While many meetings take a break in religious education programs during the summer months, there are opportunities during the summertime to connect with families and start to think ahead to next fall. Events and resource suggestions below! Later in June, watch for the Youth Programs staff to share activities for meeting and home in preparation for Annual Sessions, July 26-30. These will be shared for meetings to do over the summer, or send home to families. [Read more…] about Religious Education Resources & Events for Summer 2023
Religious Education Resources
Earth Day Recommended Reads: Resources for Children, Youth & Families
Resources To Support Our Witness to Walking Gently on the Earth!
“We recognize that the well-being of the earth is a fundamental spiritual concern. From the beginning, it was through the wonders of nature that people saw God. How we treat the earth, and its creatures is a basic part of our relationship with God. Our planet as a whole, not just the small parts of it in our immediate custody, requires our responsible attention.” — Philadelphia Yearly Meeting Faith and Practice, 1997.
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Religious Education Resources & Events for Spring 2023
Spring begins here in the northern hemisphere this week! We often talk about renewal in this time, and there is also a duality about springtime that can feel liminal. In March, the warmer sunlight belies the chill still in the air. Flowers pop up along the edges of lawns still covered in autumn leaves. Easter has the dual, entwined messages of death and loss with resurrection and joy. Resources and ideas are offered below for families and meetings as we move into the spring months! [Read more…] about Religious Education Resources & Events for Spring 2023
Black History: Celebrate in February, Include All Year
This month is about honoring the radical, imaginative, provocative and gorgeous world Black Americans are bringing forth today as much as recognizing their efforts in the past. May we take this month to contemplate and celebrate the spiritual gifts and leadings Black Quakers have followed that continue to shape our community and encourage us all to come alive.
— Kimani Keaton, Community Engagement Associate for Special Projects
The resources below provide an opportunity to lift up Black voices and explore anti-racism with the young people in our care. Much has been written about the inclusion of Black History in mainstream education and how to teach this history both in terms of the Black American experience and children’s developmental levels. Some of the links to articles and resources below reflect these discussions and may be useful to consider in a religious education context. [Read more…] about Black History: Celebrate in February, Include All Year
Hand in Hand: Religious Education & Outreach Thread Gathering
On Saturday, January 7, almost 30 Friends from 15 local meetings gathered at West Chester Meeting for a Thread Gathering to explore in community the connection between religious education and how a meeting welcomes and includes newcomers. Some came in pairs and groups from their meetings, bringing questions, examples of resources, and stories of experiences in meetings to the conversation together. The afternoon program included a presentation on welcome and belonging, small group conversations with queries, and threshing of the issues raised in the larger group. As we parted into the evening, overheard was the word, “hope.” [Read more…] about Hand in Hand: Religious Education & Outreach Thread Gathering
Religious Education Resources & Events for Winter 2023
Onward into the new year and new opportunities to learn and grow together in our Yearly Meeting in 2023! Two of those opportunities focus on intergenerational worship and Bible study. We have so much to learn from one another in our approaches to these topics, and the PYM “Worship & Care Package” is one way we will explore new possibilities together. Friends who support religious education in our meetings are a community of practice; let’s consider about how we might accompany one another in the next year, sharing the ways that children, young people, and their families are part of our meeting communities. [Read more…] about Religious Education Resources & Events for Winter 2023
Rethinking “First Day School”
On Thursday, September 29, Friends gathered online for a presentation and discussion exploring the roots of Quaker religious education and our condition in meetings today. PYM Participants were joined by Friends from meetings across the US (all the way to Hawaii) and Costa Rica, to “rethink” the way we approach children’s religious education in meetings. Is it time to release a scholastic, lesson-based model focused only on Sunday morning?
Queries anchored both small group and whole group discussion and themes that emerged included: sharing about intergenerational programs, including youth in activism and witness, and understanding religious education as the responsibility of the whole meeting. It was an inspiring conversation! [Read more…] about Rethinking “First Day School”
Giant Children’s Meeting: What’s Next?
In the Fall of 2020, as children returned to school online and many meetings settled into hosting worship on Zoom, the question of how to support religious education programs and community for children and families in meetings was on many minds. Local meetings did amazing things in the depth of the pandemic — care packages, calls and notes to young Friends and their families, outdoor programs when possible — even online Christmas pageants! The PYM Children & Families program was also experimenting, and Giant Children’s Meeting was born from both necessity and hope. Now we’re ready to discern what’s next for creating children and their families in our wider PYM community. [Read more…] about Giant Children’s Meeting: What’s Next?
Religious Education Resources & Events for Fall
When the afternoon sunshine softens and the crickets take over for the cicada chorus, I know it’s back to school time. The former classroom teacher in me feels the tug to get ready for the new year, and of course in meetings we may be getting ready to welcome children and youth back from summer adventures to school-year routines. One of the ideas I’m thinking about a lot is rethinking “First Day School” — both that language and the scholastic model. It’s not “the way we’ve always done things” as Friends, and the interruptions of the pandemic continue to create opportunities for new ways of exploring, listening, and being community in our meetings. Join me for a conversation on this! Below you’ll find resources for Fall and events for conversation, service, and fellowship.
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Religious Education Resources and Events for June & July
Happy summertime, Friends! In the coming weeks, children and teens will be done with school and families will shift into summer routines. I’ll be back in touch in August with ideas for looking forward to the Fall, and if you’re ready to start thinking in that direction this planning guide is still a good place to begin this summer. The resources and events offered below for June and July include Juneteenth, FGC’s “YAY!” gathering, and what’s for families and youth at our Annual Sessions. I hope you will pass them along to families and youth in your meetings and communities! [Read more…] about Religious Education Resources and Events for June & July