Religious Exploration
Harriot Arnold, RE Coordinator

Come visit!

We welcome you and your family, whatever your religious background,
ethnicity, color, sexual orientation, gender expression, family structure,
income, or abilities may be.

Please join us!

Click here to read our RE Cordinator's column in this month's newsletter

Welcome to the 2017-2018 Religious Education program at
South Nassau UU Congregation!

Click here to register your child today!

This year, we at the South Nassau Unitarian Universalist Congregation Religious Education program are looking forward to another year of learning and growing in our faith. We are excited to be welcoming two consultant ministers, The Reverend Linda Anderson and Reverend Will Fienberg, and look forward to the guest ministers and lay led services that will feed our spirituality and community. This year in RE, we will all begin by studying the religious practice of other faiths as we learn more about the history, rituals and beliefs of Unitarian Universalists. Studying the same topic has proved very successful in creating a sense of community among all who are involved in the Religious Education Program. Each group will approach these topics at their own developmental level.

In addition to our curriculum, we will subscribe to Soul Matters this year for our thematic worship. Soul Matters is used by a group of over 200 Unitarian Universalist congregations who follow the same monthly worship themes . This enables small congregations to share small group material, as well as worship, sermon, music and children’s religious education resources. The themes for this year are:

September: Welcome
October: Courage
November: Abundance
December: Hope
January: Intention
February: Perseverance
March: Balance
April: Emergence
May: Creativity
June: Blessing

One Sunday a month has been designated as Whole Congregation Worship and children and youth will remain in the Sanctuary with the adults. These services have been planned as inclusive worship experiences for all congregants. RE members may sit together in the first pew or remain with their families for these celebrations of our faith.

On those Sundays that are designated as RE Sundays all youth will be met in the Religious Education Wing at 10:15, enabling their parents and caretakers to respond to the call to worship on time. Children and youth will begin together in a Caring/Sharing Faith Circle where we will light our chalice, sing a song or two, celebrate the opportunities we have had to practice UU principles and make our offering. We feel it is important to instill a sense of responsibility and stewardship for S.N.U.U.C. and would ask you to remind your child to bring an offering each week. After our time together, we will then break into our age appropriate groups until 11:30 a.m. when the children will join us for a slightly re-imagined coffee hour that will include juice and cookies.

FIRST CONGREGANTS: Our youngest group of children are grouped as K thru fourth graders.They will begin the year looking at the Abrahamic faiths through the many holidays, celebrations and memorial days that are celebrated by our neighbors. We will use picture books and Biblical stories in our exploration. Later this year we will be working on learning the Seven Principles of Unitarian Universalists and how we can practice them in our lives every day. We will use story, song and crafts to help the children understand their own spiritual emotions and begin to answer life’s big questions.

MIDDLE CONGREGANTS: This group of fifth thru eigth graders will be using a fabulous Tapestry of Faith curriculum called Neighboring Faiths. In addition to practicing the principles of our faith the children will begin to learn about the many ways in which friends and neighbors answer the great spiritual questions. We will ask some of those friends and neighbors to share their experience of how their faith enriches their lives.

In the Spring, we will be working on the elements of a service in the Sanctuary to prepare for the service they in May. This group will begin to learn more about the rituals and rites of passage celebrated by Unitarian Universalists; COA, OWL and Cons ( conferences,) If you are new to all these acronyms, please see Harriet or Meghan for more information.

EMERGING CONGREGANTS: Senior Youth will look at world religions with a particular emphasis on the shared qualities of each of the expressions of faith we study. Later in the year, this group will undertake a Life Journey through another UU text of that name that explores how we grow and change throughout our lives and how to make the journey most meaningful.
This is a particularly apt curriculum and will enable our youths to engage with the entire congregation as they explore the challenges and joys inherent in each stage of life. Throughout the year the young people in this group will have the opportunity to participate in a number of social action projects. HIHI (Huntington Interfaith Homeless Initiative) and the Midnight Run are two of the projects our youth have found to be very rewarding.

These students will continue their study of the elements of a worship service in order to prepare for the Youth led service in the Sanctuary after the new year.

CHILD CARE: Is provided for our youngest children, infants through 5 year olds, every Sunday of the year. These little UU’s are included in the Caring/Sharing Faith Circle and then return to their newly redecorated room for block building, crafts, and stories.

FAMILY NIGHTS - In addition to Sunday morning RE, we try to offer a monthly night suitable for all ages in which the whole family can participate and enjoy These activities range from Movie Nights and Game Night, as well as more creative evenings in which we team up with the art or music committee to show off your families many talents. These multigenerational evenings, which include a simple, kid - friendly dinner, are designed to appeal to children as well as adults and create a greater sense of community in keeping with our UU values. One of the most eagerly anticipated Family Nights does not include adults. It’s our PJ Party. Although not a true sleep-over, just 5 hours, parents to get some time off while the kids get an evening of games, movies and play. We have included two PJ Parties scheduled, as well as another art night in November, with Jan Porchnic who led us in making sea monster stories and sculptures last year. We will carol for senior citizens in December and plan many other fun evenings.

golden Rule

Value Based Religious Education As Unitarian Universalists, we envision children and youth who...

