The Religious Education Committee of the UU Fellowship of Stony Brook is a community of open-minded people who are looking out for the interests of children and youth of this Fellowship. We provide a connection to UU tradition and encourage development of friendships and a social network among the children and youth, as well as providing a liberal religious education.
The Religious Education (RE) Committee is responsible for coordinating and administering a Religious Education program for our children (Pre-K – 12) and teaching them about their UU identity.
- Monthly Social Action Fundraising Projects
- Planning of Intergenerational Services
- Social activities to allow the children to get to know one another better
The UU Principles for children in words and song
|1. WE BELIEVE THAT EACH AND EVERY PERSON IS IMPORTANT.||"Each person is important."|
|2. WE BELIEVE THAT ALL PEOPLE SHOULD BE TREATED FAIRLY.||"Be kind in all you do."|
|3. WE BELIEVE THAT OUR CHURCHES AND FELLOWSHIPS ARE PLACES WHERE ALL PEOPLE ARE ACCEPTED AND WHERE WE KEEP ON LEARNING TOGETHER.||"We're free to learn together."|
|4. WE BELIEVE THAT EACH PERSON MUST BE FREE TO SEARCH FOR WHAT IS TRUE AND RIGHT IN LIFE.||"And search for what is true."|
|5. WE BELIEVE THAT EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE A VOTE ABOUT THE THINGS THAT CONCERN THEM.||"Each person needs a voice.
Give everyone a vote."
|6. WE BELIEVE IN WORKING FOR A PEACEFUL, FAIR, AND FREE WORLD.||"Build a fair and peaceful world."|
|7. WE BELIEVE IN CARING FOR OUR PLANET EARTH.||"Take care of earth's life boat'. Hey!"|
*Words for the Principle Song
The Religious Education Committee (REC):
We teach the principles by the use of curricula published by the UU Dept. of Education at our headquarters in Boston and by other religious education publishers. The curricula are written and edited by Unitarian Universalist religious educators and field-tested in UU societies before final publication. Our Religious Education Committee here at Stony Brook (many of whom are educators) chooses from among the many curricula offered to make our own individual program. In these many curricula, the UU principles are taught in ways that are tailored to the developmental abilities of the children. We also sing the Principle Song*.
The Teacher Volunteer:
Each leader in the classroom begins with a genuine love and respect for the children. He or she brings their own background and faith experience as motivation for teaching children about our principles. In our program, we have many dedicated and caring leaders who want our children to learn about UUism.
The Parent as Religious Educator:
We encourage parents to educate themselves so they are familiar with the UU Principles. In this way, you will be able to talk about them to your child. We also have several books on Unitarian Universalism that you can borrow or buy. Pamphlets are in the lobby to introduce various aspects of our beliefs.
During the course of the year, the RE Committee plans and leads two family worship services. These are the Winter Holiday Service and the Spring Festivals Service. These services are intended to educate children and youth about our Christian, Jewish and Pagan roots and reinforce them in ritual celebrations.
In addition, we support the UU Seder meal and the annual Recognition Service and Service of the Living Tradition (which includes the Flower Communion Ceremony) - services that further educate our children in our faith traditions.
You, the Congregation:
To use an expression, it takes a village to raise a child. The congregation must teach by example and model what Unitarian Universalism is about and what our religion stands for. Every interaction, every contact during and after classes, teaches our young people about our religion. The RE & Social Action Committees organize activities for young people,but you too are teaching our children and youth. By bringing your family to participate in clean-up days at the Fellowship, by volunteering at Hobbs Farm, by helping set up or clean up after a service or an event, you teach by example. By observing your actions, by volunteering, by participating, our children and youth become part of our community, have ownership in our Fellowship and learn how UU's act out their faith.
Parent Information for Children's Religious Education Program - 2011-2012
Parent Information: We welcome you to our Religious Education Program. You are welcome to stay with your child in Worship Circle and in their classroom for as long as it takes them to be comfortable without you. Regular attendance makes a real difference in your child's religious education. It helps your child establish friendships and provides a sense of continuity for students and leaders alike. We will need you to assist a leader for five Sundays during the year. In addition, if you have a skill or talent to share, please let us know and/or volunteer. We invite you to participate in whatever ways you can. To learn about what is happening, both in the Religious Education program and in the Fellowship, sign up for and read our newsletter, the e-Unicorn.
