Our Religious Education program is ever evolving to meet the needs of our church's congregants. After many conversations, planning, and organizing and we are ready for a new church year!
One of the most recent changes with a large impact on our program was the implementation of a 3-year plan based on the Unitarian Universalist Pillar System.
The four pillars or topics that we will be exploring are:
UU’ism, World Religions, Self-Care and Self-Worth.
The 3-year plan will include:
Year 1 UU’ism – 7 Principles
Year 2 Social Justice/Diversity
Year 3 Famous UUs
Year 1 World Religions – Overview
Year 2 Religious Teachers/People
Year 3 Festivals
Since we are on Year 2 of our cycle, we will using curriculum that the UUA recommends for Social Justice. We will also be including lessons on
Black Lives Matter. For World Religions, we will learn about such
teachers as the Dalai Lama, Mahatma Gandhi and Malala Yousafsai.
For Self-Care we will be introducing our children to drumming as a form
of meditation. Dave Curry will be our guest in October and teach our
children to drum. We will also have yoga, meditation, mindfulness and
talk about healthy eating. Thanks to Carla Rissmeyer our children will
also do fun activities to learn about our 7 th Principle.
Our Youth Group will be learning about social justice, Black Lives Matter
plus having lessons on UU history and discussions on current events
and tolerance.They will also be working on an outreach project for AHOPE and NuDay Syria.
The RE Committee and the DLRE are also focusing on Adult Education. We are
hoping to offer a class on Mindfulness, a Current Events class and a
field trip to the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). As the church
year begins, we will be advertising these offerings for people to sign up.
If you are interested in offering a class please reach out!
One of the most significant changes the RE Committee and DLRE made last
year was to review and expand our RE Safety Policies. Many
thanks to Carol Connolly for her hard work on this extensive document,
thanks to Amanda Aguiar for her editing skills and Claire Kenney for
uploading the file for easy access!
We are committed to providing a safe church environment for our
children, it is of the utmost importance! The guidelines we have
implemented ensure not only safety for our children but reassurance
for our parents. We highly advise everyone in the
congregation to read these guidelines and policies. Please click on the
link to go the Safety Guidelines- http://goo.gl/6nmCGr
Other new things we will being implemented include:
1. Ice Cream Social in August- Every summer RE will host an Ice Cream Social. This will be a wonderful opportunity for our families to meet each other, form friendships and have some sweet fun! This year’s Social was a great success with 48
children and adults who gathered to make sundaes and play some games.
2. Traveling Chalice- We will be putting together a package with all
the tools needed to do chalice lighting and worship at home. The package will not only include a chalice but stories, a coloring book, and a journal for including notes. Our RE families will be able to borrow this for two weeks. We hope this will provide an extension of worship, meaningful conversation and family closeness. Thanks
to Colleen DeGroot for putting this together!
3. Resource Kits- The two kits we have available are about Grieving and New Baby. The kits will provide a book for your child, information, and suggestions for how to talk to your child about the subject.
The New Baby kit will also include a baby doll. Our kits will be available to borrow for up to two weeks. Thanks to Carol Connolly for putting the kits together!
4. RE Library- For our teachers, children and anyone who loves children’s books! The RE Library is located in the DLRE office and has taken almost two years to organize. Many thanks to Laura Gustafson, Claire Kenney and Patrick Kenney for organizing books according to topics we cover in our program making it easy for our teachers to find a book for their class. There will be book sign out sheet so we can keep track for our books.
5. Nursery Cooperative- As our nursery grows so does the need for more volunteers, we implemented a program called a Nursery Cooperative. This means that our parents, who have children in the nursery, will be a part of the volunteering process. This will ensure coverage in the nursery and will provide more opportunities for parents to meet other nursery parents.
The RE Committee consists of Carol Konvalinka-Connolly (RE Chair), Rebecca Cameron-Belcher, Colleen DeGroot, Brian Gustafson, Donna Palmer, John Reinhagen, Ted Weil, and Kate Ricciarelli-Wenson. The committee is charged with cultivating the direction of our program and is available to hear suggestions, thoughts or ideas. Kavita Vansant, Director of Lifelong Religious Education is also available for your input by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org and text/phone at: 508-498-8290.
There is also an RE Advisory Committee which consists of Bev Hall, Don Michaels and Vanessa Wehmeyer should you wish to talk to them about Religious Education.
May our year in Religious Education and church be filled with peace, love and kindness.