All Souls Unitarian Universalist religious education nurtures liberal
religious discovery and the spiritual development of children and youth.
Religious Education News from Reverend Caitlin
We have had steady and strong attendance in Religious Education this winter, which makes the sharing of learning and the building of the community so very rich for us all.
Below, take a look at what we have planned for Sunday School in March, and please note that our beloved “Special Friends” pen pal program will begin at the end of the month. A child and an adult write each other letters for several weeks without knowing their “special friend’s” identity. At a culminating dinner on Wednesday, May 3, they meet their pen pal and share a meal together!
The PreK/Kindergarten class will hear a story called “One Smile” about how one kind action can have ripple effects for others, and a story called “Something Beautiful” about making our surroundings better. They will then learn about Jane Goodall’s work with chimpanzees through the story, “Me..Jane.” They will talk about how learning about nature inspires us to take care of nature. They will also engage the Spirit Play story box, “I live in the universe,” which places their home on earth in the context of the larger universe.
The 1st and 2nd grade “Moral Tales” class will continue with the theme, “do no harm,” by exploring the concept of nonviolence. They will consider how UU values would help them in an ethical conundrum, and they will make “What Would UU Do?” bracelets to wear. They will consider food justice through a story from India, “The Dog and the Heartless King,” where a dog in the castle won’t stop barking until everyone in the kingdom has eaten. They will experience an “unfair snack” and work together for a fair snack, and they will see images from the book, “Hungry Planet” showing the kinds of food that people have access to in different parts of the world.
The 3rd and 4th grade “Sing to the Power” class will finalize the Fire power element by supporting All Souls’ Good Neighbor Offering Team in generating support for an issue they especially care about. They will then take on the power element of Water, considering its slow but persistent strength when, for example, carving through a canyon. They’ll hear the story of Universalist minister Phebe Hanaford, who worked for women’s right to vote, slowly and steadily like water. And they will do a group game that explores the advantages of being flexible like water as opposed to hard like rocks.
The 5th and 6th grade “Amazing Grace” class will do a small group ministry session to review their personal responses to all of the ethics topics they have covered so far this year. They will then shift to the 8-session “Our Whole Lives” (OWL) sexuality and faith curriculum. In the March sessions, participating students will learn about the experience of puberty, and the importance of communication and self care. The parent/caregiver meeting to learn about what the OWL course entails will be Thursday, March 2nd 6:00-7:00 p.m. The course will be taught during the 9:30 a.m. service as usual, through early May.
The 7th and 8th grade “Building Bridges” class on world religions will follow the sessions they have experienced on Islam with a visit to the Islamic Center in Groton (during class time on March 5). They will share time with their middle school peers at the Islamic Center’s Sunday School. Subsequent Sundays in March will focus on Christianity: its sacred texts, the figure of Jesus, and historical facts through the Protestant Reformation and beyond. We will prepare for a visit to a Protestant congregation as well as a Catholic congregation during Sunday School time in April.
In the High School Youth Group, we will continue to experience small group ministry, speaking from the heart about topics that the youth designed. Upcoming topics include how standardized testing affects us; our experiences around the concerns of the LGBTQ community; and how we feel about cats! The youth will also be planning an outing of their choice.
Dates to remember:
March 2 Parent/caregiver meeting for 5th/6th Grade OWL program, Thursday 6-7p.m.
March 5 7th/8th Grade visit to Islamic Center during Sunday School time
March 12 &19 Sign-ups for Special Friends letter writing program
March 26 First of 6 Sundays for Special Friends letter exchange
Thank you to:
Danielle Mello and Lynette Gardner for substitute teaching.
Nel Udo for sharing her personal experience of immigration with the 3rd & 4th grade class.
The Meditation Group for hosting visitors from our 7th & 8th grade World Religions class.