Wise Words, August 2018
Change is the air! As we begin the countdown to a new year of education, you almost need a road map to find your way! As I mentioned in a previous month, change can be both troubling and exciting. I look at it as exciting and a great way to grow!
The first big change is the name of the program. We are transitioning from the Religious Education Program to the Faith Formation Program. The rationale is that we are not simply educating children. We are helping them form the faith that will shape their lives! That is truly what our goal must be for the children of Peoples.
I am delighted to share that Megan Jones has agreed to chair the new Faith Formation Council! This new council will help develop even more great ways to educate and care for the youth of the church! I appreciate the years that Deb has given as chair of the Religious Education Council! I look forward to great new things in Faith Formation.
The next change is the beginning time of Faith Formation classes. We will not be holding classes simultaneously with worship. Classes will begin at 9:45 am and conclude at 10:45. Yes, we know this has been tried. Yes, times have changed, and we know that parents are wanting to be more involved in the children’s lives and that includes being with them in worship. It is crucial that children learn the importance of worship. Being in worship, hearing the words, participating in the rituals, singing the songs, and sharing in the prayers is how they learn that importance.
Classes will begin on September 9th with an introduction and orientation for parents and children.
We will also be doing class differently. The Religious Education Task Force looked at a myriad of options and recommended that we use a new format for the classes. We will meet as a large group of children up through 6th grade to sing, learn some UU history, and to receive exposure to world religions. Then we will break into smaller groups to learn about interesting topics related to service and faith. Topics will cover a wide range from knitting (great chance to help others with scarves and mittens) to spirituality to music ( what better way to express oneself) and everything in between. Classes will last 3-4 weeks, and teachers will be drawn from our existing volunteers AND THE POOL OF GREAT RESOURCES we have here at Peoples.
The youth in grades 7-12 will meet together and study a great curriculum that will teach them about religions of the world. Knowing and understanding others is a key in developing your own faith!
The last big change I want to share is the beginning of FULL WEEK FAITH FORMATION! This is a new program that is not just for kids and their families. It is for everyone at Peoples! Each day of the week, a text, tweet, Facebook post, Instagram, or email (you decide which method) will be shared with you. It will be a quote about faith from someone in the UU Movement, a Prayer or Blessing, a Mediation, a Story or Song, and a Call to Action. All of these will revolve around the monthly theme for worship and Faith Formation. This is a great way for families of one or families of 20 to talk and think about their faith each day of the week. It also helps bring faith alive in the homes of Peoples people every day of the week!
Change is here, and change will help drive the growth of Peoples for the future! Remember, we are called to lead compassionate lives through spiritual growth and just action!