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Greetings families of First UU!

November is here and we are exploring the gift of generosity. Last Sunday, middle school did this with a discussion of generosity from a Buddhist perspective, the Undercover Kindness Agents engaged in top-secret generosity as they always do, and the youngest among us explored it through the story, The Starfish Thrower in Spirit Play.

I hope you will all generously support our programs during the upcoming four weeks while I take a medical leave to recover from a scheduled surgery. Rowan Van Ness, our director of Youth and Emerging Adult Ministries, will be picking up the slack in my absence.

Below you will find updates on each of the Sunday morning classes, containing some specific asks of parents. You will find a list of pageant roles that will need to be filled promptly when I return. In coming weeks we will seek donations for a toy sale during the bazaar on December 9th, volunteers to staff that sale, and actors to help with the Solstice, multigenerational service on December 17th. Please keep things running smoothly by letting Rowan know how you can help!

Also, please note that we have upgraded our masking language and we are now strongly encouraging masking at the Meeting House. We have heard about a lot of cases of Covid within our community in the last two weeks. We have adult-sized masks available in the entryway. Child-sized masks can be found in the Nursery and downstairs classrooms. We are also increasing the ventilation in the Sanctuary, so consider dressing in layers and keeping your coats with you. (The children's classrooms on the lower level will likely be warm because the fresh heated air comes in through the basement. The Sanctuary/main floor and upper level, where middle school and youth group meet, will likely be cooler.)

In Faith,


Exploration Group Updates

Spirit Play

for PreK - 2nd Grade

A Montessori-based curriculum with engaging stories, developed from literature, myths and religious sources, wondering questions, ritual, and plenty of free “work”

Update: This group is going strong with a lively rotation of kids! The "carboard creation corner," new this fall, has been a big hit. The remaining 3 sessions will include 3 holiday stories: The Extra- Thankful Thanksgiving, The Blessing Hanukkah, and Rhea and Lummi: How the Solstice Began.

We are seeking parent volunteers to join the teaching team between January and April. Assisting in Spirit Play requires no advance preparation week to week. Leading the group as the "Storyteller" requires about 30 minutes of prep time to familiarize oneself with the story and materials. We hope to find guides who can commit to at least 5 Sundays in that 4 month period. Please reach out with questions!

Undercover Kindness Agents

for 2nd -5th Grades

This brand new curriculum engages our older elementary kids in dramatic play with a focus on helping others. “Agents” will don disguises, engage in training exercises, and fulfill missions of anonymous kindness.

Update: The acts of kindness these agents undertake may seem small, but I've had adults come to me in tears expressing their gratitude. This group has been having some loud, raucous fun in between assignments; you may have heard them howling in the distance, or seen them sneaking past in their disguises!

11/12- We need parents to sign permission slips so that we can cross Elmwood Avenue to mail some top secret items!

12/3- We need parents to bring in cookie dough, ready for children to bake that morning. Several of your kids said that you would definitely do this, but we'll wait to hear it from you! Please use this link to let Agent Tracy know:

12/10- Agents may need to stay an extra 5 minutes (until 11:25) to fulfill their mission this day. They will be entering coffee hour at approximately 11:15 to spread their kindness, so please don't assume they are ready to leave as soon as they come out of the classroom!

In the Middle

for 6th-8th Grade

Our Middle school group follows along with the monthly themes we use for worship and adult theme circles. This new curriculum from Soul Matters focuses on community building, with lots of games and interactive activities, while engaging youth in discussions of UU values.

Update: This group has been small but spirited for every session so far. If your middle schooler still hasn't made it yet, bring them! We would love to keep the connections alive that many of them forged during last year's 5th/6th OWL class. This week's session will continue with the theme of Generosity and in December they will discuss Mystery.

Pageant Preparation

(Picture from 2021 when we did it outside!)

Every year First UU has a Christmas Eve nativity pageant at 4pm. It is of the "no-rehearsal" variety, which means that anyone who shows up will be offered the option of dressing up and becoming part of the cast.

Because I will be on leave until a week before, it would be very helpful if some of you would generously volunteer to help with this event well in advance, so that when I return it is only a matter of contacting the list of helpers with details.

We need:

Actors: Children or youth to play the roles of Mary, Joseph, and Caesar. Taking these roles requires that you arrive by 3:30 for costuming and blocking. Caesar has a line that can be read from a card and that costume requires some height. We will accept other requests for parts in advance. Let us know what part you want and whether you want a line to read (must be a strong reader for these.). For these parts arrive by 3:45 and get into costume immediately.

Stage Manager: This person needs to take time to really familiarize themselves with the script and assist Erika in cuing actors throughout the pageant. Arrival by 3:15. This person would fill in for Erika (not spoken parts, but actor wrangling) in case of illness.

Costume Crew: 4 adults or high school youth willing to arrive at 3:30 and dress participants. Costume Crew also help with cuing and directing actors during the pageant according to instructions in the script and are responsible for moving costumes and props out of the Sanctuary after the pageant.

Sign up for pageant roles here!

Youth Group

Please save the date for upcoming sessions on Tuesdays 11/14 and 11/28 from 6-8 p.m. and Sunday 11/19 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., following a multigenerational worship service. All high school youth are welcome! There will be no YUUth Group on Tuesday 11/21, due to holiday break.

Wreath Making

For the first time ever there are wreath decorating classes offered as part of the fundraiser, including some for children! Find info by clicking FUUSB Fundraiser link:

Holiday Wreaths & Greens for Your Home!

Sarah Forbes

There are many places you can get your holiday greens from. Please support the FUUSB and order a beautiful, custom-decorated, premium quality wreath or swag for your home or for a gift. Wreaths are handmade in the Northeast Kingdom and measure about 24” across. Swags are handmade, decorated with natural materials and a bow and are about 18"-24” long.

Pick-up is Saturday, Dec. 2 (10 a.m.-3 p.m.), or Sunday, Dec. 3 in the Community Room (11 a.m.-1 p.m.).


Sign up online through the FUUSB Fundraiser link:

Upcoming Sundays

November 12:

9:45- Nursery Open

10:00- Families begin worship in the Sanctuary together

10:15- Exploration Groups for children

11:10- Coffee Hour in Community Room

November 19:

9:45- Nursery Open

10:00- Multigenerational Stone Soup Service- families stay together in the Sanctuary

11:10- Coffee Hour in Community Room

11:30- YUUth Group in SBA room on the upper level

November 26:

9:45- Nursery Open

10:00- Families begin worship in the Sanctuary together

10:15- All-ages Activities for children

11:10- Coffee Hour in Community Room

December 3:

9:45- Nursery Open

10:00- Families begin worship in the Sanctuary together

10:15- Exploration Groups for children

11:10- Coffee Hour in Community Room

December 10:

9:45- Nursery Open

10:00- Families begin worship in the Sanctuary together

10:15- Exploration Groups for children

11:10- Coffee Hour in Community Room

December 17:

9:45- Nursery Open

10:00- Multigenerational Solstice Service- families stay together in the Sanctuary

11:10- Coffee Hour in Community Room

December 24:

No Morning Services!

4:00- Pageant Service

6:00- Service of Lessons and Carols

8:00- Service of Lessons and Carols

December 31:

Recorded Service Only!

Erika Reif,

Rowan Van Ness,