What is religious education when the religion does not have a doctrine to teach?
Is it a personal search for truth? Finding your spiritual path? Having an open heart and mind? Doing good work in the world by helping others? Prayer and meditation?
These are the questions we ask ourselves — and we may all have different answers.
As Unitarian Universalists, we believe religious exploration is a life long process. We offer workshops for adults as well as a Sunday Religious Education program for children. We feel that our children and youth are an integral part of our religious community, which is, reflected in our Religious Education program.
What do we learn in our Sunday program?
We learn about our Unitarian Universalist heritage and principles.
We discuss and learn rituals and why they important in all religions.
We learn to be open to the customs and beliefs of the world’s many religions
We come to understand Christian, Jewish and Islamic traditions.
We do this by highlighting the fundamental UU belief that we are all free to believe our own truths. We celebrate a coming together, and the gifts that each of us brings to the community. We discuss life’s big questions: Is there a God, a Goddess? What happens when we die? Why are we here?
Our curriculum does not answer these questions. It allows each of us to develop our own answers. We use our UU principles as a guide for discussion.
We approach these and other big questions through story telling, activities, and worship.
And we learn to be in community, building friendships and giving back through social service work.
Our religious education program is only a small part of your child’s spiritual development. Much of what children and youth learn about their spiritual selves comes from their parents. We encourage you to share your stories about your spiritual journey with your children. Talk to your children about how your actions reflect your beliefs in caring for the earth, tolerance, truth, etc. And give them opportunity to share with you. Share your spirit with your children, whether it be by having a time of prayer, a sharing of gratitude, time for quiet walks in nature, or a bike ride as a family.
For more information about our program please see the Director of Religious Education, Thea Shapiro or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do we do?
We are a small congregation. We use the one-room school house approach, with all our children in one group.
Sunday mornings start with children and youth in the Sanctuary with the congregation for the first 15-20 minutes of the service, including the chalice lighting, the sharing of joys and sorrows and Story for All Ages.
We go downstairs to our program space, gather in a circle, and light a chalice. We share something that has happened in our lives recently and sometimes discuss the Story for All Ages that was told upstairs.
The first Sunday of the month is yoga.
Please dress appropriately — comfortable clothing like sweat pants, leggings or shorts. Your child needs to be able to move freely. If girls want to wear dresses, please have them wear shorts under them.
We talk about the importance of self care, building strength and finding calm when stressed.
We have yoga mats and the children sit on their mats, do breathing and yoga.
The second and third Sunday of the month we talk about a UU Principle.
We tell a story from a world religion and discuss it and follow it up with an activity. The activity can be a game, craft, writing experiment or performance.
The fourth Sunday of the month is social service.
We do things many different things — from cleaning our own yard and playground equipment to making blankets for new babies at Lawrence General Hospital to making holiday cards for shut-ins.
The fifth Sunday of the month is a celebration.
We have a small worship service.