Hello First Parish!

Honoring our Church School Teachers (above photo)

We are now officially 375 years old. Our celebration went great, and I can’t wait to see you all next Sunday!

Up in March our RE program will be going to volunteer at the Cradles to Crayons collection center in Boston. As part of this visit we will be taking a collection of various goods for donation to low income children and families in the greater Boston area. We’ll be collecting items at First Parish all month, and you can see recommended items at this link: cradlestocrayons.app.box.com/v/donationguidelines.

The end of February marks the beginning of our second semester of Religious Education at First Parish of Norwell. We have a great group of teachers raring to go, and I know it’s going to be a blast!

Our K- grade 1 class will be using the Stories About God curricula this year. This program helps children to develop a language with which they can talk about God, and shows the wealth of different ideas of what that God figure can look like.

Our grades 2-3 class will be tightening focus from their Picture Book World Religions program to a new curricula called Honoring Our Mother Earth. This curriculum is based around pagan beliefs, and will teach the students about modern pagan practices, in addition to using nature to learn more about spirituality.

Our grades 4-6 class will be using the Holidays and Holy Days curricula. This class uses the holidays of different religions to teach about belief systems, and allows the class to explore the culture and ideas behind a wide variety of world religions. Our grades 7-8 class will be continuing the Our Whole Lives or OWL program. This is a sexuality and relationships program intended to give our young people the information and grounding they need to be in responsible adult relationships.

For adults, we have our course entitled “What We Choose” continuing on Tuesday, February 14 at noon in the Fogg Parlor. All are welcome, so feel free to bring friends! Unitarian Universalism is grounded in the understanding that our actions speak louder than our words or beliefs. Faithful living for us includes discerning the course of action that best reflects our beliefs and values and then acting or choosing accordingly. As inheritors of a faith tradition that honors a wide variety of sources of religious understanding and authority, our big questions are: How do we discern the moral course of action in a particular circumstance? To what source(s) of authority do we turn for help—personal experience, community wisdom, conscience, religious texts, the words and deeds of prophetic people, reason, science, God? If we are intentional in developing a personal ethical framework to live by, then the behavioral choices we make and the actions we do or do not take can reflect our most deeply held values.

Now you may ask, how do my kids take part in all of these great programs? Well the answer is Registration! This year we are supporting both in person, and web-based child registrations. So if you haven’t registered yet, come see me in person, or go to our new online registration form here: www.goo.gl/forms/BT1HXxgMKY9hZLVL2.

Julian Baptista
Director of Religious Education