Sunday Religious Exploration for Children and Youth
Assitant Minister of Congregational Life
Sunday Religious Exploration (RE)
Children are always welcome to join us in our sanctuary at either service. There is also an adjoining room, the Senghas Room, which has family-friendly resources for those who feel more comfortable listening to the service in that space. Childcare is available for children under 4 in the Bridgehouse beginning at 9:15.
Our Religious Exploration programs are offered during the 11:15 service. Children and youth make friends, explore religious ideas and spiritual practices, learn UU values and history, and are able to be of service. The groups emphasize creative, hands-on, cooperative learning, and are facilitated by teachers as loving guides.
On the first Sunday of each month, children and youth start out in the Sanctuary for the first 30 minutes of the service (moved to the 2nd Sunday in September and January). There are several additional Sundays where families worship together (see below).
On the other Sundays, caregivers of babies through 3rd grade are asked to escort and sign-in their children in the Bridgehouse between 11:00 and 11:15, and return to the Bridgehouse by 12:35 to pick-up their children. Grades 4-6 may sign themselves in and out following their first visit to the Bridgehouse. Grades 7-9 meet in the library, and grades 10-12 meet in the cottage.
Memorial Day through Labor Day
10am Children's Religious Exploration with Way Cool Sunday School. Youth are invited to join worship or help in the Bridgehouse.
Fall through Spring Schedule:
Our 11:15 Religious Exploration for Children and Youth:
Kids age 4 and under: Nursery care available in the Bridgehouse.
Fully certified nursery care workers welcome babies through preschoolers for fun, educational activities with lots of love and attention. (Also available during the 9:30 service.)
K - Grade 3: Way Cool Sunday School meets in the Bridgehouse
This hands-on program engages children in their religious exploration. Children learn stories from the world’s religions, try spiritual practices including meditation and prayer, ask questions of how they make meaning, engage in service projects, and occasionally get their hands dirty with paint, clay, or potting soil.
Grades 4-6: Chalice Council meets in the Bridgehouse
This program explores the sources of our Unitarian Universalist faith. Together they will discover the timeless themes found in the religions of the world, with special attention this year to the Jewish and Christian traditions. Children will get more tools for understanding and articulating their faith, as well as the culture in which they live.
Grades 7-9: MUUGs (Middle school UU Group) meets in the Library.
Junior high youth come together in this accepting group. In open conversation they explore current events, daily concerns, and life’s big questions through a UU lens. (8th and 9th graders are also encouraged to participate in the Coming of Age Program, see next column.)
Grades 10-12: UNIQUE (Senior High UU Youth) meets in the Cottage from 11:15 - 1:00.
Senior high youth gather to explore living into their faith beyond Sundays. They share personal stories of challenges and successes, engaging more fully around a different topic each Sunday.
Junior High Special Programs:
We offer two special programs for junior high youth. These programs meet from 12:30 - 2:30 about twice a month. They also include some weekend events. A full calendar is available, and regular participation is expected. Both of these programs have a registration fee, however scholarships are available and no family will ever be turned away due to financial need. Contact email@example.com for information and registration.
2016-2017: The Coming of Age program is offered every other year to grades 8-9. This year-long program marks the transition from childhood to young adulthood. Throughout the year, youth are asked to push their personal boundaries in ways that feel safe to them and think about their own beliefs and values. Youth are paired with adult mentors from the congregation; discussions and retreats emphasize self-awareness; service is performed to the church and community. The year culminates in a belief statement worship service led by the youth and their advisors.
Looking ahead to 2017-2018: Our Whole Lives (OWL) is lifespan sexuality education that helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. It equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information in six subject areas: human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, Our Whole Lives not only provides facts about anatomy and human development, but also helps participants clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality. It is offered every other year to grades 7-9, and occasionally to other age groups.
(*children and youth stay for the entire worship service)
Sep. 11* Water Communion Ritual: bring symbolic water from your summer
Oct. 2* Animal Blessing: bring your furry, feathered, and scaled pets, or their picture or plush equivalent
Oct. 30 Día de los Muertos: celebrate the Mexican holiday remembering loved ones who have died
Nov. 6 Guest At Your Table: hear stories from the work of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (one service at 11:15)
Dec. 4* Deck the Halls: Sing and decorate the church, followed by caroling in the community
Dec. 25* Come together for stories and carols (one service at 11:15 am)
Jan. 8 New Year: celebrate the prophecy and hope of a new year
Feb. 5 Exploring Identity: learn what we have in common with thanks for our uniqueness
Mar. 5 Taking risks: where are the wild things?
Apr. 2 Witness transformation: we are always changing
Apr. 16* Easter: celebrating the Christian holiday
May 7 Flower Communion: bring a flower to share
June 4 Bridging: our rite of passage for graduating high school seniors (one service at 10 am)