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.
The Journey Begins
Traffic light lit green for "Go!"
Making a Differenc
Harriot Kezia Hunt, Toribio Quimada and Annie Arnzen
2: Unconditional Love: A Gift from Our Universalist Heritage
n — H
3: Welcoming Superman
A Different Kind of Superhero
4: Be Fair
Fannie Barrier Williams
5: Finding Balance
e — G
reater Good program of the First Unitarian Church of Rochester
, New York
Learning by Hear
t — S
ophia Lyon Fahs
7: Create Magi
The Perfect Peace Harvest
8: Seek Truth
Finding Your Wa
y — E
9: Ask Questions
A Tour of the Heaven
10: Speak Out
t — M
aria Cook, Universalist Preacher
11: Get Involved
Valentines for the Governor
12: Make Peace
and the Hopedale Community
13: Build World Community
Build World Community
Here They Com
14: Honor Life
15: Protect the Earth
Protect the Earth
The Change the World Kid
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.
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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
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