Displaying items by tag: Religious Education


All The Things


Thank You

As hard as it is to believe, our first curriculum block of the year is over for grades 1st-6th this week! Take a minute to thank you classes teachers for volunteering their time, talent and love!

    1st/2nd- Carrie and Calvin Black
    3rd/4th-Julie Miller
    5th/6th- Ian Mitchell and Kendra Smith

 

ART BLOCK

Woot! For grades 1st-6th grade, next week begins our Art Block. As the youth voted on at the end of last church year, this year we are supporting Primary Children's Medical Center by making and creating art kits for children in-patient in their network of hospitals. As always, in order to do our good work in the world, we need your help! All of the supplies and activities have been planned, the only thing we need now is you!  Please sign-up below to volunteer to be a classroom assistant or a lead teacher.

 

Family Fun Night

Ho Ho Ho! I know, I know, we haven't even finished with the Halloween nonsense this week. But Christmas is coming sooner rather than later, and so are the wagons of expectations with it. Let's talk about it!

Join us on Monday, November 4th at 6:15 pm for the LAST Family Fun Night of 2019. We will be joined by Rev. Tom Goldsmith, and we're hashing out the holidays. We'll start with dinner at 6:15 pm, then our friend's elementary school and younger will go on their way. Friends younger than Kindergarten will go with our fabulous childcare provider, Anna Fonnesbeck, to play in the nursery. Elementary-aged folks will join Lissa Lander and Amanda Esko to work on a super-secret holiday project. Older youth are welcome to join in the discussion with the adults.

This should be a fun night for all. Please get in touch with any dietary restrictions or allergies. See you on Monday!

Family Fun Night Registration


DINNER PATROL
Speaking of Family Fun Night, we're desperate for volunteers to cook for Monday's dinner! You have a budget of $200, it can be home-made or ordered-in. If you've enjoyed Family Fun Night's in the past, please consider taking a turn to organize the meal. 

Family Fun Night Dinner Patrol


RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
Join the RE Party! Registration for this church year is up and running, please register today! 

 

CHALICE LIGHTING FAMILIES
We're looking for chalice lighting families! Please signup to light our chalice in the main sanctuary!   Questions, email Amanda Esko at . Click here to register for Chalice Lighting

 

CLASSROOM VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
Help! Our classrooms still need volunteers! Follow the link below to signup. Remember, we are a co-operative program, and need family support in order to maintain safe adult/youth ratios in classrooms!  Questions, email Amanda Esko at . Click here to sign up to volunteer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


All The Things

Religious Education has had a BUSY month! We've had In-Gathering, hosted a church-wide potluck, and worshipped together. The 5th/6th-grade class not only learned about childhood illnesses, but they also took action and raised over $700 for Primary Children's Medical Center by selling bean soup between services. I can't wait to see what October brings us!

In Peace,
Amanda Esko 
Director of Religious Education

 

NEW FAMILY DINNER
Are you a new family to First Church looking to connect? Join us on October 21st at 6 pm for our New Family Dinner! This is a great opportunity to meet other new families, share a meal, and learn more about our program and church offerings. Dinner will be provided, please RSVP to Amanda Esko at . 

 

RE REGISTRATION
Join the RE Party! Registration for this church year is up and running, please register today! 

 

CHALICE LIGHTING FAMILIES
We're looking for chalice lighting families! Please signup to light our chalice in the main sanctuary!   Questions, email Amanda Esko at . Click here to register for Chalice Lighting

 

CLASSROOM VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
Help! Our classrooms still need volunteers! Follow the link below to signup. Remember, we are a co-operative program, and need family support in order to maintain safe adult/youth ratios in classrooms!  Questions, email Amanda Esko at . Click here to sign up to volunteer

 

FAMILY FUN NIGHT

 
Boo! Let's start October off right with a Family Fun Night first, a movie sing-along! Join us on October 7th, at 6:15pm in Eliot Hall for dinner and a viewing of “The Nightmare Before Christmas”, singing along encouraged! Questions or dietary restrictions? Email Amanda Esko at  and let us know. See you on Monday! Click here to sign up for Family Fun Night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adult Religious Education Classes 2019/2020

Adult Religious Education supports and provides programming that furthers the spiritual and intellectual journeys of our multigenerational UU community. Here is a list of classes that are offered during the year.  More information will be added when class registration is available.  For more information email .

