Religious Education

Jill M. Hall, Director Religious Education

Jill Hall came to Unitarian Universalism as a young adult and became involved in Religious Education/Exploration shortly thereafter. She has filled many different RE roles in the various congregations she has been involved in; leading Religious Exploration groups for children, youth and adults, providing nursery care, leading worship, storytelling, serving on the RE committee and as DRE for two different congregations. Jill finds that her own faith development is continually expanded, refined and challenged through her work with young UUs. Jill has been KUUC’s DRE since 2014 and works in a local elementary school in special education. She lives in Keene with her husband, three children and one very shaggy dog.

RE Calendar – March

The Soul Matters theme for March is Wisdom.

Sunday, March 1: The children will begin in the sanctuary, then join Jill for a lesson on the Wisdom of our Stories.

2-4 PM: Neighboring Faiths group meets on the topic of Taoism, with visit from special guest Jim Gilmour, who will teach us a bit about Tai Chi Chuan.

Sunday, March 8: The children begin in the sanctuary, then join Deborah Dunnell in the Blocks room for a lesson on the Wisdom Within.

11:30-1 PM Religious Exploration Committee meets in the Alliance Room. All are welcome.

Sunday, March 15: Children begin in the sanctuary then join Betsy Stacey for a class on the Wisdom of our UU Sources.

2-4 PM Neighboring Faiths group meeting on the topic of Hinduism. Andrea Ansevin-Allen will lead this meeting.

Sunday, March 22: Children begin in the sanctuary and join Rachael Walter for a group activity on the Wisdom of our Body.

Sunday, March 29: There is no RE this morning. Children are welcome to remain in the sanctuary.

Our Whole Lives

Our Whole Lives (O.W.L.) is the values-based lifespan sexuality education curricula developed jointly by the UUA and UCC (United Church of Christ)*. KUUC offers the segment designed for youth in grades 7-9 (or homeschool equivalent) in alternate years and – next year is the year! Right now, we are searching for at least two adults willing to attend a weekend of training and able to commit to facilitating this course during the 2020-2021 church year. Meetings are traditionally held on Sunday afternoons; the actual schedule is flexible and will be determined with input from the facilitators.

Description from the UUA website: “Honest, accurate information about sexuality 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.” (www.uua.org/re/owl) If you feel called to serve your community by facilitating this program, please contact Jill, Rev Michael, or Barbara Bryce (RE Committee chair). If you’d like more information before deciding, please check out the UUA O.W.L. info page.

Please contact Jill () with questions, concerns or for more information.  Enrollment will begin after we have leaders in place.

*while the program was developed by two religious denominations, the curriculum is secular – no doctrine or dogma is included, just honest, factual information and the core values of self-worth, sexual health, responsibility and justice and inclusivity.

Staffing Note from DRE Jill Hall

Beginning March 11, I will be on leave from my duties as KUUC’s Director of Religious Exploration. The members of the Religious Exploration committee – Barbara Bryce, Deborah Dunnell, Betsy Stacey and Tina Stevens — as well as Susan Lowry and Andrea Ansevin-Allen, are stepping in to cover most of my responsibilities during my absence. I very much appreciate all of them for volunteering to teach or assist in classes for the Sunday morning elementary-age children and the Sunday afternoon middle-school group, to help plan and participate in Easter’s multigenerational service, and to welcome and connect with newcomers.  I’m also grateful to Rev. Michael for picking up some of my other duties, and to him and the Board for supporting my use of my allowed days off to cover this leave.

Questions? Concerns? Before March 10, please contact me at as usual.

After March 10, please contact Barbara Bryce, chair of the RE Committee, () or Rev. Michael (). I will not be checking or responding to email during my leave. For emergencies, please contact Barbara or Rev. Michael. I expect to be back at KUUC April 25.

Elevator Speech

In November, the Neighboring Faiths group spent most of our time learning about the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints (often called Mormons), the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Evangelical Christianity. For all these faiths, evangelism, or spreading the Christian gospel publicly and personally, is a central practice. We spent some time considering how we could respond to Christian evangelism with a statement of our own truth. What might be our own brief, honest, and personal description of the deep, wide, multi-faceted religion that is Unitarian Universalism? Some call this an “elevator speech” because it could be delivered in the time of an elevator ride. It takes many of us a lifetime to come up with an answer with which we feel comfortable. In this season of drawing inward, of contemplating what is important, what is meaningful, what is worthy, I invite you to spend some time considering how you might answer the questions, “What is Unitarian Universalism? What do UUs believe?”