Religious Exploration for Children and Youth
Parents and caregivers come to UUCMP seeking a community to help guide children to be kind, respectful, fair-minded, caring, and strong people who can make a difference in this world. Our religious exploration classes, worship experiences, social-justice work, and multigenerational gatherings reinforce what parents teach at home. We nurture truth-seeking, spirituality, and moral values that will continue to shape and support our children as they grow. Our religious exploration programs combine story, song, art, movement, discussion, and play to engage children with many learning styles, abilities, and activity levels. Now that our classes and services have gone virtual, we strive to continue to create our welcoming and open community through the portal of technology!
Sunday Mornings Zoom
Religious exploration is now virtual!
We offer classes for children aged pre-k through 12th grade. We have combined the lower and upper elementary classes into one class called Kids Zoom, and our middle and high school classes into one class called Teen Zoom. Children aged 12 can decide if they would like to participate in either class, as it is a pivotal year in childhood development. Some children at this age are more comfortable continuing with their younger friends while others are ready to dive into the more mature discussions of the teens.
Zoom classes meet every Sunday, regardless of Multi-Generational services. A link to Kids Zoom and Teen Zoom can be found in the Order of Service on the main page of our website. Newcomers are always welcomed! If you would like more information, please contact our Director of Religious Exploration, Erin Forstein, at email@example.com.
Kids Zoom is for children aged pre-K through 12, and meets before our Sunday service at 10am, and lasts until 10:25 so that there is time to get to our Sunday Worship Service.
AN OVERVIEW OF KIDS ZOOM CLASS
Kids Zoom begins with our lantern lighting. The children pass the lantern around the zoom screen virtually and then we say the following words:
“We transfer this light
Into our safe space
To brighten our learning of faith together
As children of:
The open mind
The loving heart
And the helping hands.”
We then do a check in where each child shares something of importance.
Kids Zoom uses a variety of tools to create a wholesome learning experience that lasts throughout the week. Mindful Kids cards, Holy Listening Stones, materials from the Virtual Re Subscription Pack, stories, interactive games, art, science, Legos and more are used to create a zoom experience very similar to our in person classes! The Kids Zoom class uses curriculum from the UUA, as well as UU teacher and RE Director created lessons supporting our 7 UU Principles that go along with the UUCMP’s theme of the month from Faith Rocket. By creating lessons that share a similar theme with our Worship Services, we can help to create a more cohesive religious learning experience for both children and their parents.
Teen Zoom is for youth aged 12 through 12th grade, and meets after our Sunday service at 12pm, and lasts about 1 hour until 1pm.
AN OVERVIEW OF TEEN ZOOM CLASS
Teen Zoom begins with a check in, where each teen shares something of
importance that has happened to them over the past week, or something that has just been taking up a place in their mind. In contrast to Kids Zoom, Teen Zoom is more discussion focused. They are currently using a mixture of the UUA curriculum Building Bridges, which teaches about religious around the world, and discussing current events. Teen Zoom also will use the card deck
DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS FOR TEENS
Our Teen class also meets every Thursday from 4-6pm over Discord to play
Dungeons and Dragons. For more information on Dungeons and Dragons for Teens, contact our Director of Religious Exploration, Erin Forstein at
MORE WAYS TO FEEL CONNECTED
To help meet the needs of all of our families we offer a few special options to help everyone feel involved! Read about our Remote RE and our Virtual RE Subscription Packs below!
“Remote RE” emails are sent out on Sunday afternoons to our families. These emails detail what occurred in class that day, and also offers extra activities and ideas to help continue religious exploration throughout the week. The Kids Remote RE might have links for fun activities to do, a link to an online story we heard, coloring sheets, or virtual places to explore. The Teens Remote RE might have ideas and discussion questions to share with their families, and links to articles and activities that go along with the discussion of the day.
VIRTUAL RE SUBSCRIPTION PACKS
Contrary to the name, “Virtual RE Subscription Packs” do not cost a penny to our families! The packs are created each month and sent out to our current families in the Kids Zoom class. They contain materials that the children will use during class to help them feel like they did when they sat together at tables or on the learning carpet in the classrooms. By using the same materials, it helps to create a more cohesive way of learning, and feels less like they are just sitting at a computer far away from others. The packs might contain some of the following items:
-A monthly Virtual RE Subscription Pack letter that details the theme of the month and what the child needs for each class from the pack as well as what they need to supply from home.
-Arts and craft supplies: beads, pipe cleaners, tissue paper, card stock, blank
puzzles, ribbon, etc (I promise not to send glitter!!)
-Science supplies: seeds and a pot, activities about outer space
-A poster on yoga
-A bingo game
-Special fun items like beads for St. Patrick’s Day, a surprise egg for Easter,
pencils, stickers, etc.