Dear Members and Friends of Emerson,

You are invited to participate in a ground breaking re-imagination of religious education at Emerson.The conversation will begin on Saturday March 5th from 10AM to 1PM. And yes, there will be childcare and snacks.

When Masai greet one another they do not say, “Hello.” They ask, “And how are the children?”

So how are the children?  And how is our religious education program?  In some ways our program is still analog when it comes to addressing the digital reality of our lives.  In our extensive conversations with Katy we have come to the conclusion that the program is not adequately preparing our children and youth for the moral and spiritual issues they will face in the coming years.


  • Environmental stress and resource depletion (particularly water) force us to behave better than human beings prefer?
  • International boundaries become increasingly porous so that national identity becomes increasingly tenuous and the movement of refugees become routine?
  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person become a quaint idea or a powerful reality?
  • Technological advances divide the “haves” from the “have nots” or provide amazing benefits for all people?
  • The power of fundamentalisms around the world wax – or wane?

Each of these and other challenges confront us all with amazing opportunities for substantive progress in the well-being of people and the planet. It could be said that some of our fondest hopes for the future are more likely to come true than they ever have before.  But there is a big “if” that goes along with our building that future. Is:

  • Our analysis of our circumstances profound enough to move us beyond the stuck places of so many of our moral and political debates?
  • Are we and our children knowledgeable enough about the underlying dynamics so that we do not easily fall prey to cynicism and “business as usual?”
  • Our confidence in our principles deep enough to sustain us in the face of resistance and setbacks?
  • Our view of the “arc of justice” comprehensive enough so that we can instill a hope that sees beyond despair?

How can we prepare our children to navigate what is an unprecedented moral landscape with integrity and grace?  How can we empower them to serve as witnesses to and spokespersons for the enduring worth of equality, freedom and justice?  Will our children and youth be in a position to take advantage of the potential for progress?

Addressing these questions begins with a conversation with you so that together we can reconfigure the religious education experience at Emerson. We hope to see you on Saturday, March 5th. Please RSVP to Katy, letting her know whether or not you’ll need childcare.

Collectively we can answer, “Yes, the children are well!” But we also feel it is important to do everything in our power to make sure that, “The children will be well!”

Becky and Mark