Religious Growth & Learning
Children and Youth Religious Exploration News         

July 6, 2009

Howdy from your friendly neighborhood Director of Religious Education.
In just a few short weeks we’ll begin a new church year at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville. Our Interim Minister, Rev. Gary Gallun, will be in the pulpit for the first time on August 16…and that’s the same day we kickoff our Religious Exploration year!

The Religious Exploration Committee meets the 4th Sunday of each month at 10am in the Channing Room. In preparation for the time of transition, it is very important to have a committed and active committee in place to advocate for the best interests of the program. If you are interested in serving on this committee and being a vibrant part of this vital ministry, please contact Mike Beck, [email protected], or me, Kelly Belanger Harris, [email protected] 

Teachers are always being solicited for upcoming terms. Now is the time to make your interest known for the Summer term. And it’s NEVER too early to express an interest in ANY term! If you have the interest and the time, don’t hesitate another moment. Contact Mike Beck or me.  The Religious Exploration program is an important ministry of UUCJ.  It is, quite literally, the way we grow the next generation of Unitarian Universalists and sustain and nourish those who are already at the table!

Some things you need to know:

RE Kickoff Breakfast: August 16, 2009. UUCJ Social Hall. 9:30am.  Details to follow. 

All children who are participating in the RE program must have a completed registration form on file in the office. This is also true for visitors who have visited more than three times. This is more than just birthdays and contact information. This is the place for family members to let staff know if there is anything special going on in the life of the child, if there are challenges or growth opportunities happening. It’s also the place where you tell us what you can do to nurture and grow the Religious Exploration Program. This program cannot exist without volunteers. Volunteers teach, volunteers plan, volunteers ‘do’ religious exploration!  

And speaking of volunteering—if you are interested in volunteering, there is a MANDATORY Teacher Training on August 1 from 9:30am-2pm. 

Teachers are needed for the following classes/age groups: 

PreK3-K: Two more teachers are needed. 
Curriculum: Spirit Play. Alba Rosa is the amazing Montessori teacher for the group; but she can’t do it alone. Are you a Montessori-trained teacher or inspired parent?  Would you like to know more about this fantastic method of RE delivery?  Rotating teaching schedule determined by personal availability and number of volunteers.  

1st & 2nd Grade: NO TEACHERS NEEDED!! Woo HOO!!
Curriculum: Tapestry of Faith: Creating Home transitioning to Spirit Play. Tapestry of Faith, a new curriculum created by the Unitarian Universalist Association, is an exciting approach to UU Religious Education. It is multi-themed, age appropriate and very exciting!  Dynamic teachers, Lara Armstrong, a Montessori teacher by day, and Jason Fondren, Montessori trained himself, are tweaking the already-fabulous Tapestry of Faith curriculum to give it a Spirit Play feel. If you have children in this class, they won’t want to miss a single Sunday!  

3rd, 4th, & 5th Grade:  Currently no one has volunteered to teach this class.
We need 2-3 teachers. Rotating teaching schedule depending on personal availability and number of volunteers.
Curriculum: Tapestry of Faith: Toolbox of Faith.  From the Tapestry of Faith website: “What tools does Unitarian Universalism offer for the challenges of life? Children discover what aspects of UU faith are helpful to them, developing a toolbox of faith.” Created by well-known UU curriculum designer and Director of Religious Education, Katey Covey, this curriculum builds on everyday objects to empower children with the attributes of love, humor, questioning and the like. With no volunteers signed up for this class, there is the VERY REAL POSSIBILITY that there may not be a 3rd, 4th, & 5th grade class. If you are interested, please contact me IMMEDIATELY. 

6th, 7th & 8th Grade.  No teachers signed up. 
Rotating teaching schedule depending on personal availability and number of volunteers. 
Curriculum: Tapestry of Faith: Riddle and Mystery. From the UUA: “These are big questions we all voice. While Unitarian Universalists espouse different theologies, we agree on many of the answers. With our answers, a faith is created. The UUA is pleased to present Riddle and Mystery: UU Responses to Big Questions, a Tapestry of Faith program for sixth grade. This exciting curriculum, written by Richard S. Kimball, helps young people experience how our individual search for meaning in the universe is supported and strengthened when we come together as people of faith. Participants explore our shared UU beliefs and where their own beliefs fit in the spectrum. Engaging, relevant activities range from the introspective (WIT Time or, "What I Think" Time) to performing scripted dramas, exploring UU hymns for answers, and conducting Internet surveys.” UUCJ is a field-test site for this curriculum. It is essential that we have teachers for this class. And not just any ol’ warm body will do.  Please see me ASAP if you feel a special call to work with this rewarding and, at times, wee bit challenging, age group.

High School: Pam Beck and Melanie Harper. NO TEACHERS NEEDED!!  Woo Hoo!!
Curriculum: Small Group Ministry for Youth.

Online resources for staying up-to-date on UUCJ RE Offerings:

Director of Religious Exploration Facebook page: Search Uucj Dre.  Or

UUCJ Religious Exploration group at Facebook:

UUCJ Religious Exploration Calendar: RE Schedule

The Religious Exploration Program at UUCJ is a cooperative program. It cannot exist, grow or flourish without the commitment and dedication of many volunteers. Won’t you take the time today to find out what you can do to become a part of this wonderful educational ministry?

With a faith in love,


"Nurture Your Spirit. Help Heal the World."
Kelly Belanger Harris
Director of Religious Exploration
Unitarian Universalist Church of Jacksonville
7405 Arlington Expressway
Jacksonville, FL 32211
dre[email protected]
RE Calendar
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