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Multigenerational Ministry: a Mission of Cohesion -- Religious Education Notes for August, 2019


There is a rift, an odd gap, in the fabric of our congregation and indeed in many UU congregations. It exists between the adult body of the congregation and the children. An invisible wall divides us, a traditional separation of the ages that keeps newly- Bridged young adults from feeling a connection with their home church. This is not a new phenomenon. UU congregations have been dealing with a noticeable absence of “born and raised” UUs for years. We are a community of “come-inners.” But why? Why doesn’t a child raised from nursery to Coming of Age in the UU faith not feel moved to stay in the UU faith?

One aspect is this rift. The invisible wall that makes the RE kids feel uncomfortable staying in the Sanctuary. The service is not meant for them, after a certain point. They can feel that. They are asked, ever so politely, to leave after the first fifteen minutes of service. Many of them don’t even know what happens in an adult UU service. They have experienced All Ages services, certainly, but we all know those look very different from your average Sunday morning. How is an 18-year-old suddenly supposed to feel at home in a UU Sunday service if they’ve never been a part of one?

Religious Education is important; it’s my job after all. However, what is religious education really accomplishing if, at the end of their time with me, they don’t feel like a UU? That’s why multigenerational ministry is so vital. That’s why programing that is accessible for everyone in our congregation is so important. In the coming academic year here at UUFG, there may be some changes to the RE schedule. You may start noticing more teenagers in the Sanctuary. I implore you to support these kids. Connect with them. Let them know that they are a part of our UU family. Because they are our future, but they must feel that, too.

In Fellowship,

Heather Arata, Director of Religious Education

Valentine's Day and OWL -- Religious Education Notes for February 2019

Valentine’s Day is week. Cue either the heavy sighs or the excited grins. Depending on personal experiences, most people are very divided on this most “lovely” of holidays. Forgoing the history of the day and its Christian origins, let’s concentrate for a moment on how it’s celebrated today. Like most holidays, it comes with heavy expectations. Unlike most holidays, it focuses almost entirely on our romantic personal relationships. The lip service says it’s a holiday about love, but really, it’s about romance. It’s about couples, almost exclusively. Most un-holiday-like of all, Valentine’s Day carries a sexual expectation. No wonder people are divided. What about people who are single? What about people who are in polyamorous relationships? What about people who identify as asexual?[Click "Read more..." to continue]

Be Kind -- Religious Education Notes for December, 2018

When I meet new people, they often ask me what I do for a living. When I tell them that I’m a liberal religious educator, I usually get blank looks. When I tell them that I am a Director of Religious Education, I usually get vague nods and politely raised eyebrows. In an attempt to capture the spirit of what I do, I often quip that I teach kids not to be jerks. [Click "Read more..." to continue]

What Makes a Religious Education Program Work? -- RE Notes for July 2018

What makes a Religious Education program work? What makes it possible?

Is it a stellar curriculum? While important, no curriculum does not a program make. A personal story and a meaningful message can make a great class.[Click "Read more..." to continue]

Summer Religious Education Programming

We in the Religious Education department, together with our Children & Youth Religious Education Committee, are pleased to announce our fun new summer program. [Click "Read more..." to continue]

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Religious Education Registration

All children and adolescents involved in any Religious Education program at UUFG, including Youth Group, must have a current, updated, registration form filled out and on file.

A new registration form needs to be filled out annually or whenever a child’s living situation changes. Any time new people wish to attend UUFG Religious Education classes, they can register.

Parents, children and youth do NOT need to be members of UUFG to register for and participate in UUFG Religious Education and Youth Group programs.


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