Children’s Religious Education: It Takes a Congregation

This past week, a parent communicated that his son had an idea for what the kids could make for their table at the annual Holiday Gift Fair, which raises money for a wide range of charitable organizations. This youngster is thinking more than two months ahead despite being involved in numerous other extracurricular activities here at church as well as at home.

        I am thrilled! This is exactly the kind of initiative that makes for an excellent and exciting religious education program. And it is a great example of how the kids here at FCB can and do live out their covenantal commitment to this congregation and our faith. Not to mention the value of a truly multigenerational community.

        For those of you who are new to this congregation, the annual Holiday Gift Fair takes place on December 6th. The CRE program has a table of crafts made by the kids and staffed by the 5th & 6th grade classes. The children choose the recipient of the funds they raise through the sale of their handiwork. Last year they chose to support the work of the UU Service Committee Ebola Relief effort. This year, they will brainstorm whom they want to support and vote to make their choice during the month of November. (They will also be choosing recipient or two for their monthly children’s offering collection this year. Last June approx. $250 was donated to MSPCA-Angell.)

        The craft project that was suggested needs to be done early this fall; so it will take place on Sunday, October 11th. Additional volunteers are needed at both 9 am and 11 am to help the teachers who are already signed up for teaching classes this morning. If you can’t assist in October, please step up when we ask for crafting help in late November/early December in preparation for and at the Holiday Gift Fair.

        On a related note, if you have a unique or special holiday tradition that you do in your family and would like to share something about it for the December multigenerational worship service, now is not too early to let the CRE Office know.

        Much of what goes on here at FCB is planned weeks or even months in advance; it pays to think ahead and share your gifts and your ideas.

Activities of interest to families in October

  • Fellowship Family-Friendly Fall Hike on 10/10/15: The Fellowship Committee has planned an easy hike suitable for families at a nearby location; for information contact: fellowship@uubelmont.org.
  • Pre-Halloween Party on 10/24/15 from 6-8 p.m.: The Youth Group and CRE are teaming up for some spooky fun and games in the Parish Hall. Try on and try out your Halloween costume, enjoy games and a walk down the haunted hallway. More information in October.

Volunteers are needed in CRE

  • Volunteers are needed to act as our UU visitors (Clara Barton, Charles Follen, and Fannie Barrier Williams) and Bible People visitors (Moses and Miriam), if you are interested please contact the CRE Office.
  • CRE Committee members are needed. The committee meets on the 2nd Weds of each month from 7-8:30 pm. 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. See column above for some ideas on how you can help out in CRE this fall.

Register now for 2015-2016 Children’s RE and Youth Programs using the registration link found on the Children’s Religious Education page: uubelmont.org/childrens-re/, which allows you to register children from birth through 12th grade. 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: uubelmont.org/coriandsori/.

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

Posted in Charlotte, Children's Religious Education, Unitarian