Religious Exploration 2019-2020

The UUCSC Religious Exploration Program for the 2019-2020 year is focused on relating to spiritualities of embodiment and on using personal identity exploration as a tool for allyship. This year, our program will be centered around learning projects exploring a few themes. We are actively seeking adults to mentor our children and youth on these various projects. Big Room children will continue our regular practice of making sandwiches for the North Hollywood Interfaith Food Pantry.
Holiday Activities
Upcoming Holiday Activities:
  • Easter Hunt.
  • We will also undertake a small learning project in all classrooms to learn about Eid al-Fitr on 5/24.
Connecting to Nature
While all of our programs and learning projects actively seek to help children and youth connect to the natural world, we will take it up explicitly as a one-day learning project in the Big Room on 5/17.
Turning Tides and Teens will look at the work and speeches of Greta Thunberg on 4/26, 5/3, and 5/10.
Turning Tides and Teens will also examine the personal example of Winona LaDuke on 5/17.
Additionally, many of our mindfulness activities are grounded either in direct work with connecting to the natural world or in metaphors drawn from nature.
Our fundraising activities in January will  support efforts to purchase a forest to be planted by Oxfam (see here).
Turning Tides and Teens will work with a series of short stories by the Nigerian-American author Dr. Nnedi Okorafor ( The short stories are similar in some ways to other popular genre fiction for children and youth, such as Harry Potter, though they represents its own independent storyline, narrative universe, and sensibilities. We will look at these short stories from multiple angles: as a chance to learn about religious expression in other communities, as a way to think about friendship and allyship, as a way to imagine possible futures not centered in Whiteness, and as a way to think through issues of trauma and violence in relationship to school. The first short story includes a narrative of school-associated violence and will help youth explore their thoughts on this issue before the Gun Violence Prevention Promise takeover the following week. We will read the stories according to the below schedule:
  • “Binti” on 1/19  (Read our own Antoinette Scully’s review of this story here.)
  • “Binti: Sacred Fire” on 2/9
  • “Binti: Home” on 3/1
  • “Binti: The Night Masquerade” on 3/29
  • “Prologue” from her novel Lagoon, set in the same narrative universe, on 6/14