Please note, from June 17-September 2, 2018, Children’s Religious Education classes will be held during the 10:00 am service as part of our congregation’s summer schedule.
Because children are an integral part of our faith community they begin each Sunday in the sanctuary with the whole congregation. By participating in worship children get a first hand experience of our religious tradition; they sing UU songs, hear words of wisdom, and get a taste of what it means to be a part of a faith community that honors everyone. Children then go to Religious Education (RE) class after leading the congregation in the Children’s Affirmation.
Within specific grade groups, children and youth learn about our Unitarian Universalist heritage, about the sacred sources from which we derive our faith, and about the principles that guide how we interact with the world. In the 2018-19 year, the classes will be grouped as follows:
- Nursery (infants-2 years old)
- Preschool (ages 3-5 years old)
- Kindergarten through 1st Graders
- 2nd through 3rd Graders
- 4th through 5th Graders
- 6th through 8th Graders (MUUGs)
Infants and toddlers are lovingly cared for by experienced childcare providers. Our nursery provides a safe and friendly environment for exploration and play. With a range of developmental stages in the group our staff provides a flexible, loving, and child centered program.
Our preschool curriculum, Chalice Children, provides preschoolers opportunities to grow in their understanding of and sense of belonging to their religious community and to the Unitarian Universalist faith. The morning always includes the lighting of the chalice, a story and an activity. This developmentally appropriate program is a wonderful way for preschoolers to experience faith in a concrete way through play and experience.
Elementary and Middle School
Each Religious Education session begins with 10-15 minutes of simple yoga practice. Then, children split up into groups. Programming for school-age children is designed to:
- inspire awe in the divine beauty of the world around us and for the life we live
- explore issues of social justice and ways to be of service in the world in which we live
- teach lessons that give meaning to our every day lives
- develop knowledge and identity as Unitarian Universalists
- give an understanding and respect for all the world’s religions
Our kindergarten though first grade children are exploring the seven UU Principles in a program called Love Surrounds Us. We concentrate on the communities that are most familiar to kindergartners and first grades – family/home, school and neighborhood. The Principles are taught the context of “Beloved Community” – emphasized by the love they feel in these communities.
Each session begins with worship, including the lighting of the chalice, a song, and the sharing of joys and sorrows. The session continues with a story and some sort of game or art activity. The closing pulls the group into community once again.
Second and Third Grade
Our second and third grade children are exploring the six UU Sources with Love Will Guide Us. Children will learn that asking questions is valued in Unitarian Universalism, and we apply wisdom from our Sources to help us answer questions.
As in younger grades, the children begin with worship, including the lighting of the chalice, a song, and the sharing of joys and sorrows. Each session revolves thematically around a story from one of our Sources. Children participate in an activity that helps them understand the meaning of the story and apply it lovingly to their own life.
Fourth and Fifth Grade
Our fourth and fifth grade children explore the Hebrew and Christian Bible in Bibleodeon. Through this experiential and fun curriculum, children learn the importance of the Bible to millions of people, as well as the relevance of Bible stories to contemporary life.
This class continues the ritual of chalice lighting, joys and sorrows each Sunday. After this, they play games and complete activities that help them not only find their way around the Bible, but gain an understanding of the Bible’s history and power.
Sixth – Eighth Grade
Our middle schoolers continue to attend Sunday morning Religious Education classes while also becoming more involved in the Pacific Central District Middle School Unitarian Universalist Gatherings program (MUUGs). On Sundays, middle schoolers explore neighboring faiths with a curriculum called Crossing Paths. This backpacking-themed curriculum covers Unitarian Universalism, Judaism, Christianity, Hinduism, Black Church Traditions, Quakers and Islam, among others. Students not only get to study and question into these faiths, they also get to go on several field trips during the year to experience them firsthand.
1st Sunday of each month and during summer schedule
Children of all ages (K to 8th grade) start with a children’s worship, with the lighting of the chalice, a special reading, a lesson related to UU Principles and/or seasonal celebrations, and the sharing of joys & sorrows. Then, they engage in the creation of art or play games that reflect the theme of the morning. The activities are designed to fit the abilities of all children and will be led by volunteers from the congregation. Creative work has included collage murals, chalk mandalas in the courtyard, making a peace quilt and prayer flags.