos/amazing-animals/#/455720515523

Music for All Ages

Music for our Earth

Big Yellow Taxi (Joni Mitchell) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2595abcvh2M

Earth: Believe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZlVaAMsoM8

Love Song to the Earth https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSnOXbaXzfM

“Heal the World” — an incredible tribute to amazing child musicians https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6d6Yo3DwVI

Music from our hymnal

“Room At the Table” (Carrie Newcomer) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92OM5bdQ4N4&list=PLRkrENeBR1TnOeS8F9nu7cvi1gVQ5sZUQ&index=6&t=0s

“Let It Be a Dance” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Zv6dxVOn1A

“Gathered Here” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enaRNnEzwi4

“Come, Sing A Song With Me” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlXzilOzFuw”

General Spiritual Resources

How Can Kids Practice Kindness From Home? https://email.nationalgeographic.com/H/2/v4000001726b26f5bfb42b9f6e966a31b0/2f534ddb-43fb-43ae-a8bd-36de28550687/HTML

Parenting In A Time of Social Distancing

How Can Parents Help Their Kids Make Sense of This World?  https://email.nationalgeographic.com/H/2/v4000001728ffce47cb2f9906e965fd798/ba5742e9-42f0-4852-9e85-acfd55a37cc8/HTML

Books About Being a Good Neighbor, a Good Friend, and Showing Compassion to Others

These can be found at local libraries and at Open Library, for all different ages
Rose Meets Mr. Wintergarten by Bob Graham
Herman and Rosie by Gus Gordon
The Lady in the Box by Ann McGovern
Random Acts of Kindness by Conari Press

Open Library

https://openlibrary.org/
This e-book library is more user-friendly than Libby, and has a larger selection of books.

Neither this source or Libby has any fees; you only need to sign up to use.

Libby

https://www.overdrive.com/apps/libby/
app for your phone
ebooks and audibles

https://libbyapp.com/welcome
for use in your web browser
ebooks and audibles

Highlights

https://view.e.highlights.com/?qs=1d0243444d4d483afcc292af1f6b4a2260716c5b1346993fac83fc359d79697eb85a2039b3669faa018fdbbf011c4cb8053447cb4dd1849673dca3e2482395c920bba13d45c29fa5da0bee4e601cd171
Being the Best BFF!

https://view.e.highlights.com/?qs=9f4c3775a3ef851855627d6506b49093581946367a86601edc4dc555c5a9ae27d8777df7e7288a6d574f9c775756423c5f56c0e88ab6321661bb0bc1a37de1052cb045c0afde8ad592d4de2407661f04
Scavenger hunts and other fun activities

https://secureus1.sgcpanel.com:2096/cpsess6545015891/webmail/Crystal/index.html?login=1&post_login=27073503668751
Here Comes the Sun—activities for all ages for the summer months

The Urban Monk

https://www.theurbanmonk.com/
Here are a few more fun family activities.

Stories to share from UU curriculums

Preschool (Infant – 4K) class:

Available on Open Library (noted above) https://openlibrary.org

The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney

5K – 2nd grade class:

John L. Cashin, Witness for Justice https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/signs/session15/288119.shtml

3rd – 5th grade class:

Siding with Love https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/sing/session12/standing-on-side-of-love

6th – 8th grade class:

The Village That Could https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/youth/call/workshop6/village-that-could

9th – 12th grades:

The Flower Festival https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/youth/wholeness/workshop5/167738.shtml

 

For Week of June 1, 2020:

Poetry and Readings for Inner Strength

I look at the world

by Langston Hughes

I look at the world
From awakening eyes in a black face—
And this is what I see:
This fenced-off narrow space
Assigned to me.

I look then at the silly walls
Through dark eyes in a dark face—
And this is what I know:
That all these walls oppression builds
Will have to go!

I look at my own body
With eyes no longer blind—
And I see that my own hands can make
The world that’s in my mind.
Then let us hurry, comrades,
The road to find.