Fall class signups are here.

Click here for the list of classes offered and sign up today!


All The Things

Why do we teach High School OWL (Our Whole Lives)? Because STI's are on the rise among Salt Lake County youth. Because even though they took OWL in 8th or 9th grade, in 8th and 9th grade they didn't have a serious partner, who they are NOW doing SERIOUS things with. Because they see babies, and think having one can't possibly be that hard. Because, because, because. OWL is not just about the act of sex. Let's say that again for the people in the cheap seats, OWL IS NOT JUST ABOUT THE PHYSICAL ACT OF SEX. It is so, so much more. It's a safe space, with trusted adults and friends to ask questions. It's a group where they can learn how to do a self-breast or self-testicular exam (did you know that more than half of the men who are diagnosed with testicular cancer are between age 20 and 45?) I know our families make their homes safe spaces for their kids to ask questions. But you are dreaming if you think that every question your youth has is going to be directed at you, not their friends. Our OWL classes are open to all, not just families who are already enrolled in RE at First Church. Tell your friends who have High School aged youth. Let's give them another time and space to be in community, learn, and ask their very important questions.

In Peace,

Amanda Esko 
Director of Religious Education

OWL

High School OWL(Our Whole Lives) High School, will meet twice a month, on Sunday evenings. Please know that these classes do fill up, but priority is given to families registered and established in our Religious Education program.  Click here for High School OWL Registration .  Questions? Email Amanda Esko at


RE Registration

Join the RE Party! Registration for this church year is up and running, please register today!  Click here to for RE Registration 

 



Chalice Lighting Families
We're looking for chalice lighting families! Please signup to light our chalice in the main sanctuary!
Help! With RE beginning next week, our classrooms all still need volunteers! Follow the link below to signup. Remember, we are a co-operative program, and need family support in order to maintain safe adult/youth ratios in classrooms!  Click here for Volunteer Signup 
 
 RE Calendar
September 5- COA Parent Orientation
September 8- In-Gathering
September 9- Family Fun Night
September 15- Welcome Back Potluck
September 15- HS OWL Parent Orientation
September 22- Activities Fair
September 29- COA Ropes Course

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


All The Things

As long as I can remember, I have always viewed August as the start of the "new year." New classes, new systems, new ways to organize, new people to connect with, new, new, new. August and September are filled with possibilities. 

It's also one of my favorite times to reflect. What worked last year, what didn't, what I can do differently, what's out of my control. As we start this church year, I want connection. I want our youth to feel connected to this place and the people here. I want our families to feel like they have a connection to our larger First Church community. I want the community of First Church to feel connected to our Religious Education program. 

Last year, on a Mindfulness Matters Sunday, the lower school was gathered in Little Chapel together. As we talked about our web, we created our own web with yarn across the room. We connected with each other through these simple strands. And sometimes, they broke. We had to work together, and fix them. And begin again in community. Every strand of yarn mattered and connected us to our larger circle. Let's step into this church year focused on connection.

Connection to each other, our larger community, and our faith. 

In Peace,

Amanda Esko 
Director of Religious Education

Registration

Join the RE Party! Registration for this church year is up and running, please register today!





Our religious education community is a co-operative model. What does this mean? It means we need you! We need your time and talent! All families are expected to volunteer regularly in each of their children's classrooms. Volunteers meet the classes in Little Chapel for Children’s Chapel, and follow the class upstairs to assist with the day’s activities. Sometimes the classes are making volcanoes, sometimes they’re practicing meditation, and sometimes they’re painting chalices! We have active classes that need extra hands for classroom support. In order to maintain two adults in every classroom, we need parent volunteers. Volunteering in classrooms is a great way to maintain a spiritual relationship with your own youth and build relationships with their friends at church. Families will be emailed links to signup through our volunteer management system, Signup Genius. Please reach out if you have any questions or hesitations about volunteering, we would love to help!

https://www.signupgenius.com/tabs/63272d903a3c8efc71-parent

 

Chalice Lighting Families

We're looking for chalice lighting families! Please signup to light our chalice in the main sanctuary!

