Welcome to People’s Church Lifespan Religious Education Program!
We are a vibrant community of religious seekers of all ages, learning and growing together on the religious path. Some of our education programs are organized by age groups, and others mix different ages together. Our goal is to offer participants opportunities to learn new things, examine our own lives with honesty, and help and challenge each other to live according to our highest ideals of right relations with each other. In all of our programs, we use the seven Unitarian Universalist principles as a guide and resource.
We encourage each person to take responsibility for their own religious life, and at the same time we are here to support and encourage one another on the journey. We recognize that parents are the primary religious educators for their children and we aim to supplement that with a faith community which can offer additional opportunities for religious growth and learning.
Over the summer, we have children of all ages come together for a story and special activities while adults are participating in the church service.
Our primary curriculum for elementary aged children has often been based on a rotation of foundational topics, which we call the pillars of our program. These are:
- World Religions
- Peace and Social Justice
- Unitarian Universalism
- Our Jewish and Christian Heritage
- The Interdependent Web of Life
You can view a pamphlet about our religious education program here: RE brochure
This Year’s Curriculum
During the 2019-20 church year, our kindergarten through 6th graders will learn about Unitarian Universalist values and history. Our Preschoolers will learn about Unitarian Universalist practices and values, and about our church home.
We will discuss each of our seven Principles several times, each time from a different perspective and with a different story. Our curriculum gives time for stories, activities, and to learn Unitarian Universalist practices such as lighting a chalice, making a covenant, and expressing gratitude.
Our Whole Lives (OWL)
Our 7th-8th grade and 11th-12th grade youth will participate in Our Whole Lives classes developed for their specific age groups before church services during the 2019-20 church year.
OWL is a sexuality education program for youth that models and teaches caring, compassion, respect, and justice. It is a holistic program that moves beyond the intellect to address the attitudes, values, and feelings that youth have about themselves and the world.
Unlike many other sexuality curricula currently available, this program is comprehensive and progressive. In an inclusive and developmentally appropriate manner, it addresses sensitive topics that are typically excluded. Although the curriculum was developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ, this volume is completely secular and free of specific religious doctrine or reference. However, the underlying values of the program reflect the justice-oriented traditions of both denominations.
You can learn more about the Our Whole Lives (OWL) Sexuality Education program here.
Coming Of Age
Our 9th and 10th graders are participating in our Coming of Age program during the 2019-20 church year. Our religious education includes having our youth participate in this class as they move from middle school to high school.
The goals for this program include:
- Assume responsibility for physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
- Gain self-confidence, recognize own feelings as valid and own opinions as important.
- Expand vision of the world by encountering different views, cultures, and life experiences.
- Understand important roles in church, local, and world communities.
- Develop a personal value system.
- Recognize complete acceptance within church community
The seven Unitarian Universalist Principles are woven throughout our program, in addition to our core values of freedom, reason, acceptance of diversity, loving kindness and compassion. Through modeling living in right relations with ourselves, each other and the earth, we strive to teach by example how to live a moral and ethical life. We offer all ages the chance to gather together and ask life’s big questions and we explore the plethora of possible answers together. We strive to live meaningful lives of depth and substance, honesty and integrity. We live out our deepest values together when we work to eliminate poverty and injustice in Kalamazoo and around the world.
10:15 – Coffee and Welcome
All ages are invited to come together to greet and welcome each other in the foyer. Childcare is available in the nursery starting at 10:00.
10:45 – Sunday Service
- Everyone is encouraged to join together in the Commons for worship. Childcare for babies and toddlers is available in the nursery each week from 10:00-12:30.
- After the first 15 minutes or so, all the children, youth and RE teachers leave to go to their classes.
- After the Sunday service we ask all parents to pick their children up promptly from their RE classes.
- The nursery is open until 12:30 so parents of babies and toddlers can have a chance to socialize after church.