Welcome to the 2015-2016 Religious Education program at
South Nassau UU Congregation!
We’re looking forward to an exciting second year of interim work exploring the overarching theme of Metamorphosis. Metamorphosis is the changing of one state to another. And it just seemed like a perfect fit for the South Nassau UU Congregation (fondly known as SNUUC) to explore this year.
Additionally, we’re adopting a whole congregation themed approach to our programming. Whole congregation themed programming is a powerful way to focus the life of a congregation on monthly themes through worship, religious education, small groups and other activities.
Theme based ministry, sometimes called theme-based church, helps create multigenerational connections, as people of all ages explore common themes in age-appropriate ways. And theme based ministry extends faith development beyond Sunday morning. Families can continue the conversation in the car ride home or over the dinner table; small groups that meet during the week can go deeper with the theme throughout the month.
Here’s the line up of this year’s themes:
September 2015: Metamorphosis!
October 2015: Promise/Growth/Renewal
November 2015: Surrender/Grace
December 2015: Awe/Praise
January 2016: Death/Adaptation
February 2016: Vulnerability/Salvation
March 2016: Possibility/Resilience
April 2016: Awakening
May 2016: Emergence
June 2016: Freedom/Celebration
We hope that you will join us in what will be an exciting year full of energy, spirit and METAMORPHOSIS!
♦ realize that they are moral agents, capable of making a difference
in the lives of others, and in the health of our planet.
♦ feel safe & free to form their own answers to life’s great religious questions. ♦ become familiar with, and show respect for, history and wisdom of other religious traditions.
♦ recognize the importance of community, the importance of families of all
kinds, the importance of relationships among generations.
♦ experience joy, awe, and gratitude in response to life’s gifts...and find hope
and healing in the face of life’s challenges.
♦ appreciate the religious heritage of Unitarian Universalism, and feel at home
and among friends in this faith community.
Building an Age Appropriate Curriculum
This year, we at the South Nassau Unitarian Universalist Congregation will be studying the many aspects of change. This study will take place amongst the adults led by our part-time Transition Minister Laurie Stuart, as well as our wonderful cast of guest ministers. In the RE program, we, too, will use this metaphor as we explore our spiritual nature and how to live our values in the world and in our family relationships.
One Sunday a month has been designated as a Whole Congregation Celebration and children and youth will remain in the Sanctuary with the adults. These services have been planned as inclusive worship experiences for all congregants.
On those Sundays that are designated as RE Sundays, all youth will be met in the Religious Education Wing at 10:15 a.m., enabling their parents and caretakers to respond to the call to worship on time. Children and youth will begin together in a Caring/ Sharing Circle where we will light our chalice, sing a song or two, celebrate the opportunities we have had to practice UU principles and make our own offering. We will then break into our age appropriate groups until 11:30 a.m. when the children will join us for a slightly re-imagined coffee hour that will include juice and cookies.
Here are more detailed descriptions of the individual programs:
FIRST CONGREGANTS: Our youngest group of children are grouped as Pre-K to second graders. This year, we will be working on learning the Seven Principles of Unitarian Universalists and how we can practice them in our lives every day. We will use story, song and crafts to help the children understand their own spiritual emotions and begin to answer life’s big questions. They will participate in monthly themes at their own developmental level.
MIDDLE CONGREGANTS: This group of third to seventh graders will be using a fabulous UU cur- riculum called Neighboring Faiths. In addition to practicing the principles of our faith, the children will learn about the many ways in which friends and neighbors answer great spiritual questions. We will ask some of those friends and neighbors to share their experience of how their faith nourishes them and how different faiths might approach our overarching theme of metamorphosis as well as our exciting monthly themes.
EMERGING CONGREGANTS: This group of eighth to 12th graders will undertake a Life Journey through another UU text of that name that explores how we grow and change throughout our lives and how to make the journey most meaningful. In this year of metamorphosis, this is a particularly apt curriculum and will enable our youths to engage with the entire congregation as they explore the challenges and joys inherent in each stage of life.
Parental Responsibilities and a Covenant Between Us
Our RE ministry is a cooperative of parents who make common commitments for the mutual benefit of all children and youth. These include:
♦ Striving for consistent attendance, which demonstrates that the congregation and faith are important. Building trust and friendship nurtures our common life.
♦ Showing our commitment to South Nassau UU Congregation by making a financial pledge for the year.
♦ Staying informed by reading the Open Line, the Wednesday eblast and emails from the RE program.
♦ Working out a schedule to volunteer in the program (average of 2 hours a month is requested).
This is essential to our program, and we thank you. We know how busy all parents are!
♦ Remaining in the building while the children are in educational programming and picking them up when the program time has ended.
♦ Providing timely feedback (both positive and constructive) in order to help assess and improve the program.
♦ Offering each other mutual support and encouragement as we strive to live within the covenants of SNUUC and move as UU parents toward spiritual growth in our homes.
Student Activity Fund
The Student Activity Fund (SAF) is a program to encourage young Unitarian Universalists to live their religious values through internships in social action, advocacy and service provision.
SAF is a grant-program funded by the Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at Shelter Rock that enables high school seniors and college students to perform significant service to the community while earning money to help finance their education.
Our Whole Lives
Our Whole Lives (OWL) is a series of grade appropriate courses in sexuality education. The program provides accurate information and Unitarian Universalist values for children, youth, adults, and families.
The Coming of Age Program
The Coming of Age (COA) Program is about learning, sharing, growing and bonding with other Unitarian Universalist youth from various Long Island congregations. The purpose of the program is to acquaint the participants with an understanding of Unitarian Universalism, explore their developing personal religious philosophies, examine and discuss adolescent issues and to foster the development of open communication among the youth and between the youth and their families.
Sophia Fahs U.U. Camp
Sophia Fahs provides enjoyable, practical and spiritual experiences in a safe, beautiful and natural environment that will inspire children, youth and adults to explore their identities: personal, communal and Unitarian Universalist.