for Youth (8th-12th Grade)
The goal of First Unitarian Church’s youth program is to involve all youth in the total life of the church. The balanced program includes five major components of a strong youth program: discovery, worship, social action, and ministry, and leadership. All are incorporated into fellowship with the church; an understanding of the roles and responsibilities that comes with participating in a healthy community.
Youth programs are offered as ministry to an age of change and discovery. Supportive communities and dedicated time with a caring adult can make all the difference in adolescent lives. Adults who provide healthy guidance in decision-making and constructive peer group interactions can help youth negotiate some of the choices and challenges during this stage of development.
It is important that youth feel at home here, and that they are in a safe place where they can think through their own values and beliefs in the context of supportive relationships. It is a place to talk to adults and people their own age about matters of significance without fear of rejection. And a place to build character and develop moral truths to survive in today’s world.
8th & 9th grade
Compass Points will lead its adolescent participants on a year long spiritual journey during which they will have opportunities to sort out their feelings about themselves and their world as they do the difficult work of starting to create their adult selves; discover what they believe about life’s big questions – the nature of humanity and God, beliefs about death and faith; think independently, assume responsibility, make decisions, explore values and adopt the practice of radical hospitality; acquire enough background in Unitarian Universalist history, polity and theology that they can know and express what Unitarian Universalism stands for; and understand that religious liberty is a hard-won legacy that continues to need protection. This group will take on special projects throughout the year that are intended to connect them more to our church community. They will attend the Music and Worship services and the Youth Service.
NOTE: This is an alternative program for youth who do not want to be enrolled in Our Whole Lives or who have registered after September 30.
OUR WHOLE LIVES
8th/9th Grade (13- and 14-year-olds)
registration deadline: September 30, 2012*
Our Whole Lives is a secular sexuality curriculum that helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their health and behavior. It equips youth with accurate, age-appropriate information, including human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior and health, and culture. Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, Our Whole Lives provides facts about anatomy and human development, and also allows participants to clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual and emotional aspects of sexuality. To learn more go see Our Whole Lives.
*Due to the sensitive nature of our programming for these formative years we ask that your 8th grader be 13-years-old as of September 1. Maturity more often then not comes with age, not intellegence. If you have a 12-year-old in 8th grade they will be enrolled in Compass Points.
Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU)
10th, 11th, and 12th Grades
YRUU steps away from the curricula driving program, allowing youth and adults to jointly share responsibilities for planning, organizing and leading sessions, all the while keeping in the goals of overall youth programming. The focus is defined further by using our Unitarian Universalist Principles as a stepping off point for discussion. This year YRUU will study two of the seven Unitarian Universalist principles:
Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations;
The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.
The first speaks of our one-0n-one relationships, ripe for youth discussion. The other is a wider view, looking outward to broader community.