The great end in religious instruction is not to stamp our minds upon the young, but to stir up their own.” —– William Ellery Channing
This Fellowship offers religious instruction for children and adults.
Children’s Religious Education (or Exploration, if you will) is offered to children aged seven years or older every Sunday during the academic calendar (September-May) at 10 am. Children younger than that may participate if they choose, so long as they come prepared to actively engage in the lesson. Infants and younger children are encouraged to join our childcare provider Leah Byrnes in the play room. Unitarian Universalist Principles are taught every year and generally with each lesson. The 2017-2018 curriculum is focused on Putting our Principles into Practice.
The curriculum is hand-built, and borrows a number of Unitarian Universalist lessons from a collection of sources such as:
– Around the Church Around the Year by Jan Evans-Tiller
–Gathering Around The Tree of Life: Resources for Children’s Chapels and Intergenerational Worship by Rev. Laurie Bushbaum & Shari Goff
–Spinning Tales Weaving Hope: Stories of Peace, Justice & The Environment, edited by Ed Brody, Jay Goldspinner, Katie Green, Rona Leventhal, and John Porcino
–The UU kids book by Brotman-Marshfield
During Sunday services, we spend a lot of time talking about what our Principles mean- we use prominent figures from both Unitarian and Universalist origins as our models for what it looks like to live ethically as a Unitarian Universalist.
As a co-chair of UUFL’s Social Action Committee, I firmly believe that one of the best ways to Put UU Principles into Practice, is by finding ways to contribute substantively to our community. The kids and I had multiple conversations on how to best go about contributing, and we landed on a few different actions:
- In October, we made Haunted Houses out of graham crackers, and sold them to our congregation- the proceeds from that sale went to the Laramie Animal Welfare Society (LAWS), where we were able to help them with their Catch and Release program, that spays or neuters the stray cats in town, to ethically reduce that population, and aid the community’s birds and other wildlife that are affected by the presence of feral cats. Some of the funds also went to helping feed the cats up for adoption.
- During the Holiday Season, we also reached out to the congregation to help us support Heifer International; an organization that provides agricultural animals, and training on their proper care, to at-need communities in over 22 different countries across the globe. Thanks to the congregation’s help, we were able to provide honeybees, rabbits, and chicks to families around the world.
- Outside of our RE lessons, we also have helped out, or had communal meals, at the Laramie Soup Kitchen; a vital institution that has been helping feed families in our local community since 1983. Part of our efforts here are to volunteer and help the Soup Kitchen with cleaning and other necessary functions- to be stewards of support. The other part of our effort there is to spend time with the people of Laramie, and support the essential service that the Laramie Soup Kitchen provides, through the simple act of sharing a meal. We will be looking to do this again at least once more before the end of the year.
If you have any questions about what we’re doing in RE, contact RE Director Manda Still via email: firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information
Adult Religious Education programs are offered on a periodic basis, depending on interest. These classes often take place in the evenings. Past topics have included social justice aspects of immigration, Bible Study and spiritual practices of Judaism, Christianity and other World Religions.
Teen youth group
Depending on the number of youth and available leaders, the fellowship sponsors a junior high and high school age youth group. In the last few years our youth group participated in a ropes course activity with another UU youth group, organized a garage sale and donated proceeds to the Laramie Animal Shelter Foundation and completed a world religions RE course. Our youth participate in Sunday services through by serving as greeters, lighting the chalice, and playing music.