Religious Education

for Children (Nursery-6th Grade)   2013-14

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.

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. If your baby or toddler needs you to stay for a few minutes or the entire service, you are most welcome. Parents are asked to leave cell phone information 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 on the monitor in the Cry Room directly across from the Nursery. There are lots of options for children who need to take their time separating.

2- & 3- year olds by Sept. 1

Becoming comfortable with the church, their caregivers and peers is the goal for these youngsters. A warm, loving staff helps our little ones transition from home to church. Children will have lots of time for free play. World of Wonder, a simple curriculum with monthly themes, helps them explore a preschooler’s world through stories, finger plays, art materials, movement and music. A snack and chalice ritual are also part of the program. Parents are encouraged to stay with their child until they feel comfortable in this setting.

3- & 4-year-olds  by Sept. 1

We Are Many, We Are One is based on the philosophy that young children learn about religion through relationships. What is a person? Who am I? How am I related to others? How do I treat other people? What are my responsibilities? What kind of world do I live in? These are religious questions that children begin to answer as they become acquainted with themselves, other people, and their environment; all responses are mediated by the significant adults in their lives.
          Our program includes a friendship circle, story, music, chalice ritual, and a snack. Theme-based activities and crafts are provided, as well as interest areas where children may explore and participate as they choose. They also have access to an outdoor play space when weather permits. Parents should plan to participate in the classroom and provide snacks at least three times during the year.

5-years old by Sept. 1

Our Houses, Our Homes is a curriculum designed to help Kindergarteners feel at home in the world. It includes the concepts of birth and death, and being comfortable with one’s body. Christmas is the time for building a stable for Jesus’ birth and reenacting the nativity.  By exploring being at home in their church, building a home for something small and a special house for themselves, 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

Treasure Hunting will be the focus for our 6- and 7-year-olds. Each week, through games, crafts, songs and stories, children will explore themes, which illustrate Unitarian Universalist Principles. For example, the first week the children will treasure hunt among themselves to find people "who have curly hear," "who have a sibling" or "who like chocolate ice cream." The story and discussion that follow the "hunt" emphasize the idea that Unitarian Universalists treasure people's differences and similarities. This lesson illustrates our first Principle.
          Themes focus on treasuring our own feelings and compassion for others, exploring our Unitarian Universalist faith, our world community, and ways we are all interconnected.

3rd & 4th Graders

A Stepping-Stone Year addresses children who are taking their first structured steps in forming religious identities and concepts. Younger children may identify with their church or have religious experiences that will influence their religious thinking, but they are not ready developmentally to understand and articulate these concepts until they reach around age eight or nine; hence, A Stepping-Stone Year.
             A Stepping-Stone Year focuses on these important religious questions: How did the world begin? How did life begin? How can I live so as to make my life worthwhile? Why do people die? What is right and wrong? How can I make decisions?

5th Graders (includes 6th graders at 9:15)

Jesus and His Kingdom of Equals explores the story of Jesus as a person who recognized the hypocrisy and injustice of the world around him and stood on the side of love. We’ll get a glimpse of biblical times through hands-on activities that include creating clay sculptures and weaving sandals. What Would Jesus Do? is often asked on bumper stickers and bracelets. By including passages from the New Testament with lesson plans that are based in contemporary research, we will explore not only what Jesus did in biblical times and what he might do today, but how his teachings on equality and inherent worth can be guides to us as Unitarian Universalists in standing on the side of love and justice today.

6th grade

Was there ever a time when people did not ask, “Why do bad things happen?” Whole religions turn on this question.
             Are there unseen forces at work in the universe? Is there a planner or a plan? To what extent can we control our own lives — and how much are we at the mercy of chance, deity, fate or cosmic purpose? Is life fair? Is there any way to stay safe and lucky, and to ward off bad things?
             Why Do Bad Things Happen explores differing responses of religions and cultures, both past and present, with an age appropriate format that includes role plays, movement and crafts.




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