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.
2018-2019 RELIGIOUS EDUCATION PROGRAM
Water Communion – Our program year kicks off in September with Water Communion. This is an all-ages worship service in which attendees bring water from their summer (e.g., from a backyard hose or a lake visited) to contribute to a communal container, symbolizing coming back together as a community and bringing our whole selves, including our recent experiences, with us.
Spirit Play (Ages 4-6) – View the curriculum.
Spirit Play is a unique, Montessori based approach to Unitarian Universalist Religious Education. Inspired by Jerome Berryman’s “Godly Play,” Spirit Play classrooms are defined by the following elements: 1) Freedom: Children are free to move about their environment and choose their activities after the initial lesson. 2) Spiritual Practice and Ritual: Every moment of the Spirit Play experience is highly structured and ritualized. 3) Creativity and Artistic Expression: Children are given the opportunity to explore the lesson in an artistic medium of their choice. 4) Storytelling: Each lesson is comprised of a story, told by one of the two adults in the room.
Class begins in the sanctuary at 10:00am, and participants leave for their classrooms after the Message for All Ages. Class meets in the nursery/room 8 and is led by an adult member of the congregation. Parents/guardians should pick up students at 11:20am.
Signs Of Our Faith: Being UU Every Day (Grades 2-3) – View the curriculum.
Signs of Our Faith guides children to do their best to live faithful lives every day. It presents fourteen traits or values that most Unitarian Universalist love, including the quest for knowledge, reverence for life, supporting one another on our faith journeys, and public witness. Children examine how their lives do and can exhibit these traits and values, and come to understand that their faith is a living faith whose histories and teachings are fortifications for living faithfully in a complex world.
Class begins in the sanctuary at 10:00am, and participants leave for their classrooms after the Message for All Ages. Class meets in room 7 and is led by a member of the congregation, along with a teaching assistant. Parents/guardians should pick up students at 11:20am.
Toolbox of Faith (Grades 4-6) – View the curriculum.
Toolbox of Faith invites participants to reflect on the qualities of our Unitarian Universalist faith, such as integrity, courage, and love, as tools they can use in living their lives and building their own faith. Each of the 16 sessions uses a tool as a metaphor for an important quality of our faith such as reflection (symbolized by a mirror), flexibility (duct tape), and justice (a flashlight).
Class begins in the sanctuary at 10:00am, and participants leave for their classroom after the Message for All Ages. Class meets in room 4 and is led by a member of the congregation, along with a teaching assistant.
World Religions (Grades 7) – Curriculum in development
Our world religions program is designed to deepen youth’s understanding of the dynamic, fascinating, and varied world in which they live. It seeks to broaden their knowledge of humanity and embolden their spiritual search.
The program is organized roughly chronologically, capturing the strong parallel between societal change and religious evolution over human history. It is a series of workshops that attempts to lovingly and reverently examine some of the closest kept treasures of the human heart. This exploration nurtures participants’ positive outlook toward other faiths and the people who follow them. This program provides youth a unique opportunity to engage the world’s diversity of faiths in a safe, affirming atmosphere that is grounded in Unitarian Universalist faith.
Class begins in the sanctuary at 10:00am, and participants leave for their classroom after the Message for All Ages. Class meets in room 5 and is led by a teaching team of congregational members.
Youth Group (Grades 8-12) – 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.
Our Whole Lives (OWL): Grades 10 – 12
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 high school upperclassmen, but expects to offer other classes in the future.
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.