Summer Stories and Movies for All Ages

The following list of books and movies all have an environmental focus. During the summer months we try to focus upon our 7th Principle: Respect for the Interdependent Web of All Existence of Which We Are a Part (adult version); We believe in caring for our planet Earth and every living thing that shares it with us (child’s version).

NEW: Beavers https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/videos/awesome-animals/#/393959491944

NEW: Eastern Gray Kangaroo https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/videos/amazing-animals/#/455720515523

The Lorax  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfO-3Oir-qM
Our Planet: One Planet (49 minutes)

Where the River Begins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BVW6eoe9bI
Animals Building Skills (50 minutes)

A River Ran Wild https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqS35WMrCZg
Bizarre Animal Appearances (50 minutes)

Brother Eagle, Sister Sky https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7667jwwX00
Desert Seas (46 minutes)

Music for All Ages

Music for our Earth

NEW: Big Yellow Taxi (Joni Mitchell) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2595abcvh2M

Earth: Believe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZlVaAMsoM8

Love Song to the Earth https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSnOXbaXzfM

“Heal the World” — an incredible tribute to amazing child musicians https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6d6Yo3DwVI

Music from our hymnal

NEW: “Room At the Table” (Carrie Newcomer) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92OM5bdQ4N4&list=PLRkrENeBR1TnOeS8F9nu7cvi1gVQ5sZUQ&index=6&t=0s

“Let It Be a Dance” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Zv6dxVOn1A

“Gathered Here” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enaRNnEzwi4

“Come, Sing A Song With Me” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlXzilOzFuw”

General Spiritual Resources

Pandemic (A Poem by Rev. Lynn Ungar) A beautiful poem to listen to and share https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NUnCgllgW0&feature=youtu.be

Parenting In A Time of Social Distancing, from the UUA

https://www.uua.org/leadership/library/parents-covid

Stories to share from UU curriculums

Preschool (Infant – 4K) class:

Available on Open Library (noted above) https://openlibrary.org

The Tiny Seed, by Eric Carle

5K – 2nd grade class:

Circles of Light  https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/home/session2/60017.shtml

3rd – 5th grade class:

Crossing the Finish Line Together  https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/loveconnects/session4/161765.shtml

6th – 8th grade class:

Kadijah, First Woman of Islam  https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/youth/bridges/workshop14/khadijah

9th – 12th grades:

A Church Divided  https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/youth/virtueethics/workshop12/church-divided

For Week of May 25, 2020:

Poetry and Readings for Inner Strength

Messages of Hope for the Cynical World  was read in this week’s meditation:

Messages of Hope for the Cynical World by James Autry

They arise from chalk on city sidewalks,
from voices rising in song from balconies
creating impromptu choirs.
From westerners who venture outside
and howl at the moon with the coyotes.
From the syncopated city rhythms
surging from improvised drums.

All expressions of life and unity,
All affirmations of our need for one another,
All ways of saying stay well,
Instead of saying goodbye.

Stories to share from UU curriculums

Preschool (Infant – 4K) class:

Available on Open Library (noted above) https://openlibrary.org

Whoever You Are by Mem Fox

5K – 2nd grade class:

A Tour of the Heavens https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/journeys/session9/132495.shtml

3rd – 5th grade class:

Anansi and the Pot of Wisdom https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/grace/session5/Anansi

6th – 8th grade class:

A Repair Job https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/youth/bridges/workshop22/189836.shtml

9th – 12th grades:

Ancestral Tree  https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/youth/wholeness/workshop3/tree

For Week of May 18, 2020:

Poetry and Readings for Inner Strength

Insha’Allah was read in this week’s meditation:

Insha’Allah by Danusha Laméris (2014)

I don’t know when it slipped into my speech
that soft word meaning, “if God wills it.”
Insha’Allah I will see you next summer.
The baby will come in spring, insha’Allah.
Insha’Allah this year we will have enough rain.

