From Lily Rappaport, Developmental Director of Family Ministries
Some congregations have shifted from curriculum-based Sunday classes to Religious Education that offers a variety of program choices each Sunday. Instead of dividing children into classes by ages and grades, this model allows children of different ages with different learning styles and comfort levels to self-select the program which is a good match for them. It also breaks down the silos between the generations and encourages people of all ages to learn together.
RE Choice is a program offered at the Tennessee Valley UU Church. Children, youth and adults can explore and develop their own religious identities and learn about Unitarian Universalism through a variety of freely-chosen experiential spaces. “Choose Your Own Adventure” is a similar model of Religious Education at the UU Church of Nashua, NH. Children choose from a variety of workshops, each having unified opening and closing rituals that provide continuity throughout the program. Workshops in these congregations include some of the following:
· Helping Hands or Love in Action (all ages welcome). Service projects allow children and adults to put faith into action and to engage in service within the congregation. Examples include tending to the property, making cards for homebound members, making treats for an animal shelter, and conducting a donation drive.
· Learning Lab (suited for grades 3-6, all ages welcome). Creative challenges are offered for those who enjoy making meaning through engaging their imaginations and connecting with others through hands-on projects, science experiments, and exploring nature.
· Story & Spirit (suited for K-2, all ages welcome). This space allows for reflection on the interplay between the stories we’ve heard in the sanctuary and in this workshop.
· Reflection Room (all ages). This space is intended to be a calming, sensory-friendly space for reflection and renewal, for engaging in spiritual practice and contemplation such as yoga, meditation, singing, prayer beads.
· The Authentic Connections Workshop (all ages). This workshop builds connections with worship service. Activities include rehearsing music, writing chalice lightings, and creating worship skits.
Religious Education Calendar
March 1 Grade 4/5 OWL Orientation (1-3pm)
March 1 All Ages Game Night (5-9pm)
March 3 RE Committee Meeting 7:30 pm
March 13-14 Coming of Age Overnight & YSOP in NYC
March 27-29 MNY Junior High Con at UUCM