Family Ministry Newsletter December 2019

I want to begin by thanking all who participated in or otherwise supported our fall Justice Immersion Experiences focused on the history and reality of Indigenous Peoples.  I also want to thank all who went on the trip to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and all who donated supplies and funds to the Lakota people. This first Immersion Experience took on a life of its own and had a powerful impact in ways I couldn’t have imagined.  Below, you will find a list of further resources for your continued exploration.  


Now, we turn our attention and our learning to immigration as we rehearse for our presentation on December 15.


December 1 & 8 – All classes will be rehearsing and preparing costumes for our presentation on December 15 at both services.  


December 15 – “Opening Our Doors & Welcoming the Stranger” presentation by the children and youth of UUCB.  Worship for All Ages.

December is a special month for many reasons.  This year, the children and youth are celebrating Las Posadas during our services on 12/15 as a representation for the plight of immigrants coming to this country.  As we learn more about immigration, we will feature a very special guest speaker, Ingrid Encalada! Come enjoy the costumes, music, fun, and learning!


December 22 – This session will be filled with holiday fun using seasonal games and crafts.


December 24 – “The Birth of Love”  Christmas Eve Service for Families begins at 4:30 pm.  We will stage an impromptu pageant with costumes as we tell the Christmas story and sing favorite Christmas carols.  Of course we will end with candle-lighting and “Silent Night”.


December 29 – This class will be a time of considering this past year and preparing for the new year.


Middle School Youth

Crossing Paths Class.  We are offering a new Middle School Class this year called, “Crossing Paths”.  This class helps our youth learn about other religions and faith traditions. We will visit a number of other faith communities and attend their services during the year.  


High School Youth 

HS Youth – Sunday Mornings:  The high school youth will work with our new Youth Coordinator, Galen Pereira, and the other youth advisors to learn about the history of white supremacy culture and work with the congregation to take action on social justice projects to dismantle racism and oppression.  They will determine much of their own curriculum. UUCB youth will also combine with BVUUF youth on projects and events.


HS Youth – MONDAY Evenings:  HS Youth Group will meet on the 1st and 3rd weeks of every month on Monday evenings.  


Our Whole Lives (OWL):

This class is a sexual education class for 10-11 graders.  Please contact our Youth Coordinator, Galen Pereira, if you are interested in taking it.


Community Nights

Our next Community Night will be holiday caroling in the neighborhood with cider, hot chocolate, and treats before and after. Join us on Friday, December 13 at 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm.  Please bring a treat or beverage to share.  We look forward to caroling with you!   

Questions? Contact Rev Dana at


Further Resources for Learning About Indigenous People and Pine Ridge Indian Reservation:

The recent Sunday service about our experiences at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation stirred up many great questions with people wanting more information.  I’d love to share some of the resources I have gathered over the past few months. So, here are some great links for you to explore during this snowy Thanksgiving!

  • Tipi Raisers is the non-profit organization that invited us to help winterize homes on the reservation and stopped at our church for a potluck and presentation on the Lakota Ride in July.  Check out their website here:

  • Unsettling Thanksgiving – Traditionally, Thanksgiving is a celebration of the colonization of this country by white, Christian settlers.  This was also the beginning of the genocide of indigenous people in order to settle the land. How do we tease apart the sharing of gratitude for family and friends without honoring the genocide of indigenous people?  Check out these websites to get you started:  
  • Doctrine on Discovery – Rev. Eric referred to the Doctrine of Discovery, a compilation of papal bulls and other documents justifying the right of white, Christian, men to claim “discovered” land as their own and rightfully kill or force indigenous people into slavery because, as savages, they were not civilized and weren’t fully human. 
  • YouTube Videos – I have compiled a playlist of videos about Pine Ridge Reservation and Native American culture.  Click HERE to check them out.
  • UUA’s Common Read for 2019-2020 is An Indigenous People’s History of the United States, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz.  It is published by Beacon Press, one of the UUA’s publishing companies and can be found at the UUA Bookstore or other bookstores.  Click here for the Young People’s version.  Both are excellent!  
  • The best book on the Doctrine of Discovery is Pagans in the Promised Land, by Steven Newcomb.  He’s also on YouTube.


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