So many plans I’ve laid have unravelled
easily as braids beneath my mother’s quick fingers.

Every language must have a word for this. A word
our grandmothers uttered under their breath
as they pinned the whites, soaked in lemon,
hung them to dry in the sun, or peeled potatoes,
dropping the discarded skins into a bowl.

Our sons will return next month, insha’Allah.
Insha’Allah this war will end, soon. Insha’Allah
the rice will be enough to last through winter.

How lightly we learn to hold hope,
as if it were an animal that could turn around
and bite your hand. And still we carry it
the way a mother would, carefully,
from one day to the next.


Music for All Ages

Music for our Earth

Earth: Believe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZlVaAMsoM8

Love Song to the Earth https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSnOXbaXzfM

“Heal the World” — an incredible tribute to amazing child musicians https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6d6Yo3DwVI

General Spiritual Resources

Pandemic (A Poem by Rev. Lynn Ungar) A beautiful poem to listen to and share https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NUnCgllgW0&feature=youtu.be

Parenting In A Time of Social Distancing, from the UUA

https://www.uua.org/leadership/library/parents-covid

Stories to share from UU curriculums

Preschool (Infant – 4K) class:

Available on Open Library (noted above) https://openlibrary.org

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
How to Heal A Broken Wing by Bob Graham

5K – 2nd grade class:

Amrita’s Tree https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/wonder/session3/amritas-tree

3rd – 5th grade class:

Arjuna’s Service to His People https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/windows/session10/143737.shtml

6th – 8th grade class:

God Is….. https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/riddle/session4/157118.shtml

9th – 12th grades:

How A Young Interfaith Leader Spread the News https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/youth/chorus/workshop6/173773.shtml

For Week of May 11, 2020:

Poetry and Readings for Inner Strength

The Oak Tree was read in this week’s meditation, and several folks have asked for it.

The Oak Tree, by Johnny Ray Ryder

A might wind blew night and day
It stole the oak tree’s leaves away
Then snapped its boughs
and pulled its bark
Until the oak was tired and stark

But still the oak tree held its ground
While other trees fell all around
The weary wind gave up and spoke,
“How can you still be standing, Oak?”

The oak tree said, I know that you
Can break each branch of mine in two,
Carry every leaf away,
Shake my limbs and make me sway.

But I have roots stretched in the earth,
Growing stronger since my birth.
You’ll never touch them, for you see
They are the deepest part of me

Until today, I wasn’t sure
Of just how much I could endure
But now I’ve found, with thanks to you,
I’m stronger than I ever knew.

Music for All Ages

“Heal the World” —incredible tribute to amazing child musicians https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6d6Yo3DwVI

“What A Wonderful World” (Playing for Change)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddLd0QRf7Vg&list=PLRkrENeBR1TnOeS8F9nu7cvi1gVQ5sZUQ&index=13

General Spiritual Resources

Pandemic (A Poem by Rev. Lynn Ungar) A beautiful poem to listen to and share https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NUnCgllgW0&feature=youtu.be

Parenting In A Time of Social Distancing, from the UUA

https://www.uua.org/leadership/library/parents-covid

Stories to share from UU curriculums

4K/5K class:

Brave Enough https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/lovesurrounds/session15/brave-enough

1st/2nd grade class:

Angel of the Battlefield: Clara Barton https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/lovesurrounds/session16/angel

3rd/4th grade class:

A Different Kind of Superhero:  Christopher Reeve https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/journeys/session3/132246.shtml

5th/6th grade class:

Building a Beacon https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/sing/session8/229995.shtml

7th – 9th grades:

A Circle of Forgiveness https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/youth/call/workshop11/173114.shtml

10th – 12th grades:

The Pride Rainbow Project https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/youth/wholeness/workshop4/167692.shtml

For Week of May 4, 2020:

General Spiritual Resources

Pandemic (A Poem by Rev. Lynn Ungar) A beautiful poem to listen to and share https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NUnCgllgW0&feature=youtu.be

