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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.

There’s a hint of cynicism in that, though, and at times it bothers me. There’s an old philosophical argument about whether or not humans are born “bad” and then
conditioned by society to be “good,” or if it’s the other way around.

When I tell people that I’ve dedicated my life to teaching kids not to be jerks, I’ve already assigned myself to one side of that argument and, oddly enough, not the one I actually agree with. I believe in the innate goodness of humanity and that anyone can do good things if given the opportunity. So why this difficulty in explaining what I do? Why do I use laconic humor instead of loquacious excitement?

I think we tend to view long explanations as a negative. As UUs, this is especially true, as we struggle to express what our faith is as opposed to what it is not. We try to find our “elevator speech,” a short, easy way to explain the most complex of our feelings and beliefs.

A much beloved volunteer recently handed me a short comic strip called Pearls Before Swine. There are four panels. In the first one, a goat character explains to pig that he’s written 100 pages of an essay trying to summarize the world’s religions. The second panel shows the pig take the goat’s paper and write something on it. The third panel simply says, “Be kind.” The last panel shows goat saying, “Now I feel wordy.”

So, remember not to over complicate things. I teach children to be kind. Your faith implores you to be kind. It doesn’t matter how we start out, “good” or “bad,” as long as we strive to be kind.

In Fellowship,
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Director of Religious Education

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]

Children's Education

Way Cool Sunday School” model, a model which emphasizes the importance of community and experience alongside curriculum learning. We begin each Sunday in the sanctuary to share in the first part of worship together.  This is an important ritual for our young people.  The exposure to liturgy is important for learning what our rituals are.  The shared worship experience with families allows them to connect on Sunday mornings in an inspiring and uplifting manner.  The experience of being together says to the children that they are valued and have a place in the congregation.  Children need that sense of belonging, don’t we all?

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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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