Religious Education Is For Whom…or Is It Time To Bury Sunday School pt. 11

In response to my last post, Ogre said:

Better question: What SHOULD religious education be for and about today? It’s increasingly apparent to me that we need it, as badly, for adults…

[It’s amazing how real life ends up meshing with blog life. I was talking about this very subject the other night. And Ogre’s comment falls right into it.]

There is a problem out here in the UU-world my friends. A really big problem. Far too often…when people hear the words “RELIGIOUS EDUCTION” they only thing that comes to their mind is children. This is a problem.

Now…I have to be honest, I’m not that particularly interested in little people’s RE. This does not mean that I don’t think it’s important. It does mean that I think we have focused so much on children that we have forgotten that adults need religious education too. Not just for the fact that it’s ADULTS who teach the children, but for the fact that most adults who come into UU churches are hungry for the religious education that only we can provide.

So the question now is…who is religious education for? if it’s only for children…then that’s one thing. But, if it’s for adults too, what should an adult UU RE program look like?


4 thoughts on “Religious Education Is For Whom…or Is It Time To Bury Sunday School pt. 11

  1. Not getting into the method/s of various curricula, seems to me the content of ARE should cover certain core issues, phrased as questions:

    What does it mean (what is the value) to be a person of faith/ a religious person?

    More specifically, what does it mean (what is the value) to be a UU?

    What must we do to be “saved”? How can we nourish our souls?

    What obligations do we have to our congregation? to our denomination? to our community/ nation/ world? to persons we are in relationship with?

    In non-interrogative form, that covers the ground of history, polity, ecclesiology, theology, ethics, and spiritual practice.

  2. (((But, if it’s for adults too, what should an adult UU RE program look like?)))

    Our current adult RE program is pretty evenly divided into 1/3 “learn from the leader about meditation or Hinduism,” 1/3 let’s all read this religion-themed book (or watch a series of movies with a religious element) together and discuss, and 1/3 more practical “How to make a living will/how to deal when your kid goes off to college” sorts of things.

    Seems to work for everybody as far as I’ve heard.

  3. An often-overlooked adult RE option is the adult and young adult “Our Whole Lives” curricula presented with the UU supplemental materials from “Sexuality and Our Faith.”

    Unlike a college or community education class on human sexuality as it relates to culture, ethics, and personal values, the adult OWL curricula are presented in a UU context with the issues framed so we examine them through our denominational values and heritage.

    And the classes can be a lot of fun and there’s no reason that we should limit this fun to just our middle school classes.

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