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

Connecting Worship & Religious Education

Journey to wonder.

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. Theme-Based Ministry 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.

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

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