World Religions Tour at UUCW

World Religions Tour at UUCW

Ana Gregory, Religious Education Committee &

Robin Mitzcavitch, Director of Religious Exploration & Education

The REC is offering the World Religions Tour (WRT) at UUCW as part of RE this church year. The series is in response to parents’ feedback the REC gleaned from our parent survey, i.e., UUCW parents would like their children to learn more about world religions! The series consists of seven one-room schoolhouse (ORSH) sessions that cover Earth-centered religions, Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Humanism, and Hinduism.

We start each WRT session with a question: What is religion? After many thoughtful wonder-full responses, we explain that religion is a way of answering life’s big questions, and there are hundreds (if not thousands) of world religions with their distinct beliefs and traditions; some are similar to what UUs believe/practice and some are not. Then, our session focuses on one particular religion.

Our first WRT session was October 13, and the children learned about pagan and earth-centered religion. Rev. Cheryl Leshay shared her experience growing up in the Cherokee tradition; she demonstrated dances of her people and the children joined in stomping like bears! Krista Bennett brought tiny earth treasures for the children to make medicine bags; she also explained how she lives her Wiccan faith.

On December 1, Colin Novick, a Catholic deacon from Worcester, was our guest as we explored Christianity. Colin explained the usage of prayer beads in his Catholic faith and the kids made their own beads to take home. Jenny Delgizzi shared her experience growing up in the Catholic faith and the influence her grandparents had on her life. Jenny and Robin told the story of Jesus to the kids.

With healthy doses of natural curiosity we will continue to look at the religions of the world! Our next session is January 19 and explores Buddhism. It is our hope that the WRT series helps our children understand others’ religious beliefs and brings awareness of the diverse world around them. These sessions are open to all folks- not just children! Please join us if you are curious. If you have something you may like to share in conjunction with an upcoming WRT session, please reach out to Ana Gregory () who is coordinating the series.

Remaining WRT sessions: Buddhism (1/19), Judaism (2/16), Islam (3/15), Humanism (4/19), and Hinduism (5/24).

We’d like to thank all of our volunteer presenters! This is a fabulous way for us to lift up the Universalist identity of our Unitarian Universalist faith. These series support our first principle: We believe in the inherent worth and dignity of every person. It is good to gain new knowledge so we can understand others’ faith. Knowledge feeds curiosity with new experiences and insight. More importantly, knowledge builds bridges of acceptance and peace.

Peace be with you!!