This year, the theme for UUCL’s RE is “Our Hebrew and Christian Traditions.” This unit is part of a four-year rotation; the other themes are World Religions; Unitarian Universalism; and Peace, Justice and the Interdependent Web.

Regardless of a family’s belief system or faith tradition, the stories from both the Hebrew and Christian Bible are an integral part of our society, literature and heritage. Children who are familiar with these stories from the past are better equipped to understand elements of our culture. When learned in a Unitarian Universalist context, they can help our children understand the universal core of the story.

Sample lessons include:

  • Stone Soup: First published in 1947, this classic picture book has remained one of Marcia Brown’s most popular and enduring books. The story, about hungry travelers who outwit the greedy inhabitants of a village into providing them with a feast, is based on an old French tale. After all the villagers have made their contributions and pronounce the soup delicious, they learn that the real “magic” behind this soup is sharing! After reading and discussing the story, we then make stone soup with our friends.
  • The Creation Story: The opening chapter of the Bible begins with these words, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The children explore the story of creation as written in the Old Testament’s Book of Genesis. Teachers pose wondering questions to the group as they move around stations of their choice — story cubes, journaling, modeling clay, art mural and more.
  • Children’s Chapel: Led by trained adult volunteers, children are led through a recreation of an adult service, including hymns, chalice lighting and a sermon inspired by the year’s theme, followed by “coffee” and conversation. Topics have included Hanukkah, labyrinths and Abraham’s Journey of Faith.