Monday, January 27, 2014

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What's up with the Hippogriffs?

Hey everyone!

Have you been wondering what's going on with the Enlightened Hippogriffs? Keeping an eye on the sky for Hogwarts owls that haven't come? Wondering when our next meeting is going to be, now that the new church year is about to begin? Well, look no further, here's what's happening.

The big news is that we're beginning an overall effort to partner our work more closely to already-existing First UU activities, to draw on the strength of our church community and the many parallels between the Harry Potter Alliance and UU Social Justice values. This means a few important changes to our plans for the coming year:
  • We're transitioning to youth leadership. I'm going to happily take a back seat to leading our group and let some wonderful older youth take over, with the guidance of our fabulous new Director of Religious Education, Lane Campbell. They have met over the summer and together decided to focus on LGBTQ Rights, Environmental Issues, and Women's Rights. They're still working on how they're going to do this and how the HPA can support them in this work, as well as looking into upcoming community events related to these issues. Stay tuned for more details as they become available.
  • We're going to skip monthly meetings, but we're still doing Harry Potter Justice Sundays. These are open as always to all elementary-aged kids during both church services on the 4th Sunday of the month, November through April (with the exception of November which will be Nov. 17.) We're talking about having the older kids help lead these this year, which I know will make them that much more fun and enriching for all concerned!
  • Don't worry, we're also still doing our favorite events: Yule Ball and Pride. The 3rd annual Fair Trade Chocolate Yule Ball will happen again this year during the December First Friday, which is December 6. And of course we'll never forget what Harry Potter taught us: nobody should be forced to live in a closet, so we're doing Pride again next June! I will continue to help lead our participation in these two events, and hopefully with our re-energized, youth-led social justice activists, they'll be better than ever! All are welcome to help with these, regardless of age - please let me know if you can lend a hand.

I'm really excited about these changes and the great things the kids will do this year! Remember what Harry said to Dumbledore's Army: "every great Wizard has started off as nothing more than we are now: students. If they can do it, why not us?" Here's to a GREAT and magical year!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

It's time for PRIDE!

Who: Wizards, Witches, and Muggles of all ages who care about LGBT Rights and want to celebrate! Like you!

Where: Meet at First UU Church to carpool to downtown!

When: Saturday, June 22, 10:00 a.m.


Monday, April 29, 2013

First Friday is Mother's Day at Hogwarts - this week!

Hey Hippogriffs!

This Friday is our Harry Potter First Friday event, and here's what we have planned:

  • Tour of Hogwarts (see below)
  • Sorting Hat
  • Wand making
  • Potion making - ice cream bar
  • HERBO-BINGO and/or play-dough mandrake making
  • Toddler room mask making or stuffed animal Care of Magical Creatures
  • Quidditch and/or crystal ball dodge ball - hopefully outside
I think in the interest of time, I can take care of most of the supplies either from our own craft stash and backyard or from Hippogriff funds. But if anyone wants to bring wand supplies, ice cream toppings, small plants or play-dough, feel free to do so- the more the merrier! Also if you can think of balls, prizes, or brooms needed for the Quidditch/dodge ball game, bring those too.

But you do have one assignment: help us create the tour! We talked about making it Mother's Day-inspired and planting various tributes to magical mamas and other important ladies from the Harry Potter series around the church as part of our tour. You could draw portraits, dress up like these ladies, or whatever you want to do. If you can think of a fun activity to do or spell to learn related to your magical mom when the group comes to her stop on the tour, that would make it fabulous. Some ideas:
  • Harry's mom in the Mirror of Erised
  • Mrs. Weasley - knitting, or trying to Ridikulous her fears away
  • Professor McGonnagal - teaching spells
  • Tonks - fighting Dementors
  • Sirius's mom in the screaming portrait
  • Aunt Petunia - yelling at Harry!
  • Gryffindor's Fat Lady portrait - guess the password?
  • Moaning Myrtle - hiding in the bathroom
  • Narcissa Malfoy - being snobbish?
  • Professor Trelawney - throwing "crystal" balls? or telling fortunes!
  • Others?
Please pick one or more of these ladies that you want to be in charge of, and come on Friday ready to make her part of the tour! And let us know who you're doing so we can make sure we have enough moms represented to make it a good tour. If we have enough kids, we'll give four rounds of  tours (one for each house) while the other activities are going on. Or if we have a small group maybe we can take our own moms on one big tour.

See you on Friday!


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Meeting this Sunday!

Hey Hippogriffs,

It's meeting time again! We have a lot to discuss:

Hogwarts Express! 
If any of you joined us for the March Justice Sunday, you got to hop aboard our people-powered Hogwarts Express: a train of kids walking from church to Panera and back. Why did we do this? Because we're in Ravenclaw now and that means AIR. In previous meetings, you guys decided that one of the best ways we could address air pollution was to promote alternative forms of transportation, such as biking and walking. How about biking and walking to Hogwarts??? Ok, not literally. But we're going to collectively add up our miles between now and September 1st and see if we can walk or ride the distance between Columbus and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Florida - by foot, wheel, or broom.... anything but gas-powered engines! It's roughly 960 miles according to Google maps. How many pounds of pollutants do you think that would save, if you walked or biked that distance instead of drove? We're going to find out!

