Enter, Rejoice, and Come In

A Religious Education Message from Tammy Stolzman

Another Exciting Year in Religious Education

Mission Statement: We, the Religious Education Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Society: East, will provide a multifaceted program for our young people, which promotes personal religious growth and exploration, and incorporates Unitarian Universalist ideals. We will integrate children, youth and families into the life of UUS:E by educating the congregation and its leadership about the needs of RE volunteers, parents, and children, and encouraging both parents and non-parenting adults of the congregation to seek opportunities for involvement and leadership.

We’ve had another great year in Religious Education jam packed with religious exploration and fun! Our monthly model of two Sunday mornings learning religious curriculum in the classroom, one Faith in Action Sunday (Cooking for a Cause this year), one Sunday upstairs for a multigenerational service, and special activities whenever there is an extra 5th Sunday continues to work well for us. We like it because it bring the whole congregation together on a regular basis and it allows the children to be a part of the “upstairs” Sunday activities, while at the same time giving the rest of us a chance to get to know some of the children we don’t otherwise get to see. This scheduling also spreads the joy and commitment of volunteering in Religious Education among more adults (sharing the fun and making it easier to fit into their busy schedules).

In addition to our Nursery and Pre-K – 8th grade curriculum, Jenn Richard and Sham Elshakhs, with the help of some spectacular mentors, led a wonderful group of our youth on their journey toward Affirmation. They presented themselves and their credos to the congregation at our special Affirmation Service on May 19, joining a long list of UUS:E youth who have done so over the years.

Our Youth and Junior Youth Groups are also thriving. New to UUS:E this year is Dungeons and Dragons! That’s right, a regular clan, including kids from both groups, has been having a great time on Sunday afternoons getting together to play D&D! The two groups have also combined forces for other fun events like making soup to serve on Sunday.

Did I mention that we’ve been cooking for a cause once a month? Yes, back by popular demand, and more fun than ever, we’ve been cooking up delicious bites to be sold after the AM service and raising money for various causes near and dear to the hearts of the kids.

This year has also been filled with plenty of events for all ages. To name just a few: Trunk-or-Treat was a hit again (with a new indoor twist because of rain), we went Holiday Caroling, and stepped up our gaming event by adding video and virtual reality (hosted by the Youth Group).

There’s still much more to come in June. On June 8 will be the Phenomenal 50th Fun Fair, combining our regular picnic with carnival fun to celebrate UUS:E’s 50th Anniversary. We’ve been working with the Carnival committee to make sure there will be fun and games for all ages! The very next day on June 9 we have our annual Religious Education Sunday Worship Service, where we get to share what’s been going on in RE with the congregation and thank all of our amazing RE volunteers. The Bridging Ceremony will be on the 16th, and this year we will be welcoming new Youth and Junior Youth into their respective groups. A children’s book swap will also take place that day. The Bike Rodeo will be on the 23rd, which is also the first day of our RE Summer Sunday Program.

We’ve got plenty planned for this summer, from building fairy gardens to self-massage so be sure to stop in!

Tammy Stolzman

Religious Education Chair