Children & Youth Program Description
Our Religious Education (RE) Program is one that:
Our Religious Education Program consists of four components and four themes taught by lay volunteers:
For school-age children, our course of study provides a background in the history and wisdom of many religious traditions and a strong knowledge of and connection with our own Unitarian Universalist heritage. Classes are a combination of active and reflective learning opportunities and engage in important themes such as Unitarian Universalist Identity, World Religions, and Spirituality. As children progress through our program, these subjects are looked at with deepening intellectual sophistication in recognition of their maturing development. Children are guided to appreciate the wisdom and knowledge in these sources as they go deeper into understanding religion and developing their own religious values..
Worship and Personal Reflection
Our need to belong and feel loved is our first enduring religious experience. Attending church regularly and consistently is essential to develop the bond between your child and the UUCY community. On Sunday mornings your child may enjoy attending Coffee Hour with you in the sanctuary lobby. During this time, you and your child can snack and visit with friends and acquaintances. It can be a noisy experience!
What to Expect on Sunday Morning
UUCY has one Sunday service at 10:00 am beginning in September and continuing through early June. UUCY offers loving childcare for infants and toddlers ages 6 weeks to three years in our Nursery. Structured religious education begins at age three and continues through high school. Several times a year, we have a special service of dedication of children and welcome for new families
UUCY Summer Program
During the summer months, we have one worship service at 10:00 AM. Nursery care is available beginning at 9:30 AM. Children through 6th grade go directly to class at 10:00 AM. Our summer religious education offerings vary each summer and are multi-age—all children are in one classroom. Our 7th-12th graders remain in the sanctuary for the duration of the service; however, some in the Youth Group may elect to meet casually in the Youth Group room during the service hour.
Thinking of Visiting UUCY With Children?
We’re looking forward to your joining us on Sundays! Many opportunities are available for children and youth. If you have an infant or toddler ages six weeks to three years, please take advantage of our adult nursery care, available free of charge, located on the lower level of the Sanctuary.
If you have school-aged children, we have a rich landscape of Religious Education programming for families. Friendly greeters stationed at the sanctuary entrance will introduce you and your children to a religious education staff member or volunteer who will explain the day’s program. Teachers will help guide your children to the appropriate location when the time comes. You may choose to visit the RE class with your child to observe our volunteers and curricula in action. If you wish, we’ll give you a Welcome Packet, which includes a program brochure, and a registration form.
It is our goal to have our program available to all young people. If you have children with special needs, we want to know more about them so that we can make what accommodations we can to meet their needs. Parents are the most knowledgeable about their own children; we appreciate your communication with us. Our staff, including volunteer teachers, are available to help.
Families with young children can count on the loving care provided to children ages six weeks to three years in our Nursery. You may drop off your children at the nursery beginning at 9:45 AM; please pick them up promptly after concluding your Sunday morning activities. Our nursery is located on the lower level of our sanctuary building and is staffed by adult child-care providers during Sunday mornings. Nursery care is available free of charge during the service.
Our child-friendly nursery space is well stocked with toys, books, and hugs. Very simple activities are introduced for the older two-year-olds. Parents who wish to keep infants with them are welcome to bring babies to the sanctuary.
Families should provide our Nursery staff with a labeled bag containing any items necessary for the care and comfort of their children, including diapers and wipes. Donations of diapers and wipes for emergencies are always welcome.
We request that children who are ill or feeling unwell not be brought to the nursery to avoid discomfort and stress to the children as well as to avoid the spread of contagious illnesses. As general guidelines, please do not bring children who in the past 24 hours have experienced:
The safety of children and youth is a major concern of our Religious Education Program.
Doing Your Part | Our Cooperative Program
Our religious education program is supported through our annual church budget, so your generous pledge to the annual fund is requested. The vitality of our program also depends on the generous support of many dedicated volunteers. When you register your child please let us know how you'd like to share your gifts with our community.
Religious Education Program Online Registration
If you begin to attend regularly, please register your child(ren) in the RE program. All children and youth entering our fall program must register (or re-register). Please see the Director of Lifespan Faith Development if during the year you need to update your enrollment, especially changes to food allergies, special needs, address, phone number, e-mail address, and other relevant contact information. Please read our Rights and Responsibilities before completing the online registration form.
Children & Youth Program
Our Religious Education formal program is offered on Sundays fall through spring. The children and youth gather during the Sunday worship service which is held 10-11 AM.
