What We Offer Through the Lifespan
We provide children, youth, young adults, and adults an opportunity to explore, reflect, and learn in a nurturing spiritual community. Unitarian Universalist religious education programs offer all ages, inspiring:
- Ethical growth – internalizing enduring values like justice, equity, and compassion, and gaining tools to act on them in everyday life.
- Social growth – connecting with peers and people of all ages on a deeper level. Finding acceptance among people who see beyond the superficial.
- Spiritual growth – feeling a connection with the sacred within, among, and beyond us.
Religious education programs include more than classes. On a Sunday you might find the preschoolers singing songs about kindness, the 2nd graders engaging with a story about loss and bereavement, the 5th graders talking with a Muslim couple about Islam, the 7th graders learning about responsibility in a lesson from our progressive sexuality education program, and the high-school youth raising money for the local homeless shelter. Many programs incorporate social justice activities, worship opportunities, service trips, fellowship, and fun.
Our religious educator and minister lead many of our congregations’ lifespan programs. Parents and other members of the congregation often lead them, too. Teaching can be a very fulfilling way to deepen one’s own faith.
Children’s and youth religious education programs are typically offered on Sunday mornings. Adult programs are usually offered on evenings or weekends.
We invite you to explore these pages and contact our religious educator to get connected.
Adult and Youth Offering: “Shaping the Journey” with Rev. Karen on Sunday, November 5 after worship
What kind of religious exploration opportunities might support your spiritual journey? Whether you know the answer or not, this session is designed to help you find it! We’ll set up the sanctuary for multiple facilitated conversations that will give everyone space to discover and share their ideas for future religious exploration sessions. [10/3/23]
Adult and Youth offering: “Writing Your UU Elevator Speech”
with Rev. Karen on Sunday, October 1 after worship
Inspired by our recent “Question Box” service, Rev. Karen will facilitate a session on sharing the good news of our UU faith in under a minute (or the time it takes an elevator to move between floors). Adults and youth not participating in Our Whole Lives are invited to attend. This is the first in a series of first Sunday offerings for adults and high school youth. You’ll leave with your own elevator speech! [8/30/23]
NEW Religious Education Offering for Adults: The Shared Pulpit
8/15/23 – Erica Hewitt writes in her book The Shared Pulpit, “In our Unitarian Universalist tradition, we speak of shared ministry — the embodied belief that everyone, not just the ordained minister takes part in the ministry of the congregation.” Our tradition calls us to lift up all voices, and preaching, which Ralph Waldo Emerson described as “putting life through the fire of thought,” is a spiritual practice that is open to all.
This fall, Rev. Karen will facilitate a program in which we’ll practice the art of writing and speaking authentically, using Erica Hewitt’s book as a guide. This isn’t just a course for people planning to preach (although it is that) – this program aims to deepen connection and trust among us. It contains advice, tools, and a process designed to equip you to be even more skilled, confident leaders (because anyone brave and curious enough to share their journey publicly with the congregation is, in fact, a leader). Along the way, you’ll discover your authentic voice by writing a sermon to deliver to the congregation.
Previous participants have shared these reflections on their experience:
“I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the “Share The Pulpit” series a few years ago when I was fairly new to James Reeb. The class was well done, inviting us to find our own voice in our writing as well as giving a “template” for writing a reflection for a UU service. The class helped me to get to know fellow Reebers and gave me the confidence to go in front of the congregation and share my story.”
“’The Shared Pulpit’ class taught me how to fold public speaking into an expression of faith. I eventually expressed to myself how my own faith developed. As the class progressed, I found a deep connection with the other class members, different than a covenant group. For me, it remains one of the most profound experiences of my time at Reeb.”
“I loved the opportunity to work on a topic of my own choice that had deep meaning to me. The atmosphere is safe and supportive and the time flies. Add to this that I also learned tools that allow me to feel comfortable and capable in front of the congregation during service and I can’t recommend it enough!”
There will be eight 3-hour sessions, beginning in September. Please contact Rev. Karen if you’re interested – or just curious!