2014-15 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.

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

Free to Believe is an experiential program designed to nurture the emotional, social, and spiritual life of our 6- and 7-year-olds. The first two-thirds of Free to Believe uses the Unitarian Universalist principles as starting points for exploring values, beliefs, and what it means to be Unitarian Universalist. The last third of the program examines 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 holidays and holy days from many religious traditions. The holidays celebrated lift up a Unitarian Universalist value or address a universal human 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 and his 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

Every year we seem to try something new that will appeal to kids, enticing them to attend on Sundays. It’s a difficult task for these preadolescents. Our programming is a combination of developed lessons based on moral decision making, social justice, and the transformational power of love. There will be discussion topics as well as hands-on projects. In February our focus will be Unitarian Universalism with an eye toward further developing their identity as UUs. During the course of the year we will be offering more socials than any other age group. Our goal is to help them develop friendships that they will want to attend on Sunday mornings.
     This age group will also be offered an opportunity to participate in the Our Whole Lives program. It takes sexuality to a new level, with discussions about communication and decision making as well as contraception. See page 8 for more information.


10- & 11-year olds (5th & 6th grades)
Feb. 22 - May 3

Our Whole Lives helps participants make informed and responsible decisions. It equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information in six subject areas: human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, Our Whole Lives not only provides facts about anatomy and human development, but also helps participants clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality.
      Our Whole Lives is based on the Guidelines for Comprehensive Sexuality Education produced by the National Guidelines Task Force, a group of leading health, education, and sexuality professionals assembled by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS).
     Classes for 10- and 11-year-olds are seven weeks long and offered outside of the regular Sunday programming, 12:45-2:15pm, beginning March 8, 2015. An optional parent discussion group is offered at the same time. The Parent/Child Orientation on February 22 is required.





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