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Religious Education

Another church year is calling, and we answer in anticipation with renewed hope for developing and shaping our own beloved community. This seems more important than
ever. I’m yet again excited to be changing things up in RE to offer our varying age groups an even more meaningful experience exploring our shared values and learning from and with one another.


In part, what this means is that I will be providing our younger children (ages 3-6) with a separate “preschool” curriculum called “Chalice Children” which will focus on more developmentally appropriate lessons.

 

Our older group, (ages 7 and up) will participate in the “Building Bridges” curriculum. Here we will be exploring the ideas of religion and faith through examining many world religions as they relate to UU values and principles. We may even be visiting other places of worship during the year. In order to facilitate teaching two curricula, our younger group will meet two consecutive Sundays a month, with the older group meeting the following two.


My hope is that this concentrated time together, with breaks for each group, can provide an enriching and relaxing atmosphere for both groups. We will come together during certain services around the holidays. Parents and caregivers who plan to attend services on an “off” curriculum week for their child’s group will still have the option of “childcare” in the form of board games and crafts for the older children and supervision (play time and UU coloring page simple crafts) for the littles. We also will continue incorporating yoga movement and stress management strategies into some of our
time together.

Lauren Jones-Rabbitt

Religious Education Director

Our first meeting back from summer break will be as a whole group. Each month that we meet will have a general theme used for discussion both at Fellowship and home that our friends at UU “Soul Matters” have shared with us. Each month, caregivers will be receiving a digital packet concerning this theme, with optional exercises that will assist and connect us.

 

The RE schedule can be found in The Quest and also in our closed UUFSC Facebook group. If you are a parent/caregiver of an RE student and have not already been added, please get in touch with me via email, lauren.jonesrabbitt@gmail.com.Our purpose is to provide for our young people a fellowship home where they can discover and express their own spirituality.

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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