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.

Passport to Spirituality

Our Elementary Religious Education Class for Kindergarten through 7th grade has been participating in the Passport to Spirituality curriculum every other Sunday this church year. So far they have explored Shinto, Catholic, Unitarian Universalist, Mormon, Pagan and Baha’i religious traditions, holidays, and spiritual practices. One of the best parts of teaching in religious education classes is that you get to learn right alongside the children and youth and reach new understanding by witnessing how they experience the world around them.…

Winter Family Camp

Registration is now open for Winter Elementary Family Camp at de Benneville Pines over President’s Day Weekend. Imagine all the fun of our beloved camp, but now with snow! This camp is for children in kindergarten through sixth grade and their families. Children in second grade and older are welcome to stay in independent counselor cabins. This year’s camp will have a Superhero Academy theme to add to the fun. Academy curricula take place inside and out across our campus,…

New Curriculum

On September 10th we kicked off a year of Passport to Spirituality in the Elementary Class (K-6th), a curriculum that will guide us in exploring the spiritual practices of world religions. At each country we “visit”, the children will receive a passport sticker, learn about a different religion, engage in a spiritual practice utilized by that religion, and pick up a souvenir. What’s more, the Maker Space was such a huge success this summer that we have decided to continue…

Guest Makers

As we inch towards the end of the summer, I want to highlight the contributions of all the “guest makers” that shared their talents and passions with our children in the UU Maker Space over the past couple of months. Linda S. led us in some watercolor experimentation using eye droppers, which was fun and engaging for the kids. Maureen M. joined us for some woodworking, and each child got to make their own wooden car! Barbara M. did origami…

Guest Makers

Our OCUUC kids have truly been enjoying their time in our Maker Space on Sunday mornings this summer. My deepest gratitude goes out to each and every one of you that has donated materials (and there are a lot of you!). I am also so thankful for all of the “guest makers” that have joined us to share their talents and, of course, none of it would be possible without our trusty, dependable religious education volunteers who are making it…

Joan Gillan Award

At our Congregational Meeting on June 11th we honored Reverend Judy Tomlinson with the Joan Gillan Award for service to our Religious Education program. Rev. Judy is our former Director of Religious Education who has continued to serve our church community in her retirement. This church year she taught OWL to our 4th-6th graders all Fall and led our Youth Group twice a month in the Winter and Spring. She organized a cookie bake event for the Youth Group and…

UU Maker Space Program

On June 11th we will begin our summer UU Maker Space program in Religious Education. Kids in grades K-12 are invited to join us every Sunday to play creatively, solve problems, and learn from failure so that they can grow up to change the world! As UU religious educator Joy Berry writes, Our kids thrive on DOING. It changes their brains and the way they see themselves: When we make things, we are more confident, more open, less anxious about…

Superhero Academy

This year the Elementary Religious Education class, for kindergarten to sixth grade, is using a curriculum called Superhero Academy. On January 22nd, they learned from Spider-Man that “great power comes with great responsibility” and also that you don’t always have to try to save the whole world. Sometimes it’s important to focus on helping in your own neck of the woods, just like Peter Parker started out being everyone’s “friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.” With that in mind, the class turned their…

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…