On my first Sunday at UU Wausau, during my first Time for All Ages, I shared with everyone present some of my favorite things about Religious Education (RE). The list contained…
And in my time at UU Wausau, that list has grown to include… painting snowbanks with messages of love; all ages working a booth at Pride with rainbow face painting; games and water play at a summer gathering in the parking lot; playing Taco, Cat, Goat, Cheese, Pizza with youth group, and many, many, more.
As you may have noticed, many of these activities don’t take place in the hour-long Sunday morning program we call RE.
That is because religious education happens in every corner of our congregation.
There is a quote attributed to Connie Goodbread and Susan Smith that is based on the work of Maria Harris that goes:
“Religious Education is all we do. Unitarian Universalism is all we teach. And the congregation is the curriculum.”
Or in other words, it’s not just the RE classes where our children and youth are learning from us, and it isn’t only our RE leaders who are teaching them. All of us teach them through the things we say, do, don’t do, the things we give importance to, and how we treat each other.
It is through these interactions we show them what it means to be in community; what it means to be in a covenantal relationship; what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist, and how to live out that faith.
And that’s why, as part of our re-visioning process, we are inviting everyone to participate, whether they have children in the program or not and whether they have or haven’t led children and youth RE.
Because all of your voices matter.
Practically, it is your time, talents, and treasures that directly make these programs possible, both through pledging and volunteering.
More importantly, at the heart, it is because we are exploring our hopes and dreams for the ways we all will get to teach and learn from each other, for the ways we live out our faith together, for what it means to belong to UU Wausau as a child, youth, and family, and for those things we want to pass on to the next generation of UUs. And there are no better experts on those topics than all of us.
If you want to make sure you are part of our revisioning conversation, please let one of the RE Team members (Sally Schmidt, Joni Hahn, and Greg Zavadoski) or me know.