Information For Families
Our Religious Education program is a non-dogmatic, non-creedal faith. We are guided by our seven principles and draw from a list of six sources. We teach our young people that their beliefs should make sense in their minds and feel right in their hearts. The key components in our religious education program for children and youth are respect, community, ritual, stories, social justice and service.
Unitarian Universalist’s 7 Principles Children’s Version
- We believe that each and every person is important.
- We believe that all people should be treated fairly and kindly.
- We believe that we should accept one another and keep on learning together.
- We believe that each person must be free to search for what is true and right in life.
- We believe that all persons should have a vote about the things that concern them.
- We believe in working for a peaceful, fair, and free world.
- We believe in caring for our planet Earth, the home we share with all living things.
We teach our children the UU Principle song that is sung to the tune of Do-Re-Mi.
- ONE – Each person is important
- TWO – Be kind in all you do
- THREE – We’re free to learn together
- FOUR – And search for what is true
- FIVE – All people have a voice
- SIX – Work for a peaceful world
- SEVEN – The web of life’s the way
- That will bring us back to me and UU…
Unitarian Universalist Sources
Unitarian Universalists find inspiration from six sources. The stories and lessons we offer in religious education are drawn from these foundations of our faith:
- The sense of wonder we all share.
- Women and men long ago and today — people whose lives remind us to be kind and fair.
- The ethical and spiritual wisdom of the world’s religious.
- Christian and Jewish teachings which tell us to love all others as we love ourselves.
- The use of reason and the discoveries of science.
- The harmony of nature and the sacred circle of life.
Covenant of Respect
- Respect for others;
- Respect for self; and
- Respect for our church.
In the fall, each group creates a list of behaviors that demonstrate respect in each of these areas. The children, youth, and adults promise to practice the behaviors when they are together and at church. As the children grow into youth, the behaviors they commit to become more nuanced.
Our religious education leaders work hard to create a safe and trustworthy environment. We use cooperative games to help young people share, look out for one another, find a sense of belonging, learn, and reflect, using hearts, minds, and bodies.
Our groups, from three-year-olds through high school youth, begin and end their gatherings with rituals. Opening rituals include: lighting a chalice; a time for silence; sharing of joys and sorrows; and sometimes a reading or a song. Closing rituals may be as simple as gathering in a circle, taking a moment of silence together and each sharing a word or phrase about what they learned or how they are feeling about their time together.
We use the power of story throughout our program. Whether we are sharing important events in our lives during the Joys and Sorrows time or telling stories that have been passed down for thousands of years. Sharing stories helps humans make sense of and find meaning in our lives.
Social Justice & Service
One of our core teachings is that together we can do what one person cannot do alone. We offer opportunities for our children and youth to work for justice, such as practicing anti-bullying techniques. Ways we serve others include events such as collecting food for the local food kitchen and a warm clothing drive during the winter months.
Programs for Children
Our Nursery Staff & Religious Education Volunteers
Our religious education program is for children from the beginning of their lives until they graduate from high school. We have paid caregivers and a Coordinator on staff that work in the Nursery during our morning service and provide childcare for special events and adult religious education. All other classes are staffed by church volunteers who sign up to serve on a team for the church year. There are two teachers in the classroom each Sunday to provide consistency and safety for the children and youth and support to one another.
Every Sunday, at the beginning of worship service, children five years and older, assist with lighting our worship chalice. If your child is interested in being a chalice lighter, please sign-up at the welcome table in the Dome Room. The Director of Religious Education or representative will meet your child in the Dome Room on that Sunday at 10:20 to assist.
Nursery (Infants – 3 Years)
We provide a safe and nurturing environment- surrounding our children with love and acceptance; starting from infancy. We continue these ideals with our toddlers in Celebrating Me and My World which honors the wondrous qualities of children and the animals, objects, and people around them. It provides young preschoolers with experiences and opportunities to grow in trust and caring and to develop their self-identity and sense of connection with all of life.
Orange Group (Pre-k – Kindergarten) 3-5 years
Chalice Children delves deep into our Unitarian Universalist faith. It strives not just to teach about our faith, but also to provide experiences around the strength of community, the wonder and awe that transcend everyday understanding, and life issues we all share.
Yellow Group 1st and 2nd Grade
Picture Book Unitarian Universalism uses engaging stories as a starting point for exploring the love, reason, tolerance and good works that characterize the UU faith tradition. This class teaches our young people to value individuality, to think for themselves, and to understand that everything is connected.
Green Group 3rd and 4th Grade
Signs of Our Faith, our fall program, guides children to do their best to live faithful lives every day. It presents fourteen traits or values that most Unitarian Universalist love, including the quest for knowledge, reverence for life, supporting one another on our faith journeys, and public witness. Children examine how their lives do and can exhibit these traits and values, and come to understand that their faith is a living faith whose histories and teachings are fortifications for living faithfully in a complex world. Mid-year, we will begin our spring program Windows and Mirrors. This curriculum nurtures children's ability to identify their own experiences and perspectives and to seek out, care about and respect those of others. The sessions unpack topics that lend themselves to diverse experiences and perspectives—for example, faith heritage, public service, anti-racism and prayer. The program teaches that there are always multiple viewpoints and everyone's viewpoint matters.
Blue Group 5th and 6th Grade
Harry Potter and UU focuses on social action through the lens of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter! Our young people will be engaging in thoughtful lessons while making wands and mixing potions, learning charms and, most importantly, doing our bit to smash the Horcruxes of Illiteracy, Hunger, Poverty, Animal Cruelty, Child Labor and Environmental Concerns. This promises to be a fun and meaningful program for our tweens.
Programs for Junior and Senior Youth
We believe a healthy youth program includes: fun and fellowship; worship; service; spiritual exploration; and leadership development. Junior Youth begin a journey of discerning and articulating their own beliefs and developing meaningful personal spiritual practices. Senior Youth learn to plan and lead their program with guidance and mentoring from our volunteer youth advisers and our Director of Religious Education.
Junior Youth Group
Coming of Age is designed as a rite of passage that marks the transition from childhood to adolescence. Participants explore their own religious and spiritual beliefs, and the history, programs, and organization of both this congregation and the Unitarian Universalist denomination. A major outcome of the program is the development of a personal credo or statement of theology by each participant. These credos are shared, and the young people honored, during the Coming of Age recognition service held in the spring.
Senior Youth Group (High School)
Our Senior Youth programs are shaped around 5 components: worship, leadership development, fellowship, social justice action, and learning. They meet Sunday mornings and at other times for special activities, retreats and youth conferences.
Charting Our Own Journey, our Sunday morning program, encourages youth participants to work together with their adult advisors to develop their own curriculum of faith development. They will engage with topics of interest through discussions, games, activities, and spiritual practices and work together to process their own experiences and ideas through a UU lens.