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.
Sunday Morning RE Classes
We currently offer in-person Religious Exploration classes for children aged pre-k through 12th grade. Given our current enrollment we have combined the lower and upper elementary classes into one class, and our middle and high school classes into one class called Teen’s RE. 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.
On most Sundays, children and youth gather in the sanctuary with their peers or parents for the beginning of the service. After the Story for All Ages, children and youth go to programming just for them with Religious Exploration teachers. A staffed nursery is also available for caregivers who need a quiet space for infants and toddlers.
On “Multigenerational Sundays,” children and youth stay in the sanctuary for the entire service, and often participate in leading some of the worship activities alongside adults. On these Sundays, children are invited to quietly color, read, listen, and play in the welcome hall while also enjoying the song, movement, and prayer of a UU community.
Newcomers are always welcomed in our RE programs! If you would like more information, please contact our Director of Religious Exploration, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AN OVERVIEW OF THE KIDS RE CLASS
The Kids Class begins with our chalice lighting. The children pass the chalice around in a circle 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.
The Kids RE Class uses a variety of tools to create a wholesome learning experience that lasts throughout the week. Stories, interactive games, art, science, Legos and more are used to create an enriching experience for kids. The Kids RE class uses curriculum from the UUA, as well as UU teacher and RE Director created lessons supporting our 8 UU Principles that go along with the UUCMP’s theme of the month from Soul Matters. 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.
AN OVERVIEW OF THE TEEN RE CLASS
The Teen RE Class 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 the Kids RE class, the Teen RE Class 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.