What’s Going On In Those Classes Anyway?
Questions and Answers About Our Children’s Religious Exploration Program.
What will my child learn about?*
God? Many people think that their lives are part of a much larger life force, and they call that force “God.” People the world over have different ideas of what God might be like. We share many of these ideas with our children, and encourage them to develop their own. Our children also learn that belief in God is not necessary to the living of a good and meaningful life.
Jesus? Our children learn about the historic Jesus, his life and times, and the impact of his ministry. They learn that Jesus was a loving human teacher who helped people to understand each other and be kind to one another.
The Bible? The Bible is a collection of books telling about the early days of the Jewish people, their ideas about God, the teachings of Jesus, and what some of his followers said about him. Bible stories are used to teach a lesson, and acquaint our children with their Judeo-Christian heritage.
World Religions? Our children will learn about the scriptures, deities, holy days and customs of a variety of world religions including Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Taoism, and Native American religions. Through these studies we hope to show our children that there are many spiritual paths to take to find meaning, and there is no one path that works for everyone.
What will my child’s religious identity be?*
In Religious Exploration classes we identify ourselves as Unitarian Universalists. All of our curriculums are based on the Purposes and Principles of the Unitarian Universalist Association. The children learn about UU history, and the women and men who have exemplified these principles in their lives. It is our feeling that religious values are acquired through “deeds not creeds.” Our children are given opportunities to live their faith by participating in individual, class, and whole church service projects.
How does baby and toddler care work on Sunday mornings?
Children from 1 to 4 years old will enjoy a warm and happy environment with our professional staff in the Toddler room. This room is located in the building above the upper parking lot. The facility is safe, clean and equipped with toys, puzzles and blocks. We ask that you please provide any equipment your child may need (such as bottles, extra diapers, snacks, etc.) in a bag, clearly marked with your child’s name. Please also sign in with the caregiver when you arrive. Children in this room may be dropped off before the service, or after the “Children’s Sharing” portion of the service
What about Arrival, Attendance and Dismissal for RE Classes?
Children go with their parents to the service. After the first 15 minutes or so, the “children’s sharing” part of the service occurs and the kids leave for their RE classes. Class continues for 20-30 minutes past the regular service, when parents pick their kids up from class. Please encourage your child to use the bathroom prior to the service, as this reduces disruptions during class time.
We are blessed with interesting curricula that allow our teachers to lead the children through many fun activities and learning opportunities on Sunday mornings. The children who enjoy RE the most are those who have the opportunity to build relationships with their peers and teachers. Regular attendance enables these relationships to thrive.
Can I attend an RE class, and what if I am visiting?
Adults are always welcome in our RE Classes. In fact we are always looking for volunteers for various activities! If you would like to attend an RE class, just check in with the teacher and let him or her know you are visiting or observing for the day. We ask that you be respectful of the class and their activities.
Child visitors are welcome to join us in RE. Please accompany your child to the classroom and introduce yourself and your child to the teacher and please be sure to leave your contact information. After two visits we ask that you fill out an RE Registration Form. We love to see new faces in our classrooms – it means new friends to make!
Who are those great teachers?
They are people just like you — lawyers, Moms, Dads, engineers, librarians, journalists and more! RE is taught by wonderful volunteers and they make our program possible. Please let the teacher or Director of Religious Education (DRE) know where you’d like to help or visit our Sign Up Genius page to learn more.
What’s my role as a parent?
Our RE program is run on a cooperative model, where we ask each family to contribute 2 hours each month to the program. This helps create a great program and keeps parents informed of the content of our program. Families are expected to support the fellowship and RE through their gifts of time and money. We request a minimum $40 yearly registration fee per child, or whatever is possible, for participating in our program to defray the costs of materials and other costs associated with the program. Click here to pay your donation/fee online by credit card.
All parents are expected to help in the following ways:
• Encouraging regular attendance to Sunday RE classes;
• Signing up to assist in class every month (if your child is more comfortable without you in their classroom, as is often the case with the older kids, please assist with another class);
• Talking with your children about what happened in class;
• Generously supporting the Fellowship at pledge time.
Here are some additional ways that some parents may help:
• Letting the DRE know if you have special interests or talents to share;
• Volunteering to teach or facilitate a class;
• Joining the Religious Education Committee;
• Lending a hand with special celebrations & events
* Reprinted in part, from the original by Carol Alfas,
which appeared in the Spring 1993 REACH Packet.