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Monthly Religious Education News

November 2018

Lifespan Religious Education

All Souls Unitarian Universalist religious education
nurtures liberal religious discovery and the spiritual development of children, youth, and adults.

 

Religious Education News from Perry Montrose,
Director of Faith Formation

 

 

Perry's Ponderings

There is a saying that came out of a Unitarian Universalist leadership discussion about the future of Faith Formation and our purpose, "Everything we do is Faith Formation; everything we teach is Unitarian Universalism; the Congregation is the Cur-riculum." Faith Formation is not simply about specific learning in a Sunday School classroom or adult seminar, but actually something being formed in our daily lives and more by our interactions than our information.

"The Congregation is the Curriculum" means that the way we are present to one another and the messages spoken in conversation or demonstrated through our interactions have a great effect on our spiritual and emotional growth. Every-thing that happens in congregational life is forming our individual and collective faith identity. With this vision, we see that the content is a vehicle for the interactions that enable us to grow. The focus is on our covenantal relationship and the support we find within the community.

I recently attended a professional development workshop on Family Ministry. This Faith Formation model centers on "relationships, instead of personal competence and abilities." An adult’s value is not in filling a teaching spot to dissemi-nate religious education information and a child or youth is not in class to absorb that information. Rather, we are in com-munity to share our thoughts and feelings on topics so that our lens may open wider, to share our joys and sorrows that they may be held in the hands of others, and to share transcendent moments that strengthen our faith in what we hold dear. Within this context, relationship is everything and connection is our purpose. The focus is on every voice being heard and facilitating engagement that allows for meaningful interactions across the age span.

The Family Ministry model emphasizes what I already know to be true in Faith Formation…that the gift of our presence to one another is foremost and creating opportunities for connection is our focus. Multiple parents at All Souls have ex-pressed the need for more social interaction among the families and the desire to connect beyond the limited time of Sunday classes. Within classes, the children and youth have asked for more interactive activities that provide fun, creative opportunities. We are going to find more paths for those connections and I welcome your ideas.

Intentional Adult Faith Formation programming provides the context for a different growth interaction than Sunday wor-ship. We need to create the space for exploring and processing together, so the values we treasure and the questions we share may simmer in the warm light of the All Souls community. Our interactions in this special place help us touch inner springs that we cannot reach alone. We are changed by the experiences we share and, as we are continually formed, find that "I am because we are." Our Adult Faith Formation Ministry will create new paths to these connections and we invite you to be a part of the process on Sunday, December 2 at 11 a.m., when we will begin to create our vision for adult programming.

Adult Faith Formation Brainstorming

Sunday, Dec. 2 at 11 a.m.

 What is our vision for Adult Faith Formation?

 What programs do we want to create?

 What do we want to experience together?

Be a part of the conversation.

Calendar:
Nov. 4: Child Dedication and Faith Formation Classes

Nov. 11: Faith Formation Classes

Nov. 18: Thanksgiving Bread Communion Multi-generation Service; No Faith Formation classes

Nov. 25: Thanksgiving Break; No Faith Formation classes

Thank you to ...

Everyone who assisted with this year's Halloween bash, including our event committee (Angela Mock, Sarah Desai, Jazelle Avery, Alex Clancy, Katie Van Dyke, Eileen Ego, Amye Garrett and Isis Stoddard), our amazing youth group, all who do-nated refreshments, and Arlene Stolz for organizing the event.

Eileen Ego who oversaw all Faith Formation classes on Oct. 14.

Our substitute teachers for the month: Missy Barnes, Alex Clancy, Katie Heard, Kelly Hurrell, Jonathan Richards, and Katie Ryan.

Sue Frankewicz for donating a beautiful rug for our nursery and helping to rearrange the space.