Sunday Morning Religious Education Programs

Our religious education programming offers age appropriate lessons about:

  • Unitarian Universalist history tradition and identity
  • Christian, Jewish, World Faith, and Earth Centered Spirituality tradition and ritual
  • Social justice education and action

Follen Church Religious Education Class Curriculum by grade 2019-2020

 

EARLY CHILDHOOD

Sunday Mornings 10:15-11:45am

 

NURSERY FOR INFANTS & TODDLERS

Our Nursery caregivers provide loving attention for infants and toddlers on Sunday mornings. Porta-cribs and toys, along with friendly faces, and stories, welcome our smallest church folk. Melissa Hawkins, our Nursery Coordinator, is assisted each week by one-two of our consistent teen support staff members, so your little one will find familiar faces each time they join us.

Parents are asked to sign in their children, and to provide diapers, bottles, etc. Registration is required after three visits.

 

3-5 YEAR OLDS: STORIES FOR LITTLE UUs

Simple rituals enhance the building of community, in an early childhood environment where relationships are the goal. This literature-based curriculum centers on the idea that a story is a unique learning tool and has themes relevant to the youngest of children. Each week, a different story will exemplify one of our UU Principles, with age appropriate discussion, songs, movement and simple crafts, to round out the lesson.

Jody Gray-Linden  is an experienced teacher and homeschooling mom who provides the leadership for this group of little ones. A rotating group of four volunteer assistants provide a loving welcome each week.

 

ELEMENTARY CLASSES

Sunday Mornings 10:30-11:45am

 

FIRST-SECOND GRADE: PICTURE BOOK BIBLE TALES  In an early introduction to bible literacy, the children will hear and explore the meanings behind well known tales from the Jewish and Christian scriptures, including Adam and Eve; Noah, Jonah; Esther; Jesus; Mary, and more!.  A fun and accessible curriculum, with engaging beautiful Picture books, crafts, activities, and rituals.

 

THIRD – FOURTH GRADE: HOLIDAYS AND HOLY DAYS Our own Barbara Marshman co-authored the original version of this curriculum which has been beloved for generations of UU children. It has recirculated recently, updated to be sensitive to a modern understanding of cultural appropriation.  Drawing from both religious and cultural holidays, children will explore festivities, customs, pageantry, solemnity, ceremony, and ritual- components from which tradition is woven, and that memories, beliefs, values, fears, hopes, and reverence are transmitted.  Of course, as each of these special days is celebrated in our classroom, the correlation will be made to our own beliefs as Unitarian Universalists. This one is a lot of fun for both Teachers and Kids!

 

FIFTH – SIXTH GRADE: HARRY & UU Based on the Harry Potter series of books by J.K. Rowling, the curriculum includes fun wizarding activities, and the formation of a Dumbledore Army troop to fight against real world Horcruxes through social action projects. Lessons center on the individual’s ability to make the world a better place. Especially good for Teachers who know the Harry Potter universe, but still accessible to those who can be inspired by a little magic.

 

ONE ROOM RE PROGRAM (Kindergarten-Sixth Grades)

Several times per year, young people will be invited to join special programs when we combine into one large group to explore topics of particular interest. These dates are generally scheduled in conjunction with school holidays and vacation weeks. Topics in the past have included such diverse themes as A Visit to China;  I have a Dream; Our Rebellious Ancestors;  and the group favorite: Holiday Stories and Pajamas Day.  Our creative leader, Jody Gray-Linden, has a special way of captivating the youngsters with stories and activities that work for a variety of ages. Watch for details about upcoming One Room RE Programs in Follen’s weekly electronic newsletter.

MIDDLE SCHOOL CLASSES:

Sunday Mornings 10:30-11:45am

 

FIFTH – SIXTH GRADE: HARRY & UU Based on the Harry Potter series of books by J.K. Rowling, the curriculum includes fun wizarding activities, and the formation of a Dumbledore Army troop to fight against real world Horcruxes through social action projects. Lessons center on the individual’s ability to make the world a better place. Especially good for Teachers who know the Harry Potter universe, but still accessible to those who can be inspired by a little magic.

 

SIXTH – EIGHTH GRADE: TWILIGHT ZONE- THE FIFTH DIMENSION Did you know that Rod Serling was a practicing Unitarian Universalist?… or more aptly a “Naturalist Humanist” who regularly attended a UU Church. This curriculum screens episodes of Serling’s classic tv show, the Twilight Zone, as a basis for discussions on social issues such as racism, conformity, greed, and censorship.

 

2019-20 Youth Programming

 

NINTH-TWELFTH GRADE: FOLLEN UNITARIAN UNIVERSALISTS YOUTH (aka “FUUY”) SENIOR HIGH YOUTH GROUP (Sundays, 6:30-8:30pm)

 

FUUY offers a supportive environment in which teens can explore their feelings about themselves, their world and their religion. The format of our gatherings is often discussion-centered with topics determined by the group, and led by pairs of teen leaders. Social action projects, leadership development, and opportunities for worship will round out the program.

 

Favorite extracurricular activities have included a Holiday Prom, a weekend retreat in Cape Cod, a Youth Service, a fundraising Coffee House/Talent Show, and a spring break Mission Trip.

 

The FUUY program is designed by a group of teens and adults, forming the Youth Advisory Committee (aka “YAC”) , and staffed by our paid Youth Program Coordinator, Liana Raberg, with input from our DRE.

 

10th GRADE COMING OF AGE (aka COA)

Dates/times TBA – This monthly program will run from November 2019 – May 2020.

 

Restructured in 2018-19, the COA program offers a monthly gathering led by COA Advisors for 10th grade youth and their mentors from the congregation. Each COA participant will have opportunities to work through a syllabus on topics ranging from Values Discernment and Personal Theology, to UU Foundations and Spiritual Practices. Mentors will be chosen by the Youth Participants in the fall, via a process of selection based on volunteers for the program.

 

Highlights include participation in an overnight retreat, shared social action projects, and the RE Sunday Service in May, in which COA graduates will have the opportunity to share their personal Credo statements.

 

Our Whole Lives (OWL) for Eighth Graders

(one weeknight per week for approximately 18 weeks beginning in October- day tbd)

 

Follen Church proudly offers Our Whole Lives (OWL), the nationally renowned human sexuality curriculum developed in collaboration by the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ. In addition to facts about anatomy and human development, OWL helps participants:

  • clarify their values
  • build interpersonal skills
  • understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality

Our Whole Lives offers:

  • Up-to-date, accurate, age-appropriate information
  • Effective group-building to create a safe and supportive peer group
  • Education about sexual abuse, exploitation, and harassment
  • Opportunities to critique media messages about gender and sexuality
  • Age-appropriate answers to participants’ questions
  • A Unitarian Universalist religious component

Participation Requirements:

  • Parents/Guardians must attend a mandatory orientation before classes start, The OWL class has strict attendance and behavior policies in order to maintain the integrity of the group.
  • Parents are required to participate in an in-depth orientation each year prior to their child’s participation in the first class, even if prior children have participated.

 

We are currently seeking an additional OWL Advisor for the 2019-20 church year. ALL OWL ADVISORS ATTEND A WEEKEND LONG TRAINING, WHICH FOLLEN WILL FULLY SUBSIDIZE

 

Please contact our Director of Religious Education, Beryl Aschenberg , for more information about the class or training to be an OWL Advisor in the fall!