A Message from the Director of Religious Education / email@example.com
In conversations and surveys parents in our community have, time and again, indicated their desire for hands on experience with social justice work for their children and youth. In response to this desire we have developed a plan where each year we have between 4 and 6 Social Action Sundays. Each of these begins with a children’s worship which introduces the project and the reason for supporting it, and is followed by the actual project. Preschool and Kindergarten classes take part, but in their classrooms. Grades 1-6 work together in our social hall. Youth in grades 7 -12 plan their own social action projects on a yearly basis.
On these special Sundays our teachers are given a break and parent volunteers work with our children. Because of their age our youngest groups work in their classroom on a related project that is appropriate to their age level. We are careful to make sure we are not in any way burdening the children with ideas not appropriate for their age or that might make them worry. We focus on using our helping hands to benefit others.
Two examples of social action projects we have done for a number of years are Birthday Bags and the Mitten Tree. Birthday bags contain all the items needed for a birthday party and are given to the families at East Metro Place, an affordable housing project in White Bear Lake. Items for the bags are donated by the children and members at WBUUC. The mitten tree is a collection of warm hats, mittens, gloves, scarves, socks collected during the month of December. These are donated to a school in St. Paul with many immigrants in need of winter clothing.
We are always looking for ideas for something the children can make or do in connection with these social action projects. If you would like to help with this, choosing social action projects, or with storytelling or music for the children’s worship that goes with these special Sundays, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
At one of the conferences I attended, a speaker from the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee shared with us her favorite social action quote:
“Let us give those who are hungry bread, and those who have bread a hunger for justice”
Won’t you be a part of giving this “hunger for justice” to our children and youth?