Singing is great, you may be saying, but HOW is it religious education or faith development?
I’ll start here: Our theology tells us that revelation is not sealed and is constantly unfolding; we are constantly learning how religious education can touch our children and youth, encouraging their open minds, loving hearts, and helping hands. Especially for young children, we have moved away from a “sit-down-and-listen” style of RE instruction and towards programming that reflects our understanding of child development, the variety of learning styles found in any classroom, and the changing landscape of recruitment of RE teachers/leaders (the need to do more with fewer teachers). We have recognized that art, contemplative practice, nature, drama, and Makerspace work provides excellent targeted opportunities for our children to process what they learn in our story-based Spirit Play.
Music has often been an option in Spirit Play but few leaders have been recruited, perhaps because folks don’t feel comfortable “leading” music if they aren’t professionals. Yet, music is a uniquely compelling way to learn, and research tells us that group singing increases bonding and fellowship. And we’ve known for some time that group singing makes us happier: it reduces stress, heightens endorphins, and relieves anxiety. But did you know that when individuals sing together, their hearts begin to beat as one Learning the songs and rhythms of our faith, and joining in the worship service to make a joyful noise together is another way to do religious education, building UU identity and faith community for our kids.
Our hopeful goal is to have the Singing Souls children’s choir be a regular choice for RE families at 9:15. We would love to be able to offer this opportunity all year long!
Singing Souls welcomes 2nd-7th graders for a special class in RE on Sunday mornings at 9:15. We will rehearse then and perform at both the December 20 Sunday service and the Christmas Eve service at 4 pm. Contact UUCA Interim Music Director Melody McGarrahan for more info, or just show up THIS SUNDAY at 9:15 downstairs in Religious Education!