Passport to Spirituality

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.

The children were dismayed to learn that only men can become Catholic priests and hold the Mormon priesthood but were happy to know that equality of all genders is important to Pagans, Baha’is, and, of course, Unitarian Universalists. They enjoyed learning about the Shinto holiday Setsubun and eating the number of fuku-mame (roasted soybeans) equal to their age plus one more to protect them in the year ahead. They also got a kick out of how many fuku-mame RE teacher Jacques Kilchoer had to eat!

In January, they were introduced to the spiritual practice of fasting while learning about Baha’is. As part of the experience, delicious chocolate chip cookies were handed to parents after class, with the suggestion to wait until the evening to share them with the children as a way to help them experience a little of what fasting might be like. Consequently, most if not all of the kids present that day have decided fasting will not be part of their spiritual practice. In fact, two could not even make it off church grounds before taking a bite!
It is a joy to move through this life with our precious children, youth, families, and larger communities at OCUUC. If you think you might be feeling the pull to work with our children and youth, let’s chat!


Karen Magoon Pearson is Orange Coast Unitarian Universalist Church's Director of Religious Education.