I am looking with awe and amazement at the wide variety of items on my office bookshelf. You see, in preparation for my leaving I’ve been going back through the books and curriculum and making sure I have a complete database for whoever follows me, and, OMG, there is so much here.
The richness of materials that are available to us as Unitarian Universalist Religious Educators, especially since the addition of Tapestry of Faith curriculum, astounds me. Because our six sources cast a wide net, we can easily pull in the best materials from other education sites as well, curating them and adding the spiritual elements that are part of creating our religious experience together.
Each RE year requires planning for what areas to explore, what curriculum to use and what the learning goals for the year are. In this planning process, I have read or skimmed through everything on the shelves, as well as the materials that are available online through the UUA. That’s a lot of reading and there is so much more I could learn. It’s like a treasure hunt to find the right lessons and I never know what gems I might turn up.
As a religious educator there are so many parts of UU history and heritage that I want you to know. Knowledge about how we came to be a religious tradition, how we have shaped and been shaped by justice making, who our forebears are, our past mistakes and successes. I want our people to develop leadership skills, a sense of self, compassion for others, responsibility, a spiritual self, ethical reasoning, love for the mystery……the list goes on. I wonder what you would consider the core of UU learning that our children should have before they leave home? What stories of our UU past could be told across all generations and all congregations so that we have a shared knowledge of our faith? What have you as an adult learned that has strengthened your commitment to Unitarian Universalism? Have you even engaged in learning about our faith?
As you think about these questions, I can tell you one thing for sure. There is too little time on Sunday mornings to impart the wealth of knowledge that is in all our religious texts and sources. One day a week doesn’t create a religious identity. It takes work outside of church, in your families or on your own, to really get the meat of the learning. If you want to raise religious children or nurture the spiritual in yourself, you might want to learn a little about our history. Talk at home about religious matters – the Big Questions. Ask your children what they believe about God, the Universe, Good and Evil, Love, Justice and tell them what you believe. Start the conversation and see what treasures you uncover. It is a lifelong quest.
Sunday morning just isn’t enough.