Looking for something fun to do with young people this summer? Join us as we share a meal (both kid-friendly and adult-preferred options provided!), sing songs, and get active, creative, and reflective together.
This is a low-key alternative to VBS that will focus on breaking bread as a community, having inter-generational fun together, and making (free!) summer memories. Show up once or for all three sessions; bring a friend or family who is visiting!
Summer Supper Church
Mondays July 11, 18, 25
6 – 8pm
2115 N 42nd St
RSVPs encouraged, but not required — please email email@example.com
As the daughter of two teachers, I grew up seeing all kinds of thank you gifts from my parents’ students. We often wound up with all kinds of cookie mixes or knick-knacks that are very meaningful, and not always super practical to store and/or use.
If you want to let your teacher know how much they mean to you, share a photo or draw a picture of yourself doing something inspired by them. Maybe it’s doing an extra hour of math facts, reading a book recommendation from them, or volunteering/fundraising for a cause that is important to them. This kind of gratitude shows teachers that their impact goes beyond the classroom, one of the greatest compliments you can offer.
One “hack” I saw that was pretty fascinating is a monthly goal tracker:
This could work great for the summer — listing dates across the top and goals (i.e. unplugged by 9pm, go on a family walk, finish a book) on the left. It’s a great visual way to see how the summer flies by and log the fun things you did.
Talk About It: The End of the Year
As the school year comes to a close, this can be an important time to reflect on all the ways a young person in your life has grown and changed over the last nine months. Here are some questions to ask them as you talk about the valleys and mountains of 2015 – 2016:
What was one of your favorite memories from this school year?
Proudest? What was the most challenging?
Who is a person that is your friend now who wasn’t your friend at the beginning of the year?
Is there someone you aren’t as close with now as you were in September?
Is there anything you will try to do differently next year?
Who are three friends that you want to see this summer?
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.
Acts 2:1-4, NRSV
Pentecost is this Sunday, May 15th, and you are invited to a celebration of this day in the church year and WUMC’s birthday!
Kids and adults, old and young, gay and straight, highest to lowest can come worship at WUMC at 10:00AM this Sunday. This rowdy service will celebrate the Spirit’s presence in the Church and in our midst. Please feel free to wear flame colors – orange, yellow, and red – in the spirit of the day.
After worship, we will continue to celebrate both Pentecost and WUMC’s birthday with root beer floats, friends, and fellowship! Plan to stay and have some lunchtime treats.
May is here! Check out some of these ideas for DIY Mother’s Day gifts, who to see at Folk Life, and the importance of talking about God as a Mama to young people in your life.
MAKE IT: Mother’s Day DIY Gifts
Make a beautiful list of 10 things you love about your mama, and fill in some extra space with creative paper, photos, sheet music, etc. Get the full tutorial at the Creative Place.
Another easy, beautiful idea is some classy fingerprint art. By using a stencil over a canvas and different colors for each family member, kids can easily create this beautiful gift. Check out more instructions at Busy Kids Happy Mom.
If you’re in town on Memorial Day Weekend, you should definitely spend Saturday, May 28th at Folk Life for a day of dancing, reflecting, clapping, and singing along. Here are some highlights that I recommend:
Ben Hunter and Joe Seamons are excellent musicians, researched storytellers, and key members in community arts. They teach music in Seattle Public Schools and Ben is a co-founder of the Hillman City Collaboratory, the space that houses Valley & Mountain (the church I belong to on Sunday afternoons).
Recently Ben and Joe won the International Blues Challenges in Memphis, TN. Watch their performance and you’ll see why:
This might be past some kids’ bed time, but The Banner Days’ creative renditions of traditional hymns and soul-filled originals are definitely worth watching. These folks are great live and you’ll want their CD for family car rides.
Here at Wallingford UMC, we try to take extra care in using inclusive language to describe our encounters with God. This means refraining from using gendered language, mostly because too often the church has used masculinity and divinity interchangeably (which has some pretty serious ramifications).
In addition to using non-gendered language, I also believe it’s important to explicitly refer to God as feminine, because so much of society shows young people that women have less power or deserve less respect than men. As a woman, it is extremely liberating to hear God described as Her — it reminds me of my own sanctity and helps me see my spirit and body as made in the image of God, not some rib-plucked knock-off.
One of my favorite poems does this beautifully:
God Says Yes To Me
I asked God if it was okay to be melodramatic
and she said yes
I asked her if it was okay to be short
and she said it sure is
I asked her if I could wear nail polish
or not wear nail polish
and she said honey
she calls me that sometimes
she said you can do just exactly
what you want to
Thanks God I said
And is it even okay if I don’t paragraph
Sweetcakes God said
who knows where she picked that up
what I’m telling you is
Yes Yes Yes
Here are some questions to ask young people in your life:
Have you heard God described as She or Her before?
Does it sound normal or weird to you? Why do you think that is?
Do you think it’s important to talk about how we describe God?
If you haven’t already played outside, I recommend turning off your screen to do so immediately. Save some of these ideas for a rainy day and go get some Vitamin D with the people you love.
Once you need some ideas, check out this April edition of Make It, Do It, Talk About It.
Make It: Birdfeeders!
There are a zillion different varieties of these. Here are a few of my favorite:
No instructions here — just make a cool Lego house with empty space in the middle. Once it’s the birdseed is all eaten, take it apart and make a whole new design.
This project is great for young fingers learning fine motor skills — all you need are pipe cleaners, cheerios, and a little string. Check out the full instructions here.
If you want to get more creative, try painting or decoupaging a milk (or juice) carton. You can see more instruction here.
Do It: Visit the Tulips & Snow Goose Produce
Growing up in Anacortes, I remember spring meant dealing with “Tulip Traffic.” Now that I don’t live in the Skagit Valley, I understand why so many people want to visit the fields!
If you decide to visit the tulips, be sure to swing by Snow Goose Produce. It’s a fantastic seasonal farmstand that has fresh produce, fish, and what they’re really known for: immodest ice cream cones.
Talk About It: Love
As most of you know, I am getting married this month and have been in the beautiful whirlwind of planning and being excited for a wedding. My partner Andrew and I are always asking what love means to ourselves, to each other, and to the family we are beginning to make.
Here are a few questions to ask any young person in your life about how they understand what love means:
Do you love pizza the same way you love your family?
Why do you think we use the same word for such different things? What other words can we use?