Welcome to Religious Education (RE)
As Unitarian Universalists, we believe that the process of religious education is a lifelong quest to answer fundamental questions asked by all men, women, and children: why am I here, how should I conduct my life, and what is right and wrong?
Unlike many other religious groups, we do not offer easy, set answers. In our church school classes, your child will learn to ask questions, evaluate what is meaningful for him or her, and eventually develop a strong set of beliefs centering around the right of everyone to pursue their own religious ideas.
We envision a just and loving future in which everyone can share ideas and grow spiritually and culturally. We hope you and your child will share in this future with us. Together, we will help your child in his or her lifelong search for truth, values, and spirituality within a Unitarian Universalist context.
Welcome to Religious Education for Children and Youth
Our Director of Religious Education works with the Religious Education Ministry Team to create a program that gives our children and youth a strong grounding in Unitarian Universalism. Everything we teach is related to our seven Unitarian Universalist principles. Our children and youth learn our principles with the help of colors.
We offer a safe environment for learning about Unitarian Universalist identity, Judeo-Christian Heritage, Religions of the World, Peace and Social Justice, and our Interdependence with Nature.
We also hope to foster a true sense of worth in our children and youth. First Parish is a loving and caring community for children and youth. Participants in our program have formed meaningful friendships and a strong sense of community within First Parish. Our youngsters look forward to Sunday mornings when they can see their First Parish family and friends again.
|Red – Respect the importance of all beings.|
|Orange – Offer fair and kind treatment to all.|
|Yellow – Yearn to learn with others at our church.|
|Green – Grow by exploring ideas and values together.|
|Blue – Believe in your ideas and act on them.|
|Indigo – Insist on peace, freedom and justice for all.|
|Violet – Value our interdependence with nature.|
“There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots; the other, wings.” – Hodding Carter
Small Group Ministry
Religious Education for Adults
A New Way of Being Together
First Parish has four small group ministries and growing!
Small Group Ministry allows people to explore their spirituality and values in a safe environment. It meets the need for spiritual connection and intimacy that is a deep hunger in our society and fundamental to the life of our congregation. Groups are designed to foster connection and caring, and to provide an avenue for personal spiritual growth.
Groups of six to ten people meet twice a month for up to two hours guided by a facilitator. The format includes an opening reading, check-in, sharing, topic discussion, feedback, and a closing reading. Topics covered last year ranged from “Living Simply” and “Roots” to “Questions of Faith”.
The Small Group Facilitators are: Rick Starkweather, Judy Starkweather, Linda Harding, Kym Johnson. The Small Group Facilitators Team is facilitated by the Minister.
COMMENTS FROM PARTICIPANTS OF SMALL GROUP MINISTRY AT FIRST PARISH
“Participation in Small Group Ministry was both rewarding and an enlightening experience. Sometimes I felt as if I were looking in a mirror and seeing myself for the first time.”
“It is interesting to sit with people you know from church and get to know them on a deeper level in a small group.”
“Other people’s ideas helped me to see things in a new way. I love the warm acceptance we have created.”
“The best thing for me I think has been the time out to be reflective and to do that with a small number of people.”
“The laughter was great. I loved the deep sharing.”
“It helped in integrating “religion” into my real life.”
“I have most benefited from learning from others.”
“I think every new member should be strongly encouraged to be in a small group…It encourages a sense of belonging.”
“I enjoyed getting to know the members of the group better. Our discussions of the ideas and values important to our lives lead to a deeper understanding of each other for me. The topic “Friendship” was particularly memorable because friends have always been a source of strength and pleasure…” – Dell Hammond
“I believe I have learned something at each group meeting; I believe I’ve learned something about myself in particular which has made me think about some things in a different light.” – Ann Smith