Children and Youth
Catch the Spark with Religious Education
Mission Peak has a three-year theme rotation for our religious education offerings for children: one year of Judaism and Christianity, one year of Unitarian Universalism, and one year of World Religions. This year (2016-17) the theme is Judaism and Christianity, and below is a description of the curriculum we will be using:
Grades K-4: Super Heroes: Bible People
Super Heroes: Bible people is a values-based curriculum for Unitarian Universalist children ages 6-9. In a world where so often “might makes right” and at an age when they are beginning to form values that will take them through their lives, your children are about to meet super heroes from the Bible who were, as the curriculum theme song states, “powerful with brains and even stronger in [their] heart[s].” The goals of Super Heroes – Bible People are: To introduce children to the stories of people from the Bible who have acted with courage and wisdom in their attempts to lead their lives fully and make the world a better place for others, to show how the lives of these people confirm the principles which we, as Unitarian Universalists, strive to promote and to encourage the children to lead their own lives fully and to use their own positive “super powers” as they interact with the world around them, and as they do so, to grow both spiritually and ethically.
Grades 5-7: The Gospel According to the Simpsons
The Simpsons is one of the longest running, funniest, most irreverent, and, according to some religious leaders, the most spiritually relevant show on television today. Journalist Mark Pinsky explores the moral and religious dilemmas faced by Homer, Marge, Bart and other key characters in the series – including Ned Flanders (the evangelical next-door neighbour), Reverend Lovejoy (the town’s pastor) and the long-suffering Apu (the Hindu shopkeeper). This curriculum is designed for youth, but has been modified by our Director of Religious Education to better fit the needs of our Jr. High classroom. Each session is linked to a chapter in Mark Pinsky’s original The Gospel According to the Simpsons: the Spiritual Life of the World’s Most Animated Family and centers around a popular episode from the cartoon which participants watch before engaging in group discussion. The themes covered include prayer, God, religious diversity, the institutional church, and the Bible.
Youth Group (8th through 12th Grades)
The youth group meets on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month. On the 2nd Sunday the youth have game Sunday and the 4th Sunday they have small group ministry. The youth group also have a fall and spring retreat, several outings, they host the Easter Egg hunt and many other exciting adventures. If your youth would like to participate in youth group please contact the Director of Religious Education for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coming of Age Program (For Grades 8-9 — Offered in Alternate Years)
Every other year, Mission Peak UU, and other congregations in the Bay Area, offer Coming of Age to their youth. This school year, 2016-17, we will again be participating.
The Coming of Age program has three major components:
- A class or meetings with the minister to discuss the “big questions” about life
- Pairing of youth with an adult mentor in their congregation
- A series of retreats coordinated by the District.
The first retreat involves team building games and a ropes course for participating youth to help them connect and learn leadership and cooperation skills. The second is a street retreat with the Faithful Fools in San Francisco where they learn about homelessness and have an opportunity to interact with homeless residents. The third and final retreat is an outdoors experience with a silent, self contemplative component. Providing the youth with the retreat opportunities costs money, and this year the cost per participant is $425, but scholarships may be available.
Seven Mission Peak youth are planning to participate in our Coming of Age program, but to do so, some will need a scholarship. The Children’s and Youth Religious Education Committee is asking for your generosity in providing the funding we need to assist these youth to participate in one of our most significant programs. Please make checks out to Mission Peak UU Congregation with a notation for Coming of Age Scholarship.
At the end of the program our youth will prepare a credo (statement of what they believe) based on the opportunities for reflection they will have had over the year. These credos will be presented at a worship service in May. This process marks a transition in their relationship to our congregation. We hope you will support our youth with a donation or as a mentor, should you be selected to do so.
CHILDREN’S AND YOUTH’ RELIGIOUS EXPLORATION (CAYRE COMMITTEE)
The CaYRE Committee meets monthly with the Director of Religious Education (DRE) to:
- Plan and coordinate the children’s religious education programs.
- Help recruit and train teachers
- Be responsible for organizing the nursery.
- Provide support for the youth group
- Participate in the intergenerational services.
Our Director of Religious Education is always happy to discuss our curricula choices or any aspects of our program with anyone who is interested. Please email email@example.com if you have any questions or feedback.