Religious Education Programs by Age
About Religious Education
We are a vibrant community of religious seekers of all ages, learning and growing together on the religious path. Some of our education programs are organized by age groups, and others mix different ages together. Our goal is to offer participants opportunities to learn new things, examine our own lives with honesty, and help and challenge each other to live according to our highest ideals of right relations with each other. In all of our programs, we use Unitarian Universalist principles as a guide and resource.
We encourage each person to take responsibility for their own religious life, and at the same time we are here to support and encourage one another on the journey. We recognize that parents are the primary religious educators for their children and we aim to supplement that with a faith community which can offer additional opportunities for religious growth and learning.
Over the summer, we have children of all ages come together for a story and special activities while adults are participating in the church service.
Our primary curriculum for elementary aged children has often been based on a rotation of foundational topics, which we call the pillars of our program. These are:
- World Religions
- Peace and Social Justice
- Unitarian Universalism
- Our Jewish and Christian Heritage
- The Interdependent Web of Life
What We Offer Through the Lifespan
We provide children, youth, young adults, and adults an opportunity to explore, reflect, and learn in a nurturing spiritual community. Unitarian Universalist religious education programs offer all ages, inspiring:
- Ethical growth – internalizing enduring values like justice, equity, and compassion, and gaining tools to act on them in everyday life.
- Social growth – connecting with peers and people of all ages on a deeper level. Finding acceptance among people who see beyond the superficial.
- Spiritual growth – feeling a connection with the sacred within, among, and beyond us.
Religious education programs include more than classes. On a Sunday you might find the preschoolers singing songs about kindness, the 2nd graders engaging with a story about loss and bereavement, the 5th graders talking with a Muslim couple about Islam, the 7th graders learning about responsibility in a lesson from our progressive sexuality education program, and the high-school youth raising money for the local homeless shelter. Many programs incorporate social justice activities, worship opportunities, service trips, fellowship, and fun.
Our religious educator and minister lead many of our congregations’ lifespan programs. Parents and other members of the congregation often lead them, too. Teaching can be a very fulfilling way to deepen one’s own faith.
We invite you to explore and contact our Director of Religious Education to get connected.
All ages are invited to delve deeper into our Unitarian Universalist (UU) values, theology, history and ideals. Who are we? Where do we come from? What do we stand for? What unites us? How do we live out our faith in the world?
- Preschool – Chalice Children
- Kindergarten-6th Grade – Toolbox of Faith
- 7th-8th Grades – Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education
- 9th-12th Grades – 2nd Sunday Youth Group (during church) and 1st Sunday Coming of Age for youth and adults (after church)
- Young Adults (18-35) – Monthly Chalice Circle (Small Group Circle)
Chalice Children (Preschool)
The preschoolers will explore our church and its values and the community we build together. They will learn about the people of the church as well as the special celebrations and rituals we have. There is space for curiosity, exploration, and play as the children learn and grow together.
Toolbox of Faith (Kindergarten-6th Grade)
Kindergarten/1st Grade, 2nd/3rd grade and 4-6th grade classes will enjoy developmentally appropriate stories and activities for children to learn, explore, question and connect with one another and Unitarian Universalism. Using tools as metaphors to explore various aspects of UUism, kids are invited to reflect on these qualities of our talith as tools to use in living out their lives.
As a compass can be a symbol for integrity, children explore how their integrity can be a guide to help them be good people. Duct tape symbolizes flexibility to help them understand the importance of keeping an open mind, learning new things and adapting as life unfolds. A hammer symbolizes power and recognizes how we use the power that we have in the world. A flashlight stands for Justice and the importance of searching and working for justice for all people. At the heart of our faith is Love and that is symbolized by gloves to remind us that UUism is a faith that values equity and compassion in all of our relations.
Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education (7th-8th Grades)
Honest, accurate information about sexuality changes lives. It dismantles stereotypes and assumptions, builds self-acceptance and self-esteem, fosters healthy relationships, improves decision making, and has the potential to save lives. For these reasons and more, we are proud to offer Our Whole Lives (OWL), a comprehensive, lifespan sexuality education program. Classes are offered on Sunday mornings during church most Sundays from October – May. Please contact church staff for more information and to register your youth. Check out this link for more information https://www.uua.org/re/owl
Youth Group and Coming of Age (9th-12th Grades)
The first Sunday of each month, the high school youth are invited to assist with the children’s Specialty Classes during church.
First Sundays from 12:30-2:30 we are offering a Coming of Age class for both youth and adults. This is a fabulous opportunity for participants to learn, grow, question, discuss, ponder, discern and articulate their personal values and beliefs. As UU’s we hold no creeds on what we believe and how best to live, we need to discern that for ourselves. Guided by our minister and religious education director and a team of amazing leaders, opportunities to go deeper will abound through fun activities, discussions and sharing.
The second Sunday of each month, our 9-12th graders will gather together for fun, connection, team building, snacks, and sharing. Youth will have the opportunity to vote for activities and make Youth Group plans for the year.
The 3rd and 4th Sundays of each month will depend on youth participation and preferences. Options include helping with children’s RE classes, being a special buddy for a child with special needs, attending worship and/or helping to lead worship, or additional youth group sessions. Specifics to be determined.
The first Sunday of most months, we offer Specialty Class options for our Kindergarten – 6th Graders. These are special classes designed to increase connections between different groups of people. It allows different adults from our congregation to lead fun classes in the subject of their choice so they can get to know the children and vice versa. It allows K-6th graders to interact with a wider age range of kids. Kids also get to choose which class they wish to participate in each month as they arrive at church. Options vary widely and can include art, crafts, baking, games, yoga, music, dancing, and nature hikes. Previews can often be found on our parents Facebook group.
About six times a year, all ages remain in the commons to worship together during the Sunday service. There is still nursery care for infants and toddlers during these services. You can read more about these Intergenerational Services HERE.