DRE’s Message – Religious Exploration

G.K. Chesterton said “Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.” While I view the religious education or exploration as a collaborative adventure, these words remind me how the present and future are connected in the Religious Exploration (RE) program here at Starr King Unitarian Universalist Church. I am also so grateful to Rev. Katie, the RE Council, those who build fences to keep the children safe, and all of the volunteers who teach and care for our children with such tenderness. This passing of the soul isn’t possible without them.

Currently we are offering 3 programs. First, child-care is offered for infants and toddlers during Sunday services by wonderful loving volunteers. In order to properly plan, we ask that you sign up at http://www.signupgenius.com/go/infanttoddler on the Friday before a service to let us know if you will have a wee one in childcare on Sunday. Similarly if you would love the chance spend time with littlest ones, you are always welcome as a care-giving volunteer.

For the pre-school and school-age children we just finished an incredible month of FunShops. We explored the interconnected web of existence by studying Ladybugs, we thought about feelings on 9/11, we made bubbles knowing that one source of wisdom is experience, we learned about the many different ways we communicate via music and rhythm, and we learned about community at an ice cream social. Either last month, or over the course of last year, many in the congregation offered their wisdom to the children via FunShops. Our deepest gratitude to you all.

On September 27, 2011 we started this years RE program for pre-school and school age children. We will be offering a curriculum for the children called Principles for UU and Me modified for the particular needs of this congregation. During this school-year, the children will explore the UU principles with their minds, their hands, and their hearts. Throughout the year we are planning on many field trips and social justice projects. We hope that you might come and learn with us. During the first month of the program the children will be introduced to the seven UU principles and then the second month we’ll dive right into the 7th principle — respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. On October 23, families who are interested can join us at the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center so that we can commune with the wet part of the interconnected web of existence. And on November 6, the Insect Discover Laboratory will be visiting us here at SKUUC so that we can get up front and personal with the some of the insects in the great web!

Last, we talked with the Youth to introduce them to the religious exploration opportunities available in the district and to talk about what they would like to do together during the next year. SKY, the youth program will begin on October 2, 2011. Youth are asked to sign up each week at http://www.signupgenius.com/go/areyou7 if they plan to come so we’ll know who’s coming and can plan properly. The emphasis this year will be on UU history and social justice. So we’re off to a grand start in Religious Exploration and one last ENORMOUS thank you to the entire congregation for making that possible.