 
RE Calendar
September 5- COA Parent Orientation
September 8- In-Gathering
September 9- Family Fun Night
September 15- Welcome Back Potluck
September 15- HS OWL Parent Orientation
September 22- Activities Fair
September 29- COA Ropes Course

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Summer!

What a fantastic year we had in Religious Education! With the support of our teachers, parents, and staff we studied famous UUs, explored the Bible, fought Horcruxes, visited 7 different faith communities, and dived deep into identity issues. 

There are no words to describe the gratitude we all feel for our Religious Education Teachers. Our teachers are dedicated members of our First Church community. Week in and week out these incredible adults give of themselves to our youth and community. Thank you to everyone for working so hard to create a beloved religious education community. 

Lower School Teachers:

Carrie Black, Melissa Bond, Kevin Emmerson, Kira Kilmer, Kendra Smith, Raleigh Smith

Upper School Teachers:

Karin Baumgartner, Cooper, Jennica Davis-Hockett, Derek Gersdorf, Kris Lander, Ian Mitchell, Jillian O'Karma, Usha Spaulding, Kristin Quinn

We would also like to acknowledge these families who went above and beyond to volunteer in our classrooms more than the suggested times(3 times per child/year). As a cooperative program, without parent involvement things classes just can’t happen! Thanks to: Chaston Family, Liu-Rusay Family, Pino Family, Finlayson-Moore Family, Duchon Family, and the Fonnesbeck-Kratzer Family. 

And absolutely nothing in Religious Education would happen without the incomparable Lissa Lander. She is the glue that holds things in Religious Education together. Artist, teacher, and finder of things Lissa spreads joy and knowledge everywhere she goes. When you see her, give her a big high five and your thanks. 

I can’t wait to see you all in the fall!

In Peace,

Amanda Esko

Director of Religious Education

 

Family Fun Night

Family Fun night continues through the summer! We’ll be playing outside the first Monday of each month, June 3rd, July 1st, and August 5th. Join us for dinner and outside play during these long summer nights! 

OWL

Pay attention! Next year, 5th/6th and High School OWL(Our Whole Lives) will be offered. 5th/6th OWL will be held in the spring, during Religious Education classes. High School, will meet twice a month, on Sunday evenings. Please know that these classes do fill up, but priority is given to families registered and established in our Religious Education program. Questions? Email Amanda Esko at

Religious Education Calendar

Want to make sure you don’t miss our Halloween Party or a Sandwich Sunday? Here is the current Religious Education calendar for the 2019-2020 church year. While things may change as the year moves on, this is a great place to start!  {link to RE Calendar PDF}

SAVE THE DATE

welcome back potluck 9 15 19 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

End of Year Update!

We're about a month out from the end of the church year, which is BANANAS. The next few weeks are busy, and I wanted to take a minute to highlight a few things.

Lower School

-The last day of RE will be on May 19th. We will be having a RE talent show! This is not something, big, or stressful, but simply an opportunity to share our gifts with one another. Does your youth have a magic trick, song or dance they want to share? Be sure to come that day! 

-We resume 1 service at 10 am on May 26th. Childcare will be available until RE begins again September! 

-June 9th will be Intergenerational Flower Communion. Please plan on joining us, then going to the Church Picnic in Sugar House Park!

Upper School

-High School- Final payments for the Alabama Trip are due May 26th. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

- If you have a senior, Bridging will be on May 19th during the worship service. Please email Amanda at and let me know if your youth is participating. Thank you to everyone who already has emailed me!