AND we're going to track our steps in a House Cup Competition, already underway thanks to our Justice Sunday friends. Check out the hourglasses in the hall at First UU and feel free to start tracking your steps and miles and adding them to the House of your choice!  You can wear a pedometer or maybe set up a step-tracking app on your mobile device, or just count your steps next time you go for a walk and see how much it adds up! And let's talk at our meeting about ways we can get more friends and family to join us. Everyone's welcome to Hogwarts this year - muggle or magic!

Earth Day
The city has a lot of events set up to celebrate Earth Day - check them out: I notice Cycling for All and the Sierra Club are having a cycling event at the Audubon Center on Saturday, April 20. Sounds like a perfect Ravenclaw activity to me! Anyone interested? Or in participating as a group in any other Earth Day activities? 

Accio Books! 
The Harry Potter Alliance is once again doing their annual book drive: This time they are partnering with the International Quidditch Association and NaNoWriMo (that's National Novel Writing Month) to help raise books in support of Read Indeed, a non-profit literacy organization and the vision of Maria Keller, a book-loving 7th grader who wants to collect and distribute 1 million books to needy kids by the time she’s 18. Maria is a huge Harry Potter fan and she has already donated over 800,000 books! The HPA is also doing an virtual House Cup Competition of their own right here: How many more books can we add, do you think? How can we combine this project with our other work? Anyone want a book bike like this as much as I do???

First Friday: in case you missed previous emails, we have postponed the First Friday event to May since a lot of folks have been out of town for Spring Break. However, there are already plans underway for the May First Friday to create Mother's Day cards that evening instead, so I'm hoping we can combine our activities somehow. Ideas for making Harry Potter Night more of a Mother's Day/Mother Nature theme? Maybe we can make our own ink in Potions class? Recycle items for paper for the cards? Celebrate our favorite fictional mothers like Mrs. Weasley? Have a nighttime bike rodeo out in the parking lot??? What else? Let's do some more brainstorming and planning now that we have more time.

And speaking of Mother's Day... our May meeting falls on the big day itself, so I say no May meeting. Speaking as a mama, I for one would like to stay home and relax that day... besides we'll have already had our fun at First Friday. So the next meeting after this will be June 9, and we'll be getting ready for PRIDE! 

See you this Sunday, 12:30-2!


Sunday, February 10, 2013

OH MY GOD, A THREE-HEADED DOG! and other notes from today!

Hey Hippogriffs!

Awesome meeting today everyone! Here's a summary of what we did and talked about:

  • We made some nice flyers for the Harry and the Potters show tomorrow night! You guys are so creative! Some were about the show and some were about Pets without Parents. The shelter will have a representative at the show and bring materials as well, and I'll bring what we made today and some Enlightened Hippogriffs brochures too. We also listened to some Harry and the Potters music while we worked (OMG a three-headed dog!) Those of you who were digging it might want to bring some cash to the show tomorrow night - I bet they'll be selling CDs. Or check out their website here..
  • We also began our Monster Book of Monsters project for the Capital Area Humane Society. We talked about some animal books we've read - Because of Winn-Dixie, Warriors, Seekers, and Hoot - and began creating a virtual book report of sorts made up of a PowerPoint presentation about them and scans of drawings we made today. We had a LOT to say about the Warriors series - I think it may almost rival our love of Harry Potter! Please continue to read animal books, draw pictures about them, and tell us about them for the PowerPoint! You can email us about books too! When we're all done, we'll get to take a tour of the Humane Society and see all the real-life lovable "monsters" (cats and dogs)!
  • We started brainstorming about our next projects and came up with some fantastic ideas:
    • In March, we're going to once again help put on the annual Harry Potter First Friday potluck at First UU. We talked about what activities have been our favorites in the past - Potions, Quidditch races, the sorting hat, wand-making - and how we can maybe do some other activities differently. We thought Transfiguration could include face-painting and/or mask making, and Care of Magical Creatures could be a childcare for younger kids, with animal dress-up! Stay tuned for more about First Friday in the coming weeks... it's right around the corner!
    • In April, May, and June, we'll be in Ravenclaw and that means Air: flying creatures, global warming, air pollution. We talked about how bees are endangered and what that means for pollination and honey, as well as cockfighting and factory farming of chickens (ok they may not fly, but they're still birds!) We came up with an awesome idea to help raise awareness about air pollution - a Quidditch event on bikes! Or scooters, skateboards, any kind of wheels except cars! Or just feet! We're thinking of having it in the parking lot behind church sometime when the weather is warm enough to have water balloons and squirt guns as dementor attacks, maybe an obstacle course or maze that includes pollution-related true/false questions to get through it. Plans are still brewing.. let's keep thinking about this!
    • We're also starting to think about Pride in June, because we had a blast doing the parade last year! But how can we relate it this time to Ravenclaw and air? Something to do with rainbows?? One idea is a people-powered float instead of using a car!
  • Finally, we put together a basket of pet goodies for the First UU auction. I'll be bringing it to church this week - if anyone has anything else they'd like to contribute, please let me know!
See you tomorrow night at the show! Yay!