Religious Education Director’s Column

Enter, rejoice, and come in!

Dear Friends,

Over the past few months many of you have heard about Full Week Faith – the concept of Religious Education and Faith Formation as something that happens not just in the meetinghouse on Sunday mornings, but all week long in many different places. Karen Bellevance-Grace, Director of Faith Formation for the UUA, writes extensively about Full Week Faith – what it means, why it’s important, and how it works. I strongly encourage you to read more about it here: http://fullweekfaith.weebly.com/uploads/1/2/2/9/12293877/finalto_web.fahs_fellowship_paper_copy.pdf.

One important component of the Full Week faith model is a focus on family ministry. This means recognizing that the role of our congregation is to provide support and partnership to parents, who are the first and most consistent religious educators to their children all week long. Yes, it’s true! Children learn much about what it means to be a UU on Sunday mornings, but the learning takes place all week long, during dinner at home, on the drive back and forth to soccer practice, or waiting in line at the grocery store. Some of this religious education happens explicitly, for example when we light a chalice and say a blessing at the dinner table. Much of it happens implicitly, when we model UU principles by recycling, helping a neighbor rake leaves, or cheering on all the players at a ball game.

Does owning primary responsibility for your children’s spiritual growth sound daunting? Fear not! You’re already doing it. And our Religious Education program is here to support you. There are many fabulous resources to help, and you’re on your way to finding them. Check out some of the great resources below – including story books, activities for families, and chalice lighting words – and if you find any of your own, please share them with me!

      CHILDREN’S BOOKS THAT SUPPORT OUR 7 PRINCIPLES: (The list could be endless, but check here for a start.)

http://www.fusmadison.org/images/Books%20by%20UU%20Principles.pdf

      IDEAS FOR FAMILIES TO STRENGTHEN THEIR UU IDENTITY:

http://www.uuathome.com

      KIDSPIRIT: (KidSpirit is a non-profit magazine and online community for 11-15 yr. olds to discuss values and life’s big questions in a safe and moderated forum.)

http://www.kidspiritonline.com

      CHALICE LIGHTING WORDS: (Here is a simple, kid-friendly chalice lighting.)

http://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/youth/bridges/workshop4/workshopplan/leaderresources/183293.shtml

May your year ahead be filled with the grace and joy of Unitarian Universalism!

During the Season of Light, may we all be warmed by the love of the light in each other.

Gina Campellone, Director of Religious EducationBe well and be loved,

Gina Campellone