Children’s Religious Education: It Takes a Congregation

We have several new families who have already registered for our Children’s Religious Education program this year. Like a number of our new families last year, these folks have heard about our program through their friends and neighbors. Direct contact with members of the congregation, such as Membership Coordinator Jim Staton’s presence annually at Meet Belmont or making friends with other FCB kids in school, remains the best way to spread the Good News of Unitarian Universalism, in general, and the First Church in Belmont, in particular.

        For some people, talking about their religious beliefs and spiritual life or practices can be an uncomfortable place to be vulnerable. This might be because they were raised in a less open and affirming faith tradition and there are all too many painful memories or current conflicts with extended family that trigger argument and debate. In UU faith formation programs, the aim is to raise compassionate human beings in a diverse community. We encourage the kids to wonder about their world and welcome difference. To be Unitarian Universalist means to engage in meaningful and respectful relationship with all of Creation. Being in relationship requires vulnerability through sharing what we hold dear and what we believe to be true and good.

        I invite you to step out of your comfort zone and dive into conversation (not debate or even dialogue) with someone you are acquainted with about how much First Church in Belmont adds to your life experience. The gifts you receive happen continually, not only when a crisis occurs and you and your family receive support, or when you experience a moment’s respite during worship on Sunday morning, but also when you learn something new about the world and when you give an hour of your time to the life of this faith community, the place you call your spiritual home. Extend that invitation to partake of this radical hospitality to the people in your life.

        The entire congregation will benefit from the hand of welcome you proffer.

Looking Ahead

Exciting plans for this fall include:

  • Regular classes begin on 9/27. This fall term’s pillar is Unitarian Universalism. There will be UU visitors on the first Sunday of each month during our regular “Community Sunday” for grades 1-6. Community Sundays are CRE’s children’s chapel service and include the sharing of joys and sorrows as well as a monthly children’s offering. Later in the year, the children will suggest possible recipients for the offering and then vote to determine which organization will receive it.
  • Coffee hour in the Lower Hall on October 4th (& periodically throughout the year): coffee hour will be held downstairs to bring our fellowship in contact with the CRE Wing.
  • December 20th Multigenerational Worship Service theme is UU family winter holy days traditions. Do you have special or unusual holiday traditions in your family? Would you like to participate in the multigenerational worship service in some way? Please contact Charlotte (clehmann@uubelmont.org) and share your traditions with her so she can start planning along with FCB program staff.

Volunteers are needed in CRE

  • Volunteers are needed to act as our UU visitors (Hosea Ballou, Clara Barton, Charles Follen, and Fannie Barrier Williams) and Bible People visitors (Moses, Miriam & Esther); if you are interested please contact the CRE Office.
  • CRE Committee members are needed. The committee meets on the second Wedesdays of each month from 7-8:30 p.m. Interested? Contact the CRE Office.
  • Non-parent teacher-volunteers are always welcome; please let CRE Office know that you are interested in working with FCB children.
  • Register now for 2015-2016 Children’s RE and Youth Programs using the registration link found at org/childrens-re/ which allows you to register children from birth through 12thgrade. All children must be registered for CRE.
  • Our children’s religious education program for nursery through grade 8 is a cooperative effort. Once you have been attending at FCB for at least six months, we ask that each family teach Children’s RE for at least eight weeks (you need not teach on consecutive Sundays) during the church year.
  • If you are unable to teach, we have other opportunities for you to help out the program, such as serving on the Children’s Religious Education Committee, helping with special programs and events, and substituting as needed in the CRE classes (for a total of 16 hours per year per family).
  • All individuals who work with children in the CRE, youth and music programs at FCB must have a background check. If you are a new volunteer or need to renew your background check (once every three years), you can find links to the “background authorization” form as well as “volunteer driver” form and “teacher code of ethics” form here org/coriandsori/.

~ Charlotte Lehmann, Acting Director of Children’s Religious Education

Office hours: Tues 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and by arrangement. 617-484-1054, ext. 205 and clehmann@uubelmont.org.

Posted in Charlotte, Children's Religious Education