Religious Education Corner
Sometimes people ask me exactly what we teach in our classrooms on Sunday mornings. Currently we are using the UUA’s Tapestry of Faith curricula. Each Tapestry of Faith program has stories, activities, and social action ideas to nurture children in ethics, spirit, faith, and Unitarian Universalist (UU) identity, and Taking It Home and Find Out More sections to extend learning. Families can go online from home to explore the ideas and activities the children experience in their religious education program.
After our children graduate from the nursery/childcare program, we have a combined group of Pre-school/kindergarten/first graders. Melissa Albanese and Bethany Riddle (and Michele Jaffie on Social Justice Sundays) lead these inquisitive young ones. Their curricula this year is called “Creating Home.” It talks about the “journey” we all take in our spiritual quests. It introduces our fellowship community as a “faith home.” The children are free to explore different types of homes and what their role in a home might be. Our children learn about “belonging” and they learn that being part of a home implies certain responsibilities, entitles them to safety and protection and allows them a feeling of contentment.
The sessions include stories from Unitarian Universalist and other traditions, hands-on activities to make learning accessible to individuals with various learning styles, and structured opportunities for questioning, reflecting, and self-expression. The program introduces children to Unitarian Universalist heritage, including rituals, songs, and traditions of our faith, and stories about Unitarian Universalists whose words, songs, and deeds have helped to shape the faith home that participants share. On certain Sundays, they have been able to participate in yoga. On other Sundays, they have been learning dance moves so that they can perform “Come sing a song with me” for the congregation at our intergenerational service on February 2nd.
Our children have been learning about their “family home” and how each family home is different. Some may include grandparents, some may include only one parent, and some children have two moms or two dads. Family structure has changed over time and there is no “normal”. Affirming all types of families is important at this age. Children can learn to be accepting of families whose structure may different from their own. Children at this age are receptive to multicultural experiences. Families are the primary influences on the faith development of their children. As a parent, you take on a special role: supporting your children and helping them to develop and shape their Unitarian Universalist faith development.
As a reminder to the parents of our youngest children… your infants are always welcome in the Sanctuary. Happy baby sounds are always wonderful to hear. If you need to get up and walk the halls for a bit that’s fine too. We also have senior high youth in our childcare room at every service to care for your little ones if you want to attend the service. Children of all ages are always welcome at UUFSB!