Thoughts from RE
Why Religious Education?
Children are spiritual beings. They have natural senses of wonder, enthusiasm, and inventiveness which they use to make meaning of the world around them, and their place in it. The desire to create meaning is universally human, (and in fact, may extend to our fellow animal species, as well). Children do not have experience on their side, but they do have the ability to be present, which is the essence of spiritual experience.
Religious education gives children the chance to explore different ways of being spiritual. In the Unitarian Universalist Faith, we do not teach dogma or creeds to which a child must adhere. Instead, we teach children to listen to their own wisdom, and to trust it. We share experiences of others, and affirm possibilities. We not only allow Wonder, we encourage it.
Life offers many challenges which are easier to face when one is able to draw on the strength of spiritual groundedness. Children are as bombarded as adults with pressures and injustices in their lives. They don't get many opportunities other than church to build their spiritual “muscle”, to develop a toolkit to dig into when the going gets rough. When we truly understand that we are part of something larger than ourselves, as is every other living being, and when we have a faith community that offers compassion and love even when we are feeling least capable of returning it, we can see beyond temporary setbacks and through terrible grief. Children are not young long.
RE is a place where they can explore coping skills and experience receiving and giving care and concern in a broader context of community. Of course, there are many things families can do at home to encourage spirituality. Starting next week, check out my weekly View article for practical ideas and simple practices to encourage spiritual growth.
We welcome Sianna Bethune to our childcare team. She is a thoughtful 17 year old who will be a senior this fall. She volunteers at The Science Center every week, and is already loved by several of our PUC youngest. She, Zoey, and Luccia make a great team!
Much love and gratitude to the volunteers who are stepping up to teach “Summer with the Doctors”, to date, volunteers who have signed up and or served have included Melissa Garcia, Wendy Clancy, Michele Bethune, Lora Childers, Victor Paieda, Dale Osborne, and Phyllis (Missy) Rogers. We are looking for more help! Please let me know by email if you can help. You will love our kids!
With love and Wonder,