Religious Education

At UUSGU, Religious Education is for all ages.

It is faith development— a lifetime process of evolving and deepening our faith, growing spiritually, and learning to care for each other and our world with understanding and compassion.

Statement of purpose from the Religious Education Committee

By providing a safe environment to foster spiritual growth– which includes having good role models and time to focus, center, and be mindful– for any age person to learn, explore, share, and ask questions, we hold the space for persons to:

  • Learn about Unitarian Universalism as a religion and what it can mean to be a Unitarian Universalist.
  • Be part of a faith community and learn to build community with shared values.
  • Discover spiritual tools to be used in living life fully. (The UU Principles and Sources are a resource for this.)
  • Explore some of the “big questions” of life such as “What is my purpose?” “Where do we come from?” “Where are we going?” and other religious and spiritual questions.
  • Learn how to be active, responsible, caring, respectful citizens of the world—our interdependent web of existence.
  • Be part of receiving and passing on our Unitarian Universalist history, knowing that ours is a “living tradition.”

2016-2017 Learning Opportunities on Sunday Mornings

Little Lights – Care for age 4 and younger.

We provide a comfortable and engaging space where a child can begin to develop a relationship with their faith community. There is an adult experienced in providing child care, plus a caring volunteer, from 9:30-11:30 every Sunday except when we have multigenerational worship services. Parents: your child can stay with you during the service and/or you can bring your child to this group at any point during the designated time.

Flames — Children age 5 up through 2nd grade are offered a curriculum called “Spirit Play,” where they can listen to and wonder about stories related to our themes. Using a Montessori, story-based approach, it encourages independent thinking; values different learning styles; gives children choices; and develops a sense of spiritual and Unitarian Universalist identity. See our separate brochure for Spirit Play.

Chalice Lighters– 3rd – 6th graders have the opportunity to explore and learn about the themes through a variety of “activity stations” set up around a large room. Each session begins with a whole-group welcome and ends with a whole-group sharing and blessing.

RE Pillars for this year for age 5 – 6th grade:
Fall—“The Interdependent Web and Caring for Our Earth”
Late winter/early spring—“Jewish and Christian Teachings”

Junior Youth– 7th – 9th graders are exploring world religions through a UUA Tapestry of Faith curriculum, “Building Bridges,” to deepen understanding, broaden awareness, nurture open-mindedness, and support faith.

High School Youth Group

10th-12th graders meet every other Sunday after the worship service to create their own path of exploration. Recently, they have been working on fun fundraising projects for the church and social justice efforts. All high school youth also have a choice to attend and engage in the worship services, or assist with RE for younger ones. They are welcome at Adult Faith Development offerings.

One Room RE for age 5 – 9th grade happens once a month after Chapel, with theme-related activity stations. It is a wonderful opportunity for building community across different ages.

Our annual late spring “MAY There Be Peace & Justice” is also done as One Room RE.

Worship services at UUSGU are experienced in a variety of ways:

  • During most worship services, children are together with their families and the rest of the congregation for the first part of the service, with a “Time for All Ages” before they leave for their RE groups. Parents can always opt to have their child or children stay with them during the whole service.
  • Multigenerational Worship Services are for everyone and take place on selected Sunday mornings throughout the church year.
  • A monthly Chapel for children and junior youth is held in Fellowship Hall, followed by One Room RE. Parents are welcome.

Adult Faith Development

We strive to have offerings in these interconnected areas:

  • Exploring faith and belief (presentation, discussion, field trips)
  • Spiritual growth, Spiritual practice (experiential)
  • Unitarian Universalism history, traditions, identity

Current ongoing group offerings: Kirtan, silent meditation, bring-your-own-craft nights.

A new addition:  Wisdom Circles are small group gatherings for deep listening and sharing around an aspect of UUSGU’s monthly spiritual themes.  Sessions are being changed from Sundays to Thursday evenings, time to be determined.

Being an RE Teacher for Children and Youth

People new to UUSGU are invited to wait 6 months to a year before volunteering to teach RE for children and youth. We want you to get to know us, and we want to get to know you. If you feel like you cannot wait that long, speak with Jeanette Ruyle, the Director of the Lifespan Religious Education program.

If you would like to know more about what is involved in teaching RE, please see this website that reviews pertinent information for RE teachers at UUSGU.
This resource is also for experienced folks who have already taught RE!

Religious Education Committee

2016-2017

Bette Lotterman,
David Seligman (Adult RE), Nuray Wallace
with
Jeanette Ruyle, M.A.R.E, CRE
Director of Lifespan Religious Education
508-839-2927 or 508-479-0953(cell)
re@uusgu.org