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.
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.
During the 2016-2017 church year, we are using the Tapestry of Faith curriculum from the Unitarian Universalist Association for our Kindergarten through 2nd graders. Tapestry of Faith programs and resources for all ages are designed to nurture Unitarian Universalist identity, spiritual growth, a transforming faith, and vital communities of justice and love. This project developed out of a broad series of conversations that articulated a future direction for Unitarian Universalist religious growth and learning. In use at various churches since 2008 and continually evolving, Tapestry of Faith offers a variety of resources—downloadable, printed, viewable, interactive, and more—a religious growth and learning program for the 21st century.
For more information about the Tapestry of Faith program, please read about it at the Unitarian Universalist Association’s website.
For our 3rd through 12th graders, we are using a social justice curriculum based on the Harry Potter books by JK Rowling called Harry and UU:
Although most parents believe social action is important for children, and most children have a natural desire to make the world better, it can be difficult to find meaningful and relevant social action experiences for tween-age children.
Harry and UU is based on the Harry Potter series of books by J.K. Rowling, books that immerse children in the idea that one can work to make the world better.
The curriculum includes many fun wizarding activities, but the main purpose of the curriculum is social action. The class forms a chapter of Dumbledore’s Army and fights against seven Horcruxes during the year . The Horcruxes are real world social action projects.
The curriculum spends about four classes on each Horcrux fight, with three classes devoted mainly to education and small projects, and one class devoted entirely to action. The goal is to produce tangible results on seven real-world problems.
Younger children will love the magical fantasy element of the curriculum, and will learn about a number of important social justice issues. Older children and youth will be able to learn even more about these social justice issues, and have deeper discussions about them.
Click here to see our 2016-2017 prospectus: Prospectus 2016-17
In previous years, our primary curriculum for elementary aged children has been based on a four-year 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 (half year)
- The Interdependent Web of Life (half year)
For the 2017-2018 church year, we will use our World Religions curriculum for youth from Kindergarten through 6th grade.
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 can have a chance to socialize after church.