All Things RE!
Welcome Our New Director of Religious Education!
LaToya Bates is proud to be a member of UCN and is excited for this new role as Director of Religious Education. As a mother, she understands the need for children to have a safe space to learn and express themselves. UCN is fortunate to have an RE program that families and youth love. She is happy to be a part of this effort.
LaToya is a faith leader and social entrepreneur.Beginning her career in health care, she has provided educational, spiritual, and social services for over 30 years. LaToya works to support women, youth, LGBT+ and BIPOC entrepreneurship and representation.
LaToya is a graduate of Alverno College where she earned a Bachelor of Business and Management with support areas in Adult Education and Psychology as well as a Master’s in Education and Organizational Development. LaToya also has a Master of the Arts in Pastoral Studies from Cardinal Stritch University.
LaToya is a theist and is guided by Proverbs 3:6, “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths”.LaToya believes spiritual growth is an essential journey that can be nurtured by family and a welcoming community. As a Unitarian Universalist, LaToya values diversity. She embraces atheist, agnostic, and humanist perspectives and respects all faith traditions. LaToya believes that each of us can find a path that brings us peace, purpose, and joy. She and her family live near Milwaukee.
It’s Time to Get Your Elf On!
Building on the RE Theme of “Love,” we are going to host our holiday store for the children again, this year on December 11th. We will be offering them an opportunity to purchase gifts for the family with a food pantry donation.
Please bring “gifts” you are no longer using that the children may want to give their family members: cds, dvds, coffee table books, jewelry, candles, stuffed animals, games, and knick-knacks. A “gift box” will be in the fellowship hall beginning November 6th.
Elves will be needed on December 11th to help the children find that perfect gift and to wrap.
News From Our Classrooms
All classes meet on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month. Classes may be joined at any time.
Registration is ongoing throughout the year.
4K - Fourth Graders.
We are using Tapestry of Faith’s Kindergarten and First grade curriculum with the theme Love Surrounds Us. On Sunday, October 16, we read a story called “Journey of Forgiveness” about Joseph and his brothers. We colored a sheet with images of the story and did another activity of making a paper box with the names of our family members on each side. November 6 will be Love Surrounds Us Without Boundaries. November 20 will be all about acceptance and December 4 will be Love Surrounds Us in Ritual. Join us!
5th – 8th Graders
The first 3-week unit that this group focused on centered around discussion of pilgrimages and labyrinths, a spiritual tool that is used by many faiths around the world.Walking the labyrinth-like trails in UCN’s backwoods, one Sunday we pondered questions that helped us think about our lives.These included “What am I grateful for?” “Am I a good friend?” “How can I help my community?”On the 16th, we all sat in on Gerry Schmitz’ talk about his experiences and learning while walking the 500-mile Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail in northern Spain last summer.When we meet again on November 6, we will discuss our impressions of Gerry’s talk and consider additional questions we might want to ask him.
Beginning November 20, the teaching team of Janet Jensen and Mark Bruhy will introduce Greek Orthodoxy to the students.We hope to visit a Greek Orthodox church on December 4. All are welcome to join us!Please get in touch with R.E. Director LaToya Bates if you plan to go. The church will need to know the number of visitors to expect.
9th - 12th Grade- Coming of Age
The UUA's Coming of Age curriculum provides a greater understanding of Unitarian Universalism, its history and values, and guides high school students as they examine their own beliefs and values. The program comprises 17 class sessions.
In our first three sessions, we talked about extended family religious history and discussed several theological perspectives, including: deism, theism, atheism, mono/polytheism, agnosticism, humanism. Our third session focused on concepts of good and evil -- and forgiveness.
We meet next on November 6, and will take advantage of First Sunday lunch to meet with some members of the congregation to discuss: 1) How does a religion with so many different theological beliefs stay together? 2) What beliefs are held by UCN members?
If members would like to share their theological perspectives with the students, please email a brief (paragraph or so) description of your beliefs to LaToya Bates at firstname.lastname@example.org or to the office at email@example.com.