Religious Education for Children and Youth
What is the focus of Religious Education (RE) 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 Unitarian Universalist (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 beginning 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.
Children of all ages and abilities are encouraged to share their artistic talents with the congregation as part of a worship service or special events. The Director of Religious Education 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 a nursery and three classes:
- Nursery Care: infant through age 4
- Primary: Kindergarten through 4th grade
- Middle Youth: 5th and 8th grade
- Youth Group: 9th grade through 12th grade
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. UUCC offers religious education 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 each fall, which are also available throughout the year to newcomers.
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 for more information, please contact Jacquis Robertson. She is both the Office Administrator and the Director of Religious Education.
Phone: (269) 324-7262