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Implementation (Faithful Journeys)

Every congregation has its own approach to structuring religious education. You can implement Faithful Journeys with any model your congregation uses. This chart provides a snapshot for long-range planning.

Session

Sign p ost

Story

1: The Journey Begins

Traffic light lit green for "Go!"

Making a Differenc e — Harriot Kezia Hunt, Toribio Quimada and Annie Arnzen

2: Unconditional Love: A Gift from Our Universalist Heritage

Respect Everyone

Muddy Childre n — H osea Ballou

3: Welcoming Superman

Include Everyone

A Different Kind of Superhero — C hristopher Reeve

4: Be Fair

Be Fair

Belongin g — Fannie Barrier Williams

5: Finding Balance

Find Balance

Finding Balanc e — G reater Good program of the First Unitarian Church of Rochester , New York

6: Keep Learning

Keep Learning

Learning by Hear t — S ophia Lyon Fahs

7: Create Magi c

Create Magic

The Perfect Peace Harvest

8: Seek Truth

Seek Truth

Finding Your Wa y — E thelred Brown

9: Ask Questions

Ask Questions

A Tour of the Heaven s — C lyde Tombaugh

10: Speak Out

Speak Out

Speaking Ou t — M aria Cook, Universalist Preacher

11: Get Involved

Get Involved

Valentines for the Governor

12: Make Peace

Make Peace

Adin Ballou and the Hopedale Community

13: Build World Community

Build World Community

Here They Com e — Transylvania partner church

14: Honor Life

Honor Life

Honoring Lif e — Beatrix Potter

15: Protect the Earth

Protect the Earth

The Change the World Kid s — V ermont UU Youth

16: Get Moving

Get Moving

Stories from members of your congregation

Generally, the sequence of sessions in Faithful Journeys — and within sessions, the sequence of activities — is designed to activate prior knowledge, pique interest, engage children in experiential learning and help children process and apply their observations and new knowledge. You may use all the sessions in sequence, or select or reorder sessions. You may also combine and adapt activities for each session to best suit your group. You know best how to shape this program to fit your congregation's religious education model, the culture of your congregation, the children in the group and the time and space you have.

Participants' learning is reinforced by activities that create bonds across generations. Faithful Journeys offers many ways to connect with the larger congregation. Talk with your minister or director of religious education about ways to integrate Faithful Journeys into multigenerational experiences. For example, you could have a month during which everyone in the congregation fills out Faithful Footprints. During the worship service, a few volunteers could share about the actions represented by their footprints. Or create and share a video that shows how members of the congregation have served as agents for positive change; this idea is described more fully in Session 16, where congregational members share stories from their own faithful journeys. By design, many Faith in Action activities in Faithful Journeys involve the larger congregation.

Many sessions will be most enjoyable if the group has access to a large, open space for a game or to your congregation's full campus for activities such as an accessibility audit (Session 3) or a treasure hunt (Session 8). Check beforehand with others who share any space you might like to visit or use.

Session 16 calls for adult visitors. Arrange visits at least a few weeks in advance and confirm the arrangements a week before the session. Another time to include adults might be for the Faithful Footprints activity, a core activity in each session. Consider inviting parents to come in to describe a principled act their child or they have done. You might engage congregational members with musical or arts-and-crafts skills to participate in particular activities.

While visits take time and effort to plan, they offer valuable opportunities for children to interact with adults in the congregation. As their circle of Unitarian Universalist role models widens, children's senses of belonging in their faith home and Unitarian Universalist identities are strengthened.

In Session 14, an alternate activity invites the group outdoors to work on a nature journal. Also, some games suggested in various sessions would work well outdoors, depending on weather and the availability of a suitable location. Identify outdoor locations well in advance, obtain necessary permissions to take the children there, and arrange for additional adults to accompany the group, if necessary. Make sure you will not disturb others in the outdoor space at the time you plan to go there. Check ahead for insect nests or poisonous plants to avoid.

Within the sessions, you will find suggestions for adaptation. Feel free to add your own. Choose what you feel is best for your space, time and group. Remember, you are the best guide for these young learners.

For more information contact web @ uua.org.

This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.

Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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