Religious education is provided for school-age children and childcare is provided for younger children.
All children start out in the sanctuary with the adults for about the first 20 minutes of the service. When the service leader announces the Story for All Ages, the children are invited to come up front and sit with the story teller. After the story, the congregation sings “Go Now in Peace” as the children go downstairs with the religious education teacher and childcare provider. Parents are welcome to join their children at anytime and children are also welcome to stay for the service.
Downstairs, the toddlers and preschool-age children will be invited to play in our play space with the childcare provider. The school-age children will participate in a lesson with the religious education teacher(s). The lessons explore a variety of spiritual themes that complement the 7 Unitarian Universalist Principles.
Religious education classes take place on all Sundays, EXCEPT the fourth Sunday of the month when the children are encouraged to participate in the service, which will have an intergenerational focus. There will be childcare available downstairs for younger children, or for other children who may need it.
2013-2014 Children’s Religious Education Program
This year the children’s religious education program has been exploring themes related to growth of the human spirit. In the fall, we explored the mind, body, spirit connection. This was followed by a unit on acts of kindness, which was the theme of our annual children’s service in December. Bess Koval, a congregation member with expertise in dance and the performing arts, worked with us to develop an entertaining service with dances and a theatrical performance. Beginning in January, we delved into the monthly themes chosen by our minister, Rev. Kathy Tew Rickey. The topics we are covering have included or will include awareness, commitment, generosity, gratitude, connection, and play. During most classes we read stories that stimulate discussion and help us to understand and explore the topic of that lesson. We then engage in activities that complement the theme, usually with the purpose of setting intentions for the following week. In this way, the children can be conscious of practicing the topic in their daily lives.
Adult Religious Education and Social Justice Programming
Some of what we do in the way of justice work in the larger community comes from educating ourselves on the issues at hand – worker and immigration justice are examples. In addition, we have ongoing orientation classes for newcomers to Unitarian Universalism, as well as smaller groups of adults in the congregation who come together once a month to consider our monthly worship themes in a deeper spiritual context.