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 fall programming. We are using several curricula from Soul Matters to serve our various age groups. These curricula all follow the same monthly themes as our worship at OCUUC, connecting families' various experiences at church. Additionally, these programs are developed as the year progresses, meaning they can be responsive to current events and the changing needs of our congregations. Another very important aspect of these programs is that there will be an emphasis on integrating anti-racist, anti-oppressive, and multicultural themes throughout all sessions, some sessions fully focused on these lessons, and a direct focus on the spiritual needs of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous ad People of Color) children and families. Our Youth Group is now meeting on our church campus, as they are all fully vaccinated, and grades PreK-7th continue to meet at Estancia Park for the foreseeable future.
At the first Youth Group session for the fall, the youth discussed what has worked well for the group in the past and what they would like to see be different this year. There was a lot of enthusiasm expressed for community service projects, so you have opportunities you think would be a good fit for this group, please be in touch!
Karen Magoon Pearson is Orange Coast Unitarian Universalist Church's Director of Religious Education.