2016-17 Religious Education for Children

We have year-round programming for children and all are welcome! During our "Teacher Holidays" we always offer childcare for 7-years and younger. See the calendar for specific dates.


Nursery – up to 2-years

Our youngest children are cared for in the first-floor Nursery. Here we create a warm, accepting atmosphere where trust is formed, helping our tiny ones to be comfortable and happy. Children will have time for exploration and plenty of cuddling. Parents are asked to leave a cell number at the Information Desk. If a child is unhappy and cannot be comforted in a reasonable period of time, you will be contacted. Another option is for parents and babies to view the service in the Cry Room, directly across from the Nursery.

            Parents often ask, “When can my child move out of Nursery into Childcare?” This is a case-by-case call made by the Director of Family Ministries in consultation with the Nursery staff. It depends in large part on their ability to stay the entire time without parents present. We also take into consideration attend­ance in Childcare and the ratio of child-to-adults (3-to-1). Once your child has turned 2-years, let’s talk!


Childcare – 2- and 3-year olds by Sept. 1

A warm, loving year-round staff helps our little ones transition from home to church. Children will have lots of time for free play. Though this is primarily play time, it includes World of Wonder, a take-home program with monthly themes that helps them explore their world through stories, art, movement and music. Parents are welcome to stay with their child until they feel comfortable in this setting.


Preschool – 3 to 5-year olds (pre K) by Sept. 1

Chalice Children is based on the philosophy that a preschooler’s spiritual development is related to their own direct experiences. Through dramatic play, creative expression and interactions with others, children come to know their church as a community of people who come together in a sacred, special place, and their world as a place of wonder. Our morning program includes a friendship circle, story, music, chalice lighting ritual, and a snack. Theme-based crafts are provided, as well as time where children may explore and participate as they choose.


Kindergarten – Must be 5-years old by Sept. 1

Our Houses, Our Homes is a curriculum designed to help Kindergartners feel at home in the world. It explores the concepts of birth and death that are presented with age-appropriate learning experiences that include a visit from a pregnant mom to hear a baby’s heartbeat, watching the journey of a butterfly from its beginnings as a caterpillar, and a visit to Lone Fir Cemetery to honor the full cycle of life. There is also an opportunity to create a village of houses in which the children get to paint and decorate large boxes that become their homes for a few Sundays during the year. By exploring being at home in their church, we hope children will experience the spirituality of family and a larger understanding of community. Parents provide essential support by assisting in the classroom throughout the year for this very labor intensive, but very fun, curriculum.


1st & 2nd Graders

Free to Believe is an experiential program designed to nurture the emotional,social,and spiritual lie of our 6- and 7-year-olds. The first two-thirds of the program uses the Unitarian Universalist principles s starting points for exploring values, beliefs, and what it means to be Unitarian Universalist. They complete the year by exploring some "big questions" through the perspective of our Unitarian Universalist sources. Lessons include experiences that nurture and enrich children's spiritual development, including a variety of meditations, ritual chalice lightings and closings, and opportunities to explore the wonders of nature. This curriculum also includes a variety of activities that take into account different learning styles.


3rd & 4th Graders

Holidays are the natural, age-old vehicles of religious socialization. They help us remember a great person or event. They let us give thanks for life's bounty. They encourage us to invoke light and gladness for overcoming danger, death and drought. The festivities tell a story through experiences far better than words ever can. In Holidays and Holy Days, our 3rd and 4th graders not only talk about but actually celebrate many religious traditions. The holidays celebrated lift up a Unitarian Universalist response to life.
           In the context of holidays children will be introduced to diverse celebrations, including No Ruz (Iranian New Year), Powamu (Hopi bean planting ceremony), and Buddha's day of birth. The spiritual dimension of holidays will be emphasized to give children a chance to examine their own religious beliefs as they look at those of others.


5th/6th Grade

The word "power" often has a negative connotation. It may remind us of the corruption that seems inevitable when people pursue power for its own sake. We may feel overwhelmed by the power of giant institutions. But everyone has power, and the capacity to choose how and when to use it. Sing to the Power affirms our Unitarian Universalist heritage of confronting "powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love." Participants experience their own power, and understand how it can help them to be leaders.
              Sing to the Power uses a metaphor of the four elements—earth, air, fire, and water—as a framework to explore different forms of power. Four four-session units explore each element. The four elements are illustrated with a large paper or fabric wall hanging begun in the first session and decorated throughout the program.
               The program begins with a unit on earth and kinds of power associated with it: Connection, Roots, Growth, and Place. The second unit features kinds of power associated with air: Stillness, Presence, Silence, and Listening. The third unit centers on the powers of fire: Shine, Passion, Action, Reaching Out. The program concludes with three powers of water: Flexibility, Persistence, and Gathering. The final session honors all of the elements' power to Transform.
                This is an online curriculum, developed by the UUA. Parents can see details of each lesson by going to Sing to the Power.




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