Statement of Purpose
The Purpose of our religious education program is to encourage and nurture the development of a faith foundation, which is personally sustaining and communally harmonious. The nature of the faith foundation we seek to develop is spiritual, dynamic, questioning, rational, socially concerned, informed, and aware of the ambiguities of life.
Religious Education Calendar, 2009-2010
September 13 Ingathering- Multigenerational Service
September 20 RE Kick off
October 4 Retreat- No RE
October 11 Blessing the Animals- Multigenerational Service
November 22 Thanksgiving Sunday- Multigenerational Service
December 13 Christmas Pageant
April 4 Easter Sunday- Multigenerational Service
May 23 Last RE Sunday before Summer
UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CHURCH,
WEST LAFAYETTE, INDIANA
We covenant and affirm to promote:1. That each and every person is unique and to be respected.
2. That all people should be treated equally.
3. That our churches are places where everyone is accepted and where we learn together.
4. That every person is free to search for truth and meaning.
5. That all people have the right to think for themselves and vote on issues that concern them.
6. That we must work for a world in which there is peace, fairness and freedom.
7. That we should respect and care for all parts of our planet Earth.
“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”
Love is the spirit of this Church, And service is its law. This is our covenant: To dwell together in peace, To seek the truth in love, And to help one another.
Religious Education Committee
Rev. Charlie Davis, Minister
Christine Reynolds, Paraprofessional
Alanna Steffen-Nelson, Nursery Supervisor
Staff Office Hours
Minister: Rev. Charlie Davis:(765) 743-8812, appointment by request
Director of Religious Education: Open
Office: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 9am – 3pm. Study: Wednesday (but interruptible by phone or email).
Administrative Assistant: Karin Bergman: (765) 743-8812 or firstname.lastname@example.org Monday-Friday 9am- 5pm
Fill a pail
Light a fire?
Welcome from the Religious Education Co-Chairs
Here we are at the beginning of another new R.E. year. We welcome you, and we invite you and your children to be an important part of our R.E. program. It is our hope that we can provide an environment where your children (our children) feel safe and cared about, where they can learn about Unitarian Universalism, about our predominant culture’s Jewish-Christian heritage and about other world religions. We hope that our children will feel free to ask questions and express opinions. We hope they will find a sense of connection in their similarities and a sense of appreciation in cherishing and honoring their differences. We hope they will find friendship and a sense of belonging. Please join with us as we start this 2009-2010 R.E. year. Thank you for sharing your children and for sharing yourselves in whatever ways we can work together to make this a fulfilling year.
Kathy Coder, R.E. Co-Chair
Beth Misner, R.E. Co-Chair
Religious Education Diversity Statement
Our Church is a Welcoming Congregation that welcomes and accepts people who are gay, lesbian, and bisexual. But more than that: we strive to provide a safe and affirming environment for people of all kinds, one in which all areas of congregational life are open and inclusive, and with a congregation that has committed itself to work for the rights of everyone regardless of race, ethnicity, creed or sexual orientation. In our Religious Education Program, we welcome all children, youth and their families, we openly affirm both traditional and nontraditional family structures, and we strive to incorporate curriculum resources to help our members value diversity and which strengthens them to stand against prejudice in its many forms.
Our church also works to be inclusive of children and youth with special needs. We have a team of volunteer “Shadows” who follow the children and gives extra one-on-one help when needed. Our paraprofessional helps coordinate this team of volunteers and tracks behaviors so that we may better include all students. If you think your child may need extra help in class please contact us to let us know when you will be attending so that we can have people lined up- we can find volunteers after you arrive, but it is more difficult.
Student Pick-Up PolicyParents of children in the Nursery, Preschool, and Kindergarten-Second Grade classes must go to the classrooms and pick up their children when class is over at 11:45. Parents are requested to be prompt in picking up their young children. Children and youth in all other classes will be allowed to leave their classrooms and find their parent within the church building when class is over. If someone other than a parent is to pick up a child after a church activity, please notify the teacher beforehand. Children will not be allowed to wait outside the building for pick-up. Parents are responsible for supervising their children before and after RE class. Children must get parental permission before playing outside after class.
Playground PolicyWhile children are playing on the playground, parents either need to be outside with them or ask a different parent to watch them. A responsible adult must be actively outside watching for safety concerns. Parents are responsible for knowing where their children are. All adults watching the playground should be willing and able to intervene in situations that may be dangerous to our children. The posted rules must be followed for continued safety.
