Welcome to Theodore Parker Church’s Religious Exploration program for children! The mission of our program is to provide youth with 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.
Read our complete mission statement.
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Welcome to Our New Director of Religious Exploration
Amanda Graff joins our staff for the 2016-17 church year with a background as an elementary school educator. Amanda has a master’s degree in elementary education, having worked in Cambridge and Newton elementary schools, primarily in special education. She is also an artist and an acrobat! Committed to providing spaces for young people to feel respected and valued, she has previously served as Director of Religious Education for the First Parish in Dorchester.
Religious Exploration This Year
Here’s a little of what we are looking forward to in 2016-2017:
- This fall the middle school group starts Neighboring Faiths, a program that provides opportunities to learn and build community through visits to neighboring churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, and other places of worship.
- The younger class will spend the fall in Special Times learning about the many different sources of our UU tradition.
- Youth Group has some fun plans for fundraising in October and December. Come check out the colorful new floor in the Youth Room!
- Lastly, we will be hiring a new childcare worker to take care of the youngest among us in the nursery, so feel free to send good candidates our way.
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.”
2014-2015: We followed the World of Wonders curriculum while also continuing with our Judeo-Christian theme and integrating bible stories into this Tapestry of Faith curriculum.
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.