Linnea Nelson

by Director of Religious Exploration Linnea Nelson.

In summer RE, we will be exploring what it means to be a partner, with guidance from the UU Partner Church Council, whose board chair is UUCF’s Dick Van Duizend. We will be learning what it means to partner in today’s global world. No longer are we called to send donations and call it done. No longer is our role to fix. Our role with our partner churches is to come together, to appreciate our shared UU heritage and to learn about each other. This is partnership.

One of the panelists in the UU-United Nations Office’s 2016 spring seminar shared that the best solutions to any problem come from the people who are most affected. No longer are we the partners who send our answers and money to “fix” others. Instead we see ourselves as one people, all trying to create a better world. We go into partnership expecting to learn: Perhaps we will learn how to do something in a more meaningful manner, find a new way to communicate or appreciate nuances in how we approach worship, RE or family life as UUs. This is the heart of partnership.

We also know that we will bring our own customs and rituals into the learning. This is part of building intercultural competence, which is key to building strong partnerships. How wonderful for our children to begin learning these skills now!

So get ready for an updated and expanded summer RE program: UUs Around the World! We will embrace not only our partner churches but also UUs who live in the Philippines and throughout the world. We will be acting in partnership as we incorporate stories, games and baking. We will measure our learning and good deeds through giant footsteps that will be on display for all to see.

Through rising Grade 5 we will “visit” our partner churches in Romania and India as well as other communities of UUs and Unitarians around the world. We will explore the customs and beliefs of these communities and learn about the global history of Unitarian Universalism through games, arts, crafts and stories.

Middle School (rising Grade 6 through rising Grade 8) will be fun and games. This will be the summer to get to know one another before the start of Grade 7 Coming of Age and Grade 8 OWL. They will have a choice of a variety games that will include old favorites and games from around the world.

High School will welcome the rising 9th graders on Jun. 5 and again on Jun. 12. They have an overnight planned on Jun. 11, followed by our solstice service for all ages before taking a break until August. In August they will begin planning the beach trip to Cape Henlopen, DE, Aug. 18-21, and reconnecting with one another.

Summer teachers and class helpers can sign up for just a week or two based on your busy travel schedules. We guarantee that you will learn something new! Please sign up today so that we can make sure we have a robust program all summer long!

Our summer RE program is under the direction of summer staff Lisa Riddle, life-long UUCF member and recent visitor to our partner church in Szentgerice! You can contact her at summerdre@uucf.org. RE Committee Chair Suzanne Leonard has created much of the core curriculum and is coordinating the summer preschool program. Committee member Laurie Cunningham is supporting rising Grades 1-3 and Maria Cox-Leow is coordinating and leading the cooking for our bake sales that will support our UUCF Refugee Resettlement program. We will be learning more about this program in the fall with opportunities for the RE program to support a refugee family moving to our area. If you would like to get a copy of the book we read on RE Sunday about two refugee families, the link is here.