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 developing a superpower all their own. But, behind the colorful spandex, superhuman abilities, and crime fighting an-tics, there are real lessons to be learned from superheroes about anti-oppression, personal responsibility, and love. That’s where this curriculum comes in.” We’ll be learning about popular superheroes and their invaluable teams, digging past their origin stories to discover what truly makes them so powerful, with strong hearts and minds. We’ll also learn how we can be just like them.
In our Youth Group (grades 7-12), we’ll be utilizing a newly revised program called Popcorn Theology, using movies to explore theology, ethics, and morality. Some themes presented in this curriculum include engaging in the quest for racial and economic justice; grieving losses from the pandemic; exploring oppression, privilege, marginalization, and conflict; searching for truth amidst a sea of misinformation; reflecting on values such as gratitude and forgiveness; and building resilience for the hard work of changing our world.
It's shaping up to be a transformative year for our program and for our kids. I hope you’ll be part of the journey with us!
Karen Magoon Pearson is Orange Coast Unitarian Universalist Church's Director of Religious Education.