RE This Week
Visit the Congregation News page for information about Religious Education this week.
Religious Education at Follen
Choosing your child’s Religious Education program is an important decision, just as important as choosing your own religious home. Yet making that decision can be confusing. What should you look for? Where will your child be happy, safe, and learn how to be a loving, spiritually literate person?
At Follen, we take children’s development seriously. We offer age-appropriate classes that run during our worship services. Our classes cover Unitarian Universalist history and identity, Bible stories, world religions, and ethical development. These classes encourage reflection, creativity, critical thinking and, of course, fun.
We also offer a variety of opportunities for youth (middle and high-schoolers) to grow in faith in a variety of ways: by participating in worship when singing in the choir, by learning more about themselves in our sexuality education program, Our Whole Lives, by making lasting connections in either of our youth groups, and by deepening their commitment to our liberal religious movement during the Coming of Age program.
Follen highly values its commitment to teaching social justice values and practice to children and youth of all ages. In 2017 the congregation passed a Follen Responds to Racism initiative to more deeply and intentionally live out our values. In addition to embedding intentionally anti-racist anti-oppressive multicultural teaching into our curricula, the congregation has a much-valued, longstanding relationship with the Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry in Boston, which offers continuing education opportunities for both adults and high school aged youth.
Attend a Coming of Age Service in the spring or a Farewell Service in June. There you will see and feel the fruits of a program that year after year fosters community and loving-kindness within each age group; bonds that sustain and nurture youth throughout their school years and thereafter.
We hope that you will find here a place where you and your family can worship, learn, relax, reflect and grow. We hope it will become for you what it has become for others; a home.
Deb Weiner, Interim Director of Religious Education
The mission of the Religious Education program at Follen is to nurture, sustain, and model a loving, empowering, and joyous community wherein children and adults may seek their own spiritual identities and grow to become compassionate, mindful, and engaged citizens of the planet. It is our goal to “awaken the soul, to excite and cherish spiritual life” in order that each individual might discern our commonalities and answer the fundamental questions asked by all people in all ages: Why am I here? and How should I conduct my life?
“It Takes a Village”…
In the Follen community we are committed to support and minister to each other. To care for each other. Throughout the year there are many opportunities for children, youth and adults to connect socially at potlucks, special holiday events and social action events. We strongly encourage each person to serve and support the religious education programs as they are able. Opportunities include: teaching Sunday morning RE classes, sunday supervisors, field trip chaperones, and substitute teachers.
Our religious education programs are supported by the pledges and contributions of our members and friends. In addition we assess a materials fee to support the Sunday morning programming. Some of our religious education programs may require additional fees. If any program cost presents a financial hardship to your family scholarships and waivers are available through the Religious Education office. We would never want an inability to pay to prevent participation in any of our church programs. All requests are kept confidential.
We believe that every person in our program has a part to play in ensuring that our young people are safe and supported during religious education. All teachers and care providers work in teams of a minimum of two to help ensure that no adult is alone with a child. In keeping with our UU principles we strive to teach respect and compassion for all persons. We expect that all of the children, youth and teachers will treat one another with respect, and kindness. We ask that all members of our community communicate clearly with each other regarding our mutual behavior expectations. Parents are responsible for attending to their children when they are not in the classroom programs. We strive to practice patience and concern for each other inside the unique conditions of our shared physical space.
Follen events and activities are open to all regardless of ability to pay: we want you to participate! Requests for financial assistance should be made to Sarah Garner, Church Administrator, and are strictly confidential.
If your child encounters problems or needs special accommodations to participate in the life of the church please contact the RE Director for confidential conversation to brainstorm a solution in our volunteer led program. We are all lifelong learners. Many parents have found support from our Caring Congregation Committee.