On occasion, the Sunday morning service is designed to be multigenerational. During such services, childcare will be available in the Nursery for nursery age children and the Preschool room will have class as usual. All other children and youth will participate in the full service with families and friends.
On occasion there will be a service aimed at all of the children and youth. Some services will start in the Sanctuary with the rest of church, and some services will start in the Forum room. Children and youth preschool age and up are invited to these special Sundays.
The safety and protection of the children and youth in our programs is a high priority. Our safety policies cover a number of areas, including field trips, fire and tornado procedures, the prohibition of alcohol and illegal drugs at RE events, classroom supervision, and required reporting of suspected child abuse. Teachers are required to complete a screening form, provide references, participate in an orientation session as well as attend training on the prevention of sexual abuse. All of the classes have at least two adults assigned to them each Sunday (a Teacher and a Teacher Helper).
About our Teachers
Our teachers come from all walks of life. Some are parents; some are not. Some are professional teachers, but others have no teaching experience before becoming RE teachers. All are volunteers (except for the Director of Religious Education, Paraprofessional, Nursery Supervisor and Nursery Assistants). Many teach because they love being with children and youth and want to have a positive effect on their growth and development. Many teach because they want to contribute to the life of our community and to learn more about Unitarian Universalism themselves.
What we look for in a teacher is someone who has been with the congregation for at least a year, is comfortable with children or youth, and is willing to make the necessary commitment of time and effort that our high-quality program requires. We do not choose our teachers based on educational level, marital status, gender, age, sexual orientation, race, ethnic background, or theological belief.Each class has a team of about four teachers who take turns teaching during the year, usually in a block of Sundays.
Each team has a Team Leader who coordinates the group and participates on the RE Committee. We provide preparation and training in our annual Teacher Orientation Session. Also, we ask each teacher to complete a screening form, provide references, and attend training on the prevention of sexual abuse in an ongoing effort to provide a safe environment for all our students.What We Ask of Parents
We ask parents to encourage regular attendance at RE Classes. Students who attend frequently will derive the greatest benefit from the program. We also encourage parents to show interest in their young person's church experiences and to promote family discussion of themes and questions encountered during Sunday classes.
We encourage parents to inform the teacher, Director of Religious Education, RE Chair, or Minister about family situations that are causing difficulty for the child or youth, or are interfering with his/her RE participation. We invite parents to share comments, concerns, and ideas about the RE program. Your feedback will help our program remain vital and relevant to changing needs.
We invite parents to help with the many aspects of RE. Volunteering to be a teacher helper or Shadow on Sunday, being an advisor on CON or Lock-in are some of the ways that you can help make RE better not just for your child, but for everyone.
Parents are asked to complete a registration form for each child or youth by the time of the third visit.
Each family is asked to contribute a 64-oz. bottle of apple juice and a non-perishable snack containing less than 10 grams of sugar periodically each semester. –Please check with the teachers or team leaders to find out about possible food allergies in the class.
Resources for Parents
Parents are welcome to borrow items from the RE Library. The collection contains books and other materials for all ages on various subjects including Unitarian Universalism, Religion, the Bible, Worship, Social Responsibility, Youth, and Families. For assistance, please see the Director of Religious Education. We encourage you to take advantage of these resources.There is also an Adult Religious Education group with many interesting topics for people of all ages.
Nursery Meets in the Nursery (#216)
Our Sunday morning nursery is administered as part of the Religious Education program. We believe the seeds of a faith foundation are sown when children feel comfortable, cared for, and at home in their church. Children learn these lessons of love and acceptance as they are encouraged to explore, form friendships, and to appreciate and affirm themselves. Our goal is to provide a safe, enriching, and stimulating environment with activities appropriate for each age including songs, stories from our diverse religious traditions, and simple artwork.The Nursery class consists of infants and toddlers who were not yet three years old on July 1, 2009, and who are not yet potty trained. Care is provided continuously from the beginning of Forum at 9:00 until the end of service at 11:45. Childcare is available for older children in the Nursery during the Forum. The Nursery is staffed by the Nursery Supervisor, a youth assistant, and volunteer adult helpers as needed.
