Saturday, August 27, 2016

Fall 2016 Classes

Last week, we began our new season of classes for the children and youth. We've made some changes that should make for an even better learning experience.

We've expanded our offerings to three classes: Elementary Learners, Advanced Learners and the Teens. We are excited to have many of our Early Learners grow into a new class with a curriculum that will help them consider their own beliefs and theologies. The teen class is becoming more of a youth group, with conversations with the minster and times together to cook and share food.

Classes are on Sunday mornings. The children and youth start in the service. After Together Time with the minister and then assisting collecting food for Clemson Community Care, they go to classes. Elementary and Advanced Learners finish by 11:40 (usually around the end of the service.) Teens go a little longer, until noon.

Elementary Learners: Spirit Play
Kindergarten through 3rd grade (Ages 5 – 8)
Spirit Play, modeled partly on the Montessori method of learning, encourages children to ask questions of wonder. Stories from all traditions, including our own, introduce children to promises (principles) of Unitarian Universalism. To reinforce these, children have independent work time as part of the lesson. The stories this fall will mainly focus on the themes and historical UU’s explored by the congregation each month, as well as earth-based holidays, and some of our basic UU lessons.
Teachers: Beth Carraway, Kari Carson, Kathy Gillcrist, Rhonda Powell, Christine Prado, Olivia Sparkman, Pamela West

Advanced Learners: Toolbox of Faith
4th through 7th grade  (Ages 9-12)
Toolbox of Faith invites participants to reflect on the qualities of our Unitarian Universalist faith, such as integrity, courage, and love, as tools they can use in living their lives and building their own faith. Each of the 16 sessions uses a tool as a metaphor for an important quality of our faith such as reflection (symbolized by a mirror), flexibility (duct tape), and justice (a flashlight).
Teachers: Sarah Harcum, Karen Hiebel, Meg MacArthur, Carl Thompson, Martha Thompson

Teens: World Religions Exploration
8th grade through 12th grade (Ages 13 -18)
This fall the teen program will utilize a Youth Ministry approach with teens in the service on first Sundays and meeting afterward for lunch and discussion with the minister, other Sundays will focus on Social Justice discussions, Coming of Age activities, and Food & Fun in the kitchen (life skills preparation).

Teachers: Mandolin Bright, Chad Carson, Cindy Lee, Riley Stevens, Kristin Trowell

We hope you consider bringing your children to these classes to help them consider their spirituality. 

Also, we thank everyone assisting in these classes. If you are interested in being involved, teaching is an excellent way to learn and develop your own theology as well. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Cleaning It Up

An important goal for the RE program is to pass the seven principles along to our children and youth.

Those principles are: 

  • The inherent dignity and worth of all people.
  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations.
  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning.
  • The right of conscience and use of the democratic process.
  • A goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all.
  • Acceptance of others and encouragement of spiritual growth.
  • Respect for the interdependent web of life of which we are a part.

While lessons involve drawing from many spiritual practices, we also teach them the value of stewardship. The children help every week as we take up canned goods to donate to Clemson Community Care. They also help in other ways throughout the year.

The latest project also speaks to the seventh principle of the interdependent web of life, by selling laundry detergent made from gentle and natural materials.

The children and youth will sell homemade natural laundry detergent after services for $5 per container until we run out. Each container will clean approximately 12 to 32 loads of laundry. They made the detergent on April 10th with RE teachers during class in honor of Earth Day. Proceeds from the sales will be given to the UUFC as part of their Stewardship fundraising this year.  Support our youth in their fundraising efforts and clean your clothes at the same time! For more info contact Theresa Pizzuto at

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Turning the Tables

Every Sunday, we take time in the service to talk to the children and youth. They then collect our canned goods for Clemson Community Care while the ushers collect the offertory.

We call this time Together Time. Sometimes, the service leader will share a story or a book. Perhaps they have an object to discuss. Other times, the service leader has a conversation with the children. This particular Together Time in this blog post highlighted, we let the children present to us.

Max, Alexander and Adam all shared a significant figure they studied for Black History Month. Each talked for a few minutes on each person. Adam discussed Neil Degrasse Tyson, the American astrophysicist, cosmologist, author and science communicator. Alexander, of course, talked about a soccer player: Tim Howard. He has been a star player despite having Tourette Syndrome. And Max discussed James Herman Banning, an early pilot.

