Children’s RE

Our Religious Education Program is a Multigenerational Program. This means that our students from PreK through Young Adolescence are learning and sharing together. This gives the older children the chance to feel a sense of responsibility as they learn what it means to be a role model. This also give the young ones an opportunity to connect with older kids who can help them and guide them.

The Program

Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child—our own two eyes. All is a miracle.  — Thich Nhat Hanh

A miracle: An unexpected event or revelation that brings an outcome one has hoped for, perhaps yearned for, perhaps despaired of, perhaps never even imagined. Whatever one believes about how or why it occurs, responding to a miracle with wonder and awe is entirely appropriate.

This eight-session program invites a prolonged encounter with awe and wonder. Stories from our Unitarian Universalist Sources and hands-on activities engage a wide age span of participants to discern miracles, experience and express awe and wonder, and discover their own agency for miracle-making. Participants make a uniquely Unitarian Universalist inquiry—a religious search which simultaneously embraces the awesome truth of a miracle’s mystery and the “how and why” of rational explanation. Participants explore different kinds of miracles, from the awesome, ordered beauty of Earth and all life on it, to their own capacity to transform themselves and others to bring forth love and justice.

The wonder and awe inside most of us could use a wake-up call. Miracles surround us every day, yet often remain unnoticed in the hustle and bustle of our busy lives. We shovel snow, giving no thought to the singularity of snowflakes. We eat quickly, our minds on our next appointment, not life’s natural processes nor the coordinated human effort that brings food to our tables. When we rush off to sleep in our beds, under a blanket of stars stretching impossibly far off into space, we rarely pause to acknowledge the miracle of our small, unique place in the vastness of the universe.

Our age of science and innovation has bred a deeply rationalist culture. A child quickly learns that seemingly miraculous events such as remote control of a television, an elevator ride, or even the appearance of a rainbow all have physical explanations. While knowing how things work—from atom to machine to universe—is wonderful, we too often let knowledge turn our heads from wonder and awe.

In Miracles, participants create and observe physical transformations that, even when predictable, may strike us as miraculous. They explore miraculous, intangible transformations of human spirit. Over and over again, they experience first-hand the beautiful co-existence—even a synergy—of a rational explanation and a feeling of awe.

At this moment in human history, amid competing religious ideas, Unitarian Universalism has something important to say about miracles. This program affirms and nurtures our living, Unitarian Universalist legacy of scientists, celebrants of wonder, and truth-seekers of all ages, called to honor knowledge and mystery in tandem.

Goals

Miracles provides an encounter with direct experience of transcending mystery and wonder, one of the Sources of our Unitarian Universalist faith. The program will:

  • Guide participants to explore a Unitarian Universalist definition of miracle
  • Cultivate participants’ ability to experience awe and wonder
  • Teach skills of paying close attention
  • Affirm curiosity and questioning as spiritual values
  • Explore physical transformations through hands-on activities
  • Lift up the idea of personal transformation, which is fundamental to our faith, and lift up the power of our own agency to effect miraculous changes in ourselves and others
  • Introduce people in our faith heritage—May Sarton, Joseph Priestley—who embody the powerful entwining of awesome mystery with rational inquiry
  • Inspire reflection about our planet, all life that shares it, and our own small place in the known and unknown universe
  • Celebrate transformation and change as natural, welcome aspects of all life.

 

About Ms. Jillian

Jillian Warminsky holds a Certification in Special Education and Elementary Education and has a Masters Degree in Curriculum Development. In 2012, after teaching in public school for 7 years,  Jillian made the decision to leave the classroom in order to raise her newborn daughter. She was fortunate to find two new paths her love for teaching took her. The first is as the Religious Education Coordinator for Schuylkill Unitarian Universalists. Her second career and new passion is teaching Yoga. She teaches both adults and children. She Instructs the Gentle Yoga classes here at SUU. Jillian loves to find the magic and mystery in all things. She is an avid reader, Yogi, and Horse Back Rider.  Feel free to contact her with questions at jillianwarminsky@yahoo.com