By Aoife Barrington-Haber
Imagine you are standing in the middle of the RE hallway on a recent Sunday morning. You would witness magic happening in every direction. The nursery might have a toddler pounding playdough with Felicia, allowing the parents to enjoy some much-needed tranquility in the sanctuary.
Next door in Spirit Play, some preschoolers are entranced as Claire slowly and deliberately takes the handcrafted pieces from the story basket, laying them on a golden-yellow circle.
Across the hallway, an energetic group of 1-3rd graders enjoy seeing their guests’ beautiful wedding pictures, and learning how Unitarian Universalists played a big part in the fight for marriage equality.
Look out the door; the 4-6th graders are on the grass testing whether Cathy’s rubber duckies will go down a water shoot. They are reflecting on the power of water to be flexible, yet strong enough to create great change.
Bouncing gently on the Cook Room couches, some 7-8th graders share what they know, and what they would like to learn, about Islam and Sikhism in anticipation of their upcoming visits to a mosque and an ashram.
Now imagine yourself being a part of this magic, of planning with your co-teacher to make that brief golden hour on Sunday morning one that will resonate for years in the formation of a child’s faith. Picture getting to build a special bond with the children and youth of our congregation. There is nothing like being appreciated by a child.
In his book The Courage to Teach, author Parker Palmer writes about creating a community of learning, of gathering together around that “Great Thing” you wish to examine with your students. This is so accurate to the goal of UU religious education in our multigenerational community. Some people may feel intimidated when asked to teach RE, especially if they have never taught anything before. But the most important part of teaching is being a caring presence, and making space for questions. In our RE program we create an environment where every child is valued and welcomed, and where hopefully every teacher feels appreciated for their gifts.
If you are interested in becoming more involved in the shaping of FUSF’s RE experiences, you are welcome to join in for our Visioning Retreat. This will be a workshop of “focused fun” aimed at creating a Vision Statement to guide our work for the next two years.
Coming up in RE:
Meeting for Coming of Age participants and families
RE Visioning Retreat, 12-2pm, Cook Room
5/8 Mixed-age Activity for Mothers’ Day
5/15 FERRY BEACH
5/29 Memorial Day- All age activity
6/5 Last day of RE/ Bridging service
*TBD This month we plan to have an informational gathering on the two OWL classes (for grades 7-9 and 5-6) being offered next year. Watch your email!