Thursday, September 12, 2013

Religious Education for children and youth begins Sept 15!

Religious Education (RE) programming for children and youth starts this Sunday!  We will begin together in the Great Hall, Sunday morning at 10:30. We usually start with singing, for anyone who wants to join in, around 10:20 -10:25.

For general class descriptions and information, see an earlier post, August 20,  or look for our new RE brochure.

The RE council and I have been working on some significant changes for this upcoming year's programs.  We are very excited about the different approach we are taking to organizing religious education. It has been at least two years in coming. This week, volunteers have been working re-organizing Waters House to create a dedicated art space and nature space!  We also have a dedicated Children's Chapel space on the second floor of Waters House. 

Sunlight streaming onto Waters House backyard.

Here are some highlights...

The PreK/K (ages 4-6 year old) class will be led by Joel Best, Tina Dell, Jeannine Jacobs and Sharon MacNeil! They meet on RE Sundays in the classroom next to the nursery.

Grades 1-5: Elementary Explorers, will see the most significant changes. This Sunday they will be introduced to the new spaces in Waters House. We have spaces dedicated to Children's Chapel, art and nature. Sept. 22 they begin together in the Water's House Children's Chapel. 

Outside, children will be introduced, or re-introduced, to our labyrinth and we will clean it up in preparation for our Labyrinth Rededication on Sunday, September 29. We will also have games and snacks too.

JUUNIOR Youth (grades 6-7) will be together on the second floor in Waters House. They will be working with their advisors, Jennifer Edgar-Johnson, Amy Khuzwayo, Abby and Steven Winters-Bona. Together they will plan a year of film- making. They will also have have time together exploring "Neighboring Faiths." The Neighboring Faiths calendar will be out later in the fall.

Coming of Age (COA), our year-long rite of passage RE program for 8th and 9th graders, begins September 29! COA is being led by Gary Feinland, Scott Horgen, Lisa Temoshok and Melissa MacKinnon. There is RE for grades 8/9 September 15 and 22. September 22, 12 noon -1:30 there will be a parent/youth information and orientation session for COA. Contact Melissa MacKinnon at for more information.

Check out the new RE Waters House library! We are working on a lending area for books that are current on UU history, parenting, contemplative practices, seasonal themes and world religions.

FREE books available in Waters House foyer. We are doing some housekeeping and looking to move out a number of books. We still need the boxes, but feel free to come over and take some books!

Looking ahead...

There's a heart shape at the center of our labyrinth.

Sunday, September 22 is our first, regular RE Sunday. Children begin in their RE spaces and the programs run 10:30 -11:45 AM. Children in grades 1-5 start in Children's Chapel, located on the second floor of Waters House. Children should dress for playing outside most RE Sundays.

September 29 is our first RE Social Action Sunday with our UUSS Social Action Council Children will learn about CAPPS, the Schenectady-based Companion Animal Placement Program. They will have an opportunity to make toys for the animals during RE too. Adults can donate to the organization during the third Sunday collection in worship.

Also on Sept 29, we will have our Labyrinth Re- Dedication during RE. It seems fitting to combine an inner contemplative practice, like labyrinth walking, with more outwardly focused social action work. I think the two compliment each other and have deep roots in our religious tradition.