29 January 2006

One Room UU Sunday Schools -- One Possible Suggestion

Today, Scott Wells asked about this issue on his "Boys in the Bands" blog:
Do you know of any models, theories, or suggestions that could help the one-or-two child congregation? I'm guessing something that mobilizes parents ("as resident theologians" to recall one program) or incorporates the children organically into existing church functions like worship. Or perhaps a mentoring-based path. Whatever -- and from wherever. Please leave your ideas and suggestions in the comments, or trackback to this post if you blog and would like to write (have written) on the matter.
Our family's had some experience with this situation in two places we have lived.

One was a household RE program when we lived in a small Northern Michigan town that was 2 hours away from the nearest UU congregation (Wurtsmith AFB -- near Oscoda, Michigan) and the other was in a small fellowship (Black Hills UU Fellowship, Rapid City SD).

In the small fellowship, we routinely had RE classes where 50% or more of the kids shared the same last name (50% or more of the kids were our two kids).

In both cases, the best workable solution we could find was using Church of the Larger Fellowship Religious Education materials. CLF materials that are designed for a household setting with parents and kids also work well with RE groups of 2-6 kids who vary greatly in age.

This suggestion is based on working with kids ages 0 to 8. For older elementary, middle school, and high school age participants, I don't know how well the CLF stuff would work.

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