Religious Education

Religious Education

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 RE class enjoys Fall Day.

Children’s RE

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 2016-2017 curriculum is a compilation of UU and world religion sources focused on the central theme of “What Divinity Looks Like.”

Half of the time in RE this year is being spent on Unitarian Universalist lessons from a collection of sources such as Around the Church Around the Year by Jan Evans-Tiller, and Gathering Around The Tree of Life: Resources for Children’s Chapels and Intergenerational Worship by Rev. Laurie Bushbaum & Shari Goff. The other half of the year is focused on gaining ethical lessons, cultural context, and value comparison from other religions. Time is fleeting, so this year there will be only six other religions (or philosophies) covered in proficient depth: Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Indigenous Peoples Spirituality, and Buddhism.

The format of the curriculum is set up to emphasize Unitarian Universalist Principles and the culture of this particularly special fellowship; every other Sunday is a UU-based lesson, and each alternating Sunday on a given world religion will typically have a lesson told from a UU perspective. Sources for Christian and Judaic lessons, for instance, include Timeless Themes: Stories from the Hebrew and Christian Bibles by Nannene Gowdy, Mary Anne Moore & Marjorie Skwire, and Special Times: Honoring Our Jewish and Christian Heritages by Betty Jo Middleton.

Contact RE Director Manda Still via email: Manda.still42@gmail.com for additional information.

Adult RE

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.

Another adult religious education offering is small group ministries.  These groups meet, usually weekly, to explore in-depth personal religious topics.  A popular example is Evensong, a small group ministry by Barbara Hamilton-Holway, designed to help congregation members make lasting connections with one another.   Evensong includes singing, readings and discussion. Participants are invited to share thoughts, experiences, doubts and religious beliefs.

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.