Julie Rigano, DLRE: New Year, New Learning

Happy New Year! With the New Year brings hope, revitalization, and new opportunities for growth and learning here at UU Schenectady!  We have new classes starting for our children and youth in January. Our K-1 Our Whole Lives (OWL) class ended in December so now in January, our K-1 class will be starting a new curriculum called Wonderful Welcome! The Wonderful Welcome curriculum engages and challenges leaders and children alike to explore how and why we are willing to welcome others into our lives. We welcome not only strangers but family, our peers, our neighbors and even entities that are not people such as our animal friends and nature itself.

Though the K-1 OWL class has ended, our 5-6 and 11-12 OWL classes are just beginning! Our OWL sexuality education program offers honest, accurate, developmentally appropriate information about sexuality which changes lives. It dismantles stereotypes and assumptions, builds self-acceptance and self-esteem, fosters healthy relationships, improves decision making, and has the potential to save lives.

But wait- there’s more!!

We have so many adult faith development opportunities starting in early 2017 from justice causes to learning more about our own Unitarian, Universalist, and Unitarian Universalist history.

Starting January 8th after services, the newly formed Social Action Team on Race will be offering a new class to UU Schenectady: “Race The Power of an Illusion.” The Social Action Team on Race is starting programs to raise our consciousness around privilege and racial justice. This PBS series will offer us a chance to learn and discuss as we begin to unfold our implicit bias. This series makes us think- what if we suddenly discovered that our most basic assumption about race – for instance, that the world’s people can be divided biologically along racial lines – was false? This DVD and discussion course will run on January 8th, 15th, and 22nd after services starting at 12pm. Click here to register: https://uuschenectady.breezechms.com/form/a79dc097

On January 29th, Rev. Fred Small will be preaching here on climate justice and lead a workshop called “Give Light.” Continuing the momentum, our Green Sanctuary Team is leading another round of their successful course “Change is our Choice.” The science has long been settled: climate change is real and it’s happening all around us right now. This discussion course on climate action will help you take action to increase resilience and mitigate the impacts of climate change. The course will run on February 12th, 26th and March 12th. Click here to register for “Change is our Choice”: https://uuschenectady.breezechms.com/form/a79dc09725

Looking to understand the roots of our religion? Look no further than our UU history class, “Long Strange Trip.” With a set of six DVDs detailing the history of Unitarian and Universalist thought from the beginning of the Christian era to what we know today as Unitarian Universalism, we explore the foundations and formation of our faith. Knowing and understanding our past can help us determine what we want to do in our present. This class will run on Wednesday evenings starting on February 8th through March 15th. Click here to register: https://uuschenectady.breezechms.com/form/a79dc09754

Finally, I am happy to announce that this congregation is taking the next step to provide honest, accurate, life changing information about sexuality to all the members of this community. The OWL Coordination Team is working towards offering Adult and Young Adult OWL next year! We will have a training session for facilitators right here at UU Schenectady March 10th-12th.

Young Adult and Adult OWL addresses topics typically excluded from sexuality education and health classes, including sexual expression, identity, orientation, and life issues- topics many adults have not had the opportunity to discuss in depth. Both courses consist of fourteen two-hour modular workshops which may be used in any combination or singly. If you’d like to be a facilitator and help ensure that we can bring these courses to our community next year, please contact me at dlre@uuschenectady.org.

With the energy of a new year, this congregation is ready to continuing growing and learning on our never-ending search for truth and meaning in the universe. Whether you want to learn more about our past, look to the future and work towards justice, or spend some time learning more about yourself and your own identities, UU Schenectady has a learning opportunity for you.

You can stay up to date on all our adult learning opportunities by visiting our website here: http://uuschenectady.org/learning/educational-programs-for-adults/