We are quickly approaching the holiday season! That of course means lots of festivities over the next two months and several opportunities to serve in and with our Religious Exploration community.
Guest at Your Table
This Sunday, November 20, we will have a special service in honor of this service project. Please bring in dried beans and colorful lentils this day; they will be used to create a symbolic piece of art during the service. Donations to Guest at Your Table support the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee’s (UUSC) work to protect human rights and defy hate from the ground up, while also applying pressure on those in power at the top—as UUSC founders Martha and Waitstill Sharp did during their missions to rescue Jews and dissidents from Nazi Germany. UUSC partners with grassroots organizations in over 25 countries around the world, including the Arab American Civic Council, which provides refugees resettling to Southern California with the resources they need to build a new life in an unfamiliar country. We will collect contributions from those boxes to submit to the UUSC in late January.
Holiday Pageant, December 11
An original play written by Rev. Carol Bodeau is being tailored by Chris Edkins for Westside. Exploring the meaning of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Song "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day", it matches our current worship theme of looking at the darkness as well as the light. The play will feature several characters related to bells, a children’s choir, a bell choir, and a poetry chorus.
Rehearsal times for children/youth are as follows:
Sunday, Nov. 20—After potluck, we will have an informal general meeting to get a sense of what various participants will do in the play and more on the actual script/storyline.
Sunday, Dec. 4—After Time for All Ages in the service (11:15 or so), the children and youth will go to the RE classrooms to practice and prepare for the Pageant. We’ll organize costumes and props. During regular RE class time (Noon), we will do a run through in the sanctuary. RE Families and Friends, we’d love for you to be involved in helping with costumes, props, etc. Please let me know if you’re interested!
Saturday, Dec. 10, 9 – 10 am—Decorating the sanctuary for the Pageant and preparing for the Hanging of the Greens Holiday Party. The Sunday Team (Worship Committee and RE Committee) will be working on getting the decorations down and setting up the tree as well as setting the stage for the Holiday Pageant. Join us!
Sunday, Dec. 11—Early dress rehearsal at 9:30 in the sanctuary. Bring children in their costumes. We’ll have bagels for a snack before the pageant begins at 11 am.
Hanging of the Greens, Westside’s annual holiday party will begin after the pageant is finished. We’ll enjoy decorating the halls of Westside with our congregation. There’s always an opportunity to sing carols and snack on holiday treats as well! Our Mystery Friends reveal will also happen during the party—it will be so exciting to finally find out who the child and adult pairs have been all along!
Other December Holiday Events
Sunday, Dec. 18—Winter Solstice Spiral will return again this year. It’s a beautiful and meaningful tradition of joining in the festivals of light happening around the world at this time to welcome the sun’s return.
Family Promise will be held the week before Christmas. Our youth are planning to help with various jobs throughout the week. Be sure to join in making this week extra special for the holidays for our guests! If you’d like to sign up for Family Promise volunteer opportunities, click here.
We look forward to sharing these experiences with our congregation as a way to revisit valued traditions and create new memories this year to string along on the thread of Westside’s history.
In (Holiday) Spirit,