Our Unitarian Universalist Rainbow Principles
- Respect others.
- Offer fair & kind treatment to all.
- Yearn to learn throughout life.
- Grow by exploring ideas and values together.
- Believe in our ideas and act on them.
- Insist on peace, freedom, and justice for all.
- Value our interdependence with nature.
Sources of Our Beliefs
Our beliefs come from:
- The sense of wonder we all share.
- The women and men of long ago and today whose lives remind us to be kind and fair.
- The ethical and spiritual wisdom of the world’s religions.
- Jewish and Christian teachings which tell us to love all others as we love ourselves.
- The use of reason and the discoveries of science.
- The harmony of nature and the sacred circle of life.
The Sunday Morning Experience
The nursery opens at 9:45 am and remains open until 12:30 pm for children 3 years and younger.
Religious Education classes are offered Sunday mornings. Classes are divided according to age/grade level and are taught by teaching teams that rotate on a weekly basis. There will always be at least 2 teachers in the classroom. Pre-school through grade 6 meet at 10:00 am and at 11:30 am. Middle School group meets at 11:30 am only. OWL (when being taught) meets at 10:45 – 12:15 and High School YRUU Youth Group meets at 11:00 am.
Intergenerational Worship & Activities
In addition to Sunday morning religious education classes the church offers a number of intergenerational events and activities throughout the year. These allow our entire congregation to come together – so that we might learn from and enjoy one another’s company. For our young people, these may enhance the feelings of belonging to the religious community. For everyone, we seek a supportive spiritual environment which spans the generations, extending our families to include others who might not live with us, and building a faith community as we demonstrate our concern for one another and the world we live in. Such events and activities include: Intergenerational Worship Services such as the Ingathering Water Service, holiday services, Gallery Sunday, and Music Sunday. We also offer pot-lucks, Fun Nights, a winter holiday event, and much more.
Watch the church newsletter, the Children/Youth newsletter, e-mails, the church web-site, and bulletin boards for upcoming events.
A special message to parents…
We sincerely hope that you and your children will want to participate in this exciting and rewarding religious education program. We encourage you to involve yourself in some of the ways indicated below. We need everyone’s cooperation if our program is to be truly rewarding. The program is carried out almost entirely by volunteers. We welcome and encourage your involvement and assistance in the following ways:
Consider ways you can help by volunteering. Volunteer to teach. We use teaching teams (so you only teach an average of twice each month) and we supply all needed materials. We also need RE greeters, committee and special events volunteers.
Take an interest in your child’s religious education. Become familiar with your child’s teachers, class, and the lessons being learned. The children/youth newsletter that is published each month can help. It lists the children’s worship topics and class lessons for the month. The newsletter will be sent by e-mail to all registered families and is available in all classrooms. Ask teachers questions. Remember, much of your child’s religious education takes place in the home!
Put down roots in your religious community. Participate with your children in intergenerational activities. Get to know other families. Share with us your interests and concerns, as well as your talents. Let us know special things that are going on in your family. Become involved in the whole life of the congregation.
The religious education program has meant a great deal to First Unitarian Universalist Church over the years. We welcome your caring and support as we offer ours.
(infants and toddlers)
Our lifespan religious education program begins in the nursery, for infants through age 3. The nursery provides a loving, safe, and nurturing environment for our youngest children. Our paid nursery worker, Lisa Pulley, provides consistency and security, with the support of many nursery volunteers. Parents and other adults are asked to volunteer in the nursery on a regular basis to assist Lisa and to provide adequate supervision. Play time, songs, stories, and snacks help make the church a fun and welcoming experience.
Pre-school (Ages 3+) at both services
Kindergarten – Grade 1 at the 11:30 service
(separate classes using the same approach)
Spirit Play was first used at First UU last year for pre-school. It was so popular and well-received that we now use it for Kindergarten and 1st grade also. It is a Unitarian Universalist adaptation of the Godly Play and Montessori Methods, which is being used by other UU churches.
This program sees the purpose of religious education as helping children in exploring their own answers to existential questions. The morning will include a greeting, story, art, clean up, snack and closing. Stories have been developed using current children’s literature, myths, and religious stories that cover answers from various sources to existential questions. Story baskets are kept in the classroom throughout the year, so that children can re-tell the stories many times.
Grades K-6 at the 10:00 service
Grades 2-5 at the 11:30 service
FUUN (First Unitarian Universalist Nurtures) is a program that allows children to participate in workshops where they explore the meaning of important wisdom stories from a variety of different sources. They learn by doing. They spend several weeks on each topic, learning the story through many different activities, in many different ways.
Teachers are no longer asked to do everything for each lesson. Each adult is asked to serve in his or her area of giftedness. Those whose strengths lie in providing consistent and nurturing care can serve as Guides – guiding the children to the appropriate activity each week and providing consistency. Those whose talents are in the arts, cooking, storytelling, drama, music or teaching can serve as Workshop Leaders.
Each month’s workshops revolve around a single topic or story, beginning with a special adult education class taught by the ministers (one Tuesday evening per month). Workshops are developed with the aim of leading the children to think and learn for themselves. Meanwhile, adults can further their own spiritual growth.
Children are invited into the Great Hall to hear the story at the beginning of the service once each month before going to workshops to put the story into activity. Other weeks the story is told in one group by the Director of Religious Education or other storyteller. The children then divide into appropriate groups for activity.
(grades 6-8 at the 11:30 am service only)
Middle School Youth not participating in OWL will spend the first half of the year studying Peace and Social Justice from an individual level through a world peace level.
We are excited to offer Our Whole Lives (OWL) to eighth and ninth graders this year. Classes will be held on Sunday mornings from 10:45 am – 12:15 pm beginning the first Sunday in October.
OWL is a values-based curriculum that 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, OWL provides not only facts about anatomy and human development, but helps participants to clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality.
In order for a child to participate in the program, parents must attend a mandatory orientation session. At the orientation session, the teaching team will introduce parents to the curriculum and the philosophy of the program.
YRUU – Youth Group
Young Religious Unitarian Universalists
Our high school youth group offers older youth the opportunity to explore, discover, and socialize in a safe, open environment. It is here that they are able to share their beliefs and ideals in the making. The youth, with the assistance and guidance of their advisors and Meghan Prichard, the youth director, plan much of their own program, which will include discussions and exploration of topics.
In addition to Sunday morning discussions and activities, youth will be involved in planning and conducting an annual church service, attending retreats and conferences, taking field trips, and engaging in a variety of other activities.