CHILDREN’S RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
We strive to be a welcoming and joyful community for our children & youth and offer quality educational programs for spiritual growth. Our religious education programs reflect all of our principles and sources but especially our third principle, “encouragement to spiritual growth,” and our fourth principle, “a free and responsible search for truth and meaning.” Our vision is to create opportunities to live in community with compassion, encourage spiritual growth, and promote social justice and our Unitarian Universalist values.
2019-2020 RELIGIOUS EDUCATION PROGRAM:
Our well-equipped nursery is available for use at no charge during the 11 a.m. worship service. Our nursery serves children from 4 months through pre-potty-trained 3-year-olds. Two aides work each Sunday. Parents and others are strongly encouraged to assist with care when there are more than six children in the nursery.
RE Wide Program/PADs service projects:
Once a month, children/youth take a break from regular worship and small group classes to attend a special re wide program. This could be a special class, art project, off-site service project, or new to 2019-2020, PADs dinner preparation. In the past, these RE wide programs have included baking challah, collecting seed at Ryerson Conservation Area, touring the Wildlife Discovery Center, speaking with an alumnus who is serving in the U.S. military overseas, and practicing Yoga.
Small Group Classes:
Chalice Children (Age 4 to 1st Grade)
Chalice Children delves deep into our Unitarian Universalist faith. It strives not just to teach about our faith, but also to provide experiences around the strength of community, the wonder and awe that transcend everyday understanding, and life issues we all share. Early childhood (the years between ages 2 and 5) is filled with curiosity and wonder. In a group setting, with loving adult guides, young children can engage in spiritual seeking, develop their openness to sharing, and experience the benefit of a supportive community. Their time in Chalice Children can set a pattern for the rest of their lives and bring lasting benefits.
Spirit of Adventure: UU Identity for lower Grades (2nd Grade – 4th grade)
Students will learn about famous UUs and how their beliefs inspired them to explore, discover and change the world. Units include: Sports, medicine, food, science, building, exploring and the web of life. When appropriate, students in the lower grades class with partner with the peers in the upper grade classes for activities and games.
Spirit of Adventure: Upper Grades (5th – 6th grade)
Building on the lessons and themes of the lower grade Spirit of Adventure class, students in the upper grades Spirit of Adventure class will about famous UUs and how their beliefs inspired them to explore, discover and change the world.
When appropriate, students in the upper grades class with partner with the peers in the lower grade classes for activities and games.
Affirmation: 7th and 8th Grade
Affirmation is our faith’s coming of age program. Coming of Age in the Unitarian Universalist tradition is a program and a rite of passage for youth, usually in the 12- to 14-year-old age range. Participation in a Coming of Age program helps young people make the transition from the children’s program to the youth and young adult communities in our congregation. Frequently participants in the Coming of Age program develop a strong group identity that supports them in staying active with the intergenerational church community at a time when most adolescents are drifting away. Young participants investigate their personal spirituality and are encouraged to develop a sense of what they believe, through discussion, listening to guest speakers, and participating in retreats and workshops.
A group social action or social service project is a key part of a program.
The program generally closes with a celebratory Sunday service at which the young participants may share their credo statements with the congregation. The adult congregation and the youth group welcome the young people to expanded involvement.
Our Whole Lives (O.W.L): 7th and 8th Grade
Our Whole Lives (OWL) is a comprehensive, sexuality and relationship education program that was developed by the United Church of Christ and the Unitarian Universalist Association. OWL supports participants in living their principles and values in relationships and having an empowering perspective about their bodies and sexuality. There are six curricula for different ages: grades K-1, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12, young adult (ages 18-35), and adult (18+). The content for each level is developmentally appropriate. For instance, the K-1 level covers familial relationships, body parts, and safety, while the adult level covers changes in bodies and relationships that happen throughout adulthood. NSUC presently only offers the program for 7th/8th graders but expects to offer other classes in the future.
Youth Group (9th – 12th grade)
Youth grow deeper in Unitarian Universalism, learn about social justice issues, work on community service projects, participate in youth cons, plan the annual youth-led worship service, and have a ton of fun together!
Youth group begins in the sanctuary at 10:00am, and members leave for their classroom after the Message for All Ages. Youth group meets in the youth room downstairs and is led by an advising team of congregational members.
We are committed to making NSUC a safe place for children, youth, and adults. Our congregational safety policy was last revised in January 2017. You can view it here. We are actively working on expanding it to cover additional health and safety situations.
Contact the Director of Religious Education for the schedule and a registration form or to ask any questions.