Not only did they all talk about pioneers in their fields, but it was great to see such great presentations from our children! Nicely done, guys!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

February RE Committee Meeting

Your RE Committee is hard at work, considering the future and the goals of Religious Education at UUFC.

We first discussed a vision and goals. Preliminarily, these are:

Vision: We are a safe community for independent thought and spiritual exploration with a foundation based on UU principles.

The committee’s goals are:

  •  To ensure that Unitarian Universalist principles are incorporated into the religious education program;
  •  To provide support for the activities of the religious education program;
  • To maintain and ensure communication among members of the committee, teachers, parents, the DRE, the minister, and the Fellowship as a whole;
  • To provide input to the DRE, minister, and/or worship committee regarding multigenerational events and worship experiences which include children and youth.

With that in mind, we can consider more specific, measurable goals for our program. We feel that the program has made terrific strides over the years. The DRE and the RE committee has consistently provided prepared lessons, more easily executed by trained teachers. We have regular multigenerational services, in which the children and youth participate and even plan and execute. We are proud of what we offer. Some goals we would like to accomplish this year:

  • Establish a family ambassador program, in conjunction with the membership committee, so that visitors with children can get consistent information about the RE program.
  • Create awareness of the program (and UUFC) with some targeted marketing. 
  • Grow the program to create a third class for middle schoolers.
We would love your thoughts and input on how we can achieve these goals, as well as your help. If you are interested in seeing a program become successful, ask us how you can get more involved.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

RE Souper Supper

We had a tremendous turnout at the November Souper Supper, with more than 50 people coming to enjoy vegetarian stew, chicken mulligetawny, salad, cornbread and an array of desserts. It was a great night of fellowship and fun, as well as some good food. Thanks to everyone on the committee that contributed food.

We're not sure what brought everyone out: was it the ensuing board meeting? A break before cooking for Thanksgiving? An advance menu that appealed to many? Or perhaps it was the fabulous fun of the photo booth.

People young and old took advantage of the silliness. Thanks to the MEN WITH BEARDS who helped demonstrate the fun of the photo booth and braved the props to dress like a cat, a Sonic, a fox, a viking and a dapper Dan.

After dinner, others played in the fun. Some people might have even gotten pictures suitable for the Christmas card. Here's a few of  our favorites. The entire collection can be found here. (To keep the pictures protected, you have to create a shutterfly account.)


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Fall events!

Loving the Black Cats (and all the other animals too)

Parents, do your youth love wearing their costumes everywhere? Let them show off on Sunday while helping raise money for a great cause.

And to everyone else, don't you love seeing children in costume that you see on a regular basis?

On SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 1, it's time for the kids to wear the costume one more time as they collect money for the local animal shelter. In the past, we've collected for groups such as UNICEF, but we decided to keep the need closer to home. The teens decided that the Anderson Humane Society was a group they wished to support.

So prepare for the influx of superheros, monsters, princesses and animals this Sunday and bring your small bills and change!

Decorating the Tree

Last year's ornament party was such a success that we're doing it again! Come to the Social Room on November 14, from 10 am-noon and find four stations for making ornaments. The RE committee is making angels. Look for other tables along with an assortment of hot beverages and tasty snacks!

Souper Supper

The RE committee is hosting the event on November 18 this year. We'll have vegetarian and meat soups as well as salad and cornbread. Also, we'll have a photo booth for everyone to enjoy, with props for fun! Babysitting will be provided, so let us make dinner, bring the family and enjoy some social time.

Monday, September 14, 2015

We Love Our Parents

We had a terrific parent orientation this past Sunday. Thanks to everyone who came and participated in the open discussion about Religious Education at UUFC. We are lucky to have a diverse group of parents from a wide range of backgrounds. However, they all share the same goals for their children: an opportunity to explore a broad range of beliefs and principles, so they can find their own theology and spirituality in a safe environment.

Also beginning as a resource for parents is our Parents Circle. While we had a Spiritual Parenting group, this was a more closed Covenant group. Instead, we are building an open community of parents to support and inspire each other, as well as discuss parenting issues we face.

The first meeting is Sunday, October 20 in the social room after the service. Bring your own lunch (or you can place a delivery/take out order before the meeting). We will enjoy lunch together from 12:15-12:45, and our meeting will be from 12:45-2:00. Each session will have a topic open for discussion. Childcare will be provided free (with love offerings accepted). 

The Parents Circle will meet the third Sunday each month. Look for further announcements about this supportive group. Contact Kari for more information.

If you still need to register your child or youth for the year, you can do so here.