Ironicschmoozer’s Weblog

Spirit Play–a New Model for our Children’s Program


New Beginnings in RE: Two Opportunities for You!

by the Family Minister
1) Here comes Spirit Play! We plan to launch a new model for Sunday children’s programs at UUSS in September, for at least two age ranges.
Using rituals, story telling, and child-selected activities, Spirit Play invites spiritual questioning in multi-age groups of children. In this model of religious exploration and community building, the structure of every session is reliably familiar, but the content has endless variety, because it’s based on stories and asks for kids’ wonderings about the story of the day.
Unlike the longstanding model of religious education, in Spirit Play there’s no need for adult leaders to find, create or learn classroom curricula every year. Yet there are many opportunities to support the program, such as recommending or writing stories, laminating clipart, building or sewing materials for acting out the stories, or bringing snacks.
UU churches across North America have been adopting this model with great success. Janet Lopes and Karen Hirsch recently made a site visit to one of the Bay Area churches now using it. Learn more at
Saturday, May 16, UUSS will host a training day on the concepts and practice of Spirit Play for a small group of adult volunteers and staff. The trainer, Dr. Nita Penfold, developed the Spirit Play model for UU churches. Neighboring UU congregations will send some of their members to this training, so space is limited. Let Janet or me know if you are curious about being a part of this new venture for the 2009-10 church year.
2) This summer’s Sunday Religious Education programs will feature enlivening encounters with the arts—and with our own artists. Do you know someone with an artistic talent to introduce to our children and youth? Are you such a person?
Don’t worry, you won’t be alone. Every session will have a guest presenter as well as an adult helper, and we seek volunteers for both roles. The RE Committee and I can help you think through the logistics and plan for an engaging session.
Consider signing up for one or more Summer Sundays to present your talent and lead the group in trying it out–or signing up to assist a guest artist in class.


PS!—This congregation is nearing the end of our Stewardship Campaign for the 2009-10 church year. Our financial pledges will sustain and support the staff, programs, outreach and varied ministries of the congregation, including Adult Enrichment, Child and Youth Religious Education, All-Ages Events, Newcomers’ Orientation Classes, and Sunday Services. Thank you all. Your generosity makes a difference!

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