- 6th/7th grade-Please start thinking about someone to be a mentor for your youth next year in Coming of Age. See my email sent this week for more information. 

I love how busy these last few weeks are! Please reach out with any questions, concerns, or great ideas!

In Peace,
Amanda Esko 

Director of Religious Education

RE Teacher Party!

Our RE teacher celebration will be on June 8th. RE teachers, look for an invite this week for dinner and an outdoor movie. Want an invite to the super cool party? We're recruiting teachers for NEXT year right now. Email Amanda at for more information!

RE Teachers Needed!

Do you love being UU and hanging out with awesome youth? Do you have a love of creating, playing, and learning? Join us next year as one of our RE Teachers! We need teachers across the grades, from kindergarten on up. Email Amanda Esko at for more information!

Youth Collaborative Art Project

This year, the Lower School youth embarked on an art journey. They created seven canvases. These canvases were a collaborative project completed by the children in our Religious Education program and their teachers. Each canvas represents one of our Seven Principles; the third canvas includes our Six Sources which give us inspiration. In addition to learning the principles and sources, our kids experimented with concepts and techniques in art with talented members of our congregation. These included photography, colored pencils, graphic design, watercolor, and crafts. In addition to being fantastic kid art, they are also a helpful learning tool when the words are set to the tune of “Do Re Mi.”  We want to say thank you to the entire congregation and especially the teachers who stepped up to help us this year. Please visit the canvases on display in Little Chapel!

RE 2019 wall art pics

In Peace and Gratitude, Amanda and Lissa, RE Class of 2018-19

 

Easter Egg Drop

What a fun Easter! This year, instead of a traditional egg hunt, we discussed the fragility of our planet, in regards to eggs. It’s our job to protect our planet, and on Easter, we worked on protecting our eggs. Eggs were launched from the balcony in Little Chapel. To the delight of all involved, most of our eggs survived!

2019 easter egg drop pic 12019 easter egg drop pic 1


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QPR: QUESTION, PERSUADE, REFER

Please join us for a very important Family Fun Night on Monday, May 6th at 6pm. We've invited trainers from the Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition to join us and lead us in their QPR training. From their website, "QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer -- 3 simple steps that anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help."

As always, we will start with dinner. This month, however, we are going to start dinner early at 6:00 pm. Unlike most months where we can be a little more flexible with dinner, dinner is going to be cleaned up and put away by 6:40, so the training can begin at 6:45. Thank you all for respecting our trainers time by arriving on time and eating promptly! Older, mature youth are encouraged to attending with a parent (7th grade and above) are welcome and encouraged to join. In order to plan for dinner, we are asking for people to register in advance. Click Here to Register Please email Amanda Esko at  you have questions or have dietary restrictions.

Sandwich Sunday Needs Your Help!

sandwich sunday

We're short on supplies for the next Sandwich Sunday, coming up on the week of March 3rd. All supplies donated will be used to make sandwiches for the VOA Homeless Teen Shelter. Anything you can bring helps!

Donate Sandwich Sunday Supplies

Family Fun Night

How fast can you get a cookie into your mouth without using your hands? How high can you stack cups? Can you beat the clock or get a face full of pie? It's one of our favorite evenings of the year, Minute to Win It games! Join us on March 4th at 6:15 pm for Family Fun Night! We'll start with dinner, then move into playing Minute to Win It Games!

minute to win it

Please email us with any dietary restrictions! See you on the 4th!

Family Fun Night Register Here 

Coffeehouse Thank You!
Thank you to everyone who came to our High School Coffeehouse on March 1st. Through ticket sales and donations, we raised over $1,200 for the High School Trip Fund. This fund enables scholarships and pays for our chaperones to attend the trips. Thank you!

Mindfulness Matters

Lower school youth continue to focus on mindfulness this year. In January, we looked at how our interconnected web affects others and our relationship to ourselves. In February, we focused on affirmations and created our own affirmation books. Join us on April 21st for our next Mindfulness Matters Sunday! (Photo thanks to Amanda & Peter Esko)

mindfullness matters pic2         mindfulness matters pic

Child Dedication will be held on April 14, 2019. This is a wonderful opportunity to welcome new children into our community. If your family would like to participate, please fill out this form. Questions? Please email Amanda Esko at .

