After the service on April 7 some of us gathered at K-State’s All Faiths Chapel to enjoy some free music.
We listened to the percussion studio of Kurt Gartner. Our music field trip series has come to an end, but we hope to start it up again in the fall when K-State is back in session. There’s always lots of great music to enjoy – and it’s free!
Zuri and Indigo before the performance.
Jessica and Colton enjoy the music.
On April 7 our students started a month of learning about principle 7 – The web of life’s the way (Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part).
The 6th-8th grade class went up to the memorial garden. Says Molly, “We discussed what ‘eco-friendly’ things our families were already doing. Examples like recycling, keeping thermostat regulated, and conserving water were all mentioned. As we sat listening to the wind, I asked what this all has to do with religion. They weren’t quite sure. I explained the the seventh principle was adopted later than the others and is meant to embrace two things – protecting the environment and respect for earth religions. That made sense to all! Then I asked why a person (perhaps long ago) might have prayed to a tree. Iris and Lily came up with a lot of reasons right away. Offering shelter, light, warmth, food and more. I said – what if you grew up right over there…and from the time you were born this tree was here big and strong and it was still here when you were having children? Trees live longer than us, isn’t that something to admire? I read some passages from Native Americans about connection to trees and nature and we talked about how much time we spend outside. I shared that I really do find myself more calm after even a short time outside. I suggested that maybe, just maybe, it might be wise when frustrated or grumpy to go outside for a few moments and look at the world around us.”
The 3rd-5th grade class talked a lot about connecting in a personally spiritual way with the outdoors and then drew pictures of all the things that they enjoy doing outside. Fishing was a popular activity depicted as was gardening and playing… ball, hopscotch, you name it!
The Kindergarten-2nd grade class read The Lorax to start out the month on the interdependent web. Says Kim, “We talked about how many creatures and plants were affected by one person’s actions, then we made our own truffula trees to remind us that we’re all connected.”
The Pre-K class talked about water and how the water they drink and bathe in is the same as the water that falls as rain and is found in lakes and oceans. It helped explain their interconnectedness with the world around them.
We had great fun at the April 5th Parents Night Out event. It was game night so we played games inside (Clue and Don’t Break the Ice) and outside (disc golf). And we made up a great game with a wheelbarrow. Here’s a picture of (right to left) Burke, Connor, and William playing disc golf with Dave.
- Disc Golf
We snacked on grapes and watched the movie “Wreck it Ralph” – a video game bad guy becomes a hero!
On March 31st we wrapped up our month on “work for a peaceful world” with some togetherness and Easter fun.
A highlight of the day for all the students was petting and holding the baby chicks that Katherine brought. If there are baby chicks, you know spring is in the air!
Jake with a baby chick.
After classes and baby chicks we all enjoyed Easter brunch and a special egg hunt!
On March 17th our students continued exploring the idea of peace and principle 6: Work for a peaceful world. All the children started their morning listening for “answers blowing in the wind,” and then our 3rd-5th grade class and 6th-8th grade class enjoyed the program in the sanctuary. Stacey Broughman and Dick Beeman discussed the power of song to inspire and sustain protest movements throughout American history.
The Pre-K and K-2nd grade classes combined and read “Where the Wild Things Are.” Then they discussed how it feels to be frustrated, expressing your frustration, and still not necessarily getting your way. Creating Wild Thing puppets provided lots of fun and was followed by a wild rumpus and plenty of stomping around.
We had fun (even though it was cold) at the Aggieville St. Patrick’s Day Parade. We saw lots of UU’s enjoying the festivities.
We did the parade in reverse… as the parade floats were lining up in the park, we walked and the parade stood still. It was a great way to see all the floats and visit with all the people. Nick even got to sit on a John Deere tractor!
Nick on a John Deere.
Here are four of us staying warm while we watch the moving parade through the coffee shop window.
UU’s at St. Pats
Sunday’s RE classes explored the sixth principle – Work for a peaceful world (The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all). Catch up on all the RE happenings on the RE blog at http://uufm.net/religious-education/the-re-blog/
The 6-8 grade class discussed a definition of peace – is it a thing by itself or just an “absence of conflict”? The class enjoyed a video on the life of John Lewis – a 1961 Freedom Rider and current Georgia congressman – who recently received an apology from the Montgomery, Alabama police chief for not protecting them. (See an NBC News item about the story here: apology)
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The 3-5 grade students talked about stuff that is good in their lives. A common theme was “familiar stuff”. For example, school work that one knows how to do is fine, but new material is unfamiliar and not-so-good. One of the things that is good in Larry’s life is singing, so first they sang “Old Macdonald” (familiar), and then Larry taught them “Roll On, Columbia” (unfamiliar, not-so-good) … until they learned it. Then it was fine. Lesson: sometimes it’s good to go ahead and learn new stuff. Make a new friend. Try a new activity.
It was extra exciting to learn that Helen’s great-grandfather worked on the Grand Coulee dam! The whole class enjoyed acting out the song.
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The K-2 class talked about what peace means and what places we can experience peace ( like church, home, our minds, or our world).
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The Pre-K class talked about how they could create a peaceful, loving world for animals. They sang songs, told stories, and made pictures.
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The Nursery toddlers explored their own kind of peace – the noisy, giggly, happy-child kind of peace that melts the hearts of all who listen.
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