Under the RE Tree 1/23/20

All Aboard!

This Sunday, January 26th, the children will begin in the Parish House to join the Bell Choir for the morning! Last year’s Winter Workshop with the Bell Choir was such a phenomenal hit, we’re hopping on that train again this year!  Whoot-whoot!

Youth in grades 8-12 are welcome to attend and ring with the Bell Choir OR to come and make a little breakfast together and head upstairs. If our new conference/ping-pong/billiards table isn’t fully assembled, you can help get that together and have a couple of rounds of play!

There are more Winter Workshops coming in February! Sarah and Anna Bishop will lead the first on February 2nd. On February 9th, Hannah Burreau will help us prepare for Valentines for our families, friends and folks who receive Meals on Wheels – the third anniversary of this project! Sunday the 16th is the start of school vacation, but we’ll be in the kitchen preparing some bread to share with our congregation during Hospitality. On February 23rd, the children will begin and remain in the Sanctuary to join us and assist in serving communion to our community.

This spring, there are some changes coming up… We are going to combine some classes. The nursery will remain the same. In the “Blue Room”, we’ll gather Kindergarten through 2nd graders for the combined Spirit Play and Players curriculum (stories and plays). In “Classroom 9 3/4” (the middle room), 3rd – 5th graders will meet to continue Harry Potter and the Bible discussions and activities. The Map Room and Window Room will be reserved for any youth, 8th through 12th, who would like to come together on Sunday mornings.

More details and a full calendar will be included in my weekly e-blast on Friday. If you haven’t been receiving them, please let me know and I’ll make sure you’re on the list. You may also need to check your “spam” folder and mark my e-blast as friendly.

Merrily Chugging Along!


Under the RE Tree 12/19/19 — Why Pageant?

Christmas Pageants, in churches, in December, telling The Story, have been a tradition for centuries. They range from extravagant elegance, to even the basic “Live Nativity” scene… each telling the same tale. But why? Why do we do this every year? Year after year? Generation after generation? We all know how this ends, right? So, why bother? The answer goes beyond religious doctrine or, “…because it’s super cute.”

I’ll put my professional educator hat on and discuss curriculum, pedagogy, and developmental psychology for a moment. Here are the basics of the importance of Pageant for children…

  • We work as a multi-age collective group to accomplish a common goal,
  • We take the risk of presenting ourselves in front of an audience,
  • We make mistakes and carry on – it’s not the end of the world if the “Star” falls off the pole, or a Magi sneezes,
  • For some, we memorize lines; some remember to listen for cues; some add their own “sparkle” to our production,
  • We learn the story of the Nativity – getting it way down deep through acting it out…
  • …and learn about how humble beginnings do not define destiny,
  • We step outside ourselves and learn to put ourselves into the shoes (or shepherds’ costumes) of another,
  • We present the pageant in service to our church and town communities,
  • The Pageant is a PLAY! We play! It’s fun! FUN IS IMPORTANT!

From the perspective of the audience…

  • We bear witness to the work and play of beloved members of our community; we show up and are charmed; we support,
  • We allow ourselves to be transported to the time of the Nativity, to a time of our being in a Pageant, to a time of our children being in Pageants…
  • …and are wholly present to the Pageant being presented by these, Our Children, today,
  • We gather to sing together in community – recognizing the value of music and community music-making to healthy living at any age and stage,
  • The Pageant is FUN! When the littlest bring their own unscripted “sparkle”, we sparkle! FUN IS IMPORTANT!

From the perspective of the staff and Deacons…

  • We are in service to our community every Sunday. This. Is. What. We. Do.
  • It’s challenging… and who doesn’t like a little professional challenge (from time to time)? Moving things around in the Order of Service, stepping outside the lines, embracing the chaos (“Life is like a Christmas Pageant, you never know what you’re going to get.”), mixing it up,
  • It’s FUN! The Sanctuary buzzes with the energy of the kids, and the vibe of “now for something completely different!” We all feel a little free-and-easy!

From the perspective of the wider community…

  • This is what churches are “supposed” to do. Normal can feel so good.
  • This is a service that often feels less structured, more open – we can walk in and engage as we choose.
  • Our non-member families find children embraced and valued. That’s it. Nothing more or less.

So, “Why Pageant?” In the end, each of us brings into the Pageant, and carries out from the Pageant, our individual answers to that question.

Just like every Sunday – ever. But with just a little sparkle!

Yours in Anticipation…

Under the RE Tree 11/21/19

This Sunday, the children will begin in the Parish House at 9:45. IT’S ADVENT WORKSHOP Sunday, ya’ll! Wooohooo! We have several craft stations for the children to visit between 9:45 and 11:30!

If you would like to help with the crafts on Sunday, we’d love to have you! (Teenagers especially!)  We also need some natural materials for the children to use for their centerpieces… evergreens, dried flowers, pine cones, acorns, dried grass tops, etc.). You can leave them in the RE office (in brown paper bags, please).

WINTER WORKSHOPS are around the corner. If you would like to lead a Winter Workshop one Sunday during January or February, please let me know. You can suggest your own activity or we can brainstorm something for you to do. You can sign-up with a partner, or we’ll find someone to work with you. The kids had a blast last year with a really diverse set of one-off classes. One Sunday is your commitment.

And while we’re talking about Sunday RE volunteering… I NEED 10 PEOPLE to volunteer to teach this Spring. If I get 10 people, you don’t have to teach every week – you’ll job share with another adult and teach every other week (or whatever schedule works for you and your co-teacher). If you have never taught – if you haven’t taught in the last few years – if you haven’t taught in several years… please volunteer for this spring!

The YOUTH GROUP will meet this Friday evening. 9th to 12th graders are all invited. If you have a child in high school, you should have received an email from me. If you didn’t, please let me know and I’ll send you the details. RSVP to me (Margit@FPLincoln.org) so we can plan enough food. If you don’t RSVP and your plans change, come anyway!

Our CHILDREN’S CHOIR is registering for the next set of rehearsals and concerts! Please check-out the information on the website and JOIN US IF YOU CAN! Invite a friend!!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to one and all!

Under the RE Tree: 11/14/19

Hope to see you tonight. Please note Sarah’s reminder to register for “Spiritual Parenting” by noon today.

FAMILIES OF TEENS! (8th through 12th graders)
The first YOUTH GROUP email was sent this week! Did you see it?
The **ALL NEW** Youth Group is starting up and we hope you and your children are as excited as we are.

THIS Friday, November 15th is the kick-off dinner for 10-12th graders.
NEXT Friday, November 22nd is the kick-off dinner for 9th graders.
For each, Sarah and I will provide pizza and salad. Kids arrive at 6pm; parents come at 7:30 to go over the details.

There is a link to the full calendar on the First Parish in Lincoln website, under the “Children, Youth and Families” tab on the main menu.
If you didn’t receive the email, please let Sarah or me know, so we can re-send it to you.

This Sunday, November 17th, the children will begin in the Sanctuary and walk up the hill after the Time for All Ages. This is the last Sunday of our fall “regular” RE classes.

Sunday, November 24th is ADVENT WORKSHOP! We had to switch it up a bit this year, because Thanksgiving is so late. Usually Advent Workshop is the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend – but that’s the First Sunday of Advent… and we’ll have our first Pageant rehearsal. Invite your friends to either and both!