My overall sense from the group was that things are going pretty well but that we could do more. Some of the comments were: We would like more events like tonight, more youth group (maybe twice a month), more plays, more parties, more multi-generational activities (perhaps bringing back the annual picnics from past years), more small groups (writers group, typing group) more Soup Socials (year-round), more non-food focused events (this would especially help kids with dietary or allergy concerns), more service projects (visit to an animal shelter), "A Blessing of the Animals" service, and last but not least, more rainbows!
I reviewed the events we currently have scheduled. Game Night (a combined Membership and RE effort) will now be offered year-round on the first Saturday of the month. With the success of the first Pancakes and Pajamas event, we have decided to try it again on the last Sunday of each month. It was suggested that we add a pajama fashion show and waffles (not just pancakes) to the event. Our current Youth Group meets on the 4th Tuesday of each month. We discussed adding additional age group events on a rotating basis. So, we might do a middle school event one month, an elementary school event the next month and then a multigenerational activity the following month. I am in contact with RE leaders in Norfolk and Williamsburg about doing combined activities for high school youth, including a CON (a weekend long event designed by and for youth) in the fall. We are also looking into new ways to support parents. Look for information on a "Parents Afternoon Out" program and "Being a UU Parent" classes in upcoming newsletters.
I encouraged families to start scheduling play dates with each other. This was something that really helped connect my own family to the Fellowship when my kids were little. Practically every week after church, my kids either went home with other kids or invited other kids home to our house. It gave the parents a chance to connect at pick up time, too.
I asked people to think about possible, what I’d like to call, “Living Our Faith Field Trips.” Whether we travel near or far, field trips could be a great way to build community in a meaningful way. What if we organized groups to go to museums or memorials based on Social Justice, Peace, or the environment? Think of the discussions we would have on the ride home. Or what if we planned visits to nursing homes to play games with residents? Or what if we planned multigenerational nature hikes or clean-up days? If you would like to help organize something like this, please contact the RE Committee.
I brought up the fact that there are UU religion badges for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts so if any of our scouts are interested in working through the process to obtain the badges please let me know and we can make this happen.
I’m working on a summer program based on "The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy." If you would like to help this summer as a volunteer guide, please let me know. That said, we will be looking for teachers to help in the fall as well. We work in teaching teams so there is flexibility for you to teach as much as you want. We are also looking for more members for the RE Committee as well. Being on the committee is a great way to get involved with shaping our program.
See you in the RE!