♦ realize that they are moral agents, capable of making a difference
in the lives of others, and in the health of our planet.

♦ feel safe & free to form their own answers to life’s great religious questions. ♦ become familiar with, and show respect for, history and wisdom of other religious traditions.

♦ recognize the importance of community, the importance of families of all
kinds, the importance of relationships among generations.

♦ experience joy, awe, and gratitude in response to life’s gifts...and find hope
and healing in the face of life’s challenges.

♦ appreciate the religious heritage of Unitarian Universalism, and feel at home
and among friends in this faith community.

Parental Responsibilities and a Covenant Between Us
Our RE ministry is a cooperative of parents who make common commitments for the mutual benefit of all children and youth. These include:

♦ Striving for consistent attendance, which demonstrates that the congregation and faith are important. Building trust and friendship nurtures our common life.
♦ Showing our commitment to South Nassau UU Congregation by making a financial pledge for the year.
♦ Staying informed by reading the Open Line, the Wednesday eblast and emails from the RE program.
♦ Working out a schedule to volunteer in the program (average of 2 hours a month is requested).
This is essential to our program, and we thank you. We know how busy all parents are!
♦ Remaining in the building while the children are in educational programming and picking them up when the program time has ended.
♦ Providing timely feedback (both positive and constructive) in order to help assess and improve the program.
♦ Offering each other mutual support and encouragement as we strive to live within the covenants of SNUUC and move as UU parents toward spiritual growth in our homes.

Unitarian Universalist Principles
We are a covenantal faith community with NO creed to which members must subscribe.

We convenant, however, to affirm and promote the following principles:

♦ The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
♦ Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations;
♦ Acceptance of and encouragement for one another as we work toward spiritual growth in our congregations;
♦ A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
♦ The right to apply conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society;
♦ The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
♦ Respect for the interdependent web of all existence, of which we are a part.

Sources of the Living Tradition
In pursuit of these principles, we draw wisdom from the continuously revealed sources named below:

♦ Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and upholdlife;
♦ Words and deeds of prophetic women and men. These challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
♦ Inspired wisdom from the world’s religions which helps guide us in our ethical and spiritual lives;
♦ Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
♦ Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit;
♦ Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.


Thoughts from the RE Coordinator (January newsletter)

Our intention creates our reality
- Wayne Dyer

Our INTENTION, the theme for this month, is to continue to create a safe and exciting space for our children to grow in understanding and love through the increased knowledge of our Unitarian Universalist faith.

Intention requires something more than the resolutions we toss about in January. Our resolutions seem to be a hope that by announcing how we wish to be better people, we will magically transform into being better. But intention requires a plan and an understanding of the process of change. Change entails not only a plan but risk and the expectation of some failure and we are ready for the challenge.

Our plan for 2018 is filled with wonderful social action projects, engaging Family Nights and Sunday morning curriculum designed to delight, educate and nurture our burgeoning spirituality. Senior Youth will be working on their Whole Congregation service, happening on Sunday, Feb. 11. Our theme for February is PERSEVERANCE and we are all looking forward to hearing our brilliant youth’s perspective on the topic. The Senior Youth will then continue working on social justice projects.

They will join the UU Fellowship of Huntington for their Interfaith Homeless Initiative, known as HIHI, on a few Sunday evenings and will design and implement a project for our community.

Junior Youth will be wholly engaged in looking at our UU principles through the eyes of Rod Serling, a UU, as they explore the philosophy of some of his Twilight Zone episodes. Our youngest group will work with a Tapestry of Faith curriculum, Windows and Mirrors, which nurtures children's ability to identify their own experiences and perspectives and to seek out, care about, and respect those of others. The program teaches that there are always multiple viewpoints and everyone's viewpoint matters.

Each of the study units we have chosen encourage both spiritual and intellectual growth - and not just for children. Please think about volunteering to teach or help in our Religious Education Program. You may be surprised at how the new perspectives of young minds can recharge your own soul. And, we have a great deal of fun! Speak with Jim Hawkins to learn more.

And speaking of fun, everybody’s favorite Family Night is scheduled for Friday, Jan.19. It’s our PJ Party/Parent Date Night. Parent, drop the children here at SNUUC and head for your favorite restaurant, movie or home to your favorite chair because we will make our own dinner, play games, read stories, eat healthy junk food and enjoy each other’s company while you enjoy some adult time. See RE Coordinator, Harriet Arnold or Youth Coordinator, Meghan LaDue to sign up.

Harriet Arnold,
Religious Education Coordinator