Enter, Rejoice, and Come In

Dear Friends,

I’m excited to share with you the curricula we will be using in our 2017-2018 Religious Education program. This past year our focus was on UU Identity. This coming school year we will shift our focus to an exploration of our sources, the Hebrew and Christian traditions, as well as other world religions. In order to fully understand what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist, it’s important to become familiar with the many religions that have informed, inspired, and influenced us.

If you have questions, or if you’d like to learn more about how you can be involved in RE, please feel free to contact me.

Wishing you a happy & healthy summer!

Be well & be loved,

Gina

2017-2018 Curricula Religious Education for Children and Youth

Pre-K & Kindergarten: Spirit Play: The goal of Spirit Play is to help children live into their own answers to the existential questions: Where did we come from? What are we doing here? How do we choose to live our lives? This highly successful Montessori-based program engages children using stories from many traditions and group “wonderings.” Children choose work activities, sing songs, and partake in a “feast” each week.

Grade 1: Bible Superheroes: In a world where so often “might makes right,” and at an age when they are beginning to form values that will take them through their lives, children in this class will meet super heroes from the Bible who were powerful in mind, body, and spirit. The goal of the curriculum is to introduce children to the stories of people from the Bible who have acted with courage and wisdom in their attempts to lead their lives fully and make the world a better place for others, just as we strive to do as Unitarian Universalists.

Grade 2: Picture Book Bible Tales & World Religions: This curriculum offers an introduction to Bible stories from the Hebrew & Christian traditions, as well as Hindu, Islamic, and Buddhist faiths using beautiful and engaging picture books. Each lesson is complemented by an age-appropriate art or movement-based activity, such as Arabic alphabet calligraphy, cooking with dates for Ramadan, peacock feather art, sand play, and more.

Grades 3 & 4: Passport to Spirituality: This curriculum teaches children not just about world religions, but how they can actually utilize world religions to gain wisdom and develop their own spirituality. Participants in this class will “travel the world.” At each country the children visit, they will receive a passport sticker, learn about a different religion, engage in a spiritual practice used by that religion, and pick up a souvenir to take home.

Grades 5 & 6: Bibleodeon: This curriculum is ambitious and inventive! Participants don’t just read, they experience the great stories of the Hebrew and Christian Bibles. They encounter a crime scene that tells the story of Cain and Abel. They face down the temptation of candy. They conduct a Bible Women’s Awards Night. They construct masks of animals that didn’t make it onto the ark, and build living sculptures. In this class, children learn about the Bible as one of the many wonderful and important UU sources.

Grades 7 & 8: Our Whole Lives (OWL): This nationally recognized, highly successful UU program on human sexuality is designed to help adolescents acquire accurate information, develop positive attitudes, and make healthy decisions about the role of sexuality in their own lives. Advisors are trained by the UUA. Participation requires regular attendance and parental permission.

Grades 9 – 12: Youth Group: This year we will be experimenting with many different types of programming to best meet the needs and interests of our high school youth. While this is subject to change, the plan at this point is to offer bi-monthly meetings when the group will get together to talk, play games, cook, eat, watch a movie, discuss a TED Talk, or work on a service project. There will also be opportunities for outings, Youth Cons, independent projects, assisting in an RE classroom, stewardship, and social justice activism.

Faith in Action: Social justice work is central to Unitarian Universalism. Empowering children to find ways to practice the Seven Principles is an important goal of our RE program. Once per month, generally on the second Sunday, children in grades 1 – 6 will work together to put their UU faith into action through service to our church, our community, and our world.