October 2017  
Monthly Religious Education News

October 2017

Religious Education

All Souls Unitarian Universalist religious education
nurtures liberal 
religious discovery and the spiritual development of children and youth.


Religious Education News from Reverend Caitlin


From Nursery through High School

It has been a festive return to the Sunday School season, with new friends, new songs and new ideas to feed us.  Take a look at what we have planned for October classes below, and please take note of “dates to remember.”

Child Dedications:  Every year on the first Sunday of November, we take time to name and dedicate children in our midst.  While families often choose to dedicate their children when they are babies, children and youth of all ages are welcome to experience this blessing.  It is a ceremony that honors a child’s place in their family and in the community of All Souls.  Please be in touch with me at if you would like your child(ren) to be dedicated at either the 9:30 a.m. or 11:15 a.m. service on Sunday, November 6th.  It is such a beautiful opportunity to name, bless and honor our children and commit to their spiritual nurture.

Plans for October Sunday School sessions:

In PreK/Kindergarten, “Big Ideas for Little People,” we will engage the big questions through story, craft and play.  We will learn about the fairness of democracy, where everyone gets a vote, and we’ll learn that words can hurt and that we ought to be kind to one another.  We will explore Muslim celebrations and the life of Muhammad. In preparation for the presence of witches in Halloween culture, we will learn about he beauty of the wiccan faith. Lastly, we will engage the life cycle of nature, and how things in nature move and change, but never really stop. 

In 1st/2nd Grade, “Creating Home,” we will learn what a symbol is and how it can represent things we care about.  We will hear the story of the Unitarian Universalist chalice and make our own stained glass chalices.  We will then explore the homes of bees, and what they do at home.  We will craft some bees for a class bee hive and “send the bees home.”  We will hear a fable about hone combs and the special skills of the bee, and we’ll make and enjoy together a Honey Parfait snack!

In 3rd-5th grade, the “Harry Potter and UU” curriculum, we will wrap up our exploration of the “horcrux” (Harry’s word for a persistent negative element) of Illiteracy and we’ll deliver the books we collected to the New London Public Library.  We will transition to consider the horcrux of Hunger in our world.  The children will learn current facts about food insecurity and about programs that seek to help.  In addition to learning about these concrete truths, the children will also playfully explore a variety of magical responses to difficulty in our lives.  They will make potions that seek to address our fears and fight horcruxes.

In 6th-7th grade, the “Bibleodeon” course, we will delve into some of the Bible’s earliest stories:  Creation, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah, and Abraham.   Each story will be told using a unique “Learning the Story” activity. For example, youth will listen to the creation story while drawing their own creation and listening to music. They will also deliver a news report on the death of Abel, and investigate the crime scene. Youth will explore themes of the nature of creation, miracles, temptation, good and bad, truth, fair punishment, and faith.  The stories and themes will be reinforced with a “Creative Experience” such as acting in playlets about right and wrong, and creating masks of animals from Noah’s ark.

In 8th grade, the “Heeding the Call” course,  participants will explore the congregation for signs of justice making, analyzing to what extent our congregation is involved in social justice work right now. Participants will also delve into the various peace maker roles one can have. Later in the month youth will learn more about the lives of differently-abled individuals, and better understand the important ways language influences social justice work.

In the High School youth group, the “Our Whole Lives” Sexuality and Faith course, we will learn about Reproductive and Sexual Healthcare, including sexually transmitted infections and a review of brochures on self exams for cancer screening.  The youth will learn about contraception and will role play communication skills to negotiate for safer sexual activity.  With the insights of a panel of guest speakers, they will then explore questions of Gender Identity, Gender Roles and Sexual Orientation. 

Dates to Remember

October 15: one service at 10:00 a.m.  Congregational meeting following the service Rev. Caitlin and Rev. Carolyn take 6th and 7th grade on hike

October 29: Halloween parade and party to follow 9:30 a.m. service

November 5: Child dedications at 9:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. services

Thank you to:

Our 2017-2018 teaching teams.

We are off to a great start!:

PreK/Kindergarten:  Audrey Daigneault, Jennifer Burns, Linda Sargent, and Teneik Martin

1st/2nd Grade:  Angela Mock, Carol Irwin, Julia Helal, Kathy Whealton

1st/2nd Grade OWL Facilitators:   Kristen Helal, Shawn Heard, Phil Love, Laurel Holmes

3rd-5th Grades:  Lisa England, Lizzie Jantzi, Natasha Singer, Paul Carolan

6th/7th Grades:  Ben Parent, Daisy Small, Michael Whitehouse, Susan Bouregy

8th Grade:  Eileen Ego, Frida Berrigan, Matt Zupka, Nancy Parent

9th-12th Grade OWL Facilitators:  Karen Ethier-Waring, Martina Botinelli, Nick Evento, Patrick Sheehan-Gaumer

Kyle Murray for assistance with RE registration and classroom preparation!

Rev. Caitlin