Religious Education Programs For Children And Youth
Our ministry to children and youth is twofold. We minister to their minds and spirits, nurture their religious growth, and guide them as they learn to minister to others.
Our youth group meets weekly on Sunday mornings and sometimes other evenings for social events, service projects or programs. The group takes part in structured discussions and programming, along with social events, service projects, and occasional mission trips.
Coming of Age
Our Coming of Age for teens is a program that helps our youth in their journey toward young adulthood. Our youth start the process of deeply understanding what they have been learning about Unitarian Universalism in a more structured and committed way. Coming of Age is a faith journey. Every youth is paired with a mentor who helps guide them throughout the year. Lessons are planned around faith, exploring God concepts, good and evil, why bad things happen to good people, and life and death. The youth become involved in a service project, develop an elevator speech about what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist, and write a faith statement. Each youth reads their faith statement during a Celebration of Coming of Age in the spring.
Sunday Morning Programs (Sunday School)
You may wonder what to expect when you visit with us for the first time. This is a brief description of our Sunday mornings:
The Worship Service begins at 10:00 am, and you may read more about it here.
You are welcome to bring babies and toddlers into the worship service! We have rocking chairs in the back of the sanctuary and there is plenty of room for children to spread out if they need space. A shelf with coloring pages and crayons is available along for children to enjoy. If your children get restless or fussy you can take them into the next room, our Parish Hall, and watch the service on a flat-screen TV while your little one plays with the (sanitized) toys and activities we have set up in there. There is also a rug for babies to crawl on.
Children and youth, kindergarten through grade 12, go to Sunday school classes after the Story for all Ages.
In the summer months from June through August, our program for children and youth changes. We offer summer programming for children in preschool through grade 6.
Worship in Faith Development Programs
Children and youth are natural, spontaneous worshipers. They pause in awe and wonder in the course of their daily lives. They hunger and thirst for meaning, for ritual, for solace, and for celebration with family and friends. In religious community we offer moments of quiet, of thoughtful challenge, and of ritual to respond to this hunger.
As the children engage with programs in their classrooms, experiences of worship and meditation are woven organically into the lessons. Children and youth are encouraged to participate in creating such worshipful moments, as well as to experience what others have created for them.
Children and Youth Curriculum 2017-2018
Children and Youth Religious Education Curriculum 2017-2018
Our First Friends/Little Lights (babies through preschool) Room will be open on most weeks. We have an adult volunteer child-care provider available in this room every week ready to engage with the little ones. This room is full of age appropriate toys and manipulatives for children. Please talk with Julian Baptista or Susan Kelley before the church service to ensure the room is prepared for your children.
Our Kindergarten through 5th grade children will meet every week for Children’s Worship and then go to their classrooms. Our theme this year is Wise Words and Full Hearts. We will learn about the great deeds and wise words of Unitarian Universalists and religious thinkers from throughout history, while using this background to shape the good deeds and work that we do in our community.
Bright Lights (Grades K-3) and Chalice Children (Grades 4-6). The children will be learning about our 7 Unitarian Universalist Principles and Six Sources of faith in engaging ways through worship and activities. The children learn a song/hymn, meditate, pray, light their chalice and together say their covenant – We are the church of the open mind, loving heart, and helping hands. Together we care for the earth and bring peace and justice into the world. The children hear a story that supports the lesson and then extinguish the chalice flame together. After worship, the children separate into their rooms. They have a brief discussion about the story/theme, participate in Joys and Sorrows, and engage in an activity that supports the lesson.
Breakfast Bunch – Our 6th through 8th grade youth are engaging with Neighboring Faiths this year – visiting congregations around and outside our neighborhood. This curriculum is a highly successful way for youth to learn about other faith traditions. The way we engage with and accept one another in our diverse world is a very important part of being a Unitarian Universalist.
YES (Youth Enjoying Sundays) Our 7th through 12th grade youth will be meeting every Sunday morning, twice a month engaged in an interfaith UUA Tapestry of Faith curriculum called Heeding the Call: Qualities of a Justice Maker, and twice a month engaged in a more social meeting with less structured discussions. There is a trip planned to Salem in October. There are two salad lunches at Fellowship Hour planned, and two soup lunches to help fund the annual trip to General Assembly in Kansas City, MO in June of 2018. Events for youth will pop up during the year.
How To Register for Religious Education:
Please fill out the registration form available at the RE registration table in the foyer of the church.