First Parish Blog

From our Director of Religious Education

By , October 25, 2017

I have spent my lucky life educating children. I founded my own preschool when my children were very young and taught for fifteen years in that little school I named, Miss Hannah’s. I have always embraced this quote from Aristotle, “Education without the heart is no education at all.”

Last Sunday a parent asked her child, “what did you do today in RE class”? Thus, I felt it important to share what we are doing in our Religious Education Program, here at First Parish Canton. In RE we are educating the head, heart, and hands. On Sundays we have started telling Unitarian Universalist stories about our flaming chalice, and our UU principles. I take out the clay pieces the children have made, lay them on the floor with an underlay of a circle of gold which represents the spirit of love, justice, and truth. We have made 7 rainbow clay triangles, each with the corresponding color of our rainbow principles. I arrange the colored triangles while telling the story about our Unitarian Universalist community, and how we make promises to each other, and we call them our 7 principles. It is enjoyable task for our children to shape the clay into the small pieces that symbolize a part of the story. An example of this is a small red handmade clay gift box, which represents the first promise, it is red for respect people. I continue telling the story, this following general lesson story is written by Nita Penfold, she writes, “Each person is special just by being his or her self. Each person is like a gift. You are special just by being yourself, you are a gift .“ I take out the red gift box and place it on the gold circle underlay across from the red triangle. Nita writes, “We don’t know all the wonderful things about each other until we learn about each other, find out all of our gifts. We are all precious, so we treat each other as a little part of the Mystery” After all the pieces are explained in our story, open ended questions are asked, such as, I wonder how it feels to make a promise? I wonder how it feels to be special, to be a gift? Then the children are invited to speak one at a time from their heart.


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