Religious Education

My approach to the religious education of children, youth, and adults is surprisingly the same. For all these groups I believe that the whole church and the whole world is the classroom, and for all these groups religious education must be a constant process of doing and reflecting.

We learn best when concepts come alive for us. This is true for social justice, but also for all lessons in Lifespan Faith Development. When I work with kids I use the model of first giving kids time to talk about what they already know about a subject, then participating in an activity that engages them with all their different learning styles, then reflecting on what they have learned. This learning process works for teens and adults as well.

In many churches, Religious Education is now being referred to as Lifespan Faith Development. No matter our age, we come to church to continue our faith development, to open ourselves to the notes of wisdom that can be passed to us from our community as well as from the ancient wisdom of the world's religious traditions.

Our faith teaches that revelation is not sealed, and that we should not limit ourselves as to what sources we can find wisdom in. While I affirm looking for wisdom in the teachings of the world's religious traditions, I also value the wisdom of our neighbors, of our communal experiences, and what we can learn just by being together in community. If we can start seeing everyone as teachers, and if we make time for reflection on our experiences, our lifespan faith development can truly be unending.