Wednesday, August 28, 2013

2013/2014 Lifespan Religious Education

with classes for children three years old, tweens, teens and adults      


Welcome to our 2013/2014 church year! Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship offers programming for our youngest members all the way to our eldest members recognizing that personal and spiritual growth is something that we cultivate over a lifetime.

Mission Statement

We are a loving, diverse, open fellowship that inspires spiritual growth, encourages ethical actions, seeks truth and has a deep commitment to improving the community and the world by our actions.


Philosophy of Religious Education

Unitarian Universalists find inspiration from six sources. The stories and lessons we offer in religious education are drawn from these foundations of our faith:
  • The sense of wonder we all share.
  • Women and men from long ago and today — people whose lives remind us to be kind and fair.
  • The ethical and spiritual wisdom of the world's religious.
  • Christian and Jewish teachings which tell us to love all others as we love ourselves.
  • The use of reason and the discoveries of science.
  • The harmony of nature and the sacred circle of life.
Ours is a non-creedal religion and the philosophy of our classes is that we encourage and support one another in a free and responsible search for truth and meaning (rather than impart dogma or doctrine). Diverse spectrums of beliefs are welcome in our congregation and our religious education programming will encourage participants to discover for themselves what life’s big questions mean for them.





 
Children and Youth Religious Education Programming 


We are proud to announce our class offerings for this year. Classes begin on September 8th and registration forms are available for print and online (http://www.dentonuuf.org/joomla/index.php/religious-education.html).
 
 

The Nursery (infants through two years old): The nursery is located on the far side of Fellowship Hall. Our youngest children receive friendly, safe and loving care here. Our nursery is staffed by caregivers, with additional help from experienced volunteers. Visitors are always welcome. Parents must sign in their children and include any special instructions. Parents are asked to bring diapers, a change of clothes and bottles.

 


Preschool through Second Grade (Spirit Play): Children in this class participate in Spirit Play, a Montessori-method program that shares stories from each of our six sources (including engaging stories from Unitarian Universalism, Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, science, nature and modern history).  The stories are told using props and, instead of telling children how to interpret the story, the storyteller invites participants to “wonder” what the story means for them. Each story concludes with different wondering questions like “I wonder who you are in this story” and “I wonder what this story is really about.” Each week parents are provided with a summary of the story and some wondering questions to help cultivate dialog with their children after class.

 


Third through Sixth Grade (Tween class): Children in this class participate in The New You the Creator. There will be smiles and laughter from your children’s new experience of spirituality and new understanding of the creative forces in all of us. Four E’s inform the program: Exploring, Experiencing, Expanding, and Expressing. And ten themes run through it: Religion and Creativity, Religion and Creative Arts, Arts and Creativity, Creativity and Self, Practical Creativity, Universal Creative Force, Creative Spirituality, Creating Community, Yes You Can, and Creativity for All. 

 


Middle School (Grades 7 through 9) Our Whole Lives (OWL): We are offering this comprehensive sexuality education program for youth from Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and from the wider community. It is part of a series of sexuality education curricula jointly developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ. It is secular in content and open to participants of differing religious backgrounds. Our Whole Lives helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. It equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information in six subject areas: Human Development; Relationships; Personal Skills; Sexual Behavior; Sexual Health; and Society and Culture. Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, Our Whole Lives provides not only facts about anatomy and human development, but also helps participants to clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality. Classes will take place on Sunday evenings starting later in the year. Exact dates to be announced soon.


 


Seventh through 9th Grade (Teen class): Compass Points is a curriculum which guides adolescents on a yearlong spiritual journey with opportunities to explore their identities, their beliefs, their Unitarian Universalist faith, their relationships with others and their connections to the world.  Compass Points is designed for middle school youth groups and is often used in conjunction with coming of age programs, but can be adapted for use with high school age youth.

 

The Goals of Compass Points are:


·                     To help participants sort out their feelings about themselves and their world

as they do the difficult work of starting to create their adult selves

·                     To help them discover what they believe about life's big questions -- the nature

of humanity and the divine, beliefs about life, death and faith

·                     To help youth think independently, assume responsibility, make decisions,

explore values and adopt the practice of radical hospitality

·                     To guide participants in acquiring enough background in UU history,

        polity and theology that they can know and express what it means to be

Unitarian Universalists

·                     To help them understand that religious liberty is a hard-won legacy that continues

to need protection

 


High School: Our Whole Lives: Sexuality Education for Grades 10-12 (OWL) helps high school youth gain the knowledge, life principles and skills they need to express their sexuality in life-enhancing ways. It puts sexuality into the context of values and personal responsibility, helping them to manage social pressure and advocate for equality. It provides an opportunity to bring values and integrity to the real-life issues.

