Religious Education Programs 2020-21

WELCOME!

We’re so glad you’re here to find out about NUUC’s Religious Education (RE) programs, whether you’re a caregiver, a prospective volunteer, or both! In 2020-21, we will hold our RE programs virtually due to Covid-19 in order to  care for the health of others, in support of our values.

Planning an entire year of RE is a challenge, especially when many kids and adults are understandably already feeling “Zoomed-out” after 6 months doing so many activities (school, work, family gatherings, lessons, etc.) in a remote environment. But with the full participation of children and youth, caregivers, volunteers from the congregation and visitors from other congregations and faiths, we can craft a meaningful, multi-generational RE experience that transcends the distance between us!

After reading the descriptions below, sign up your child/youth or sign up to volunteer at the appropriate link. We’d love to have you!

IMPORTANT: Programs begin on Sunday, October 4.

  • Preschool-3rd grade Storytime and More Oct 4 kickoff: Caregivers and prospective volunteers for Storytime and More program are asked to join for the first session on Oct. 4 if at all possible so you can see if you think this format is a good fit for your child. Caregivers are always welcome to join in Storytime to help manage technology use for the youngest kids, especially. The link for the year is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81091700254?pwd=aWhYSVB0UFYyRnB3VnVpdVlZUitFZz09 .

SAFETY

We require all regular RE guides to have background checks, and we require two unrelated adult volunteers to work with each group of children/youth. This is one of the reasons we need you to volunteer!

DESCRIPTIONS OF AGE-BASED PROGRAMS

Preschool-3rd grade: theme-based stories, crafts, movement and sharing

Our youngest children, from preschool to 3rd grade, need connection, fun, and a time to share the important things happening in their lives. Their attention spans are also on the short side! The foundation of our program for these children rests on two pillars: 

  • Theme-based weekly Zooms: Most Sunday mornings before service, from 9:30-10:00, this group will gather for stories and lessons tied to our monthly themes (below), sometimes including crafts and movement. The goals for this age are connection–with each other, with adults, with UUism—and fun! 
  • Soulful Home program: The Soulful Home program helps caregivers create meaningful spiritual experiences and conversations within our homes. It ties to the monthly themes and helps reinforce that home is the most important place of faith formation in a child’s life! (And there actually lots of great faith formation prompts for adults in here, too!) Check out Soulful Home at https://www.soulmatterssharingcircle.com/soulful-home.html (description) and https://www.soulmatterssharingcircle.com/uploads/9/4/5/0/94501751/sm_2020-09_sh_renewal.pdf (sample packet for the theme Renewal). 

September:  Renewal     October:  Deep Listening  November:  Healing  December:  Stillness  January:  Imagination  February:  Beloved Community  March:  Commitment  April:  Becoming  May:  Story  June:  Play

4th through 12th grades: Crossing Paths, a “neighboring faiths” faith formation program

This year, we are engaging youth of a wide range of ages in the Crossing Paths (https://www.soulmatterssharingcircle.com/crossing-paths.html) spiritual journey. This program is an updated version of the beloved UU “Neighboring Faiths” curriculum. It has been revised for fully online delivery, and helps older children (and their adult guides!) learn about UUism and other religions, considering connections between different faiths, differences in the types of questions they ask and answers they provide about human experience, and learning how to interact with people of other faith traditions. These faith traditions include:
Unitarian Universalism, Judaism, Christianity, including a diversity of denominations, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Paganism

Check out Crossing Paths at: https://www.soulmatterssharingcircle.com/crossing-paths.html (description) and https://www.soulmatterssharingcircle.com/cp-samples.html (sample packet). 

We acknowledge that 4th graders and 12th graders have different capabilities to consider diverse religious experiences and traditions, so we will use Zoom breakout rooms to allow for age-appropriate conversations for different levels. But we’re sure that all ages from 4th grade to adult volunteers will benefit from participating in Crossing Paths!

The Crossing Paths curriculum will require a number of adult volunteers—preferably 4 for each session—with a core teaching team of 8 adults and numerous other adults to help facilitate breakout room conversations. We need you! Please email Jen Aultman at jaultman@nuuc.org to learn more about or sign up for these roles, or sign up directly at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30E0845ACA92BA13-202021 . Thank you!

SUMMARY

This is a lot of program information, so below is a summary chart. Please contact Jen Aultman, Director of Religious Education, with questions, ideas or concerns at jaultman@nuuc.org and please register at the links above. Thank you for taking the time to learn about our programs–we hope you’ll join us!

AGE PROGRAM DAY/TIME PROGRAM ACCESS
All ages Soulful Home caregiver/parent led Monthly packet sent out via email
Preschool-3rd grade Storytime and More Sundays 9:30-10AM Zoom https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81091700254?pwd=aWhYSVB0UFYyRnB3VnVpdVlZUitFZz09
4th-12th grades Crossing Paths Sundays 11:45AM-12:30PM https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84129393204?pwd=ZDJIcGRuMXgwdzBLMzVHaFE4OGhLdz09
Middle Grades (4th-7th grade) Monthly social events TBA TBA
Youth (8th-12th grades) Monthly social events TBA TBA