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Religious Education

Hello RE Friends,

 

As I write to you, the large Rose of Sharon bush in my yard is dropping its final white, pink and purple blossoms of the season and I can't help but feel sad that this sign of the end of summer is here again.  It goes without saying that this summer has been unlike any we have ever experienced, and yet, it is important to say it, we must mark the truth of this strange experience of Covid-19.

Globally and nationally, we've been through so much since March, fighting many seemingly invisible enemies whose results are real and dangerous: systematic racism and the intersections of all systemic oppression in particular, are at the forefront of our collective an Unitarian Universalist consciousness.  There is still a lot of work to be done, and much to learn, and I'm excited to be part of our congregation as we learn and grow.

This being said, usually in the first Quest of the year I have many exciting plans to share with you about our upcoming RE time together.  This year, though, as our Fellowship plans to continue our virtual experience, I am sorry to say that the Religious Education Program will be suspended until we can meet again in person - whenever it is determined we can safely return.

After a lot of thought and consideration, the issue weighing most at the heart of this decision is that is seems very unfair to ask children who are already looking ahead to many changes in their normal school experience to commit to yet another online platform.  Online RE participation in our program at the end of last year proved challenging for most of you.

I personally still plan to attend our online Fellowship when I am able and to volunteer organizing certain programs that are dear to my hear (including increasing awareness concerning the climate crisis and systemic oppression), but while we are online, my role as Religious Education Director will be put on hold.

Though it makes me sad to miss this year with your beautiful children and all the growing they will do, this increasingly feels like the right path for all of us.  If you have any questions, concerns, or ever just want to reach out, I am always available and would love to chat.  My hope is that the children are able to peacefully navigate a balanced and reimagined "new normal," rooted in prioritizing the health of their hearts, minds, bodies and spirits.  I know that you as their parents and caregivers will lead by your examples.

Much love and gratitude, Lauren

Lauren Jones-Rabbitt

Religious Education Director

Our Religious Education Program helps them acquire the knowledge, attitudes and skills they need to develop their own values and then to live those values on both an interpersonal and global level.

We aim to help our young people:

  • Understand, value, and identify with Unitarian Universalism - its history, traditions, and principles,

  • Develop self-esteem and the ability to relate to others in a just and caring way,

  • Develop a sense of social and spiritual community,

  • Learn about the beliefs, myths, and traditions of other religions from which they can draw inspiration,

  • Discover their own uniqueness in a life-long quest for personal values and truths,

  • Develop a sense of participation in a universe and an awareness of the mysteries which surround us.

Philosophy 

Our Religious Education (RE) Program provides opportunities for young people and their adult leaders to come together to share their thoughts and wonderings as they travel the road of free inquiry and discovery in their search for spiritual direction and meaning.


Our RE Program promotes an atmosphere in which young people can learn from the religious history of humanity. Our program does not attempt to indoctrinate young people with religious "truths," but rather encourages them to decide for themselves those things which are of ultimate importance.

 

Value-oriented, youth centered and tradition-sensitive, our program is designed to assist the growing person in developing a personal religion which will contribute to a fuller, more purposeful, more creative life.

How It Works 

Each Sunday all children attend the first 15 minutes of the adult service which begins at 10:30am. After a story for people of all ages, the children gather around the chalice while it is lit and then head downstairs for their Religious Education program until 12:00pm. For special occasions, intergenerational services are planned where the children and adults participate in the service together.

Attendance

Consistent attendance allows children to build relationships with their fellow students and teachers and allows for a better learning environment.

Registration 

Parents are asked to fill out a registration form for their child/children. We invites parents to participate in our volunteer teaching program or contribute their talents in other ways.

Principles of UUs as Expressed by Young People

We Unitarian Universalists believe that these principles are important for our lives:

  • We believe that everyone is special.

  • We believe that our churches and fellowships are places where all people are accepted and where we learn together.

  • We believe that each person must be free to search for what is true and right in life.

  • We believe that everyone should have a vote about the things that concern us.

  • We believe in working for a peaceful, fair, and free world.

  • We believe in caring for our Earthly home and all its creatures.


Unitarian Universalists share an ongoing history from which we learn many things.

  • We learn that being a part of life is a wonderful mystery.

  • We learn about strong and good women and men who have lived fair and kind lives.

  • We learn that Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and other religious teachings tell us of God's love and teach us to love our neighbors as ourselves.

  • Believing in the basic goodness of all human beings including ourselves, we learn the value of using our own minds as we live our lives.
     

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Sussex County

1 West Nelson Street

Newton, New Jersey 07860

(973) 579-7210

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