Children's classes: Classes begin at the same time as services (10:30am) and end at 11:45am, after snacks and clean up. Your children will attend classes with others in their age group, although siblings may stay together at first if they wish. On most Sundays the children grades pre-school through third grade will meet for Worship Circles prior to going to their age-appropriate class. Childcare is available during the service in Room 2, the Nursery. Please ask a greeter and they will direct you.
Budget information: There is no fee for children's classes. Our program depends entirely on contributions to the general budget so we urge parents to pledge to the Fellowship whether or not they are members. Our annual pledge drive occurs in the spring. At that time, you will be asked to donate to the budget from which the Religious Education Program receives its funds.
Registration: To register your child, click here to fill out an online form. Or click here for a printable form you can complete and return to the Religious Education Office. Although you must register your child, registration does not obligate you to any fee. We are, however, a cooperative and parents /guardians are expected to share their time, talents and skills with the Fellowship community. We expect that non-teaching parents will assist in the classroom five times each year, in addition to volunteering in some other area. We invite you to participate in whatever ways you can.
TAPESTRY OF FAITH:
Embodying a faith development focus for our congregations, Tapestry of Faith is a series of programs and resources for all ages that nurture Unitarian Universalist identity, spiritual growth, a transforming faith, and vital communities of justice and love.
The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has created the first ever online lifespan curriculum for our congregations. Each program includes stories, activities, worship and social action ideas to nurture people in ethics, spirit, and faith. Every session features Taking It Home and Find Out More sections for families to explore at home. And parents can go online and read the curriculum that their children are experiencing in their congregation each week.
Nursery: Infants and toddlers (under age 3)
Aides: Devon Hempe, Kelly Johnson-Sally, Emma Kubinski
For the youngest children, we provide warm, friendly care. We ask parents to stay with their children until they feel comfortable. Please pick up your children as soon as the service ends.
Three to Six Year Olds:
Leaders: Michele Maggio and Melissa Albanese with parent assistants
Wonderful Welcome: In this program, children identify intangible gifts central to Unitarian Universalism such as friendship, hospitality and fairness, and share these gifts with others.
Second and Third Grades
Leaders: Wendy Engelhardtand Margaret Sobel with parent assistants
Faithful Journeys: Equips children with language and experiences to develop and articulate a strong Unitarian Universalist faith identity. Through historic and contemporary stories of Unitarian Universalist faith in action.
Fourth and Fifth Grades
Leaders: Jennifer Kubinski and Suzanne Goldstein with parent assistants
Toolbox of Faith: Invites participants to reflect on qualities of our Unitarian Universalist faith, such as integrity, courage and love, as tools they can use in living their lives and building their own faith.
Sixth-Eighth Grades: Middle School
Leaders: Dan Dunmire, Vivian Viloria-Fisher
Heeding the Call:Qualities of a Justice Maker Youth are encouraged to view themselves as agents of change in the world as they develop qualities crucial to justice work. They reflect on their own lives while making connections to the lives lived by others, building self-awareness while growing as leaders. Includes a Justicemakers Guide to help youth track their activities outside the workshop and a long-term Faith in Action project to lead youth, step-by-step, in becoming allies to marginalized communities. Middle-schoolers are also invited to attend two Metro NY Junior High retreats scheduled in the spring and the fall to get to know other Unitarian Universalist youth.
Ninth-Twelfth Grades: Senior High Youth
Youth Group Leaders: Melissa Elliott, Nancy Hunter, Harlan Loveless, Dixie Comeau and Linda Cortese with other UUFSB helpers
In these groups, young people meet and discuss topics ranging from current issues in Unitarian Universalism and other religions, to their spirituality. The Youth Group, which meets on Sundays twice a month from 5-7pm, has a youth worship and business meeting. They plan activities and social action projects within our Fellowship as well as in the community. Many youth also attend Metro NY CONs to spend time with other Unitarian Universalist Youth.
UUCONNECT is a Long Island wide group of Unitarian Universalist families. Events are planned monthly throughout Long Island. In the past, these events have included: an apple-picking afternoon, a skating party, a Talent Show and Pasta Night, Picnics at Jones Beach and Eisenhower Park and an annual trip to New York City. Parents are required to attend with younger children. Senior High youth may attend on their own with parental permission. It is an excellent opportunity for our children and youth to meet other Unitarian Universalists.