An invigorating day at Murray grove Heritage Week!
Today we spent time learning about the first era of religious education for Universalists and Unitarians up to 1900. Part of our learning was using a lesson from a period catechism. My group spent time with Judith Sargent Murray’s 1782 catechism, which is a question and answer format lesson which would have been taught in the home by the head of the house.
It is so interesting to notice how different the approach to learning was in this early period from our present day Sunday classes!
A most notable difference is that students of the 18th century were not allowed to ask questions about the lesson or interpretations of theology. The focus was memorization and transmission of concepts without individual exploration.
This makes me incredibly thankful that I am a religious educator of the present day! One of the most dear values of our program is that children, youth and adults are ENCOURAGED to ask questions, mull over the material and consider what has resonance in how to live their lives.
I remember once at age 4 or so being told by a patient mother to stop asking “so many questions1” to which I replied, “But, Mom, how am I going to find out anything if I don’t ask questions??” Most of my greatest understandings of faith have come when I reach out and question.
Let’s explore together! History, faith development, theology, how to be together…all these topics and more…
Maybe our motto can be (as they say on The Magic Schoolbus):
Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!