Category Archives: Religious Explorations

News and announcements for RVUUF’s “Religious Explorations” program for children and youth.

R.E. to explore ‘Holidays and Holydays’

Cartoon image of a blue chalice with flame. The chalice has a facial expression that includes eyebrows, widely-opened eyes and a smile

Image © 2014 Peter Bowden. Used with permission

The Religious Explorations children have begun a new curriculum for 2017-2018. Children are learning about world religions and celebrations through a UU curriculum called “Holidays and Holydays.”

Currently the children are learning about Judaism and, this week, will begin decorating the Sukkah, a special temporary hut or structure built to honor the harvest. On Sunday Oct. 8, children will be ready to celebrate the Jewish Holiday Sukkot. Fruits and harvests will be shared in the children’s side yard after service, and all ages are welcome.

If you have a passion or connection to a particular faith or celebration, the R.E. program invites you to come share and be a guest in the classrooms. For more information, use RVUUF’s contact form to connect with Lead Teacher Liz Bianco.

Religious Explorations coffee hour

If you have a child attending RVUUF’s Religious Explorations program, grab a cup of coffee right after the service this Sunday, and head back to the classrooms (or the playground if the weather is nice) to meet R.E. teachers and other parents.

Parent-teacher coffee hour will take place from approximately 11:30 a.m. to “noonish.” Enjoy snacks while you learn about what’s in store for R.E. this year. For more information, use RVUUF’s contact form to connect with Krynn Lukacs.

Nan’s News: Cynthia Parkhill is leaving RVUUF

It is with gratitude and thanksgiving alongside sadness that Cynthia Parkhill will be leaving RVUUF. She has been the Religious Exploration Administrative Coordinator, a five-hour a week position, for the past three years. She has worked in collaboration with Lead Teacher Liz Bianco, supporting the teachers and children in the Sunday morning Religious Exploration program. Cynthia has also been RVUUF’s web editor for the new website and will continue that five-hour a month position for now. We are grateful her life crossed RVUUF’s path and wish the best for her and her husband, Jonathan, in their journey back to California.

Rev. Nan L. White
RVUUF Developmental Minister

Special service by children of RVUUF

The children of RVUUF’s Religious Explorations program will present a service full of song, dance, theater and more, on Sunday, April 30. Experience the Chalice Lighting tradition of our littlest RVUUFians, hear how our elementary class expresses their vision of a peaceful world, and find diverse answers to the question, “What do our children believe?” With guidance from Lead Teacher Liz Bianco and Alison Duren-Sutherland of the Worship Team, this service was created for our community by the children themselves. Come take a look at our faith through their eyes.

‘Socks Plus’ kits for homeless adults

Pile of plastic freezer bags, each containing a pair of socks, energy bars and personal care items like toothpaste, shampoo samples and dental floss

Photo by Cynthia M. Parkhill

These kits of socks, energy bars and personal care items, were assembled last Sunday by RVUUF’s Religious Explorations youth. The kits will be distributed to adults at Ashland’s Pioneer Hall homeless shelter, which is operated by RVUUF in partnership with Temple Emek Shalom.

Cynthia M. Parkhill
Administrative Coordinator
Religious Explorations

‘Socks Plus’ donation drive

care packages of socks, toothbrush and toothpaste, nutritional bars and more, assembled into clear plastic bags piled into two colorful tote containers

Kits assembled and distributed last year

RVUUF’s Religious Explorations youth will soon assemble kits of useful items for adults who seek refuge at Ashland’s Pioneer Hall homeless shelter.

All RVUUFians are invited to help by donating:

  • Socks (new, adult sizes only)
  • Refillable water bottles
  • Gloves (adult sizes only)
  • Tooth brushes and tooth paste
  • Small bottles of soap, shampoo or lotion
  • Nutritional food bars or candy bars

John Wieczoreck said that socks are the No. 1 need but all items on the list will be put to good use. Look for the collection bin under the balcony at RVUUF.

Religious Explorations: Returning educator

Cartoon image of a blue chalice with flame. The chalice has a facial expression that includes eyebrows, widely-opened eyes and a smile

Image © 2014 Peter Bowden. Used with permission

Religious Explorations welcomes back educator Inga Leed, who has returned as a nursery instructor.

Inga and her daughters, Clover and Ariana, became members of RVUUF in 2012. She has a Master’s in Early Childhood Special Education and currently works with young children.

Inga is excited to help the congregation’s youngest children expand their perceptions of themselves, each other, and the interdependent web in which we all live through consistency, nurturance, music, movement, and child-centered play.

Religious Explorations: New class, departing educator

Marla Dentino heads 3- to 5-year-olds class

Cartoon image of a blue chalice with flame. The chalice has a facial expression that includes eyebrows, widely-opened eyes and a smile

Image © 2014 Peter Bowden. Used with permission

Beginning this Sunday, Oct. 2, Religious Explorations welcomes back Marla Dentino, who will be the teacher for a new class for 3- to 5-year-olds.

At the end of last year’s Religious Exploration program, Lead Teacher Liz Bianco, Administrative Coordinator Cynthia Parkhill and Rev. Nan L. White assessed that the number of toddlers had increased throughout the year. “A very good thing!” Over the summer, the Personnel Committee, Liz and Rev. Nan interviewed candidates to teach the new class for 3- to 5-year-olds.

Marla has taught at RVUUF on-and-off for many years, following its many transitions, and has given many dedicated hours of service especially to the R.E. program.

Goodbye to instructor Debbie Orr
R.E. says thank you and goodbye to Debbie Orr, who served as a nursery teacher for more than a year. Debbie is resigning to meet her need for adult relationships at RVUUF.

Debbie said that she thoroughly enjoyed working with all the teachers and children but felt it was time for her to step away from the teacher position.

To the R.E. program, Debbie brought her background as a Montessori-trained teacher.

She helped create a safe, comfortable and fun environment where children could embrace the UU Seven Principles. In her spare time, Debbie likes to draw and paint flowers.

‘Time for All Ages’ resumes Sept. 11

The “Time for All Ages” (a special time during services before children are released to their classes) resumes Sunday, Sept. 11 with RVUUF’s observance of the Water Communion. The children will be invited to add water that they collected into a large bowl. Water will be provided for those who do not bring their own. Nursery care is available beginning at 10:30 a.m. and continues until noon.

RVUUF seeks children’s educator

Cartoon image of a blue chalice with flame. The chalice has a facial expression that includes eyebrows, widely-opened eyes and a smile

Image © 2014 Peter Bowden. Used with permission

Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (RVUUF) is seeking a part-time teacher for classes in Religious Explorations for ages 3-5 with flexibility to teach ages between newborns and 8th grade. If you hold progressive values, have experience with teaching children and are interested in becoming part of a creative and supportive teaching team, RVUUF is offering a 3.5-hour-per-week position that pays $13.50 per hour: 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sundays plus one hour of prep time at home. Musical ability (or willing enthusiasm) a plus. Please respond to minister@rvuuf.org.