Our church school affirms that children, as well as adults, should have the freedom to discover and develop their own religious philosophy. This makes us different from traditional churches which have a body of dogma to impart to their children. Rather than a creed or formula, we offer children experiences from which religion can grow. The kinds of experiences differ according to the age of the child and the type of curriculum, but certain themes run throughout the church school:
- Acceptance of self and others as being of unique and intrinsic value
- Appreciation of the natural world
- Encouragement in making increasingly mature and responsible decisions
- Appreciation that the Universal Questions we ask have been asked throughout history by peoples everywhere
- Awareness that our religious heritage has its source in the way these questions have been answered by many religions, but especially by Judaism and Christianity
The Religious Education program is coordinated by the Religious Education Committee and our Director of Religious Education. The curricula are carefully selected from a variety of materials, including materials made available by the Unitarian Universalist Association. Members of the congregation volunteer their time as classroom teachers.
Grades 1 – 3 will be working with “Being Your Best: Character Building for Kids,” a curriculum being used for the first time at the church. Values of caring, citizenship, cooperation, fairness, forgiveness, honesty, relationships, respect, responsibility, and safety…
“…help kids learn to understand and work together with others–especially those who are different from themselves–as well as to develop a concern for the quality of life in their families, among their friends, and within their communities.”
This curriculum is packed full of ways to work with these concepts and should be lots of fun and stimulating as well.
“In Our Hands,” the year-long curriculum for Grades 4 – 6, is an expression of the UU commitment to peace and justice, developed by teams of UU’s from the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia. From their description, the children…
“…explore their own knowing, feeling, and imagining about issues of peace and justice. The curriculum helps them learn various concepts of peace and justice within themselves. They explore the nature of conflict and creative conflict resolution. Finally, the children consider what it means to treat the earth peacefully and fairly.”
Grades 7 – 9 will be invited to participate in their age-appropriate Our Whole Lives sexuality course to begin later this fall. Outreach is planned; if you know of a parent or teen who might be interested in learning more, please contact me.
Information on the OWL program is available here.
Everyone in this church community could help with recruitment of families to join the church. Do you have neighbors, co-workers, friends or family with children who are not involved in a religious education program? Sometimes it is as simple as your enthusiasm about what we do here that might encourage a family to check us out. Isn’t there an adage that says one should not hide one’s light under a bushel? This is an important way for you to support the Religious Education effort.
Director of Religious Education