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.

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…

Fall Programs

Here in Religious Education for Children and Youth, we kicked off fall by sharing a beautiful Water Ceremony created just for kids on September 12th. We had 19 children and youth with us, and it was a fantastic experience. I was so touched by the way the kids were eager to participate and showed reverence in their own ways. It was very special for me, and I hope it was for them, too. On Sunday, September 19th, we began our…

Let’s Keep it Up

We have fully settled into our Circle of Trees program, and it seems the children and youth are really enjoying our time together on Sunday mornings. The teachers are, too! We have had several new families join us this month, and we recently had a total of 17 children and youth with us on Sunday morning, which is the highest attendance we’ve had since the beginning of the pandemic! It has been wonderful to be together, and cohorts of new…

A Running Start

I am so thrilled to be returning as your Director of Religious Education here at OCUUC! Despite a challenging last year, Rev. Judy has left the program in terrific shape with the help of our dedicated volunteers and terrific families. Thanks to all of their support I am off to a running start, and we have kicked off our exciting new summer program, Circle of Trees. This is a multigenerational program that nurtures deep connection with trees, nature, and all…

Transitions

Transition is in the air. We are moving back to in-person church and Religious Education. We are shifting into summer mode with free and open days during the week and guests in our pulpit on Sundays. And we are changing over from one Director of Religious Education (DRE) to another. Transitions are always a bit tricky. Like passing a baton in a relay race, there is always the danger that someone might drop the stick. Karen Magoon Pearson, our incoming…