Sunday, September 18, 2011


Renewing Our Commitment to Religious Education

Minister: One of the primary roles of this community
is to insure the religious education of our children.

While we do not believe in indoctrinating our children,
we have a responsibility as a community
to help them develop their grounding as religious people
that their hearts might be receptive to both life’s wonders and tragedies.

We also have a responsibility to insure they understand the values
and convictions we hold as a religious people
and perhaps even more importantly,
to insure they know and feel they have a religious home here –
a community that will accept them as the people they are.

This responsibility does not fall simply to our Director of Religious Education
or those who choose to teach in our religious education program.
It's a responsibility we share as a community.

DRE: The Unitarian religious educator, Sophia Lyon Fahs,
once wrote the following words:

All that quickens sympathetic imagining,
that awakens sensitivity to other’s
all that enriches and enlarges under-
standing of the world;
all that strengthens courage,
that adds to the love of living;
all that leads to developing skills
needed for democratic participations –

all these put together are the curriculum
through which children learn.

Those words, written so many years ago,
still convey the spirit of liberal religious education.

To that spirit, and to the dedication of all
who participate in keeping it alive in our religious education program,
we shall now give recognition.

Minister: Will the teachers in our children’s program please rise.

Teachers of young people, you stand here in the presence of this congregation.
In doing so you declare your intention to fulfill your responsibilities
as you are given the capacity.
Mindful of this challenge that is yours, let us meditate on what this means.

DRE: We seek at this time to identify ourselves with the source of all life and light.

May we be aware at all times of the high privilege
of sharing this adventure of mind and spirit with young people.

May we be conscious of the uniqueness and sanctity of every human being.
Grant us, week by week, the insight, cheerfulness, patience and energy
we need to make our relationships meaningful.

Help us with our young friends, to grow in wisdom, in faith,
in generous thinking and useful living.

Thus we dedicate ourselves to the teaching of living religion.

Minister: I ask the teachers to remain standing,
and will the young people of the congregation please rise.

You stand with the women and men
who have volunteered to share with you
the search for religious meaning in life.
In doing so you declare your intentions
to assume your responsibilities in this adventure.
Let us meditate on what this means.

DRE: We pause to think seriously of what it means to be good participants
in our own religious education.
It means bringing our best to our time together on Sunday mornings.
May we remember always that we are part of a group
seeking to know one another better.
Let us be faithful in attendance, courteous in our behavior,
cooperative in all our activities,
and may we seek to apply what we learn here to our daily living.

Minister: Please remain standing, and will the congregation please rise.

Members of the congregation,
you stand with those who have taken upon themselves
the dedicated task of teaching religion to our young people,
and you stand with the young people themselves.
They will need your help along the way.
Let us meditate on what this means,
speaking with me the words printed in your order of service.

(This part is printed in the order of service)

Renewing Our Commitment to our children’s religious education

Congregation: We seek in this time to be identified with our
children and their teachers:

May we be invested at all times in our children’s development.
May we be actively interested in our children’s program.
May we come to know the teachers and to help them as we are able.
May we come to know our children as persons in their own right.
May we work with our young people at home, helping them to think
about and make use of what they learn here.

In our daily living let us be better examples and to cultivate in each of our lives
those values we consider important for them.

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