Polity for the Kids

As American Unitarian Universalists, we have inherited a long tradition of congregational polity.  Basically, I explain to the kids that this means we are organized and governed at the level of local congregations.  The decision-making and governing authority in a UU congregation is the congregation itself, based on the democratic processes of its membership body.

Taking part in congregational decision making is part of how one engages with their UU identity – we are a people who get a vote and a voice.  I think it’s important for our kids to also experience this in their religious education program.

Each year for the last three years I’ve held a Children’s Annual Meeting in the spring.  I blogged about the first year of it back on my other blog, The Curriculum of Love.  Each year I’ve repeated that basic process, with three committees and a simple voting process to choose where to  send the Children’s Offering money.

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It is honestly one of my very favorite things I do with the kids all year long.  Every year, they have been actively engaged in this process.  The kids seem interested – in fact one of the adults helping this year said afterward “kids really like committees!”.  I think they experience some genuine empowerment through getting to make real decisions.

I think a democratic RE program is so important, in fact, that I’m wondering if next year I couldn’t hold two meetings, one in the Fall and one in the Spring.  What other decisions should the kids be making for themselves?

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One thought on “Polity for the Kids

  1. Pingback: Declaring Our Independence | The Children's Chalice

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