Every congregation has its own approach to structuring religious education. You can implement Love Will Guide Us with any model your congregation uses. This chart provides a snapshot for long-range planning. Be sure to read the sessions thoroughly to develop your own, complete list.
Source Star for Night Sky Display
Special Supplies and/or Preparation Required
1: Love is Like a Seed
The Everything Seed
Big Dipper & The North Star
Make Night Sky display.
Collect seeds native to your area, e.g., maple seed pods, pine cones, acorns, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, beans, avocado pits, pumpkin seeds, flower seed mixes, cactus seeds, sunflower seeds.
Optional: Get a copy of the picture book The Everything Seed by Carole Martignacco.
Learn Opening and Closing readings and songs.
2: Awesome Love
We Got Here Together
1 - The sense of wonder we all share
We learn from Our Sense of Wonder
Decide whether to incorporate Alternate Activity, UU Source Constellations, into this and future Openings.
Plan ahead for worm bins (Faith in Action).
3: We Love to Discover
Dinosaur Bones in New Jersey
5 - The use of reason and the discoveries of science
We learn from Reason and Science
4: Love in Our Congregations
4 - Jewish and Christian teachings which tell us to love all others as we love ourselves
We learn from Jewish and Christian Teachings
Photos and directories from congregation's archives (Faith in Action).
5: We Are Loved, Flaws and All
The Scratched Diamond
Unfinished wooden treasure boxes; gemstones.
Geodes (alternate activity).
Learn "How Could Anyone" song (alternate activity).
6: Love Is Eternal
Why Death Is Like a Banana Tree
6 - The harmony of nature and the sacred circle of life
We learn from the Harmony of Nature
Send letter to parents about ritual of remembrance.
7: Give Love
Give Yourself (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
2 - The women and men of long ago and today whose lives remind us to be kind and fair
We learn from Wise Women and Men
Learn song "Magic Penny" (alternate activity).
8: Love Is Accepting
The Strong Man Who Cried
Large scarves and dress-up clothes.
9: Love of Learning
For the Love of Stars (Cecilia Payne)
Obtain a 2 1/2-gallon aquarium.
Plan ahead for Planetarium visit (Faith in Action).
10: Love for All Creatures
3 - The ethical and spiritual wisdom of the world's religions
We learn from World Religions
Make arrangements for a live animal encounter.
11: Overflowing Love and Gratitude
The Rebirth of the Sun
Obtain candle-making supplies (Alternate Activity).
12: From Anger to Love
Invite an adult volunteer; obtain old clothes that can be marked up, and fabric markers.
13: Responding with Love
The Dervish in the Ditch
Find "peppy" instrumental music.
14: Trust Builds Love
Reverend Margaret Barr, a Unitarian Guided by Love
7 - Faithful words and actions that shape our Unitarian and Universalist heritage
We learn from our Unitarian Universalist Heritage
Find an open space for Kith Kith (a game from India, similar to hopscotch).
Print out Leader Resource and make "Hello" cards.
15: Love in Action
Harriet's Freedom Journeys (Harriet Tubman)
Obtain a ladle, preferably wooden.
Learn the song "Follow the Drinking Gourd."
16: Love Is the Golden Rule
Love Is the Golden Rule
Review all 7 sources.
Gather items to represent each of the seven Unitarian Universalist Sources.
Generally, the sequence of sessions (and within sessions, the sequence of activities) is designed to activate prior knowledge, pique interest, engage children in experiential learning, and help them process and apply observations and new knowledge. You may use all the sessions in sequence, or select or reorder sessions. Combine and adapt the activities in each session to best suit thw 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.
Learning is reinforced by activities that create bonds across generations, and this program offers many ways to connect with the larger congregation. Talk with your minister or religious educator about ways to integrate the program into multigenerational experiences. For example, you could have a monthly focus on the Sources, using stories or music in worship, or arrange a pulpit swap with leaders of other faiths. Most Faith in Action activities are designed to engage participants with the larger congregation.
Session 2 calls for composting worm bins. It is advisable to have an expert visit the class. Consider taking orders in advance and use them as a fundraiser.
Session 7 includes giving the gift of time to a younger group in your congregation. Coordinate this in advance with your religious educator and other religious education leaders.
Session 10 includes interaction with live animals as part of the session. Determine whether there are any policies in place to prevent bringing in live animals or allergies that can prevent participation.
Session 16 asks to find items to symbolize each of the seven Unitarian Universalist Sources. Collect and save those items as you go through the program.
The Faith in Action activities in Session 1, 6, and 10 involve outdoor activities: creating a garden, visiting a cemetery, and creating a backyard habitat. Games suggested in some sessions would work well outdoors, depending on weather and the availability of a suitable location. Identify outdoor locations well in advance, obtain permissions you need to take participants there, and arrange for additional adults to accompany the group. 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 adaptation suggestions. Feel free to add your own. Choose what you feel is best for the space, time, and group. Remember, you are the best guide for these young learners.
For more information contact web @ uua.org.
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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
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