Family-oriented RE Programs
The Anchorage UU Fellowship incorporates a number of programs and activities that promote fun and meaningful family interaction. These range from special Sunday worship service arrangements, to family-based events, to activities that build the fellowship community, to social action programs that assist and comfort other families in need.
Current RE Program Calendar: (2019-2020) This document has information on themed intergenerational Sunday services, Cross Age Sundays, Community-building and Social Action Activities for the current RE school year
AUUF organizes a half dozen or more intergenerational services throughout the year. For these services, pre-school age classes (Toddlers through 5 years old) will begin the morning with their families upstairs in the Sanctuary, and after 15-20 minutes they will follow their teachers downstairs to their classrooms. Children 1st grade through youth will stay for the entire service.
Homecoming ― mid-September ― Fall kick off
Animal Blessing Sunday ― early October ― a blessing of pets (that may be) brought to the service.
All Souls Day ― late October / early November ― bring photos and remembrances of family and friends who have passed away
Thanksgiving ― Sunday during Thanksgiving holiday weekend
Winter Solstice Service ― mid-December – a service of song, ritual and celebration of winter
Youth Service - led by youth during a Sunday in February
Earth Day - mid to late April to coincide with the noted day
Coming of Age Recognition & Bridging - mid-May to celebrate high school senior becoming young adults (COA is every other year)
Celebration Sunday ― late May ― RE classes program, Teacher Recognition and a Flower Communion.
Holiday Special Intergenerational Service:
Christmas Eve ― December 24 / or Christmas Day (depending upon the day of the week that the the 25th falls) ― an hour of traditional songs, readings and generally a pageant performed by children and/or adults.
Cross Age Sundays
Cross Age Sundays revolve around Holidays and Social Action projects, and present opportunities for cross age activities in the fellowship hall instead of in age-grouped classes. Parent volunteers help facilitate these Sundays so that teachers can participate in the adult service.
Typical Cross-Age Sundays are noted below. For specific dates, reference the current year's RE Calendar document:
Spring Break Sundays ― mid-March, two consecutive Sundays
Spring Fling ― focus on Spring, Earth Day and Easter activities
Annual Fellowship Membership Meeting ― First Sunday in May
Hogwarts School of Wisdom and Wizardry ― Organized every other year, the January/February period teaches with a Harry Potter theme
New Years Eve/Day ― Sunday closest to January 1
Community Building Activities
Fall Frolic Retreat
The annual multi-generational Fall Frolic Retreat is generally held from Friday evening to early afternoon in the peaceful wooded setting at Kings Lake Camp in Wasilla. Autumn colors, a lovely lake and hikeable island invite outdoor exploration and traditional camp activities like roasting s’mores, singing and story telling around the campfire. Indoor and outdoor recreation and craft activities abound, as well as opportunities to relax and make new friends! Participant cost includes two nights in heated cabins and 5 meals. Day-only and one-night options are available.
2019 Fall Frolic Dates: September 20-22
Fall Frolic Flyer - Questions & Answers for Participating Families
Fall Frolic Registration Form - Current year form is posted in spring
Soup Sundays usually occur on the fourth Sunday of each month immediately following the 11:00 a.m. service. The aroma of dozens of delicious soups entice many to stay and enjoy a cup in the Social Room. Each Child / Youth RE class will take a turn hosting a Soup Sunday, which involves classroom families and friends providing soup, bread and goodies. Funds raised are donated to a service organization or social justice project chosen by the class. (Also a Social Action for Families activity). For specific dates and responsible classrooms, reference the current year's RE Calendar document.
Family & Friends Stay and Play
Throughout the year families gather to have fun, enjoy great food and celebrate our community in a more informal way. Beginning in 2019, these events will take place after Soup Sundays, 1-3 p.m. at the fellowship). All ages are welcome. For specific dates, reference the current year's RE Calendar document.
An all-ages ornament party is held in conjunction with a Soup Sunday after the 11:00 service. Christmas crafts and ornament making, from simple to elaborate ― plus decorating the fellowship Christmas tree.
2019 Winter Fest: 12:30 - 3:00 p.m., December 8, 2019 in the Upstairs Social Room
Mystery Pals provides a fun way for adults and children of the fellowship to get to know each other. From a date in February/March to early or mid-April, young children are paired with a "secret" adult who sends messages at least twice a week revealing interesting things about themselves, (family, hobbies, travel, etc.). These messages also should include clues to help the child guess who their Mystery Pal may be. Messages are notes or cards delivered by mail or via a message exchange site at the fellowship. Children may leave messages and items for their pals as well. The big reveal comes during an early to mid-April Saturday afternoon party. Occurs every other year.
Next Mystery Pals will be March - April 2021
Social Action for Families
The fellowship engages families in several annual social action projects ― some connected to holidays and others sometimes organized in conjunction with Adult Social Justice activities.
Guest at Your Table
Sponsored by the UU Service Committee (UUSC) this holiday fundraiser promotes the rights of women and indigenous peoples. Beginning mid-November, a special collection box goes home with families, and during the holidays families "feed" the box with coins or bills at mealtime as if it were a guest. Activity sheets and a calendar of "feeding" ideas adds fun and inspiration to the program. Post-holiday, families count the money in the box, convert the total to a check payable to UUSC that goes back into the box and back to AUUF by mid-January. Youth/student donations of $10 or more, and adult donations of $40 or more earn automatic membership in UUSC.
2019-2020 Guest at Your Table: Mid-November to mid January
Throughout November, families make or buy new (or nearly new) mittens, scarves or socks and bring them to AUUF during Winter Fest the first Sunday in December, when the hats and mittens decorate a special Mitten Tree. Mid-December the items are donated to a local charitable organizations serving families in need. All sizes are welcome.
2019 Mitten Tree: Decoration during Winter Fest Sunday, December 8
During March and through to Easter Sunday, families donate small gently used or new trinkets, craft kits, tiny toys, plastic eggs and wrapped candy, bringing them to the RE staff office downstairs. The collection of goodies are used by children / youth to construct up to 100 Easter baskets that are then delivered to local charitable organizations serving families in crisis and/or without homes (including Safe Harbor, Clare House or McKinnell House).
In additional to these annual social action efforts, child/youth RE classes and families host monthly Soup Sunday events to raise funds for a charitable / social action project or program of the childrens' choosing. See details under Community-Building Activities above.