Questions and Answers About Our Church School Program
How is the program structured?
The RE program this year has activities for four age groups: nursery/play, younger school age, upper elementary, and the Coming of Age program for youth. This way all our children have learning experiences that are developmentally appropriate and attractive for them.
What will my child learn about?
Many people think that their lives are part of a much larger life force, and they call that larger force "God." People the world over have different ideas of what God is like. We share many of these ideas with our children, and encourage them to develop their own. Our children also learn that belief in God is not necessary to the living of a good and meaningful life.
Our children learn about the historic Jesus, his life and times, and the impact of his ministry. They learn that Jesus was a loving human teacher who helped people to understand each other and be kind to one another. In following the guidance of the ideals of love, peace and forgiveness taught by Jesus, we make the world a better place in which to live.
The Bible is a collection of books telling about the early days of the Jewish people, their ideas about God, the teachings of Jesus, and what some of his followers said about him. The Bible is not taught as the "singular word of God;" rather Bible stories are used to teach a lesson, and acquaint our children with their heritage.
The children will learn about the scriptures, deities, holy days and customs of a variety of world religions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Taoism, and Native American religions. Through these studies we hope to show our children that there are many spiritual paths people take to find meaning, and there is no one path that works for everyone.
What will my child's religious identity be?
In church school we identify ourselves as Unitarian-Universalists. All of our curricula are based on the Purposes and Principles of the Unitarian-Universalists Association, which are (Children's Version):
The children learn about UU history, and the women and men who have exemplified these principles in their lives. It is our feeling that religious values are acquired through "deeds not creeds." Our children are given the chance to live their faith by participating in individual class, or whole church school service projects. What are my responsibilities as a parent in my child's religious education?
While we understand that perfect attendance for every child is not possible, we hope that you will make a sincere effort to bring your child to church school as often as possible. Many units of study last several weeks, and your child will gain much more from the class if she/he attends regularly.
Show an Interest:
Ask your child about what goes on in church school. Each class will have its own "open house" Sunday, and we strongly encourage all parents to attend.
Share Your Beliefs with Your Child
Church school is only one half hour a week, and like it or not, you are your child's primary religious educator. Let your child know your religious beliefs. Share your "used-to-thinks" about God, prayer, heaven, etc., and what your ideas are now. Let your child know why you chose this church, and what it means to you. Talk about how you act on your beliefs about fairness, tolerance, caring for the earth, etc., and provide your child with opportunities to act on his/her beliefs. This is the most important of your responsibilities.
Between Sundays is now available for parents and religious education teachers who need help with questions from children about UU beliefs, other religious issues, world religions, and social justice. The site includes lesson plans, readings, and stories around each question. It was developed by Betsy Williams, creator of the children's magazine uu&me!
The Church of the Larger Fellowship (CLF) reminds congregations to enroll their seven-year-olds on-line for a free subscription to uu&me!, the only UU children's magazine. CLF makes this offer possible with the help of The Veatch Program of the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock, NY, and the support of the UUA Department for Congregational, District, and Extension Services.