As we prepare to emerge from our COVID cocoons, thinking once again about gathering together in covenant, in-person, and online, we must acknowledge that the way we have been doing Religious Education (RE), will not work for the imminent future. Our first priority is to re-learn how to be together in community, and to allow space and offer compassion for the spiritual and emotional needs of the children (and for the adults who will lead them), in the RE program.
What do we have planned for Religious Education next season?
The 2021-2022 RE program will require flexibility, patience, and a return to the pioneering attitude of UUCM’s founding Mothers who in 1897 said, “We want a liberal Religious Education for our children that looks nothing like what we have seen and experienced before.” Embodying that pioneering spirit, our 2021-2022 slate of classes will not resemble those you may recall UUCM offering before.
With that spirituous rallying cry in mind – we are moving decisively forward:
· There will be three semesters, October -December (RE starts October 3rd), January – March, and April – June – offering a gradual increase each semester of 4 – 5 well-defined experiential lessons (learning through doing), for multi-age classes/groups.
· We will focus on the care and wellbeing of the individual and development of the whole program in a way that will allow us to HAVE FUN while we learn!
· We will use a multi-platform* approach (as best as we can), to offer program options for online and in-person classes based on available resources and the capacity of our staff and volunteers.
· We will gather the RE kids and youth into multi-age groups that will cater to their interests while focusing on UU foundational values.
· We will anchor the classes/group lessons by using the 6 Sources of Unitarian Universalism as a broad foundational resource for understanding, exploring, and deepening our UU identity.
· We will live out the 8 Principles through the experiential classes/groups (embracing our UU Living Tradition), to clarify our understanding of the 6 Sources.
The details of the 2021-2022 season are currently being refined and ironed out, and although asking for volunteer teachers now may seem premature, recruiting our teachers as early as possible is key because our teachers will be a driving force in the evolution of the RE Program, and there will be specialized training available during Teacher Start Up. Moving forward into this next phase of RE, with a new multi-platform format and different types of RE class options will require us all to be extremely imaginative and adaptable. Having experienced a year like no other, we are all now veterans of thriving in an emergent environment. Let us now strive and thrive together to redefine our beloved community starting with our UUCM foundation, the Religious Education of our children and youth. Please click here to take a quick RE survey: forms.gle/JHKXD68b8ew5MBZ4A.
We are SEEKING ADVENTUROUS VOLUNTEER TEACHERS to join us on a noble quest to help us facilitate an innovative RE Program well-suited to, and in honor of the pioneering spirit of our UUCM history. UUCM – The Congregation of the Next Century – emerging from a pandemic slumber to persevere, nurture, evolve, and grow our beloved (RE) community. I invite you to register now to be a Volunteer Teacher, and join us in this next exciting phase of Religious Education at UUCM.
Teacher Registration Link https://tinyurl.com/yw4mt8zu
Multi-Platform* Program Delivery = Offering programs in more than one way – in person and virtually.