Children’s Religious Education
“Life becomes religious whenever we make it so: when some new light is seen, when some deeper appreciation is felt, when some larger outlook is gained, when some nobler purpose is formed, when some task is well done.”
– Sophia Lyon Fahs (1876-1978) Progressive Religious Educator
Our Philosophy on Religious Education for Children
We believe deeply in engaging children where they live, in the world of their daily lives, in the process of equipping them to deal with everyday problems. We seek to stimulate their sense of wonder and curiosity about life. Our approach to religious education is a radical departure from traditional content and methods. Instead of telling children what they ought to believe, we encouraged them to ponder for themselves the mysteries of the universe and human destiny.
We expose children to the stories, myths and legends of other cultures, and to the discoveries of science. In place of rigid lesson plans and structured learning, children participate in crafts projects, role-playing and creative self-expression. In place of beliefs that are divisive, discriminatory and damaging, we promote beliefs that are expansive, inclusive and pathways to wider understanding.
We believe in Sophia Fahs’ teaching that it is more important to encourage self-reflection, critical thinking and the development of one’s inner resources than to reinforce rigid beliefs. Only in this way will our children learn to promote global peace and human solidarity.
Children’s Religious Education – 2016-2017
We offer RE for children from Pre-School through 9th Grade. These classes meet Sundays during the worship service from the second Sunday in September through the first Sunday in June. Your child will not be taught what to believe in our RE program, but will be provided information to help them along on their spiritual journey.
Our children start out in the service with their parents every week. They will participate in the first part of the service and will be sung out after the “Time for All Ages.” Afterwards they will attend classes as follows:
1st – 6th Lessons in a Bag
“Lesson’s In A Bag” – Many lessons in a bag have been prepared for the teaching teams. The lead teacher can pick from a variety of bags on Sunday morning. Each bag has a theme and everything for the lesson the team will need is in that bag. Multiple activities will be in the bag geared toward different age groups along with activities that can be done as a group. Our children are able to make choices.
What happens in the classroom –
Each class will have these elements
- Chalice lighting
- Joys and Concerns
- Overview/Lesson – Lesson topics like our UU principles, famous people, world religions, critical thinking, holidays
- Activities – At least 3 different activities for different ages. Activities like crafts, plays, charts, matching games.
Our OWL curriculum was jointly created by the UUA and UCC
In a nutshell Our Whole Lives helps students make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. It equips them with accurate, age-appropriate information in six subject areas: human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, Our Whole Lives not only provides facts about anatomy and human development, but also helps participants clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality. Need more info go to http://www.uua.org/re/owl/
9th Grade ~ Coming of Age Class (COA)
There are no 9th graders and thus no Coming of Age group this year. However, the next COA class of 2014-2015 has begun meeting and plans to use this year and next year to conduct fundraising in support of the traditional spring capstone trip to Boston – slated for May 2015.
Young Souls ~
The first Sunday of each month, we offer an inter-generational class called “Young Souls” for Pre-K–8th graders. This class focuses on building community across age groups, provides service opportunities, and explores World and Neighboring Religions.
The classes will last approximately one hour from the time the kids leave the service. They will come to the meeting room for coffee hour/fellowship following their classes, about 15 minutes after the church service is out. This allows adults the opportunity to get some coffee and socialize for a few minutes before the children join them.
We recognize that all human beings have a need for worship and as such, several times throughout the year, there will be multi-generational services when the children will attend the main church service with their parents. These services give us the opportunity to share with our children in the mystery and wonder all around us, that renews the spirit and connects us in community.
We offer nursery services each week for children from birth through Kindergarten. Our regular paid nursery worker is Alexa. She is assisted by a volunteer each week.
The Children’s Religious Education Program at All Souls is a cooperative effort. The quality and scope of our program depends on the active involvement of adults. We ask each parent to make a commitment to teaching or assisting at least twice during the church year. For those new to our congregation, we ask that volunteering be restricted to Young Souls classes for a period of one year. This allows prospective and new members a chance to get to know the church and the RE program before taking on a more responsible role.
Our children are most important to us, and as such we make every effort to protect them. Our policy requires all current and potential staff and volunteers, who will have formal contact with the children, to complete a set of screening forms and submit to a background check. Please see the Nursey/Classroom Volunteer page for our complete Safe Congregations Policy.
Adult Religious Education (ARE)
We offer a variety of classes for adults designed both to enrich the spiritual life and to provide tools for everyday living. Watch the Weekly Expression Newsletter and the ASCC Facebook page for announcements of upcoming ARE opportunities!