Adult childcare providers offer loving care to children ages 6 weeks to 3 years. We offer an environment that encourages discovery and provides a positive first experience within our church community. Nursery care, located on the ground floor of the Sanctuary building, is available free of charge during services.
Pre-School, Kindergarten and First Grade
We Are Many, We Are One—We celebrate the wondrous qualities of children, animals, objects, and people around them. Preschoolers have opportunities to grow in trust and caring.
Our curriculum changes to provide a diverse learning experience.
Second, Third and Fourth Grades
Moral Tales - A Tapestry of Faith Curriculum
This curriculum introduces tools for discerning truth and justice. Students are encouraged to use inner resources such as conscience, intuition, and empathy; spiritual resources such as faith, prayer, and forgiveness; and external resources such as wise teachers and the outside community.
Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Grades
Traditions with a Wink- A Middleschool Curriculum
In the classroom, students learn about our UU faith. We come from a long tradition of questioning and searching. We come from a long tradition of loving kindness and good works. We have powerful stories and visions of hope.
Coming of Age
Coming of Age (COA) helps youth discern for themselves what it means to live a life of faith, individually and as part of the larger Unitarian Universalist (UU) faith community. It involves individual activities, community service, and family participation. COA explores the question “How shall I live?” and supports youth in their efforts to create a personal faith credo. This program initiates a process of life-long learning and promotes right relationship with one’s self, with others, and with the wider world. This program is offered every other year to 8th-9th grade youth.
Our Whole Lives Human Sexuality
Our Whole Lives (OWL) helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. It equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information in six subject areas: human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, Our Whole Lives not only provides facts about anatomy and human development, but also helps participants clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality. OWL is taught by a team of trained lay-leaders who care deeply about the well-being of our youth. Parental permission is required for young people to participate in this program.
Grades 8-12: Youth Group
High School youth group is self-directed and with the help of adult advisers, plans programs that may include worship, education, social events, social action projects, and development of leadership skills. Discussion topics cover current events, situations in school, and various religious concerns. In addition, various curricula are available to guide discussion and activities.
Youth Group is a wonderful experience for teens — it broadens their perspectives and gives them a comfortable atmosphere in which to discuss the issues they are dealing with as they become adults.
We welcome all persons, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin; gender or gender identification, affectional preference or sexual orientation; age, physical or mental challenge; or social, economic, or marital status.
Come visit often and find a home for yourself in our church community-- you are welcome in this Special Place.
The UU Seven Principles - Children's Language
Volunteer Opportunities in the RE Program
A Teaching Ministry
Lay volunteers teach our religious Education programs. Any congregant may volunteer; however, parents with enrolled children are particularly encouraged to volunteer to teach or participate in the Religious Education Program during their sojourn at UUCY. Teachers generally teach in teams of four. Team teaching limits a teacher’s commitment to 13-14 teaching Sundays per church year. We try to make teaching a pleasurable and rewarding experience. Teachers receive orientation, quality curricula, and continuous support by RE staff and RE Committee members. UUCY must conduct a child-safety background check on all RE teachers per UUCY’s Children and Youth Protection Program.
Teaching is an opportunity to meet other adults in our community, to learn more about Unitarian Universalist beliefs, and make an important contribution to our children and our faith community. If you are interested in teaching, and have been attending regularly for at least six months, please contact the Director of Lifespan Faith Development or any member of the RE Committee.
Religious Education Committee
The purpose of the RE Program is to prepare our children to live spiritually, responsibly, compassionately and intentionally in a complex world. Our efforts are driven by the vision of “growing the soul” and helping students become excited about and come to cherish spiritual life while we guide and support children and families on their journey as lifelong Unitarian Universalists.
The RE Committee (REC) is a group of lay leaders who work cooperatively with our Director of Lifespan Faith Development to fulfill UUCY’s vision for rich, meaningful religious programming for children and youth. The Committee meets monthly during the church year to discuss progress, programming, needs, and new initiatives.
Membership in the REC is open to interested volunteers who are available to lead hands-on project work, meet monthly with the group, and work with the Director of Lifespan Faith Development as needed in separate meetings. This requires a one-year commitment. The Committee meets on the first Wednesday of the month or as the Committee may elect. If you are interested in having a direct influence on religious education here at UUCY, join the RE Committee!
Religious Education Contacts
Our Minister, religious educator, and the RE Committee are here to listen and help. Please feel free to contact any of them.
Rev. Terry Cummings
Director of Lifespan Faith Development
Matt Shineman | 717-845-8212 x 104 | DLRE@UUCY.ORG