Director of Religious Education
Sara Bossen has served as the Director of Religious Education at All Souls Church, Unitarian in Washington, D.C. She has a Masters degree in Education from the University of Virginia. Sara sees the act of instruction, the time shared between teacher and student, as a relational endeavor. Religious education is an opportunity for spiritual and liberatory learning and practice for all participants.
Sara’s hours in her Osgood House office are on Tuesdays from 11:00 to 1:00. She may be contacted via email at email@example.com
Young Church is a cooperative religious education program provided by parents and non-parents of our church family. Our RE program strives to provide a program where children and youth can develop spiritually and ethically. They explore the religious dimensions of life in a safe and caring community, while allowing families to fully participate in the activities of the congregation.
Our Philosophy of Religious Education:
We believe that our young church should provide our children and youth with experiences that are mutually supporting and provide for their cumulative growth as they progress through the program.
These experiences should help children to:
- Learn to know themselves and develop a sense of worth, leading to loving relationships with others.
- Develop a joyous response to the wonder, order, beauty and mystery of life and its evolution.
- Embrace from our religious heritage those ideas and values that the children and youth find to have relevance and meaning.
- Understand and develop a sense of belonging to a community.
- Build the basis for a deep-felt, sustaining and living religious philosophy.
- Learn to apply this developing philosophy to themselves and others.
At the winter holiday, the children, youth and adults participate in a “No Rehearsal Holiday Pageant.” Young people are also asked to participate in a play at the end of the year.
Young Religious Unitarian Universalist (YRUU)
YRUU is a safe place for teens to be authentic, to explore pertinent life issues, and to reinforce basic ethical values. We offer programming every other Sunday for Youth in grades 6-12. Building community, fundraising for social justice, and conventions are just a highlight of the activities available.
|Gardening During Religious Education Class at UUCM|
Regular Sundays begin with “A Time for All Ages” in the sanctuary. Children sit with their parents until they are called forward. They hear a brief lesson related to their curriculum, then the children proceed to class with their teachers. On the second Sunday of every month the children and youth have worship in the Children’s Chapel (the Moore Room off Benker Hall) and then participate in a social action project.
Our Whole Lives
Lifespan Sexuality Education Curricula
Our Whole Lives is a series of sexuality education curricula for six age groups: grades K-1, grades 4-6, grades 7-9, grades 10-12, young adults (ages 18-35), and adults.
Our Whole Lives helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. It equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information in six subject areas: human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, Our Whole Lives provides not only facts about anatomy and human development, but helps participants to clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality.
Our Whole Lives uses approaches that work. The curricula are based on the Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education produced by the National Guidelines Task Force, a group of leading health, education, and sexuality professionals assembled by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS).
Our Whole Lives covers topics and skills that both parents and students want to have available but schools are less likely to cover. The Kaiser Family Foundation has an interesting report on this subject called “Sex Education in America: A View from Inside the Nation’s Classrooms.” New national surveys are challenging the convention that Americans are reluctant to have sexual health issues taught in school, the surveys show that most parents, along with educators and students themselves, would expand sex education courses and curriculum.
The Our Whole Lives Values ...
- Self Worth
- Sexual Health
- Justice and Inclusivity
- Up-to-date information and honest, age-appropriate answers to all participants’ questions
- Activities to help participants clarify values and improve decision-making skills
- Effective group-building to create a safe and supportive peer group
- Education about sexual abuse, exploitation, and harassment
- Opportunities to critique media messages about gender and sexuality
- Acceptance of diversity
- Encouragement to act for justice
- A well-designed, teacher-friendly leaders’ guide
- Parent orientation programs that affirm parents as the primary sexuality educators of their children
- Sexuality and Our Faith, an optional religious component for Unitarian Universalist and United Church of Christ settings
The UUCM children were excited by a “Peace Robin” – technically, a “leucistic” American Robin – who took up residence in the crabapple tree next to our east side door during the winter of 2011-12, and departed once he/she and his/her mate depleted the tree of its fruit. Move your pointer over the photograph, then click and double-click to see additional photographs.
Our children and youth programming depends on the involvement of our entire religious community. Experience is not necessary and those new to Unitarian Universalism will find that if you bring a nurturing spirit, you will gain as you give to children and youth. You will be helping to keep our congregation healthy and strong, while getting to know the children and parents; and you will be developing closer friendships with adult volunteers through teamwork.
Path to Membership
Are you interested in finding out more about our congregation, and our faith? Would you like to discover how to become a member of this church, and just what that means? Then please come and join us on one of our periodic Saturday orientation classes. Sign up is in Benker Hall when a date is announced.
About Unitarian Universalism
With its historical roots in the Jewish and Christian traditions, Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion – that is, a religion that keeps an open mind to the religious questions people have struggled with in all times and places. We believe that personal experience, conscience and reason should be the final authorities in religion, and that in the end religious authority lies not in a book or person or institution, but in ourselves. We are a “non-creedal” religion: we do not ask anyone to subscribe to a creed.
Our congregations are self-governing. Authority and responsibility are vested in the membership of the congregation. Each Unitarian Universalist congregation is involved in many kinds of programs. Worship is held regularly, the insights of the past and the present are shared with those who will create the future, service to the community is undertaken, and friendships are made. A visitor to a UU congregation will very likely find events and activities such as church school, day-care centers, lectures and forums, support groups, poetry festivals, family events, adult education classes and study groups.