A Vibrant Religious Education Program for Children & Youth
Religious Education and special activities are open to children of members, friends, and visiting families. We begin in the sanctuary at 10:00 a.m. to enjoy the Story for All Ages, then to the classrooms for lessons and activities.
In order to ensure that children and youth are well grounded in many different aspects of our religious traditions, we have chosen three basic areas of religious education and run on a three year cycle:
- UU Identity with Peace & Social Justice
- World Religions
- Judeo-Christian Heritage, Bible Study
We offer a Religious Education program that teaches children what it means to be a Christian Unitarian Universalist. We use the teachings of Jesus while exploring the teachings of many different world religions. We believe our children and youth should be exposed to many ideas, expressions, and practices in order to develop a respect and appreciation for the insight and wisdom of different cultures and faith traditions. Without imposing rules and doctrines, we strive to provide our children with spiritual and ethical tools to make positive choices and embrace life with open hearts. The focus for 2017/2018 is World Religions. See below for specific class details.
3 months - 5 years
The Nursery is open every Sunday from 9:45 – 11:15. Childcare is available for infants, toddlers, and children who are 3 months to 5 years old. It is well equipped with toys and art supplies. Our childcare providers are Red Cross/CPR certified. They create a warm, friendly, and accepting atmosphere so that the children are comfortable and happy. Parents are welcome to spend as much time in the nursery as they feel necessary.
The nursery is located in the end classroom in Hawkins Hall.
K - 4th Grade
The Beginner Group will study a World Religions curriculum entitled: Picture Book World Religions. The goal of this curriculum is to introduce world religions through stories and to allow young children to explore the differences and similarities to their own lives. Children will be introduced to Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism in a gentle and respectful way through stories from beautiful picture books. The stories illustrate concepts such as the value of wisdom and loyalty in Hinduism, the importance of family in Islam, and the practice of compassion for all living beings in Buddhism.
This class will enjoy celebrating various holidays throughout the year. Sharing stories, holidays, and traditions from different faiths will help our younger children begin a journey of understanding, tolerance, and celebration for the diversity of human expressions of faith.
Jr. Youth Group
5th - 7th Grade
Building Bridges – A world Religions Tapestry of Faith Program is being offered to the Jr. & Sr. Youth Groups this year. The goal of this program is to deepen the youth’s understanding of the fascinating and varied world in which they live. It seeks to broaden their knowledge of humanity and embolden their spiritual search. This exploration nurtures participants’ positive outlook toward other faiths and people who follow them. The Jr. & Sr. Youth Groups will visit other places of worship throughout the year.
Sr. Youth Group
8th - 12th Grade
Many of our Sr. Youths are on the cusp of adulthood. This group will continue with the Youth Led meetings that were started in the spring of 2017. This open forum format will be centered on the Building Bridges –Tapestry of Faith program. This curriculum is based on learning, visiting, and understanding different faiths. The teens will decide which faiths to explore and how they’d like to utilize the curriculum’s lesson plans. They will have control over what faiths they would like to study and will be provided with the means to be able to visit and learn about these faiths. This group of teens will continue to spend time in the sanctuary once a month. The Sr. Youth are encouraged to continue signing up to be liturgists, aides in the younger classrooms, Best Buddies, helping out with the Buildings and Grounds committee, and volunteering to cook & serve at the WHEAT Café.
Jr. & Sr. Youth Groups Together!
The Jr. & Sr. Youth Groups will come together for classes prior to visiting other places of worship and for guest speakers.
Special activities are offered on occasion throughout the year in place of a formal lesson. These activities provide an opportunity for children, youth, and adults to spend time together on a project. This year, special activities will include: art, gardening, scarecrow building, guest speakers, animal guests, field trip, community service, and fundraisers.