Friday, November 13, 2015

Planning for Chalica!

Tis the season, y'all!  Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and Christmas after (even though the stores would you lead to believe the reverse), but there is a little known UU holiday tucked in the middle.  Chalica.  I left the Presbyterian Church at the end of 2006 and found my UU Church nearly a year later in November 2007 (i use 'found' loosely since I just followed my parents).  My oldest was 5 weeks old when we walked through those doors.  8 years and 2 additional kids later.....we are fairly active in our faith community.  As you may or may not know, UU-ism is, well, complicated.  There are many backgrounds, beliefs, feelings all coming together with one united feeling of connectedness.  However, with many backgrounds and stories.......there is always a bit of fuzziness surrounding some of the traditional holidays such as Christmas and Easter.  My family celebrates these as we always have.....with a few tweaks, of course, but it is a time of family and tradition.  This said, I still wanted to find something that connected my children, husband and I to our UU culture.  2 years ago, I heard about Chalica.  Created in 2005, it starts on the first Monday of December and lasts 7 days.  Each day we focus on one of our 7 UU Principles.  At first, I was interested, but didn't really know what to do with it.  Last year, I decided we were doing SOMETHING.  So instead of 1 candle on my chalice that we light every night, I replaced it with 7 different colored tea lights and each night we would talk about the principle for that day and light a new tea light.  That was totally a last-minute attempt.  This year, I'm pre-planning.  I want to make this a tradition we can sink our teeth into.  I'm heavily relying on two sources:

Chalica Facebook Page Blog

1) Day 1: The Inherent Worth and Dignity of Every Person - Restated for children: "Each person is important."

We will choose an individual we would like to show appreciate for and be a "secret admirer" and improve their day somehow.

2) Day 2: Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations.  Children’s translation: “We believe that all people should be treated fairly and kindly.”

I'm going to try to find a shelter or soup kitchen we can volunteer at.  All are welcome to join us!!!  Stay tuned for info.

3) Day 3: acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations.” Or, translated for kids: “We believe that we should accept one another and keep on learning together.”

What does and doesn’t it look like to ‘accept’ another person’s faith outlook? What is spiritual growth? What are ways that one person can ‘encourage’ another person’s spiritual growth? How can this idea be applied even outside of one’s congregation?

Not sure what I'd like to do with this one yet.

4) Day 4: Free and responsible search for truth and meaning.” Or, in children’s parlance: “We believe that each person must be free to search for what is true and right in life.”

I think we'll look at and discuss the "Elephant and the Blind Men" parable and talk about keeping an open mind and trying to find out all aspects of a truth.

5) Day 5: The use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.” The children’s translation reads: “We believe that all persons should have a vote about the things that concern them.”

Going to have to think some more on this one.

6) Day 6: The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.” The children’s translation reads: “We believe in working for a peaceful, fair, and free world.”
We're going to sign up for an International Pen Pal program

7) Day 7:  Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.” The children’s version: “We believe in caring for our planet Earth, the home we share with all living things.”
We're going on hike!

What have you or are you doing for Chalica this year?  Want to join us one night, comment me and we'll see what we can do!