This Sunday in RE

Dear Beautiful UUI Families,

I have so much to tell you! 

Tomorrow in Religious Exploration

Our Preschoolers and our K-5th Graders will be having (separate) Bubble and Raindrop Parties. This theme is based on the story, We Got Here Together by Kim Stafford (please click and read--it's beautiful!) that we will read together. There will be snacks, lots of different ways to experience bubbles, and sprinklers to play in. So we encourage your children to come dressed in clothing they don't mind getting wet and messy and to bring a towel!

Last week during RE our junior and senior high youth met with youth facilitators to discuss some of the things they would like to do this church year. That afternoon we had a pizza and planning meeting with youth advisor, Anita Saunders, UUI Board President and Lead Junior High RE Facilitator, Stacy Robinson, youth representatives, our new RE Assistant, Chelsea Surfus, me and our Director of Ministry, Jamie, to talk about our vision for the upcoming year. One of the opportunities our youth requested was occasionally being a part of the Sunday Service Team that makes church possible, so we are jumping in this week! Tomorrow our junior and senior high youth are working in the kitchen in the Social Hall, along with the Board of Directors, to make Coffee Hour possible! We have an awesome year planned, by the way--stay tuned for more details! 

Did I Mention We Have a New Religious Exploration Assistant?
We do! Be sure and stop by the RE Table and welcome Chelsea Surfus! Chelsea is a lifelong UU with experience with RE. You may know her from when she was an OWL facilitator. Chelsea will be supporting our Program five hours per week. It's a great thing and we're so happy to have her on board!

Our August Parents of Elementary Kids Meeting Was Wonderful!
This is a new group, and this past Friday we had 13 kids who ate dinner and played together while parents had the chance to have dinner and talk. Child care was provided. The next meeting is Friday, September 20 from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. For more information, contact Heather MacGumerait at

And Don't Forget our Long-Running and Awesome Parent's of Preschoolers Group!
It runs on the same format as the Parents of Elementary Kids Group and it meets on the Second Wednesday of each month, at UUI, from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. For more information, contact Chalice Starling at

Please check out the mark-your-calendar section below to find out details of upcoming events and what we have planned for RE from September - November! 

I'm looking forward to seeing you tomorrow! 

Peace and Love,

Susanne Hinson-Rieger

Director of Lifespan Religious Education


Mark Your Calendars!

Labor Day
September 1

We will be learning about labor movement heroes such as Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez.

Water Communion Service
September 8

Our community gathers together again after the summer! Bring water from your favorite fishing hole, your travels, your kitchen tap. We will mix everyone's water together as a symbol of our homecoming and in celebration of the start of our new church year. This water is important! It will be saved and used for church rituals throughout the coming year!

September Second Sunday
September 8

Join us for a shared meal and meaningful fun for all ages! Lunch (vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options available) is provided immediately following the Service. Stay tuned for more details!

Senior High Youth Group
September 8

For our youth in 9th - 12th grades (or homeschool/unschool equivalent). We will meet for lunch, games, discussion, youth worship and more in the Senior High Youth Room in the UUI Cottage.

Parents of Preschoolers (POPs) Group
September 11

In the Social Hall from 6:30pm to 8:30pm. Bring yourself, your children and a dish to share (if you are able). Child care is provided. For more information, contact Chalice Starling at

First Day Back to Religious Exploration AND Sundae Sunday
September 15
This is the first day kids and youth will be with their new groups for the church year. Click here to find out what each age group will be doing from September - November! This is an important day to be at UUI because we are getting to know each other in a new way. It's also Sundae Sunday! At the end of our RE time together on the first day, we always celebrate Sundae Sunday!

Did you know the first ice cream sundae was invented by a Unitarian Universalist minister? It's true! So we're not just having a delicious snack, we're learning UU history! Please note, we will have dairy-free options available for our vegan and lactose-intolerant friends.

Parents of Elementary School Kids Group
September 20

In the Social Hall from 5:30pm to 7:30pm. Bring yourself, your children and a dish to share (if you are able). Child care is provided. For more information, contact Heather MacGumerait at

Junior High Youth Group
September 20

For our youth in 6th - 8th grades (or homeschool/unschool equivalent). We will meet for dinner, games, discussion, youth worship and more in the UUI Cottage from 6pm to 8pm.

Blessing of the Backpacks
September 22

Children, youth and educators are all invited to bring their backpacks, tote bags, handbags, and briefcases to church for our annual Blessing of the Backpacks! Each person will receive a keychain/backpack charm to hang on their backpack to remind them that our community supports them in their lifelong search for truth and meaning, no matter where they are.

Children's Chapel
September 29

On this day during Religious Exploration we will be having a special Children's Chapel, led by our Director of Ministry, Jamie Hinson-Rieger, who will be leaving the service that day with the children. A guest speaker will be delivering the sermon to the adults.

Senior High Youth Group
September 29

For our youth in 9th - 12th grades (or homeschool/unschool equivalent). We will meet for lunch, games, discussion, youth worship and more in the Senior High Youth Room in the UUI Cottage.

We Honor Indigenous Peoples' Day
October 13

Fall Youth Convention CON
October 18-20

UUI 40th Anniversary Party
October 19

UUI turns 40 this year! Help us celebrate! Weather cooperating, we will have early outdoor activities, a bonfire & s’mores, followed by an inside social hour with jazz music, a short program honoring our history, and finally, a rockin’ dance party for all! Child care will also be available in the evening if desired.

All-Church Halloween Party
October 27

Join us for this annual tradition that includes a chili cook-off lunch, a youth-created haunted house, trunk-or-treating and a fun party for all!

Age of Reason Ceremony
November 17
UUI's 2019 Age of Reason Ceremony for our 1st graders (and homeschool and unschool equivalent) will be held on Sunday, November 17 during the Service. This is a milestone ceremony that celebrates reason and education during which the child's grownups present their child with a book they have chosen for the child either because the book is special to them or it has a message they particularly want their child to learn. Click here for more details.

Popcorn, PJ, Movie Day
November 24
Kids are encouraged to invite a friend, wear their pj's and go straight to class on this annual Sunday tradition! This year we will be watching Pachamama for our little ones and Coco for our older kids. Junior and Senior High youth will be choosing their own films to watch.