We assume that children have innate curiosity and wonder about the world and their place in it; that children are spiritual beings. In religious education, it is our goal to nurture this innate curiosity and search for meaning, to connect this search to a sense of community. The nineteenth-century Unitarian minister William Ellery Channing wrote, “The great end of religious instruction is not to stamp our minds irresistibly upon the young but to stir up their own . . . to touch inward springs.”
At First UU, we know that children learn differently; therefore, we offer multiple approaches that engage the child’s body, spirit, imagination, and sense of curiosity. Stories, discussion, games, art projects, and group worship, are just some of the means we use to help children explore their world and gain new knowledge and insights.
Students learn that all big questions have many answers, and that it is their duty to search responsibly for their own answers. We also give children a foundation on which to build their own values and moral compass, with all lessons grounded in the seven UU Principles and six UU Sources.
Some beliefs are like walled gardens. They encourage exclusiveness, and the feeling of being especially privileged. Other beliefs are expansive and lead the way into wider and deeper sympathies. Some beliefs are like blinders, shutting off the power to choose one’s own direction. Other beliefs are like wide gateways opening wide vistas for exploration. Some beliefs weaken a person’s selfhood. They blight the growth of resourcefulness. Other beliefs nurture self-confidence and enrich the feeling of personal worth. Some beliefs are rigid, like the body of death, impotent in a changing world. Other beliefs are pliable, like the young sapling, ever growing with the upward thrust of life. – Sophia Lyon Fahs
Currently, we are completely virtual. Please email email@example.com if you would like more information.
Info For Parents:
Parents are children’s primary religious educators, therefore, it is the goal of First UU to support this relationship through the Church School Program and other opportunities, such as Multi-generational worship and FUUN Nights.
All Parents are requested to register their children for full participation in the program. Registration is done annually, on-site, on a rolling basis, from fall through spring. It provides parent contact information, awareness of health or learning concerns, and permission for the child to walk to the nearby park with adequate adult supervision.
Teachers are dedicated members of the congregation who adore children and learning and appreciate a good sense of humor. Teachers are committed for a full year at a time. All teachers as well as staff have passed a background check.
In addition, the following resources may be helpful for parents to use at home in family discussions:
– The Unitarian Universalist Association: www.uua.org for chalice lightings, stories, etc.
– Safety Pin Box: www.safetypinbox.com
– The Greater Good Science Center: firstname.lastname@example.org
OWL & Coming of Age
Grades 7-8: Coming of Age and Our Whole Lives (a Human Sexuality Curriculum), are complimentary curricula taught on a two-year rotating basis.
Coming of Age is an experience designed to meet the needs of youth as they prepare to enter adolescence. They are maturing in new ways – physically, cognitively, emotionally, and spiritually. This maturation opens the door for greater understanding of their faith. The goal of the program is to help students better appreciate Unitarian Universalism, their own beliefs and values, and how these intersect. Students present credo statements as part of final celebration.
OWL is a positive, comprehensive program assisting students in gaining the knowledge, values and skills to lead sexually healthy lives and engage in relationships. It is taught through the lens of UU principles and values. Instructors are specially certified.