Our Religious Education program strives to provide a fun, nurturing and spiritually fulfilling environment for children and youth. Our committee is working hard to bring our common values of compassion, fairness, responsibility, and sustainability to all of our RE classrooms through excellent materials and the hard work of our teacher volunteers. We hope that these programs will support the work you do as your children’s primary religious educator. We want to share a few highlights with you.
Our Director of Religious Education
Lisa Eason is our Director of Religious Education. She and her family (husband Kevin and two daughters) began attending UUCC in June of 2009 shortly after relocating to Columbia from Memphis, TN. Lisa was an active volunteer in the RE Program before assuming the DRE position in January, 2011. Lisa has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism from the University of Memphis and spent several years in the journalism and restaurant management fields. After a few years as a full-time, stay-at-home mom, Lisa returned to the workforce as a freelance journalist and part-time preschool teacher before becoming the UUCC DRE. She also leads a Girl Scout troop and enjoys camping, reading and spending time with family. Lisa and her family live in Forest Acres.
Our Youth Group
Our youth group for teens in grades 9-12 focuses on social action/social justice. The youth group meets on the first Sunday of each month from 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m. More information is available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Youth Heritage Trip to Boston
RE Committee Chair Barbie Seymour will organize a trip to Boston in summer 2014 for high school youth.
For 2013-14, we will use the following curricula:
Preschool--Combination of three print Unitarian Universalist curricula: “We Are Many, We Are One,” “Chalice Children,” and “Celebrating Me and My World.”
We Are Many, We Are One--Stories, games and projects encourage children to honor themselves, their religious community, nature and cultures from around the world. Features rich array of games, songs and family newsletters to build relationships between teachers and home. 36 sessions.
Chalice Children--Based on the premise that children learn best through experience, this program helps nurture spiritual growth, creativity and a sense of community through imaginative activities and rituals such as rhymes and fingerplays. Includes 36 sessions (plus 5 alternates) that introduce children to concepts such as birth and death, dreams and the natural world. Highly adaptable.
Celebrating Me and My World-- This full-year curriculum celebrates the wondrous qualities of children and the animals, objects, and people around them. Provides preschoolers with experiences and opportunities to grow in trust and caring and to develop their self-identity and sense of connectedness with all of life. Each session helps children identify with their classmates and religious community and affirm acceptance of one another, and nurtures spiritual and ethical growth. Unitarian Universalist principles and values that are implicitly promoted throughout the program include the inherent worth and dignity of every person; justice, equity, and compassion in human relations; and respect for the interdependent web of existence of which we are a par37 sessions
K-2nd Grade--World of Wonder (Tapestry of Faith)
This program delves deep into our Unitarian Universalist seventh Principle. It instills respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part, and appreciation of its beauty, excitement, and mystery. It is founded on the premise that direct experience in nature is essential to children's physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual development. Time spent experiencing and exploring nature during the kindergarten and first grade years can set a pattern for the rest of children's lives, bringing lasting openness to the wonder nature can spark. Includes Faith in Action activities focusing on social action.
3rd-5th Grade—Toolbox of Faith (Tapestry of Faith)
Toolbox of Faith invites fourth- and fifth- grade participants to reflect on the qualities of our Unitarian Universalist faith, such as integrity, courage, and love, as tools they can use in living their lives and building their own faith. Each of the 16 sessions uses a tool as a metaphor for an important quality of our faith such as reflection (symbolized by a mirror), flexibility (duct tape), and justice (a flashlight). Includes Faith in Action activities that can be used for Social Action lessons.
6th-8th Grade—Neighboring Faiths—World Religions (Print)
This curriculum is split into two parts covering two academic years. The first part is World Religions (e.g. Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Earth-centered religions);the second part covers Unitarian Universalism and Christian denominations. Plans call for the UU and Christian portions of this curriculum to be used in 2014-15. Includes 4-5 field trips to other houses of worship/faith communities. Additional activities may include arts and crafts related to the particular religion being studied at the time, interfaith social action projects, and Children’s Chapel lessons pertinent to the curriculum (e.g. Day of the Dead).
9th-12th—Virtue Ethics: An Ethical Development Program for High School Youth (Tapestry of Faith)
We make hundreds of decisions every day. Some are small. Some are life changing, although we may not know their significance when we make them. This program’s premise—in the words of the Buddha, recited in every workshop Opening—is that “our thoughts and actions become habits and our habits shape our character.” We have some control over our character. We can shape the person we want to be by making intentional, thoughtful decisions. Our youth will also take part in five spiritual practices workshops this school year, e.g. meditation, yoga and a drumming circle.
Multi-generational Worship Services
In our multi-generational services, children and youth (other than nursery-aged) remain in the worship service with the adults.
August 25--Water Communion
November 24--Cornbread Communion
December 15--Holiday Pageant
December 29--Fire Communion
April 20 (Easter)--Flower Communion
May 18--RE Celebration and Bridging Ceremony
Lock-Ins, Field Trips, CONs and other Special Events
This year we'll host three separate lock-ins for our high school youth, middle school class and elementary students. We also send groups to The Mountain Retreat and Learning Center in Highlands, NC, for fall CONs, and our Neighboring Faiths (middle school) class will visit several other houses of worship. Out high school youth group will have an interfaith service event with youth from other congregations on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend.
Read all about the latest happenings, field trips, lessons and volunteer opportunities in our Weekly RE Newsletter. Please email email@example.com to receive the weekly newsletter.
Sincerely,The UUCC Religious Education Committee