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Monthly Faith Formation News

September 2019

Lifespan Faith Formation

All Souls Unitarian Universalist faith formation
nurtures liberal religious discovery and the spiritual development of children, youth, and adults.

 

Faith Formation News from Perry Montrose,
Director of Faith Formation

 

 

Perry's Ponderings

My summer included Fun & Games at All Souls, preparation for the new year in Faith Formation, Sailfest, a ride in an original Model T, lots of ice cream, and trips to see family in Michigan and Rochester. One of my favorite Fun & Games activities was our water day, when I ended up completely soaked as the target of little ones armed with water balloons and full buckets. It felt like a Faith Formation rite of passage, a baptism signifying a level of comfort that the children have reached with me after a year of developing our connection. All summer, it was heartening to see the children so at ease with each other and just having fun. They bonded and supported one another in all the games. This is the core of what it means to be a faith community and what we hold onto through transitions.

While in Michigan, our family attended the local Unitarian Universalist congregation, Birmingham Unitarian Church, where a couple of years ago they completed a construction project that required a capital campaign. Seeing their beautiful renovations increased my excitement about our own upcoming building project and what its completion will offer us. The community room space at BUC allowed for tables and open areas for chatting during coffee hour, along with milling about the social justice information table. I got the full sense of how our increased social space will expand our opportunities for connection.

Before our renovated space becomes a reality, we have a year of continuing to connect as we are. I mean that in terms of the building, but also as people. We come as we are, molded by our experiences, with the children having emotionally and physically grown over the summer. We are all works in progress, looking to Faith Formation to help us discover more about the self that exists and how it relates to the ever-changing world around us. We come to be embraced in a community of acceptance, while we learn and grow together.

We have thoughtfully chosen curricula for this year’s Children and Youth Faith Formation classes, knowing that the group bonding and fun experiences are what bring the lesson plans to life. The most meaningful discovery happens because of our presence to one another and knowing we have a faith home to hold all of who we are. Here are the curricula for this congregational year:

Abbreviated Class Descriptions (Full class information and registration at

https://www.allsoulsnewlondon.org/faith_formation_at_all_souls)

 

Infant and Toddler Childcare - We offer child/nursery care for children under 3 years of age. Our staff and volunteers are ready for interactive play!

Pre-K / Kindergarten: “Spirit Play” - These young Souls will explore matters of the spirit and heart through Spirit Play. Spirit Play includes ritualized storytelling, “wondering questions,” and various activity stations.

1st-3rd Grade: “Faithful Journeys” - This curriculum helps to ground children in who UU’s are, what we value and how we live. Centered around the 7 UU principles, children will engage their minds, spirits, and bodies.

4th-6th Grade: “Bibleodeon” & “Our Whole Lives” - This class will explore Hebrew and Christian scriptures, dramatizing some of the best-known Bible stories through theatrical play, TV reporting, and other fun projects. For the final part of the year, we will teach the “Our Whole Lives” (OWL) sexuality and faith curriculum.

7th-8th Grade: “Heeding the Call” - “Heeding the Call” is a series of workshops that will help youth to develop the leadership qualities needed for social justice work in our world. Topics include Empathy, Courage, Abundance, and Joy, as key ingredients for being responsive to justice issues in our society.

9th- 10th Grade Coming of Age - Beginning in October, we will offer the “Coming of Age” program to our 9th-10th graders. It includes discussions of religious and ethical questions, community building and service, and the youth sharing their “credos,” or faith statements, in a special worship service.

Youth Group - 11:15 AM - 9th-12th graders check in with one another, engage the “Big Questions” of the day, and build community in a safe and fun environment. Service projects and social outings just for fun are added.