December 11th, 2020
Religious Exploration/Education
December's Theme is Stillness
Hello friends,

As we venture more into our theme of stillness, let's think about what stillness really means and what it can offer us. As I've been thinking and reading more about this, I'm finding even more layers of richness. When I think about quieting the mind, taking time away from busyness and deeply connecting to the quiet stillness of nature and of my own inner being, I'm recognizing more fully how much this is a lifestyle shift and not another item on the to-do list. It's not about just "doing a meditation" or "taking a deep breath." It's about showing ourselves and our kids that we value our inner wisdom, our inner wells of energy and we are worth it.
So stillness is so much more than just sitting. It's a way of being in the world. It's cultivating our own practice of connecting to our inner selves, and it's taking the richness, wisdom and renewed strength that we find there and bringing it out into the world to make a difference.
Let's do it.
Gathering Together Video
Stillness in Movement
In this week's video, we think about finding stillness in our hearts and minds, but not necessarily sitting still in our bodies.
Lee leads us through a beautiful moon salutation, starting as a big bright full moon, and moving down to a tiny new moon seed, then back up to full. So come move and find your inner stillness.
Songs of Joy
Stillness by Lea Morris
Let's keep learning this song from Soul Matters partner, Lea Morris.

This video is Lea and her kids singing the song and discussing the idea of stillness.

Stories for RE
Picture Books
This week we bring you stories from several traditions that involve finding stillness, listening for voices of guidance, and watching for miracles. In some traditions, these voices of guidance come in the form of angels. For some people, that guidance comes in the form of intuition, an inner voice or a gut feeling. For all of us, I encourage us to cultivate our own power to listen for this guidance, in whatever way it comes for you. And check out this website for lots of ideas for nurturing intuition in our children (and ourselves!).
The Shepherd's Story by Jimmy Dunne is a picture book that is sung telling the story of the birth of Jesus through the eyes of a young shepherd boy. It emphasizes the miracle of each child, the wonder and light in the world.
The Sound of Silence by Katrina Goldsaito follows a boy in Tokyo as he searches for silence. Read the book's afterward in the description for interesting info on the Japanese concept of "ma:" the silence between sounds.
Video Offerings
Mindful Moment
Dance-Stillness-Dance!!
This fun activity, adapted from The Soulful Home* helps us play with the extremes of movement and stillness and perhaps find a depth of connection to our inner voice through both sides of the spectrum. Can you connect to your inner self through movement? And also while sitting still? Let's find out :)
If you'd like to learn a new dance step, try out The Cotton Eyed Joe! Here's an extended version so you can just keep dancing. And here's a fun song from one of my favorite bluegrass band. So let loose and free-form flow with your wild self!
Dance for at least 10 minutes and really get into the flow and rhythm, letting go of thought and control.
Now settle down and find a comfortable position.
Listen to these rain sounds and see if you can follow the rain and your breath, noticing thoughts and letting them go.
If you want to, listen for any messages that might come through from your inner voice.
Soulful Connection
This is a sweet idea also from The Soulful Home* that combines the idea of an advent calendar with a physical scavenger hunt. And the best part is that we can share what we find through pictures! So I invite you to choose a period of time to countdown and a treasure hunt list. Then each day find one of the things on your list and share it with me! Think about inviting grandparents or other loved ones to join in and share their photos with you!
Sunday Zoom Time
And as always, we invite you to try out our Sunday zoom call. We are a small, joyful group of friends who share excitements, sadnesses and love together. Come any Sunday to try it out!

9am is kid time!
9:30-10am is adult sharing time for any who wish to stay.

We forgot to do our scavenger hunt last week, so let's do it this coming Sunday!
Projects from this week:
Thank you for sharing your pictures with us! Keep them coming! If you've colored one of your 7 Principles sheets or done any other project related to RE, send us a picture!
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