Dear UU Parents and Guardians,
It would be lovely if you could join us for our weekly gatherings!
Here is what is currently being offered:
Approximately: 30 minute program geared towards K-5 but open to all ages
Sundays at 11am
Email me for the link
This summer you will find: Drag Queen Story Hour, Yoga with Maggie, and the Pioneers Park Nature Center as well as guests from our very own UU volunteer pool of caring adults. Each week is something different!
Middle and HS Zoom
CHANGE! We are now combining with Omaha youth groups and this will be offered Wednesday nights 7-8:30pm
Come meet some other cool UUs!
Email me for the link
Parent and Guardian Chat:
The chance for parents and guardians to just get together and
Every other Thursday 8pm and every other Wednesday noon
Thursday the11th at 8pm
Link: https://zoom.us/j/866583131 Password: lovemykids
Wednesday the 17th at noon
Link: https://zoom.us/j/474526337 Password: lovemykids
New Youtube links for this week!
Music with Miss Molly: https://youtu.be/erqenm8vUWI
Story with Ms Alexa: https://youtu.be/S-ZAZNWaVv4
Story with Miss Heather: https://youtu.be/DGwuAmLSGFg
Weekly Message for Parents and Guardians
Theme this week: "Kindness for a Cause" (also - 'Let's Talk About Race')
Chelsea's Meditation: https://youtu.be/bH-aXLBEf6A
The meditation lessons which I am doing are geared towards K-5th graders, but everyone is welcome to them.
The theme for my lesson this week was: "Kindness for a Cause"
I read the books: "Let's Talk about Race" and "Say Something"
These past couple weeks have been ROUGH. Difficult emotionally for me as a human, but also as a mom. Explaining racism to my 5 and 3yr-olds is no easy task, but it is important. I don't know about you, but I have been having a hard time finding the right words to say. My mind is reeling with my own heartache, and sadness, and anger. I also have to figure out language and resources for how to talk to my own children. This. Is. Not. Easy.
I loaded up all three of my children in the van and told them that we were going to drive by the protest. We were going to honk our horn in solidarity because, "In our family we believe that each person deserves kindness - no matter what you look like". We drove by several times. The children waved. I cried. I smiled. We got ice cream afterwards.
So now, as a Director of Religious Education Director, I need to think through how I might talk with YOUR children about what is going on with regards to the murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement and solidarity and protesting and riots and and and....
As far as I have been keeping track, the group who primarily has been watching the YouTube videos and participating on Sundays seems to steer pretty young - ages kindergarten through 2nd grade. So, I decided to create a video which would help set the foundation for conversations within your own family. If you would like a heads-up about the video which I created this week - read on....
This is the outline:
*I mention how children may have noticed adults feelings. How they may have noticed adults talking about protesting or the phrase, "Black Lives Matter".
*I read the book, "Let's Talk About Race" which is a recommended reading on the Black Lives Unitarian Universalist (BLUU) website.
*I talk about how people who are black have been treated unfairly. How we as Unitarian Universalists have a principle where we say "each person deserves dignity and respect".
*I then ask - "What do we do when we see someone not being treated well?"
*I read the book, "Say Something" which encourages children to take a stand and use their voice
*I conclude with a loving-kindness metta meditation which sends love out to others as well as back to ourselves
*I admit during the video at some point how this is hard for me and that I am doing the best that I can. These are hard conversations to have ((ESPECIALLY when it's on pre-recorded video and I don't even entirely know my audience))
I sent an email this last week which included a few resources for talking with children.
Here are a few more resources which I have come across:
A loving-kindness meditation for ADULTS which was created after the events in Charlottesville, Virginia. A meditation for victims of racism and violence:
Sesame Street is hosting a Town Hall tomorrow morning (Saturday) at 9am Central Time:
I also came upon a family-friendly virtual online protest hosted through facebook if you would like your children to make signs and go to a rally online with you:
Words by Sumi Loundon Kim:
'Kindness for a Cause'
Service, engagement, and relieving the suffering of others requires considerable energy and effort over the long term. Many activists share that they began their work because they were outraged by injustice, fearful of the consequences of certain policies, or harbored ill will toward those who caused harm. These energies of anger, fear, and hatred are powerful. But while they burn brightly, giving someone the initial momentum to seek change, they are hot and quickly run out. In this way, these energies may lead to burnout. In addition, as the anger or hatred gets expressed, they cause further suffering for both the person using them as well as for others around them.
What, then, are some renewable, clean energy sources for long-term activism and engagement? Kindness, generosity, love, joy, friendship, wisdom, and inner peace provide sustainable energy for our work. These energies nourish not only the receiver, but also the giver. And wonderfully, there's no limit to how much of these we can have: while there is such a thing as too much anger, there is no downside to infinite love, kindness, or peace.
((Chelsea's aside: Sumi's words are from a Buddhist perspective - taking meditation into consideration. Sumi's words are not meant to belittle any form of anyone's activism or the warranted anger which recent events have spurred))
Discussion questions to consider this week:
1. What role do you see service playing in your child's spiritual formation? Do you include activism in your family's agenda on a regular basis? Why or why not? What is your family passionate about doing to make the world a better place?
2. How do you talk to your children about difficult topics when you yourself are struggling to comprehend or process? What tools or resources may be helpful to you?
3. When the world seems so overwhelming, or you feel helpless, what do you do? What do you want to teach your children to do when they feel this way?
Okay...this is now one of my longest emails to parents ever I think. If you have gotten this far and feel inclined to share your thoughts with me, I'd love to hear from you. Thank you for being a part of my village.
Chelsea Krafka is the Director of Religious Growth for the Unitarian Church of Lincoln.