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
Natural Wonders (Preschool – Kindergarten)
Children are full of wonder and it’s no surprise – the world is full of wonders! This program is based off of our seventh principle and is designed to explore the web of life and our part in it. Direct experience with nature is good for our bodies and souls and this program will be held primarily outside with nature walks and outdoor play built into our time together. Time spent exploring nature now can bring a lasting openness to the wonder of our world and encourage responsibility and action to protect it.
Keepers of the Earth (1st-6th Grades)
This year we will delve deep into our 7th principle to learn, explore, grow and connect. There are countless benefits to spending time in nature. We can often find solace and spiritual renewal for our spirits. Also we can see the importance and value of community and interconnectedness demonstrated in a myriad of ways. We know that our human activities are causing harm to the earth and the ecosystems upon which we depend, and yet ignorance, overwhelm and apathy abound.
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 2021-22 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.
High School Youth Group
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 – 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.