Connecting Worship & Religious Education

The Curriculum of Community

If the “congregation is a curriculum” as Maria Harris suggested, then worship and lifespan religious education must be equal partners in meaning-making. Touchstones facilitates this by providing a

  • Congregation-wide focus using both an annual theme and monthly themes;

  • Mutually reinforcing, horizontal alignment of worship and lifespan religious education through thematic materials;

  • Dynamic, vertical multi-generational alignment so that all ages are, as the Rev. Matthew Johnson writes, “learning and living the same conversation;”

  • Vehicle for exploring life’s essential questions;

  • Meaningful opportunity for parents to discuss each theme with their children;

  • Means to invite all ages into the center of congregational life;

  • Flexible core to supplement, not supplant, other worship  topics and RE curricula; and

  • Foundation to foster creative collaboration among program staff and volunteers as they implement the themes.

Children using stepping stones to cross a small stream in a park.

Kids at Kubota Garden, 2003, photo from Seattle Municipal Archives, May 28, 2003, (CC BY 2.0),

Journey to wonder.