Childhood and Middle Years Ministry
Welcome to Theodore Parker Church’s Religious Exploration program for children! The mission of our program is to provide our young ones with the tools, knowledge and experiences that help them develop a personal theology, a sense of social responsibility, and a joy and wonder for the sacredness and interconnectedness of all life.
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Religious Exploration This Year
Here’s a little of what we are enjoying together now:
- Our tiniest congregants are welcomed by a professional childcare provider along with youth assistants who help provide care and attention while parents attend the worship service. (Babies are always welcome in our sanctuary during the service, if preferred.)
- Our younger children are working with a Tapestry of Faith curriculum called Wonderful Welcome, written by Aisha Hauser and Susan Lawrence. In this program, children identify intangible gifts central to Unitarian Universalism such as friendship, hospitality and fairness, and share these gifts with others.
- Our late elementary through middle school group is weaving the experience of Neighboring Faiths (learning about other religious traditions and visiting some of their houses of worship) with occasional refreshers from last year’s 4th-6th grade OWL (Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education) curriculum, and their own Unitarian Universalist Game development!
2015-2016: Children in grades K-3 used the UU Tapestry of Faith curricula Love Surrounds Us and Wonderful Welcome. The Love Surrounds Us program “explores all the Principles in the context of Beloved Community of family/home, school, neighborhood. Participants engage in activities that emphasize the love they feel in community.” In the spring, this group will use Wonderful Welcome, a program in which “children identify intangible gifts central to Unitarian Universalism, such as friendship, hospitality and fairness, and share these gifts with others.”
Children in grades 4-6 used the Tapestry of Faith curriculum Amazing Grace, as well as studying an eight-session program of Our Whole Lives, a beginning sexuality education program. “Amazing Grace intends to help sixth graders understand right and wrong and act on their new understanding. Its purpose is to equip them for moving safely and productively through the middle- and high school years, when they will be continually tugged toward both ends of the ethics continuum.”
2013-2014: We explored Unitarian Universalist history and the seven principles through defining peace and justice. In the first half of the year we learned about UU history and principles through a justice and peace lens. In the second half, we created a UU global village through what we have learned in terms of history, peace, justice, and principles.
2012-2013: We explored many different faiths and traditions of the world and how they related to our own sets of beliefs, morals, and faith. We studied Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, and many others in the context of how they correspond to both us and the world. Through projects, discussions, meditation, guest speakers, a field trip to a mosque, and a field trip to a nearby Multi-Faith Center, all participants of the RE program not only explored these different topics, but explored them in a variety of different ways.