Religious Exploration for Children and Youth
What is the focus of Religious Exploration (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 an 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?
Children and Youth are invited to enter the building using the doors on the right that lead directly downstairs.
Everyone gathers at the Children’s altar to light a chalice, share joys and concerns, and take time for reflection, meditation, or prayer.
Kids will then be invited to explore the topic of the day with different activities including art, games, problem solving, and more.
High school age youth sometimes meet off-site or via Zoom on Sundays.
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 supporting adults to find the best fit for their children. 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, and their supportive adults 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.