This annual event is specifically geared to children so please mark your calendars and plan to attend! It is a great week to bring visitors who might be interested in attending as well. There are four events that weekend in which you can participate.
Please volunteer in the comments box or through the parents’ listserv….
1. Work Period (Sat., May 4, 10:00-12:30, 2013). This is our spring cleaning around the center and is especially geared to get things looking nice for the next day’s big celebration. You can bring you child(ren) along as the work leader will have some child-friendly tasks for them to do.
2. Children’s Program (Sun. 9:00am) will be mostly involved in preparing for the celebration.
a. The cakes that some of you will hopefully bake will be decorated by some of the children.
b. Others may be working on decorating the pagoda for the Buddha bathing ceremony that comes later.
c. We will read the story of Buddha’s birth (maybe around 9:45, unless we decide to start off with this at 9:00 – will update schedule in reminder) and
d. have a short snack before transitioning to the zendo for a
3. Kids Dharma Talk (10:30am), followed by a procession of the children along the meditation path, blowing bubbles and carrying balloons and banners, to the back yard area for a brief ceremony that includes chanting and bathing the Buddha statue. At the end of the ceremony the children will process away while the adults finish the bathing ceremony and all will be reunited afterward,on the back porch, for the final event of the day…
4. Sangha Potluck Lunch (11:30-ish, or so). I’ve never seen this event spoiled by bad weather. We have places to eat out on the porch or in the studio (the children’s program room). Note, this is the whole sangha’s potluck–not just the children’s program. It is a wonderful and delicious social event!
So, those are the events, so what do we need to prepare/bring?
1. Everyone needs to bring a (vegetarian) dish for the potluck. There is usually a sign-up in the entry-way on a bulletin board for this. If you are bringing one of several cakes for the kids to that will be your meal contribution. I think we need about 3-4 cakes and a batch or two of cupcakes that the kids really love! We have had as many as 5 but that occasion we had significant leftovers. These should be single layer rectangular pan cakes or round cakes, frosted with a white or cream colored plain frosting. The same for the cupcakes–a light colored frosting that can be decorated. Last year we had at least one sugar-free option that was brought and I think that would be appreciated again. It has been in past years!
3. Everyone, please plan to bring some cut flowers. These will be used to decorate the pagoda that contains the baby Buddha for the ceremony. These can be from any source. They can be wild flowers of all kinds, from your garden, or wherever!
4. We need somone to check on and purchase, if needed, balloons and bubble-blowing solution. (It might make sense if this person could also help with coordinating the procession, though it need not be the case.) The balloons should be birthday themed sets. We could have a couple bunches I think—maybe one to tie out by the gate at the road and another for out in front of the zendo entrance. A third bunch for the back porch is a nice touch, but optional. The bunch from out front could be brought around back later for the potluck. Check and see if we have some left over bubbles solution, but we could probably use a few small bottles (what are they 6 oz?) to help spread the bubble solution to more kids. Again see Lance about reimbursements.
b. Someone to get cake decorating supplies (colored sprinkles or the squirt bottle kind that you can write with); reimbursement for expenses is provided. People have brought sliced fruit for decorating in the past with good results!
c. A cake-decorating coordinator. This could be the same as the person getting the supplies or someone different. It would be most helpful if this person could also make sure we have enough cakes and cupcakes coming!
d. A pagoda decorating coordinator. This person needs to arrive a bit early on Sunday (8:45-ish) and receive flowers that people will be bringing as they arrive to sit that morning, and help teach the children how to prep the flowers and how to weave them into the wire mesh that forms the pagoda walls. The kids always enjoy doing this work, and it takes lots of willing hands!!
e. Snacks: volunteer needed.
f. If someone is interested in reading the story of Buddha’s birth from the Prince Siddhartha book, that would be great.
g. One or two people to help coordinate the procession. Learn what supplies we have, bubbles, banners, etc. for the procession (either on Sat morning during the work period, or Sun, before children’s program starts), get them out and ready for the procession before the dharma talk, and then help coordinate the procession itself by handing out pieces to appropriate kids and helping get the procession started. This person also needs to coordinate collecting banners, balloons, and bubbles at the end of the meditation path as the children arrive at the yard for the ceremony, and then hand them back out when the children process out after bathing the Buddha.
That is it for the volunteer needs—which is quite a lot so find your way to contribute! THANKS!
One more thought. If you have really young children, such that the whole schedule Sunday morning might be too much, please feel free to just arrive for the dharma talk, or if the kids are too young to sit for that, you can join in with the procession that will start shortly after the talk. That would make for a more manageable time frame for some of you with really young ones.
OK, that is it. Please review the listing above and reply to the e-mail to the whole group with what you would like to do—and don’t be shy. Most importantly plan to attend and enjoy yourself! This is truly a wonderful annual event that you won’t want to miss.
Many thanks for your help and participation!