Adult RE and Affirmation Program (Perry's Ponderings)

Tom Ryan, a CUC Religious Education Council member and RE teacher, recently considered his own understanding of Unitarian Universalism and connection to it. Tom wondered if he would feel more connected to our faith and this congregation if he went through some of the Religious Education programming that the children and youth do. The children and youth learn about UU values and identity, experience the similarities and differences we have with other religions, connect our faith to the actions we take in the world, and explore their personal beliefs. They mark points in their UU path with Child Dedications, Affirmation Ceremonies, Coming of Age Services, and Bridging Ceremonies. Tom realized that he was interested in that kind of journey for himself and that other adults would also gain from it.

Many congregants are involved at CUC, but feel incomplete in their own personal spiritual growth and developing a Unitarian Universalist identity. Some of this happens in our worship services, Journey Groups, and other meaningful gatherings. Yet, my conversation with Tom made us realize that there might be great value in an adult Affirmation Program. As we consider the further development of Adult Religious Education, we are excited about the possibility of an intentional path of exploration for every participant at CUC. This could include learning opportunities about world religions, UU history, UU Principles and Sources in everyday life, various spiritual practices, and personal faith development shared in community.

Further developing our Adult Religious Education program expands our possibilities for growth as people of liberal faith and our connections to each other in the process. When we share our stories and our responses to them, we enable each other to go into a deeper place of reflection, while supporting each other on the journey. We aim to create opportunities for learning, sharing, experiencing, and growing. This might be in a class on a specific religion, life topic, spiritual practice, artistic expression, or social justice issue.

We would like to have your input and participation. Let us know what topics interest you most, what you would like to see offered at CUC, and what you might bring into our room of exploration. Tom Ryan, Janice Silverberg, and Pinar Tanrikorur are new members of the Adult RE Support Team. You can speak with one of them or me about your ideas. Consider joining our team in forming what this picture of learning, sharing, and creating might look like. We will affirm our connection to CUC, Unitarian Universalism, and each other in new eye-opening ways.

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