Religious Exploration for Children

Love as an act of faith

A message from Liz Grimes, Director of Religious Exploration, about our 2012-13 curricula.

As people of faith we often hear phrases such as “Love your neighbor as yourself”, “Love doesn’t make the world go ’round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” “Love is shown in your deeds, not in your words.” “Love is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also of little love”.

So, what is love? When do we learn how to love? How do we show love? Why is it important to us as people of faith?

What is love? The dictionary defines it as a noun and a verb. As a noun it is the profoundly tender passionate affection for another person or the feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, or unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another. As a verb love is to have the above feelings.

That sounds simple enough, but how do we learn to love? We learn to love from our parents and people around us when we are young children. They show us love and affection. We feel important and loved. Learning that we can count on the people around us and we in turn become trusting. Through their example we learn to show love and affection to things and people around us. This gets us started on our journey of love and loving.

As we grow and learn, we are included in all activities of our community. The concern the larger community shows for our well being, for our growth and development helps us continue to learn how to be in community. Being in community means that we must learn to put other people’s needs and concerns ahead of our own sometimes. This is a way of showing love that is important for children and youth to learn. It is best learned through modeling and standing together for important values—Standing on the Side of Love.

This year our children will be using the curricula “Love Surrounds Us” (grades K-1) and “Love Will Guide Us” (grades 2-5) to explore our Unitarian Universalist faith. They will learn about how this faith can guide their lives every day and how they can use their love to make our world a better place.

This is the ministry of Love!

  • Nursery care is available for ages 0-4 during the service. Drop off at the classroom, adjacent to the Lodge (our service location), or preschoolers may come to the service for the story and then go to the nursery when the older children leave for R.E.
  • The children’s classes (grades K-5) meet in classrooms adjacent to our service location in the Lodge, starting after story time during the service.
  • We emphasize skills that help children live UU values in their everyday lives (“Take it out into the world”). We incorporate social justice work into our programming throughout the year.
  • The purpose of faith development is to nurture, not indoctrinate, the inherent spirituality of children. We teach respect for ourselves, for others, and for the independent web of life of which we are a part.
  • What will my child learn about the “Big Questions?” We will learn together that all big questions have many answers, and it is our responsibility to seek responsibly our own answers. For example, there are as many ideas about God as there are people. Death is a mystery that is linked inextricably to life; how we live out lives each day is of utmost importance.
  • The Religious Exploration programs for children grades 5 & under functions as a parent cooperative and requires a volunteer commitment. We don’t ask parents to volunteer right away. It is recommended that parents attend the adult service for at least six months before participating in the cooperative. This allows new families a chance to really get comfortable in the church before taking on a volunteer commitment.
  • There is no registration fee.

Contact Liz Grimes, Director of Religious Exploration, for questions regarding current programming.

Teachers and parents – lesson plans are available under the Members section on the Directory & Documents page.

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