Religious Education for Children and Youth
What is the focus of Religious Education (RE) at UUCC?
We begin with the idea that all of us, children and adults, are responsible for seeking personal truths surrounding our spiritual lives. We strive to help our children develop an understanding of the importance of taking time for dedication, introspection, creating inward and outward peace, and compassion and understanding for self and others.
How can we teach without a doctrine?
We have a strong faith in the inherent spirituality of children and believe it is our task to nurture, not to indoctrinate. We give children the building blocks with which to form their own beliefs. Throughout the church year our classes may include exploration of Unitarian Universalist (UU) principles, Unitarian Universalist history and identity, Judeo-Christian beliefs, other religious traditions, and peace and social justice issues.
What happens on Sunday?
Religious Education classes begin at 10:00 am, at the same time as our regular Sunday morning services, so please plan to arrive at church a little early so your young people can get situated downstairs for their time to learn and share. Nursery care is also available, if needed. Classes last until about 11:15 a.m.
Once a month the children gather together for Children’s Worship, to share with each other what they have been learning. Several times a year, children and teens remain in the sanctuary for intergenerational worship.
Children of all ages and abilities are encouraged to share their artistic talents with the congregation as part of a worship service or special events. The Director of Religious Education and other adults work to create opportunities for solo, ensemble, and large group performances throughout the year.
What are classes like?
We honor the fact that children learn in many different ways. This means we must offer multiple approaches in learning spiritual concepts, to engage the child holistically. Discussions, art projects, music, stories, and games are some of the ways we help our children explore spiritual concepts. Some Sundays find children of all ages together or participating in intergenerational services, other Sundays feature small peer-group classes.
We will work with parents to find the best fit for your child. If you feel your child would be more comfortable or function more appropriately in a class other than what is listed, please let us know. UUCC offers religious education for children free of charge. Parents need not be church members to have their children participate in RE activities. We require that parents register children in our program by completing registration forms each fall, which are also available throughout the year to newcomers.
Who plans the program?
The Director of Religious Education (DRE), Miriam Epskamp, in consultation with Rev. Gy, and with the help of youth, parents, and the Religious Education Committee, maps out the program for the year. In the course of a year, children may engage in lessons from religious education curricula, explore environmental and social issues, work on service projects, take field trips, engage in mindfulness activities, or re-design their classroom space. Whatever the activity, they have plenty of time for social interaction and fun. For further questions or for more information, please contact Miriam via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.