Come, come, whoever you are!
First Parish in Bedford’s religious education program offers children the opportunity to explore, learn and grow together in settings that best meet their age and developmental needs and in settings where children and youth of all ages have the opportunity to explore together. Our religious education year runs from September through June, and is divided into two terms: fall (September through January) and spring (February through June).
Sunday Morning Religious Education Programs
Finding Our Place at First Parish
The faith journey for Unitarian Universalist children begins in preschool. In 2018-19, our children get to know what some of the core values of our faith are: belief in the worth and dignity of each person, why we are all connected, and more. Through a much-admired curriculum called “The Rainbow Connection,” our children get to know our church – its building and its values – and connect to their teachers, our ministers and friends in the congregation. Children learn about our flaming chalice (the symbol of Unitarian Universalism) and engage in experiences that help each of them find their own special place at First Parish.
Note: Grade combinations beyond First Steps are adapted as class size requires.
Understanding the Values of Our Faith
Kindergarten – Grade 1: The next step is an exploration of the Seven Principles, the cornerstone of our Unitarian Universalist covenant. We use these as a compass to guide us as we strive to live in the world in a just and peaceful way. In 2018-19, the class is using “Dr. Seuss and UU,” by Helen Zidowecki, to help young learners develop and understanding of our UU principles and the values which are important to us in the world.
Learning from Our Forebears and Preparing to Explore
Grades 2 and 3: During the fall, our Unitarian Universalist children will be inspired by the exceptional lives of Unitarian Universalists “superheroes” past and present, whose courageous spirit and fearless goodwill illuminate a path toward a fairer and more just world. In the spring, our children will turn their attention to the superheroes of the Bible – from whom we also draw inspiration and learning. The curricula for this year come from Gaia Brown, author of both “UU Superheroes” and “Superheroes: Bible People.”
Sharing Our Journey: Excursions With Our Faith
Grades 4 and 5: Using a curriculum in the fall called “Travel in Time” (written by Lois Ecklund, our adventurers will learn about Unitarian Universalist history and those who shaped our faith, as they take excursions to historical New England sites. From Henry David Thoreau’s cabin in Concord to Bronson Alcott’s “Fruitlands,” they each will find a personal connection through Unitarian Universalism to revolutionaries in our country and in our faith. In the spring, the class will turn its attention to the values of our Unitarian Universalist faith in a changing and complex world, through the curriculum “Amazing Grace” (by Richard Kimball).
Exploring and Understanding Other Faiths
Grades 6 and 7: The living tradition that we Unitarian Universalists share draws from many sources and religious roots. Using the much-valued curriculum “Building Bridges” (by Mary K. Isaacs) the class will deepen their understanding of the dynamic, fascinating, and varied world in which they live – and its great religions. Frequent field trips to area houses of worship are an important part of this curriculum.