- Children’s religious education:I believe the most important element to children’s religious education is to provide an environment for children to be curious and safe. If those are provided, then there are so many ways we can explore the world. I believe it takes the support of the whole congregation to make a successful children’s religious education program. This can be done by making sure the space is appropriate; by supporting the paid/volunteer staff who teach; by making financial commitments; by building relationships with the children.
It is important to model and provide lessons for the children on how to be Unitarian Universalists. This means learning our principles; learning about the world and our responsibility to it; learning how to treat one another; learning what beliefs exist; and learning how to live out UU values in our daily life.
- Youth work:Again, I believe the most important element is to provide a space that allows for curiosity and security. I believe the goal of youth work is to build their understanding of their beliefs and their agency in living out those beliefs. It is awesome to watch 9th graders evolve into leaders when they are 12th graders by mentoring younger youth or by leading youth sessions. There is so much wisdom in our youth.
- Adult religious education:Unlike the children and youth, I believe adults need to experience areas of discomfort to grow. It may be a wrestling with new information or it may be coming to terms with white supremacy. Adults have the ability to live in the tension and learn from it. Adults have the ability to learn from each other and to take deeper dives into topics. Adults have the ability to use religious education to learn about each other and how to be in relationship. Adults need to be reminded to be curious and open, which is what I hope adult religious education would encompass.