Rev. Carol Bodeau, Director of Religious Education firstname.lastname@example.org
Now that the winter holiday season has passed, we are settling into a somewhat more routine schedule in our Religious Education program at Westside UU Church. The children and youth continue to learn about world religions--we are currently studying Eastern religions--and to experience staying in worship with the adults roughly once each month. We call these special services, when we do not send the kids off to classes but rather all stay together for the whole service, “multigenerational” or “intergenerational.” And that’s the theme of a number of important and fun programs we’re just starting that will last for the remainder of the school year.
“Multigenerational” or “intergenerational” events are ones where people of all ages--children, youth and adults--do things together. At Westside, we have frequent multigenerational worship services, we have potlucks that all ages share, we had a holiday party to decorate the church in December, and we’ll be having a celebration for Easter in a few months. We’re also planning a Passover Seder for everyone to attend and learn from in April. But we also have some less visible programs that cultivate connections between our children and our adults. One of these is called Coming of Age, a mentoring program in which youth are paired with adult mentors to discuss values. This group will be meeting for the next few months, and creating a special worship service for us in early May.
Another program for slightly younger children is the Mystery Friends program. In this program, very popular throughout our denomination, children are paired with anonymous ‘pen pal’ style partners with whom they trade notes for a few weeks. The job of the children is to try to figure out their Mystery Friend’s identity, and the job of the adult is to be encouraging and curious about the child’s interests. Our Mystery Friend program runs from March 1 - April 5; the identity of the secret friends will be revealed on Easter Sunday.
Finally, don’t miss our February potluck, on Sunday Feb. 15, because we’ll be celebrating Everybody’s Birthday. Instead of sitting randomly at this fun potluck, we’ll be sitting together by birthday month. This way, everyone born in the same month--no matter your age-- will be getting a chance to chat and eat cupcakes! It’s also Valentine’s weekend, too, so you won’t want to miss the fun.
People of all ages make our community rich and joyful. Please take a moment to get to know someone new this month, and to check out some of these special multigenerational events.