September, 2016
September greetings!

Welcome to the first edition of "We Are Going! Reflections and Connections for UU Families." This publication is part of my response to parents who asked for greater support with nurturing and developing UU values in their lives outside First UU.

Read on and enjoy!

- Martha

Why "We Are Going!"?

Some of you have attended a parent orientation for OWL (Our Whole Lives), our comprehensive sexuality program which we offer to 8th graders. In that orientation, we state to the parents, "You are your child's primary sexuality educator. OWL is awesome with its trained teachers and many hours of broad content, but its role is to support you as parents. Parents, and your values, are primary."

This statement, in truth, applies not just to OWL, but to all of religious education. Parents,  guiding and modeling choices and actions, are children's primary religious educators, which is why parenting is so hard! There's much at stake, here!

You've brought your family to First UU for support, and to engage a community that nurtures and affirms the values you hold, and inspires you to act on them ever more boldly. You, and we, cannot nurture our spirits, and heal this deeply pained world, alone.

And yet, your ability to join us for an hour or so on Sunday mornings will come and go. That's just life! So if you put all your proverbial "faith development eggs" in the basket called "Sunday morning," there is much you will miss.

This publication serves as a new basket with other eggs to explore whenever and however you wish!

"We Are Going!", which takes its name from the beloved UU hymn, " Woyaya ," will sprinkle reflections, activity ideas,  and resources into your UU spirit once a month. It will feature tie-ins with the monthly theme, and spotlights in our programs for children and youth, both where we've been and where we are going. It will add just a few more ways for you and your family to connect with this beloved faith of ours.

I look forward to the coming months, creating this for you, and I'd love to know what you think!

We are going!

Martha Dallas, Director of Religious Education

RE Parent Orientation & Classroom Open House

DATE: Sunday, Sept 25
TIME: 8:30-9:45 AM
Childcare and refreshments provided.

This is a chance for parents to get an overview of religious education for children and youth here at First UU. It will also include time to see your children's classrooms, learn about the curriculum they'll follow, and meet some of their teachers. Your RSVP is much appreciated, so we get the right amount of food and have appropriate childcare staffing. Hope to see you there!

Walk our Labyrinth this Equinox

On Thursday, Sept. 22 at 5:30 PM, members of our Labyrinth Ministry Team will be available at our own labyrinth on the front lawn. They'll be there to guide participants in the ancient practice of walking meditation. All ages welcome!

Imagining Heaven on Earth

Last Sunday's multigen worship was inspired by the book, " A Bus Called Heaven ." In the end, everyone considered what heaven on earth would look, and feel like to them. We wrote and drew our responses on swatches of cotton, and hung them out on the fence in front of the Meetinghouse.

Afterwards, lots of families joined the UU contingent in the Burlington PRIDE parade! Talk about creating Heaven on Earth!

Seeking kids who love books and reading!

Our library ministry is looking for kids who want to help them serve our library in a couple special ways. One role for kids is to write book reviews of new books in the collection. If you can read (or be read to) and have an opinion about books, we want you!

Another role is to help them reshelve and organize books in the children's collection on Sundays. This is a great role for kids who love detail and keeping things neat and organized.
Interested in either one? Contact Jeanne Lynch at and Thank You!

Meet the Children's RE Team!

Jennifer Schollmeyer

"I am new mother and native Vermonter.  This year has been all about exploring the world of parenthood.  Also, being outdoors in all seasons is what fills my cup.  Professionally I have spent my career in the social work/education field.  (Also an introvert who doesn't like talking about herself).

We generally attend the 11am service and have been missing the UU this summer as 10am is, the all important, nap time at our house.

We are excited about creating community at the UU for ourselves and our family.  Not having a large family support system in the state it is important to surround our family with people that will support our daughter to grow and learn about the world from adults other than us.  The First UU is the place we see that happening."

Xu Zhou

"I came from Northeastern part of China. My daughter Laura is a 6th grader at Edmunds and Lisa is a 3rd grader at Champlain.
We love all outdoor activities in Vermont. We are very happy to live in the great Burlington community with a lot of great friends."

Kim Brockway

"I am happy to be helping on the Children's RE Team this year as a way to deepen my connections at FUUSB. Last year I taught and assisted in Spirit Play. Then I was lucky enough to attend a training in Massachusetts, which helped me to better understand the philosophy behind Spirit Play. In my professional life, I teach 4th grade in Burlington. I'm also Mom to Aidan (5 years) and Isaac (2.5 years). You can usually find us at the 11:00 service and I look forward to supporting RE this year!"

We are also joined by Cheryl Herrick and Tori Cleiland. I'm grateful to work with these super folks and hope you'll get to know them if you don't already!

Youth Ministry is Growing!
(And Yuuth really like ice cream...)

Wow!  We are going to have an awesome here in Youth Ministry this year.  We've hit record numbers of youth participating in our programs and are jazzed for all the potential that awaits us.

Ice Cream Social
Seventeen youth attended our Ice Cream Social on Thursday, September 15th.  Led by youth leaders, the group played games, discussed social justice issues they are passionate about, learned about our Youth Ministry programs and eat a lot of ice cream.  

So what is Youth Ministry anyway?
Many of our youth showed up excited for youth group.  When we asked them about Youth Ministry they were like, "Um, what's that?"  We thought we'd shed light here.  
The Web of Youth Ministry
We are moving away from the youth group fits all model towards the Web of Youth Ministry.  The Web inspires us to focus on providing a wide array of opportunities for youth to engage with our congregation and being a UU.  This year youth are encouraged to participate in Coming of Age and Youth Group, as well as to come (and take a role in) Sanctuary Sundays.  We'll also be working with our Justice Task Force groups to identify justice work for the year.  And, a favorite of our youth, we'll gather with other youth groups from VT.  

Questions?  Interested?
Contact Tiffany Tillman, Youth Ministry Coordinator, at for more information.  

In This Issue
is September's monthly theme.

Handy Links
Parenting Resources
Do you have a blog you love? A book to recommend? Let me know and I'll put it here in an upcoming edition!

Blogs to check out:

First Unitarian Universalist Society of Burlington, Vermont
152 Pearl Street
Burlington, VT 05401