Nursery Supervisor: Alanna Steffen-Nelson
Assistants: Emma Falley, Claire LeMar-Sadof, Addie McKnight, Maddie Mueller
Preschool: Bible Stories Meets in Room #206
This class is for preschoolers who were at least three years old on July 1, 2009. Three and four year olds are exploring their world and have great curiosity and energy. Every experience can be a lesson in spirituality and our faith. This year we will teach about Unitarian Universalist heritage of Jewish and Christian stories. We will read, discuss and make art together. Children will be encouraged to grow in their relationships with the church, each other, and their world through a variety of experiences as they begin to search for answers to their growing curiosity.
The preschool teaching team consists of: Susannah Hall-Justice, Josh and Linda Prokopy, Kirsten Reynolds, Christine Schertz
Kindergarten – 2nd Grade: Super Heroes: Bible People Meets in Room #210
The curriculum for the K-2 class will be "Super Heroes: Bible People" by Gaia Brown. The curriculum focuses on people in Bible stories who acted with wisdom and courage. We will seek to affirm our own UU principles through the use of these stories.
The K-2nd teaching team consists of Kathy Coder, Linda LeMar & Cliff Sadof, Bob Rode, and Kathy Schroth.
3rd – 5th Grade Class: God Images Meets in room # 214
The 3rd to 5th grade class will be doing God Images, by Mary Ann Moore, this year. This curriculum engages children in their own religious quests and allows for personal decision making in the context of lively discussion and creative activity by presenting God images focusing on those from the Jewish and Christian traditions. The class will try to explore the questions and issues that lead to the creation of God images and to express their feelings and ideas about God images through a variety of creative activities.The 3rd -5th teaching team consists of Frank Arnold, Beth Misner, Suzanne & Tom McConville, and JJ Rode
6th - 8th Grade Class: Bibleodeon Meets in Room #104
This year’s curriculum will be Bibleodeon by Tirrell Kimball. This introduces Hebrew and Christian scriptures by presenting the best-known Hebrew and Christian stories with such props as the Bibleodeon microphone and such interactive challenges as investigating the Cain-Abel crime scene. Participants act in amusing playlets, illustrate a time line, keep doodle books, give awards to outstanding biblical women, and more. They explore connections between biblical events and Unitarian Universalist principles, between biblical ideas and their own lives. They experience the Bible as one of many wonderful UU sources.
The 6th-8th teaching team consists of: Kim Harden, Mark VanMeeter, Lisa Pantea
9th - 12th Grade Class: Thinking the Web Meets in Room #102
The High School class will be continuing the Thinking the Web Curriculum with the topics of Peace Making, Right to Die, Capital Punishment and Your Generation and the economic Crisis. In the winter we will be switching to the International Unitarian Universalist Curriculum. We’ve talked about World religions, but we haven’t talked about UU’s around the world.The High School teaching team consists of: Jason Dufair, Amy French, Cindy Gerlach & Gary Mueller, Greg Reynolds, Chuck Reynolds,
Youth Adult CommitteeWe have a Youth Adult Committee made up of a mixture of youth, parents, and other adults. They coordinate and come up with many activities for the youth during the year. They also advise to make church activities welcoming for more ages.
Growing Up in Our UU Faith
Throughout the year, we have several opportunities and ceremonies that celebrate our children and youth. These are our way of recognizing the spiritual and ethical growth of the children in our church community as they journey toward adolescence and adulthood.
Baby or Child Dedication Ceremonies: Baby or Child Dedication Ceremonies are Unitarian Universalist celebrations for welcoming a baby or child into our community. This is an opportunity to dedicate ourselves and the child to a life of meaning and a search for his or her truths on the path to a religious or spiritual self. Please contact our Minister, Rev. Charlie Davisfor more information on planning a Dedication Ceremony.
First Grade Recognition: This ceremony celebrates the entrance of our first graders into the world of books. As children begin to read, their worlds are opened up to the magic of learning and exploring. As we celebrate this important transition in children's lives, we celebrate the gifts they bring and their individual mark on our congregation and our world.
Bridging Ceremony: Each spring, we celebrate the passage of our seniors into adulthood. As we build a "bridge" between their role as senior youth and their new identity as young adults, we recognize the achievements and contributions each have made to the world and our community and emphasize our ongoing support of our seniors as they make their own way in our complex world.
It takes a village to raise a child.
Thank you for being part of our village.