Family resources for Sunday July 28

The touchstones theme in July is FREEDOM AND RESPONSIBILITY

Inspiration for UU parents:

Choose from this powerful list of 11 TED talks with the theme, Freedom rising

“From the Arab Spring to the emerging democracies of Eastern Europe, a new generation of freedom fighters — entrepreneurs, journalists, activists — shares powerful stories of resistance against dictatorships and oppression.”

The story this week:

Harriet’s Freedom Journeys

Here is the song: Follow the Drinking Gourd

And here are the lyrics

Conversation starters:

Our Sources are the way we are guided as Unitarian Universalists to help us live our faith.

Ask your children if they remember (or know) what a “source” is. Then, explain that the definition of source you are looking for has to do with origin, or beginning.

Today we learned about our second Source, “lives of wise people, from long ago and today, who remind us to be kind and fair.” One of those people is Harriet Tubman. She returned to the South after her own escape, again and again, to lead more than 1,000 other African Americans to freedom.

Can you think of any wise people that you would consider a source to remind you to be kind and fair?

For the older kids:

Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad

The Winter 2017 UU World Families section includes stories of two black Underground Railroad conductors who, like Harriet Tubman, helped many people escape into free states and further on to Canada.

Check out PBS’s Africans in America website and American Civil War website.

Explore Harriet Tubman’s story on the Library of Congress interactive website or the website NY History

Contemporary Slavery

“Bitter Harvest” ( discusses modern-day slavery in the chocolate industry, in the November/December 2004 issue of UU World.

Extending the theme:

EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about… rules and what you can do when they are unfair. Share your own examples of times when you thought rules were unfair and how you responded. Ask your child about times when they have experienced unfair rules. Talk together about ways to help change unfair rules, such as writing a letter, signing a petition, or meeting to discuss it with the appropriate people in authority. Be willing to reconsider family rules; look for an opportunity to involve your child in establishing rules everyone agrees are fair while maintaining emotional and physical safety and health.


Family Discovery. Research U.S. slavery and the abolition movement. There are many good children’s books about the Underground Railroad and Harriet Tubman. Learn about abolitionist Frederick Douglass who had himself escaped slavery. Read a Tapestry of Faith story about the dramatic escape of Ellen and William Craft in the 1850s.
In the Winter, 2017 UU World magazine, the Families section story, “A Light Across the River,” focuses on the risky crossing between Kentucky, a slave state, and Ohio, a free state, before the Civil War. Find out together about the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation, and President Abraham Lincoln.
The American Girl Addy book series uses historical fiction to detail the life of a slave girl who escapes to freedom and experiences challenges in her new life in the North.

Family Ritual. Read an article by Rev. Hope Johnson to learn about Juneteenth, the holiday that commemorates the last African American community’s learning that their enslavement was over, after the Civil War on June 19, 1965. Find and attend a community Juneteenth event near you.

Let me know if I can be supportive to you in any other way!  I am here for you.

All my best with blessings,