by Tony Bianca, Program Director
As we begin to host small groups on campus and think about gradually opening back up to in-person gatherings, we're aware that, currently, children under 12 are unable to be vaccinated and which creates a natural inequity around who is able to safely participate in live gatherings on our campuses. Simultaneously, we're thinking about how this reopening offers us a unique opportunity to reimagine our programming in ways that better serve us, and more fully live into what it means to be a Family Ministry Program.
While we have programs like Parents' Lounge that focus on parents and have, in the past, experimented with different ways of doing religious education that were more multi-generational, our programming, for the most part, has used what we call the "Sunday School Model." Simply put, the Sunday School Model means children show up on Sundays and are divided by age into different classrooms where they're taught a lesson much as they would be in a traditional classroom. One new program we're launching in June seeks to move away from the Sunday School Model of Religious Education (RE) while also providing our families with young, unvaccinated children away to safely participate in programming. On Sunday, June 27, the Family Ministry Team will host the first of what we hope to be many First UU oUt & aboUt? events. As the name suggests, these gatherings will take place offsite in outdoor spaces around the greater San Diego area. The goal of these events is to offer everyone in our congregation a chance to create community across generational lines while nurturing our spiritual growth. The first event will take place at Miramar Lake on June 27 from 2 pm - 4 pm. We'll gather near the concession area at 2 pm for an opening circle. Since the lake is a reservoir, we'll begin with a brief centering reflection around what "reservoirs" we have in our lives and what we draw on to spiritually, mentally and physically recharge ourselves. We'll then have a little over an hour to enjoy the space. The lake offers both natural and paved trails for walking and/or biking, as well as spaces for just sitting to enjoy the view. Individuals are invited to use the time as they want. Bring a bike to ride, walk with friends or with others that you've just met, sit and chat - whatever you like. Then, at 3:30 pm, we'll return to where we started for a brief closing circle. You can head home at 4 pm or bring food to enjoy a picnic dinner at the lake. We hope you and your family can join us as we explore this new way of being a church community. And, even if you're unable to join us this time, stay tuned for more upcoming oUt & aboUt events throughout the year!
The First UU Church of San Diego blog is your resource for upcoming events and past event recaps. Leave us a comment to let us know what you think!