From Lily Rappaport, Developmental Director of Family Ministries
This past month the Religious Education Committee held strategic planning sessions to set goals and action steps, and invited parents, teachers and all others to attend roundtable listening sessions to share ideas and to name priorities for lifespan religious education programs. The discussions, led by RE Co-Chairs, Jason Brome and Ghana Hylton, allowed folks to hear each other’s experiences, perspectives and dreams. Here are the questions asked and some of our answers:
“What brings you to Religious Education?”
A desire to learn with and from young people; to see our youth learn UU values, grow and flourish; to structure space for children to engage with other children in a way that is inspirational, educational and fun.
“Why do we do Religious Education?”
To instill a strong moral fabric and identity going beyond what would be experienced in traditional education; to teach empathy, social justice, kindness, to love and be loved; to create intentional beloved community, celebrating something larger than ourselves.
“What challenges do we have to overcome?”
Challenges include things as money, short or narrow vision, old habits; limited time, busy, overcommitted schedules, competing activities and interests, perfectionism.
“What are the opportunities?”
Provide whole families with shared experiences, not just on Sunday mornings, but each day of the week; extending our engagement outside our walls into our homes and communities; help children find their passions; build multigenerational community and connections with our neighbors.
“If success is completely guaranteed, what bold step would you take?”
Build an academy that trains people to be champions of truth and art, service and justice; develop partnership with a church in Newark or Paterson; create a satellite campus, convene a child equivalent of coffee house where children want to come, think big thoughts, and explore ideas; develop summer camp open to the community; become a model institution for others.
Religious Education Calendar
January 5: 8th Grade Our Whole Lives begin; Coming of Age-Meet Your Mentor Lunch
January 7: RE Committee Meeting, 7:30pm
January 12: Teaching Team Check In, 12:30pm
January 19: UU Young Adults Meeting, 2pm