RE Calendar
  • March 3: Celebration Sunday, 6th/7th Field Trip
  • March 4: Family Fun Night
  • March 10: Sanctuary Sunday, Jr Choir Sings
  • March 17: Last week of K/2nd OWL
  • March 21: Spring Equinox Potluck
  • March 31: Art Block beings
  • April 7: Sanctuary Sunday, Sandwich Sunday 

Join Us In Worship!

Our upper school youth need to attend service. There, I just said it out loud, plain as day. As a RE team, we've built in several Sundays throughout the year for our upper school youth to attend. You may have noticed on announcements or on the bulletin board the phrase, "Please join your families in service." This isn't an accident. And it's also not because there's nothing planned that day. Setting aside one(ish) service a month for our upper school youth, and saying out loud that upper school youth in service are welcome and valued, is an intentional shift in our thinking at First Church. 

Our goal in RE is not to keep the youth "busy." Our goal is to foster a community that learns, grows, and develops a spiritual life. Attending worship is one way we as a community do this! Our youth should have the opportunity to sit in service to hear the choir. They can take a quiet minute of mediation with Rev. Monica. They should listen to Rev. Tom preach on the idea of a just world. There is space for religious education classes and worship. It's not one or the other. 

We cannot expect our youth to want to continue to be lifelong UU's if they have no connection with the larger community. We cannot expect them to lead worship services such as Coming of Age and High School services if they never get to see a worship service. Bring your youth with you into service. Stand with them as we sing. Go to brunch to discuss the sermon. The youth at First Church are intellectual, curious, and engaging. I cannot wait to ask them what they think.

In Peace,

Amanda Esko

Director of Religious Education 

 

Family Fun Night

Family Fun Night returns February 4th at 6:15 pm! (Note that we're trying 6:15 pm again!) We'll be joined by Rev. Monica Dobbins.

"So, yeah, we go to church on Sunday. But it's not like regular church, and the people are great, and I love the youth programs. And summers are off, but amazing speakers from the community come in. It's just not CHURCH church." Raise your hand if you have had this conversation! How do we, as UU's, speak about our faith to others in a way that feels authentic? Rev. Monica will help facilitate this conversation so we can all be a little more eloquent in expressing our faith.

While the adults are busy talking, the youth will be working with Lissa Lander on an art project!

FAMILY FUN NIGHT REGISTRATION

 

UU of The Week

Each week in Children’s Chapel we learn about important UU’s throughout history. 

Meet Francis Ellen Watkins Harper(1825-1911), our UU of the week! Francis Harper was an African American abolitionist, writer, lecturer, and activist who promoted civil rights, women's rights, and temperance. She was a popular speaker and traveled across the United States before the Civil War. Harper's short story, "The Two Offers", was the first short story to be published by an African American author. Most of the earnings from her writing went to help free slaves with her work on the Underground Railroad. 

After the Civil War, Harper focused her efforts on the rights of women, working with Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. In contrast to Anthony and Stanton however, Harper supported the immediate passage of the 14th and 15th amendments to the constitution. The immediate threats of violence to people of color, and the promise of legal protections these amendments offered, swayed her to support the passage of these amendments before voting rights for women.

Harper split her spiritual life between her two faiths, the AME church of her youth, and the Unitarian Church. The AME church provided her community, while her Christology and political leanings lead her to the Unitarian Church. Francis Ellen Watkins Harper died on February 22, 1911. Her funeral was at the Unitarian Church on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia. 

Sandwich Sunday

Sandwich Sunday is right around the corner! If you're able, signup to bring something OR take the lunches to the VOA!

SANDWICH SUNDAY SIGNUP

RE Calendar

Feb. 3: Sanctuary Sunday
Sandwich Sunday
Jr Choir Sings
Feb. 4: Family Fun Night