Forming Faith

Forming Faith

The regular column from Karen Magoon Pearson, Director of Religious Education. Karen may be reached by email at dre@ocuuc.org.

Our Whole Lives (OWL)

For ten weeks, nine 4th-6th graders from OCUUC, Tapestry UU, and the wider community gave it their all in the vital and life-affirming Our Whole Lives (OWL) Lifespan Sexuality Education program. With the intrepid leadership of our OWL facilitators, Maria Goode, Jacques Kilchoer, and Rev. Judy Tomlinson, they explored Sexuality and Values, Images in Popular Culture, Body Image, Changes of Puberty, Gender, Feelings and Attraction, Reproduction and Staying Healthy, Decisions and Actions, Consent and Peer Pressure, and Healthy Relationships. By…

Camp. And more.

My family and I had a wonderful time at our All-Church Weekend at Camp de Benneville Pines the second weekend of October. We hadn’t been there for five years, and our youngest had never been there at all. Camp de Benneville Pines is very special to my husband and me, as we attended UU Young Adult Camp there for many years be-fore we became parents. It was amazing watching it become a sacred place for our kids, too. Most of…

Our Whole Lives (OWL)

On September 17th we brought together families from our church, from Tapestry UU in Lake Forest, and from our larger Orange County community for very successful orientation for our upcoming Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education (OWL) classes for grades 4 to 6. This curriculum, developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ, is designed to help children ages nine through twelve gain the knowledge, life principles, and skills they need to express their sexuality in life-enhancing…

Superhero Academy

We’re gearing up for a fabulous year in Religious Education. We’ll be doing a new program called Superhero Academy with our Kindergarten — 6th grade group. The program’s introduction states, “From their humble beginnings in comic books of the 1930s and 40s, to modern day blockbuster movies, irreverent cartoons, and thrilling amusement park attractions, superheroes have certainly invaded our cultural zeitgeist. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a child today who hasn’t fantasized about being a superhero or…

Magic Summer

We’ve been having a joyful and service-filled summer in Religious Education. We began our Magic Summer curriculum from Soul Matters in July, encompassing the three S’s of Silence, Service, and Sunshine. We have experienced silence through a guided meditation that had us imagining ourselves as a sprouting seed, an activity in which we mind-fully passed a cup of water without spilling a drop, a meditation on the meaningfulness of books, and a loving kindness meditation. Our first act of service…

Summer RE Program

The school year and church year are winding down, and we are preparing for summer. The Youth Group will be taking a break over the summer (perhaps with 1 or 2 special events), and PreK-7th grade will be combined for our summer program. We’ll be using the Magic Summer curriculum from Soul Matters. This program is based on three magic “S’s” that are what we, as a faith community, need to provide our children and our families to find the…

Welcome Back!

It’s so good to be back! On Easter Sunday, April 17th, we welcomed our PreK-7th graders back to our church campus. For some of them, it was their first time in our buildings at all! It was joyful and a little overwhelming to be back in the beginning of the Sunday service with everyone. I got very emotional seeing my own children in the service and interacting with the larger community for the first time in more than two years.…

Goodbye to Estancia Park

I have wonderful news to share! All our Sunday morning religious education pro-grams will be returning on-site to our OCUUC classrooms on Sunday, April 17th! It has been two years since our younger children have met on campus, and it will be wonderful to be back. A survey of our religious education parents and teachers showed that everyone is ready to return, and Easter Sunday felt like a very auspicious day to make it happen. We will have an egg…

Widening the Love

We’re back! It was so wonderful to welcome back our children and youth to in-person programming on February 13th. On Sunday mornings our PreK-7th graders are back to meeting at Estancia Park and our Youth Group (8th-12th grade) are meeting in the Nursery in the RE/Admin Building. It’s been wonderful to be together as we’ve explored February’s theme of Widening the Circle. Our younger group has explored Widening the Love We Share by learning more about refugees and our congregation’s…

Exploring empathy

Our theme in January was Living with Intention. Each week we explored a different facet of intention with ideas for activities families could do together at home since we were not meeting in person. I’d like to share with you some of the picture books and stories I recommended this month to help children get a well-rounded perspective on Living with Intention. When it comes to intentionally going about social change, one of the key things needed is empathy. When…

Truth Telling

Throughout November, we all shared in the theme of Holding History. In our Religious Education program, that involved a lot of “truthful telling” and honesty about some painful parts of our nation’s past. These truths can be very difficult for adults to share with children and youth, and doing so in a developmentally appropriate way can be a challenge. Nevertheless, my goal for our program is to push forward boldly, past our own hang ups as adults, and be honest…

Jingle Dancing

The PreK-7th graders read the picture book Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Letitch Smith during their time together on October 10th as part of exploring how listening helps build relationships. This book was also selected in honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day on October 11th. It’s a story about a group of Indigenous Women who are using the tradition of Jingle Dancing to help the world heal the fear caused by the pandemic. The dresses, also known as Prayer Dresses, mimic the sound of falling rain and…