Children’s Religious Education: It Takes a Congregation

On Sunday, November 1st, our second UU Visitor came through the Time Machine (that the kids built in September). The combined classes in grades 1 – 6 met with Clara Barton to learn about her life and significance to us as Unitarian Universalists. Here is a short report of what they learned from her.

     Clara Barton was born on Christmas Day in 1821 and had four siblings. Clara was a Universalist and believed in taking care of others no matter what. Her nursing career began early in life when her brother fell off a barn roof and she took care of him.

     Although she was shy, Clara had grit. She founded the first free school in New Jersey. Clara was one of the first women who worked for the U.S. federal government, a position from which she was fired.

     Clara spoke out about her experiences as a battlefield nurse during the American Civil War. She helped to find 13,000 missing soldiers (that’s a lot!). She was known as “the Angel of the Battlefield.”

     When her voice gave out from speaking in lecture halls (without the aid of modern technology to amplify her voice), Clara went to Europe “for a rest.” There she learned about the International Red Cross, which provided medical assistance to soldiers on both sides of armed conflicts in Europe. When Clara returned to the U.S., she pestered and persevered until President Chester A. Arthur agreed to the founding of the American Red Cross organization, of which Clara then was the president for 23 years. The American Red Cross has helped lots of people and continues to help people to this day.

     Clara died on Good Friday in April 1912.

Volunteers are needed in CRE

  • Volunteers are needed to act as our December UU visitor (Charles Follen) and Bible People visitors in the spring (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.

Special Activities of interest in November:

  • Adult Programs presents documentary film “Growing Up Trans” on November 19th in the Parish Hall. Refreshments at 6:45 pm, screening starts at 7 pm and is followed by a panel Q&A. The film and discussion is suitable for middle school students and older.
  • Belmont Religious Council’s annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service on November 22 at 7 pm in the FCB sanctuary. Bring non-perishable food items for the Belmont Food Pantry. Refreshments follow the service.

Children’s Religious Education Program Registration and Information:

  • If you haven’t registered your children for CRE, please do so ASAP using the registration link found on the CRE page of the FCB website ( 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 (

Posted in Charlotte, Children's Religious Education