Religious Education for Children and Youth
Welcome! Whether you are new to Unitarian Universalism and are searching for a religious home for your family or are a member of this congregation, we are pleased you are visiting our website to learn more about our Religious Education Program for Children and Youth. See also our Adult Education Program which offers a wide variety of classes for personal and spiritual growth.
OUUC Philosophy of Religious Education
As Unitarian Universalists, we believe that the central religious act is to freely choose what to think and believe, and that this is best done in a loving community. The Religious Education Program is designed to give children and youth the tools and education they need to make their choices, make spiritual connections, build a community, and enrich our world. We seek to create a safe and loving community that appreciates diversity and is a place to have deep conversations in a culture of open hearts and minds.
The Goals of our Religious Education Program
Our program is organized around three goals:
- Have an understanding of what it is to be a Unitarian Universalist, with the values expressed in the 7 Principles, UU History, and our UU community
- Acquire Religious Literacy about the world’s religions
- Develop the knowledge, skills, and awareness needed to live in a loving community and to act on one’s values in the larger world
Visitors, Registration, and Fees
We welcome newcomers throughout the year, and your family can visit any class, with a very few exceptions. Our Director of Religious Education (DRE), Sara Lewis, can give you a short tour of the classrooms and show you where your child would go for class. For younger children, parents may accompany their child to class if they wish. If you plan on visiting more than three times throughout the year, we ask that you complete a registration form, which is available from the DRE, or you can print one from the Registration Form link in the right panel on this page. Completing this form will get you signed up for communications and announcements from the RE program. OUUC feels strongly that providing religious education classes for all ages is part of our larger mission and ministry, and consequently there is no fee for participation. Some families choose to make a donation to the RE program, which can be dropped off at the church office with “RE” on the memo line.
Age-Groupings and Schedule of Classes
- Nursery –Care for infants through 4-year olds is available for all worship services
- Children’s Activities for all ages will be supervised by our DRE at the 9:15 worship service
- At the 11:00 service there are classes for Pre-K, 1st-2nd grade, 3rd-4th grade, 5th-6th grade, 7th-8th grade, and High School.
Winter 2013 Curricula
- Pre-K uses a format called Spirit Play. This is a Montessori-style program, with short stories told with physical props, followed by a brief discussion and time to choose “work” from our carefully chosen supplies. In this classroom the method is the message, as we work to create a calm and loving classroom community and give the youngest children language for discussing their deepest wonderings.
- Our Elementary grades will be working on our Religious Literacy goal, specifically focused on Judaism and Christianity this year. (We cycle our focus on Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, then Asian Religions, then paganism and indigenous traditions). The 1st-2nd grade, 3rd-4th grade, and 5th-6th grade classes will be exploring Biblical stories and people and the history of Jerusalem through fun and age-appropriate curricula.
- The 7th-8th grade group is doing Neighboring Faiths this year, learning about and visiting other faith groups in our community.
- The High School group will be doing the program Spirit in Practice on 2nd and 4th Sundays, exploring the different aspects of spiritual growth. On the 1st Sunday of each month they do a social activity, and on the 3rd Sunday of each month a Social Justice project.
You can contact our Director of Religious Education, Sara Lewis, at 360-786-6383 or by email.