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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?

Here’s what I care most about: What about our children?

Sometimes we forget that our children are observing and modeling our behavior, all our behavior, all the time. When they see us celebrating a holiday, they take their cues from us. When that holiday is about exaggerated, demonstrative, sometimes punitive, expressions of romantic love, what are they seeing? What are they gathering from TV, social media, their friends? How can they navigate the murky waters of societal expectations while maintaining their own autonomy and personal morality?

Enter OWL. The Our Whole Lives curriculum was developed both UCC and the UUA to be a comprehensive, age-appropriate, science-based sexual education course. It has workshops specifically devoted to consent, healthy relationship dynamics, boundaries, bodily autonomy, and communication. The best part? We are currently teaching it here at UUFG for our kids grades 4-6 and 7-9. Be proud knowing that our congregation is doing its part to prepare our children to navigate a complicated holiday with a clear sense of who they are and what they expect from their future romantic relationships.

Oh, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

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]

February 2017 Religious Education Notes

Efforts continue to refresh and rejuvenate our RE spaces. This spring, we are focusing on possibly the biggest and best of our RE facilities, the playground. In past CYREC meetings, we have discussed the value of art in children’s spaces and debated the various ways we could include it in our plans for the playground. We knew we wanted to involve local artists and we knew we wanted the piece to be interactive. We tossed around ideas of child-friendly sculpture, painted fence panels, even hand-crafted paving stones. [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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