ReligiousEducation

Religious Education News

What Do I Believe? A Retreat for 8th/9th Coming of Agers

8th/9th graders are invited to attend a special showing of a video about a wide spectrum of religious beliefs. We will use this time to talk with mentors, teachers and other youth about religious beliefs and cultural awareness. This program will be vital for completing the credo portion of the Coming of Age program.

"In this award-winning documentary featured on PBS, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Pagan, Native American, and Jewish Teens share their most personal struggles and beliefs about faith, morality, suffering and death, prayer, the purpose of life and the divine. Without a hint of dogma they candidly discuss everything from hormones to heaven, deflate misperceptions and stereotypes at every turn, and make a strong case for a more tolerant America." From the website, http://whatdoyoubelieve.org/

We will also look at similarities and differences between teens, between religions and between beliefs.

I hope everyone will attend this retreat.

When: Saturday, January 14 from 10 am-4pm

Bring: Sack Lunch and a snack to share. Beverages will be provided.

PrintEmail

What Do I Believe?

What do you believe? How do you determine what those beliefs are? Do they change in your lifetime? What might influence those changes or your basic beliefs? 8th & 9th graders along with their mentors and teachers will view the documentary, "What Do You Believe?" and answer specific questions about various beliefs. The video interviews six teens about their religious beliefs who, in turn, represent Catholicism, Islam, Paganism, Judaism, Buddhism and the Lakota (one Native American) religion. As a group we will look at similarities between those teens and between their religions. We will talk about various beliefs that are brought up by the video such as; religious stereotypes, beliefs about God or gods, ministerial leaders like priests, how religions affect views on dating, premarital sex, holiday celebrations, non-violence practices, drugs and alcohol prevention, how friends perceive religious views and what affect that has on our youth, and the purpose of life.

This is one of the most important retreats for the Coming of Age program. Excerpt from the website, http://whatdoyoubelieve.org/
     "In this award-winning documentary featured on PBS, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Pagan, Native American, and Jewish Teens share their most personal struggles and beliefs about faith, morality, suffering and death, prayer, the purpose of life and the divine. Without a hint of dogma they candidly discuss everything from hormones to heaven, deflate misperceptions and stereotypes at every turn, and make a strong case for a more tolerant America."
All 8th & 9th graders should attend this important retreat on Saturday, Jan. 14 from 10-4pm. More details sent to registered participants.

PrintEmail

Veterans Day, 11-11-11

Veterans Day arrives on 11-11-11, a day numerologists are touting as the day something either incredibly good or incredibly bad will happen. Probably nothing will happen but it is fun to speculate about a rare number sequence occurrence.

Veterans Day was first observed after President Woodrow Wilson signed into law a national anniversary remembrance for the soldiers who served and/or died during the ‘Great War’ of 1914-1918 (U. S. 1917-1918). The end of World War I came at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. Then in 1953 a man in Kansas suggested the United States use that day to remember all veterans who had fought for the U. S. President Eisenhower signed that bill into law in 1954. 

Some people celebrate by staying home and reading through the advertising sections which businesses use to lure people into spending money before Christmas. However, there are still events held to honor the veterans. Here in Portland, there are several events held each year with the 37th Annual Hollywood District Veterans Day Parade being the most traditional. 

For many Unitarian Universalists this federal holiday can bring up conflicting emotions. Does honoring the sacrifice of brave men and women mean we support the war? How can we remember and celebrate at the same time? Given the seemingly endless ways our government uses force around the world, how do we support the people who wear the uniform and their families without encouraging support for the action taken? How do we resolve our feelings? 

One way to is to remember the beginning of this federal holiday; it was unimaginable before World War I to fathom a whole planet at war. Except for a very few countries (Mexico, west coast of S. America, most of Scandinavia, one African nation, a couple of European countries and Malaysia) every other country took part in one way or another in the war. Here are some striking numbers: 22.5 million died on the Allied side, 16 million died on the Axis side and then the flu pandemic of 1918 took the lives of 50 million more. The aftermath of the Armistice and Treaty of Versailles eventually led to World War II. When you add those numbers to the death toll you get: 61 million dying on the Allied side and 12 million dying on the Axis side. Totals: 78.5 million on the Allied side, 28 million on the Axis side. All of these men (mostly) and women served their countries in uniform. 

The holiday may have lost its original meaning to remember the signing of the Armistice but we can remember. We can remember the sacrifices made by the soldiers serving in our armed forces and by their families. We can teach our children and youth about what has happened and what is still left to be done. We can teach our children and youth the values in our beliefs and help guide them in not repeating what has happened in our past. 

We can go to parades and sales and be thankful that we have those choices. We can teach our children and youth about the value and responsibility of freedom. We can take a moment in tribute to the National Moment of Remembrance and be in respectful silence at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month for a minute -- a minute for those who have served and to teach those who might forget why we have this federal holiday.

PrintEmail

More Articles...

Teacher's Login