A Brief Description of Our Religious Education Program
High Street Church offers a Lifespan Religious Education Program that includes Children’s RE (Religious Education) classes for grades Pre-K through 12th grade during the Sunday worship service.
Curriculum for the 2016-2017 year:
Curriculum: Creating Home
This program helps children develop a sense of home that is grounded in faith. Together with your group you will ask questions about the purpose of having a home and the functions a home serves, for us as humans and for other animals. The program speaks of home as a place of belonging and explores the roles each of us play in the homes where we live. The program introduces the concept of a “faith home”—your congregation—which shares some characteristics with a family home. Like a family home, a faith home offers its members certain joys, protections, and responsibilities.
Lower Elementary (1st-3rd grade):
Curriculum: Faithful Journeys
Participants embark on a pilgrimage of faith, exploring how Unitarian Universalism translates into life choices and everyday actions. In each session, they hear historic or contemporary examples of Unitarian Universalist faith in action. Stories about real people model how participants can activate their own personal agency – their capacity to act faithfully as Unitarian Universalists – in their own lives, and children have regular opportunities to share and affirm their own stories of faithful action.
Upper Elementary (4th-6th grade)
Curriculum: Harry and UU
Harry and UU is based on the Harry Potter series of books by J.K. Rowling, books that immerse children in the idea that one can work to make the world better.
The curriculum includes many fun wizarding activities, but the main purpose of the curriculum is social action. The class forms a chapter of Dumbledore’s Army and fights against seven Horcruxes during the year . The Horcruxes are real world social action projects.
The curriculum spends about four classes on each Horcrux fight, with three classes devoted mainly to education and small projects, and one class devoted entirely to action. The goal is to produce tangible results on seven real-world problems.
Tweens/Teens (7th-12th grade)
Curriculum: D’oh, God!
The animated show The Simpsons is unique in that its characters are often seen attending church. In fact, religion is a dominant theme of this popular show. The family is often seen praying to God, and the show seems to be acutely aware of the significant place religion has in the American landscape.
The show satirizes religion, but is not seen as anti-religious, as the Simpsons themselves are Christian and some are spiritual in nature. Most episodes call for a sensible, tolerant and less fanatical religious devotion. Although the show mocks religion, it is not dismissive of faith, and has wide acceptance among those that practice religion, probably because the show targets all kinds of hypocrisies, not just religious ones.
D’oh, God! uses episodes of The Simpsons as the basis for in-depth discussions of a wide variety of religious topics. At each class, an entire episode is viewed, a distinct advantage when discussion is the intention. After viewing, the class engages in discussion and activities, designed to encourage deep contemplation of issues.