Building Bridges with ChUUrchCraft
September — November & March — May
Building Bridges is a world religions program to deepen youth’s understanding of the dynamic, fascinating, and varied world in which they live. It seeks to broaden their knowledge of humanity and embolden their spiritual search. The program is organized roughly chronologically, capturing the strong parallel between societal change and religious evolution over human history. However, this is not a history course. It is a series of workshops that attempts to lovingly and reverently examine some of the closest kept treasures of the human heart. This exploration nurtures participants’ positive outlook toward other faiths and the people who follow them. This program provides youth a unique opportunity to engage the world’s diversity of faiths in a safe, affirming atmosphere that is grounded in Unitarian Universalist faith. We will create an environment where respectful exploration and questioning are encouraged, where differences are encountered with open minds and hearts.
ChUUrchcraft uses the popular app, Minecraft, as a vehicle for processing learned information on world religions. A building with multiple rooms is created and supplied to the class. As the class learns about a world religion, part of each class is dedicated to designing a room within the building, devoted to the practice of that religion. Also, doing online research we will inform the design of the room.
January — February
Lodestone is a set of units geared for middle school that cover UUism, money, death, sex, and race. The units are not intended to cover every aspect of these topics. Instead, they begin a lifelong conversation about them for the participants and for their families. Last year we did the UUism unit.
The 5-session race unit in UU curriculum, Lodestone, focuses on increasing the understanding of issues of racism deeply embedded in our society and what we can do to heal. For our white children and families, this unit is about getting a glimpse of the meaning of racism and about raising awareness of the layers of privilege that surround them. For our children and families of color, it is about developing an understanding of their identities and how those identities impact them in the world. For all, it is a time to move toward finding hope and wholeness in our world.
Friends, this comes at a time when we Unitarian Universalists are engaged in a struggle. White UU’s need to understand and come to terms with how racism is a morass in which we all are embedded. “None of us are free.” UU’s of color need to have their voices and experiences heard. We all can work towards real change and healing in our world.
From the author, Katie Covey: As a white woman, I approach this in humbleness, hoping that I can contribute to this sensitive and tender conversation with a program which will help our families and middle schoolers. “Where is the love?” I don’t intend for it to be the final answer. “None of us can find it on our own.” Instead, I’m hoping it will be simply one way to begin a dialogue. I expect change as our dialogue evolves.
As leaders here at SWUU we will approach this in the same way – with humility, with openness and with hope. We will not provide the final answers. There are no final answers.