We are a vibrant Religious Education program in a small and mighty congregation.  Each year, our volunteer teachers and Religious Education Committee work together with our Director of Religious Education, in consultation with our minister, to ensure that we provide engaging, structured experiences for all the children and youth who participate.  All children (except the littlest) and youth begin Sunday mornings in the sanctuary with their family, then are sung out by the congregation as they go to their Religious Education classes. This year, our RE program is divided in the following ways:

 

Nursery/Childcare

Childcare is provided for children of the recommended ages, birth through age two.  This is play-based care that begins just before Sunday services start. With regard to childcare providers, this year we have trained the youth of our congregation as we begin a new model called the Youth Empowerment Project. Teams of two will provide high quality care for your infants and toddlers.

 

Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten – Recommended ages 3 to 5

The Unitarian Society will be offering The Rainbow Connection to our youngest congregants.

The children in this class will be embarking on a UU identity building adventure by learning the deeper meaning of the Seven Principles.  The curriculum introduces the values and morals of those principles through crafts and stories.

 

1st and 2nd grades – Recommended ages 6 to 8

We offer Signs of Our Faith as a way to build UU principles into everyday life so our children can begin a meaningful faith journey. The curriculum presents fourteen traits or values that most Unitarian Universalist love, including the quest for knowledge, reverence for life, supporting one another on our faith journeys, and public witness. Children examine how their lives do and can exhibit these traits and values, and come to understand that their faith is a living faith whose histories and teachings are fortifications for living faithfully in a complex world.

 

3rd through 7th – Recommended ages 9 to 12

A relatively new and fun curriculum called Harry and UU (based on the Harry Potter novels) is our offering for youth, recommended ages 9 to 12. This curriculum teaches kids how to make the world a better place through social action.  Youth will have fun including the Harry Potter phrases (like the Horcruxes) while they increase social consciousness and learn what it takes to effect change. This is offered up to 7th grade, including those who are not in OWL classes that Sunday.

 

This year, some seventh through ninth graders will be taking Our Whole Lives (OWL), a renowned sexuality education course taught collaboratively with Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills, NJ and First Unitarian Society of Plainfield, NJ. This only meets on select Sundays. Ask the DRE for more details.

 

Touchstones Project – Congregational Themed Ministry

This year, The Unitarian Society is exploring the implementation of a congregation wide, themed ministry called The Touchstones Project. One Sunday a month, typically the first, the Religious Education program will build the Touchstones Project monthly theme into our lessons or activities as a way to connect the RE program to the wider congregation.

 

We hope you will find one of these offerings inspirational to your children and youth and walk this journey with us. We “welcome all into our house”.