A place to Connect, Grow, and Serve
RE Curriculum Guide
LeeAnn Williams, Director of Life Span and Religious Education
Loving Our BIG Family (Preschool: 2s and 3s)
We take care of each other and our BIG family, sharing joys and sorrows, toys and craft supplies, and meal times (snack), waiting our turn. We never tire of engaging in play, games, singing, or crafts, always together. Uses the Spirit Play RE model - see below.
Wondering About Mystery (Preschool: 4s and 5s)
We are constantly wondering! We wonder aloud or through art and play, asking lots of questions, and coming up with our own answers. Uses the Spirit Play RE model - see below.
Marching for Justice
We know that everyone should love everyone else, and that even though we may think different things, we are all the same. We listen to each other, and tell each other what we think in a loving and respectful way. This group also participates in the Our Whole Lives sexuality education program - see below.
We know what it looks like when someone stands for what is right, and we know some people who have done it even when it was very hard! Like them, we know what is right and what is wrong by listening to our inner voice.
*The 11:15 program combines these grades, and uses the Spirit Play RE model.
Probing for Truth
We know the many different ways that different people in the world tell stories and make choices about what they believe. We love and celebrate differences, which make us more interesting, and know that everyone has something important to say!
We know the most influential stories shared by Judaism, Christianity and Islam. We know that these stories are told different ways; we can tell you how we tell them today, and why.
Following the example of the teacher Jesus in the New Testament, we put our faith into action by loving others, protecting the weak, and defending the oppressed. We strive to be the change we want to see in the world, to create a better world. This group also participates in the Our Whole Lives sexuality education program - see below.
Living Out Loud
We create positive social groups, and support each other by being an anchor of love during challenging times of growth. We know that not everything we hear or see in the media or our communities is true, right or kind, and we only listen to and share messages that affirm the worth and dignity of everyone, beginning with ourselves.
It’s important to us to love our neighbors, and build bridges in our communities. So we take our faith in action outside of church walls, and go to visit with others in their sacred spaces. Participants are eligible to participate in the optional seventh grade Coming of Age program - see below.
As we get older, we are confident about making healthy choices about relationships and our bodies. We are not afraid to talk about sexuality, gender, and our many identities. This group participates in the Our Whole Lives sexuality education program - see below.
High School (9 – 12th grade)
We are the leaders of the youth and children in our church family, and we set the example by practicing full participation in congregational life. We grow, learn, decide, and act together, making room for all our differences in everything we do. Juniors and seniors can participate in the optional Our Whole Lives sexuality education program - see below.
Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education
Our Whole Lives (or OWL, as it is popularly called) is a life-span sexuality education program developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ. While the program reflects the values of these denominations, it is not a religious program. We offer the first grade, fifth grade, junior high, and high school levels of OWL.
Coming of Age
In Coming of Age, we pass over from our childhood stages into youth leadership and participation in the church community. We explore and articulate personal statements of belief, values and principles, and complete a rite of passage that is celebrated by the whole congregation.
More an organizational system than a curriculum, Spirit Play was developed from a combination of Montessori instructional styles and a similar program called Godly Play by Jerome Berrymore. Rev. Dr. Nita Penfold, longtime professional religious educator, Montessori teacher and minister, adapted Spirit Play especially for Unitarian Universalist congregations. Spirit Play is engaging of a child’s sense of wonder, and allows children the opportunity to begin to form their own relationships with and ideas about such abstract concepts as right and wrong, and the divine.