Enter, Rejoice, and Come In

Although I have been on the Religious Education Committee since 2014, this has been my first year as Chair and what an exciting and busy year it’s been! On Sundays we have continued our monthly model of two Sunday mornings in the classroom, learning our religious education curriculum, one Faith in Action Sunday, where the children put UU Principles in action through social justice and community service projects (filling backpacks for recently released prisoners and taking a bumper sticker “Safari” are just a few examples), and one Sunday where children participate in a multi-generational service upstairs. On those months that have an extra 5th week, we call on volunteers to help facilitate special activities with the children. This model is working well for us and we anticipate continuing with it. It brings the children up to the Sunday Service once a month and allows for more adult volunteers to commit to a little less time per month (two Sundays for teachers and one Sunday for the Faith in Action team), which fits more easily into many of their busy schedules. So if you’ve been thinking of getting involved with our younger crowd now’s the time to jump in! We’ve got all kinds of opportunities to explore. (I just couldn’t resist making a quick plug for recruiting potential RE Volunteers.)

In addition, on Sundays, our 7th and 8th graders have been learning about human sexuality and relationships in OWL (Our Whole Lives) classes with our dedicated team of OWL teachers. (OWL is offered every other year.)

This year was the first year that the Youth Adult Committee was included under the umbrella of the RE Committee rather than being a separate committee. This merger bridges the gap that seemed to exist in the past between children in RE and those who have moved on to High School by making us a more cohesive group. We also adopted an Experilearn youth ministry program with the Youth Group and Junior Youth Group which has allowed us to experiment with new ways to extend fellowship among the these Group beyond Sunday mornings through service projects and fun outings. The Youth Group often met outside of the traditional Sunday morning time, sometimes for lively discussion over a coffee, other times just for fun (most recently on a trip to the trampoline park). The Junior Youth Group also had fun doing things like taking a ride on “Rails to the Darkside,” collecting and delivering items for the Connecticut Humane Society, and participating in the March For Our Lives at the State Capitol. By all accounts, both groups have been a success and we look forward to all the good times next year!

To round out our RE calendar we always like to host events that will be fun for kids of all ages and this year was no different! We camped out, did some Trunk-or-Treating, went Holiday Caroling, made chalices, played games, and ate ice cream just to name a few highlights. And we’re not done. There’s a Bike Rodeo coming up on June 3rd, after the 11:00 AM service, so “bring yer bikes and giddy up!”

 

Tammy Stolzman

Religious Education Chair