Friday, July 01, 2016 | Login  

Banner 1

Religious Education Program



UUCC offers religious education (RE) for children free of charge. Parents need not be church members to have their children participate in RE activities. We require that parents register children in our program by completing registration forms (registration link) each fall, which are also available throughout the year to newcomers. Welcome!

What is the focus of religious education at UUCC?

We begin with the idea that all of us, children and adults, are responsible for seeking personal truths surrounding our spiritual lives. We strive to help our children develop an understanding of the importance of taking time for dedication, introspection, creating inward and outward peace, and compassion and understanding for self and others.

How can we teach without a doctrine?

We have a strong faith in the inherent spirituality of children and believe it is our task to nurture, not to indoctrinate. We give children the building blocks with which to form their own beliefs. Throughout the church year our classes may include exploration of UU principles, Unitarian Universalist history and identity, Judeo-Christian beliefs, other religious traditions, and peace and social justice issues.

What happens on Sunday?

Children join the adults for the first 10 minutes of Sunday morning services, then are invited to come forward for a "Story for All Ages" led by the minister, Director of Religious Education (DRE) or a member of the congregation.

Afterward, children are accompanied by the adult facilitators to the lower level for Religious Education classes, which last until 11:15 a.m.  Once a month the children gather together for Children's Worship, to share with each other what they have been learning. Several times a year, children and teens remain in the sanctuary for intergenerational worship.

Kids of all ages and abilities are encouraged to share their musical talents with the congregation as part of a worship service or special event. The DRE and other adults work to create opportunities for solo, ensemble, and large group performances throughout the year.


What are classes like?

We honor the fact that children learn in many different ways. This means we must offer multiple approaches in learning spiritual concepts, to engage the child holistically. Discussions, art projects, music, stories, and games are some of the ways we help our children explore spiritual concepts. Some Sundays find children of all ages together or participating in intergenerational services, other Sundays feature small peer-group classes.

Our RE program encompasses four classes: 

We will work with parents to find the best fit for your child. If you feel your child would be more comfortable or function more appropriately in a class other than what is listed, please let us know.

Who plans the program?

The Director of Religious Education (DRE), along with the Religious Education Committee and Curriculum Teams, maps out the program for the year. In the course of a year, children may engage in lessons from religious education curricula, explore environmental and social issues, work on service projects, take field trips, and re-design their classroom space. Whatever the activity, they have plenty of time for social interaction and fun. For further questions or more information, please contact Miriam Epskamp, our Director of Religious Education or by phone during office hours (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11:00am to 2:00pm) at 269-324-7262.


Other Programs


In addition to providing high-quality Sunday morning programming, UUCC strives to provide opportunities for our children and youth to participate in other enrichment activities.  You can read more about those programs below.

Coming of Age Program
Coming of Age is a program that offers graduating seniors the opportunity to delve into the purpose and meaning of Unitarian Universalism in their lives. Students are paired with a mentor from the congregation for a series of focused discussions about faith. The program culminates with a worship service in June at which students are invited to define their personal spirituality and share their journey with us.

Heartland UU District Youth Conferences
Youth in grades 9–12 can enjoy participating in conferences held by the Heartland UU district and host churches in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. These events are usually held from Friday evening until Sunday morning and include informative workshops, worship opportunities, and socialization with UU peers from many backgrounds. Retreats and conferences are also offered to middle school students. Learn more about the young religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU) on the
Mid America UUA website.

Our Whole Lives

Our Whole Lives (OWL) is a sexuality education program designed as a lifelong learning curriculum. There are six age groups covered: grades K-1, grades 4-6, grades 7-9, grades 10-12, young adults (ages 18-35), and older adults. OWL provides an educational and trusting environment for participants to get information, discuss feelings and ideas, create their own sexual value systems, and learn how to maintain healthy relationships. For more details visit the
UUA website.

Social Justice Projects

We provide children and youth opportunities to make their values real by participating in social justice projects such as
Trick or Treat for UNICEF, Pennies for Peace, Loaves and Fishes Collection and Workday, and Toiletry Collection for Gospel Mission.






Sunday Service
10:00 am
Office Hours
Wednesday 10-3
Email & Phone messages checked throughout the week
DRE Hours 
By appointment
Minister Hours
By appointment - email

10441 Shaver Road
Portage MI 49024

Click here for Directions

Contact Us

  Privacy Statement

Copyright 2016 by S.W. Michigan Unitarian Universalist Community Church

Terms Of Use