A message from Dave Cicero, Director of Lifespan Religious Education

In this period of “Safer At Home” that we’re experiencing now in Wisconsin, I imagine that families may be looking for productive ways to occupy their kids (or themselves!) in meaningful activities reflecting UU values. In lieu of a Sunday morning RE program, I’m making available several options.

  • I hope you’ve received my emailed invitations to join the Story for All Ages with Mr. Dave that I’ve presented live via zoom meetings this week. If not, please check your email. I’ve sent those invitations to RE families listed in our Realm database. I’m also working on making the recordings available from our website. Stay connected to find those if/when available.
  • I’m also providing a weekly “RE Challenge”, and inviting the creative folks who take it on to send photos in for us to share on the website.
  • For those who would like to spend some Family RE Time together, I offer the following:



Welcome to a Family Guide resource I’m sharing from the Soul Matters packet for the month of March! This month we explore the many ways our UU faith invites us to become “a people of wisdom.” UUCW subscribes to Soul Matters to help staff and volunteers design meaningful worship and religious enrichment. Your continued pledge to financially support UUCW makes this type of material available to us all. (Please submit your pledge for 2020-21 if you have not yet done so. The Finance Committee is basing its budget for next year on actual pledges received.)


A common symbol for wisdom in our culture is the owl – also Athena’s companion in Greek mythology. Here’s a rhyme being shared (and included in the RE Challenge found elsewhere in this week’s eNews):

A Wise Old Owl

A wise old owl lived in an oak.

The more he saw the less he spoke.

The less he spoke the more he heard.

Why can’t we all be like that wise old bird?

Now, I’ve always taken issue with admonishments for kids to be “seen and not heard” (and don’t get me started on The Little Mermaid…), but I don’t mind a little reminder that much can be learned when we observe and listen to others. Consider kindly sharing this thought with others in your family.


Sunday Worship Connection

This week, our online worship will address the wisdom found within our bodies, encouraging awareness and appreciation. A related song you can sing together:

“Parts that Bend” (sung to: “B-I-N-G-O”)

My arms have parts that bend and move

Every time I use them.

Shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand.

Shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand.

Shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand.

And this is how I move them!

My legs have parts that bend and move

Every time I use them.

Knee, ankle, heel and foot

Knee, ankle, heel and foot

Knee, ankle, heel and foot

And this is how I move them!

My trunk has parts that bend and move

Every time I use them.

Neck, back, waist and hips

Neck, back, waist and hips

Neck, back, waist and hips

And this is how I move them!

I’m made of parts that bend and move

Every time I use them.

Shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand.

Knee, ankle, heel and foot.

Neck, back, waist and hips

And this is how I move them!”



Sensory Play:  Put some baby shampoo and warm water in a bucket or pan and invite the children to play in it. Can they explore their fingers and wrists? Can they wash a washable doll? What is their body saying about the feel of the warm water, the smell of the shampoo?

Service:   Use the water play bucket to wash other toys in the shampoo and water, then set them on a towel to dry. These toys need a wash now and then.

Trace Your Hands:  Trace an outline of your child’s hand and invite them to decorate and color it. If you are able to go outside, trace their body with chalk. Invite them to decorate themselves, and draw the wisdom of their body. What wisdom is part of their brain. The wisdom of learning? What wisdom is part of their arm – the wisdom of a hug? Invite your artist to describe their creation.

Movement:  Bodies are for twirling! If you are able to go outside, find a safe spot for twirling around. Fling your arms out. Look at the sky. When you are dizzy, lay down and feel your body return to equilibrium.


Family Resources

These resources help families as they engage the question: “What does it mean to be a family of wisdom?”


A Story to Read Together

The Wisdom of your Body: I am Jazz (for Transgender Day of Visibility Mar 31)
by Jessica Herthel  (Author), Jazz Jennings (Author), Shelagh McNicholas (Illustrator)

Book here.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BF5D2lsPfsU

“The story of a transgender child based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings, who has become a spokesperson for transkids everywhere.” – Amazon


Family Discovery

The Wisdom of Simplicity: Make a Kite

Option #1: A simple activity is building and flying a kite. You can make one for under $1 out of a plastic garbage bag, two dowels, tape and string. Here are the instructions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-u5Aa3BkCQg For a group, we recommend making some premeasured templates so the children can use them as a guide to cut their bag to the right shape, instead of measuring it. Reflect on how the building of the kite teaches you the wisdom of careful following of instructions.


Option #2: We recommend this “Color a Sled Kite” as “the best ever for RE kids and young youth!” It allows you to design the image yourself, and it flies well in little wind. Order these beforehand @$7.50. https://intothewind.com/kites/foil-sled-kites/color-a-sled-kite.html

P.S. There is an inexpensive small box of crayons provided in the kit. We suggest also using permanent markers on the Tyvek surface of the kite for more satisfying graphics.


Family Movie Night Ideas

Song of the Sea


“.. But what really makes Song of the Sea such a winning and delightful film is its focus on the two siblings, the use of traditional music, and the stories within the story. Ben is the keeper of his mum’s stories (all of which are true, we learn), and Saoirse is the keeper of the song that will set the fairy spirits free from their imprisonment. It may sound a bit complicated, but in the context of the movie, even young kids will understand what’s going on and how the various stories interconnect..”

– Common Sense review

Theme Connection:  There is wisdom in stories. Stories teach us how to live a good life.

For You (Support for Adults as Faith Formation Guides)


The Wisdom of Play


Soulful Home Family Guides

Explore the themes at home with your family by subscribing to our monthly parent guides, Soulful Home. Here’s the link to the Soulful Home page on our website: https://www.soulmatterssharingcircle.com/soulful-home-for-families.html