Grades 6-8*, Coming of Age (COA) in the first half of the year will use the curricula A Questing Year. During the year we will explore four quests in growth areas: UU Quest (understanding our faith); Action Quest (exploring social justice); Inner Quest (self discovery); Mystery Quest (discovering our own beliefs). After the Holidays we’ll begin Popcorn Theology. This curricula challenges our youth to find faith in popular films. In each class we’ll watch parts of movies (some in their entirety over several classes or retreats) and discuss the religious nature behind them. In addition to Sunday meetings, we also have occasional sleepovers (retreats) where we do more intensive group building and faith development workshops. Retreats run from 6:00pm on a Friday to noon on Saturday, and COA group typically has that Sunday off from church (to sleep).  This group will also work on getting mentors in early November to attend occasional classes and these retreats with them to help them bridge the bond between children and adults.

* Exceptions can be made for those students who stayed back. Contact the DRE.

For more information contact Danielle Bannister, Director of Religious Exploration,

email hidden; JavaScript is required, 505-5383.

 

 


 

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March 5, 2017

(3/8/2017) This Sunday the Primary and Intermediate kids did a project called Mish-Mashed Hearts. The Primary room related the craft to a story they heard about an elderly man with no real friends and the community that reminded him of his worth. While the Intermediate room heard a story from another UU Congregation about how our past, both good and bad shape our hearts. The COA group watched the latest Twilight Zone Episode called: To Serve Man. Always a joy to see their faces when the surprise ending is revealed. We had a few moments of discussion about it before service was done.
 

January 9, 2017

(1/10/2017) Primary Room This group learned about Tibetan Prayer flags (They got to color one to take home). These flags are a way of praying…a way to send their wishes out into the universe. The story acted as a small introduction about other faiths and types of prayer. Intermediate Room We played a game called ‘This is NOT a scarf’ where we took a scarf and passed it around, each person making it into something new, like an apron, a ball, the letter ‘M.’ The game was a way of talking about reinventing yourself. That you set the parameters of what you want to be in life, not the label others put on you. We then talked about resolutions, what they are, why some people make them and what resolutions they might want to make. We finished the session with a wishing tree activity where they wrote down their resolution on a paper leaf to tie to a tree in the hopes that their goal comes true. This was a modification of the wishing trees seen in Hong Kong. COA Room We watched the Twilight Zone - Season Three, Episode #1: Two Two is about two people on opposite sides of a war and how they were able to find a way to get along, even love, despite their different political views. How do we learn to love the neighbor who doesn’t agree with us?
 

December 11, 2016

(12/14/2016) Primary Room: On Sunday they heard a spirit play basket called The Weight of a Snowflake, which was about a dove who saw the true nature of snowflakes: that each are different, and each have a purpose, and that together, they can change things. The snowflake served as a metaphor for the power of many voices working as one. snowflake2 Intermediate and COA Rooms: They helped build more of our forest for the upcoming pageant, The Night Tree. They also made some decorations to put out as well. They are very excited to see all their hard work on display!
 

November 20, 2016

(11/21/2016) PRIMARY ROOM: Today we heard the story …and Tango Makes Three, a delightful TRUE story about two male penguins who fell in love at the Zoo and were given an abandoned egg to care for. The story is a wonderful reminder that Love is Love in whatever form it finds. roy-and-silo (Photo of the real penguin family) INTERMEDIATE ROOM: This group worked on some projects that reinforced their sense of connection. We started with the Web of Life game where we tossed the ball of yarn around the circle while sharing a thing we loved. When we were finished we talked about when one string is pulled, the affect is felt around everyone. When one person drops their string, the web/community is weakened. Our church is like this web and each member in it, including the kids is holding onto a bit of that yarn. We then worked on some posters that aren’t quite done yet. I’ll post pictures of those when they are finished. COA ROOM: We watched A Most Unusual Camera which takes pictures 5 minutes into the future. We talked about what that knowledge would mean. How would that affect their lives if they knew what was coming in the moments ahead? They talked about how it might be both good and bad to hold that knowledge and what that knowledge would be worth. How does greed come into play with knowledge?
 

November 13, 2016

(11/15/2016) Primary Room: Today we told a story basket of the popular children’s book Rainbow Fish. It’s one of our favorite Spirit Play stories. It’s about a fish that has shiny scales. His friends are jealous and want him to share, which at first, he doesn’t. When he does share, he feels warm and happy inside. After they had the choice to retell the story or make a rainbow fish of their own. The children got an opportunity to see both selfishness and sharing through the eyes of a fish with coveted scales. Intermediate Room: Today we did some hands-on activities to drive home the idea that we are Stronger Together. We had them try to break one popsicle stick figure they made, which was quite easy to do, but the more sticks or people they added, the harder it was to break. This showcased the need for community and family; how they help make us stronger as individuals when we are surrounded by love and support. We then did the ‘helium stick’ which required teamwork in order to achieve the goal. While the boys in the group grew frustrated and quit, the girls remained and were able to reach the challenge. COA Room: Today was a viewing day. We watched one of my favorite Twilight Zone episodes, ‘Eye of the Beholder.’ The story of a ‘horribly disfigured’ woman with bandages on who is in the hospital, hoping that this 11th and final surgery would finally make her beautiful. Of course, it’s the Twilight Zone so things are never as they seem. When the bandages are removed, she is beautiful and the doctors are all disfigured. She had been trying to achieve their level of beauty and had failed and was, therefore, an outcast. We were able to use the episode to talk about the pressures of beauty and the idea of segregation.
 

October 16, 2016

(10/18/2016) TAKING IT HOME: PRIMARY ROOM We heard a Spirit Play story about Tabitha, Alex and Lisa, three friends arguing about what to play after dinner: Tag or Hide and Seek. They decided to vote on it, but night after night, tag kept winning, which Lisa didn’t think was far. The friend thought about it and decided that perhaps they should take turns instead each night. A compromise was reached. We asked some wonder questions about the story then voted on what we wanted to do with the time left in RE: Games or Crafts. TAKING IT HOME: INTERMEDIATE ROOM Today we asked the kids to get into small groups and to ask each other some pretty big questions. *Is there a God? *Where do we go when we die? *Why are we here? In asking these questions, we learned that we need not think alike to love alike. We lived out our 3rd Principle: We are free to learn together, and also our 4th Principle: To search for what is true (for us). We had some thoughtful discussion on topics that our congregation as a whole still wrestle with. We are raising a group of seekers and thinkers. After the discussion, we calmed our minds by making meditative mandalas using glass stones. TAKING IT HOME: COA ROOM We discussed the episode we watched last week from The Twilight Zone: The Monsters are Coming to Maple Street. Several questions on how mob mentality forms and how fear can cause us to make choices that are uniformed and sometimes dangerous. We talked about ways we, as UU’s can help calm that fear and irrational behavior by looking at both sides of the story and considering each person’s worth. It was a small group but a lively discussion.