 

OWL is a secular curriculum developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ. Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship will be offering Our Whole Lives for grades ten through twelve.  This program is open to the wider Denton community, providing a much-needed alternative to abstinence-only education.

 

Beginning on October 6, participants will meet on Sundays from 5:00pm to 7:00pm. Participants must commit to participation in the full program and must be registered in advance. Registration fees are $25 for participants from member families and $50 for participants from non-member families. All students in grades 10-12 are invited to participate (regardless of religion, church affiliation, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity).
 



Adult Religious Education Programming

 

Faith development never ends. New experiences and insights add to our world view and shape our beliefs. This year we have expanded our programming for adults to include programming for people of diverse backgrounds, interests and beliefs. There is something for everyone in our programming this year—we hope you will participate!

Adult Religious Education on Wednesday evenings from 7:00pm to 8:30pm – Throughout the year we will offer individual lectures (on social concerns, world religions, Unitarian Universalism and other topics) and various series of classes and/or book discussions. Be sure to read DUUF News, our weekly e-newsletter (subscription sign up box in on our website: www.dentonuuf.org) for specific topics and schedule.
 
Centering Thursdays on Thursday evenings from 7:00pm to 8:30pm – is a weekly drop-in program featuring different spiritual practices. Teens and adults are welcome to come on any Thursday evening where they will experience meditation, labyrinth walk, qi gong, praying in color, reiki, crystal singing bowls, prayer beads, mandala drawing, drumming, or another practice to help center, ground, inspire or heal. Be sure to read DUUF News, our weekly e-newsletter (subscription sign up box in on our website: www.dentonuuf.org) for schedule.

Kundalini Yoga classes are offered each Monday and Wednesday mornings from 9:00am to 10:30am – Kundalini Yoga classes are drop-in classes taught by Nicki Rossman. Classes are free for DUUF members and $10 for non-members. Considered a spiritual practice of mind, body and heart, yoga is a great way focus on breath, posture and opening chakras. Participants of this class leave feeling grounded and peaceful. 

Financial Peace University is a nine week program that presents practical steps to financially get from where you are to where you’ve dreamed you could be.  The program will show you how to get rid of debt, manage your money, spend and save wisely, and much more!  The program costs $99 for the materials for each participant.  Couples are encouraged to share.  In nine weeks you will learn to take control of your money, invest in your future, and give like never before! Class meets every Sunday from 5:30-7:00pm beginning September 8th through November 3rd in the RE wing. Please contact Nick Day at nick@gohlkepools.com for more information or to register.  Registration deadline is September 1st.

Covenant Groups – We are in the planning stages of starting two new covenant groups this year for adults. Covenant groups are opportunities for a small group (6-12 people) to gather together regularly throughout the year to light a chalice, hear a reading on a particular theme and share their own experience related to that reading/theme. They are called “covenant” groups because the group agrees to certain behaviors (not speaking over one another, allowing room for silence, maintaining confidentiality…) that help each member of the group to participate fully in the process, to develop meaningful connections with one another and to more-deeply reflect on their own experiences and beliefs. If you are interested in participating in a covenant group in the coming year, stay tuned to our newsletter for dates. Questions may be directed to covenantgroups@dentonuuf.org.
 

Maximizing Your Experience

In order to get the most out of our programming we recommend that you come regularly and get to know new people as you are here. Volunteer to lead or assist in our programming, attend church social events, and participate broadly in the life of the congregation.  Subscribe to DUUF News, our e-newsletter that is sent by e-mail weekly (there is a sign-up box on our website at www.dentonuuf.org).  Parents, introduce yourself to your child’s teachers; ask questions and engage your children in their learning and discovery. Get to know our staff.  Most importantly, put down roots in your religious community. Get to know others of all ages and backgrounds. Share with us your interests and concerns, as well as your talents. Let us know special milestones, celebrations and/or struggles that your family is experiencing.

We look forward to a wonderful, enriching year together.

For more information contact: 

Linda Hapeman, Director of Religious Education for Children and Youth
dre@dentonuuf.org

Rev. Pamela Wat, Minister