Parenting In A Time of Social Distancing, from the UUA

https://www.uua.org/leadership/library/parents-covid

Music for All Ages

“Rainbow Connection” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jS5fTzMP_mg

“Come, Come, Whoever You Are” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QTB1AgVpZM&list=PL_H2KQ27RNbusYdLeYaN4PQdMdyf8btR6&index=16

Stories to share from UU curriculums

4K/5K class: Enough Stuff https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/wonder/session14/enough-stuff; A Penguin Family https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/home/session10/60097.shtml

1st/2nd grade class: The Worker Bee, the Drone, and the Wasp https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/home/session3/aesop; A Caterpillar Grows Up  https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/wonder/session6/276528.shtml

3rd/4th grade class: Learning by Heart https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/journeys/session6/learning-by-heart

5th/6th grade class: A Sea of Pink https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/sing/session9/sea-of-pink

7th – 9th grades: Hearts, Heads, and Hands https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/youth/bridges/workshop18/hearts-heads-hands

10th – 12th grades: Religious Identity in A Diverse World https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/youth/wholeness/workshop11/167998.shtml

April 24, 2020

General Spiritual Resources

https://www.aspeninstitute.org/blog-posts/inclusive-america-project-response-resources-to-the-covid-19-pandemic/

Parenting In A Time of Social Distancing, from the UUA

https://www.uua.org/leadership/library/parents-covid

Music for All Ages

“This Little Light of Mine” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKkbIZtqhyQ

“Sing When the Spirit Says Sing” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfDNP6SV21A

“Try A Little Kindness” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enaRNnEzwi4

Stories to share from UU curriculums

4K/5K class: The Magic Vase https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/home/session1/60015.shtml

1st/2nd grade class: Abby’s Birthday https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/signs/session1/287517.shtml

3rd/4th grade class: The Treehouse Rules https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/loveconnects/session16/162186.shtml

5th/6th grade class: Gandhi’s Truth https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/riddle/session10/gandhis-truth

7th – 9th grades: A Cup of Tea https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/youth/bridges/workshop8/184231.shtml

10th – 12th grades: A Chorus of Faith https://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/youth/chorus/workshop1/chorus-of-faith

OWL (Our Whole Lives) Human Sexuality Program in the Spring at UUCS

UUCS now has seven trained facilitators in the OWL program. We are planning to offer this in the spring, with a required parent orientation in January, and classes then running from February through May, 2020. The program, OWL (Our Whole Lives), is a human sexuality program developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ. It focuses upon human sexuality in a secular setting that also teaches caring, compassion, respect, and justice. Youth are taught by trained facilitators, and are closely united in covenant to establish an atmosphere of deep understanding and trust. For this reason, a commitment to attendance is a requirement of the program.

We currently have four of our own youth interested in participating, and we want to open this up to the church community at-large. If you know a family who might be interested outside of church, or if any of you have grandchildren who might like to participate, please consider this opportunity. We will begin publicizing the program within the Spartanburg community, with registration limited to 15 students per class. There will be two classes offered concurrently, one for Grades 7 – 9 and one for Grades 10 – 12.

In order for youth to participate in the program, parents will be required to attend a parent orientation and sign permission slips at a meeting to take place at UUCS in January. The program will then running on the following Sunday afternoons: February 2, 9, 16; March 1, 8, 15, 22; April 12, 19, 26; May 10, 17, 24.

Lunch will be provided each of the Sundays, and there will be a small registration fee per family to cover meals and materials needed for the program, to be determined.

More information about the programs can be found here: https://www.uua.org/re/owl 

If you are interested or have additional questions, please contact Sybil at dre@uucs.org

Sybil H. Argintar,
Director of Religious Education
Unitarian Universalist Church of Spartanburg
P.O. Box 1942
Spartanburg, SC 29304

“The great end in religious instruction is not to stamp our minds upon the young but to stir up their own.”
(William Ellery Channing)