Sunday Religious Education
Please note: Religious Education is only provided during the second service. Families who attend the 9:15am service are welcome to utilize the Children’s Table in the Friendship Hall and the Fidget Bags provided. Families with small children are welcome to utilize the nursery which is staffed by childcare professionals and located in the Religious Education Wing, if they so choose.
Director of Children and Family Ministry: Aria Curtis
509-325-6383 ext. 306
UUCS is delighted to be using the UUA recommended Tapestry of Faith for our Sunday Religious Education. This ‘tapestry’ of curriculum for K-12 gives continuity to the classes our children and youth move through and utilizes a variety of learning styles to explore our Unitarian Universalist faith tradition. Every Sunday all of the kids experience a chalice lighting, music, a game or activity, and some sort of discussion. Our year is broken into three terms; Fall/Winter (Sept-Feb), Spring (Feb-June), and Summer (June-Sept). For the most part, each class gets to start a new program plan at the beginning of each term. On Sunday mornings, our children and youth begin in the Sanctuary with their families and are sung out to their classrooms after the Story for All Ages.
One of the wonderful things about our Unitarian Universalist Faith Tradition is the practice of personal choice. We recognize that not all families are able to attend on Sunday mornings and we encourage you to check out the other spiritual development opportunities offered by the Children and Family Ministry Program. We would also like to note that while religious education is provided for children and youth each Sunday, all of our children are more than welcome to stay in the Sanctuary and attend the Sunday Service, if that is more comfortable for them.
All of our classes are led by facilitators who have been trained in their particular program plan, as well as in the UUCS Safety Policy for Children and Vulnerable Adults and the UUCS Fire Policy. They have also had some education about child development and each classroom is provided with tools to make it a welcoming space for all children and youth. UUCS RE Facilitators are selected, trained, and supervised by Children and Family Ministry Staff.
Summer Religious Education: Offered June through August, Summer RE is a One Room Schoolhouse style, laid-back program located in the Margaret Sanger Room. This summer we are using a Harry Potter themed program plan, which encourages our children and youth to explore concepts of justice, equity, compassion, a free and responsible search for truth and meaning, and the use of the democratic process.
Children’s Chapel: Located in the Henry David Thoreau Room and generally on the last Sunday of every month, Children’s Chapel is an opportunity for all of our children and youth to practice spirituality together. During this time they will light a chalice, sing, take a collection, practice some form of meditation or reflection, and share their Joys and Concerns.
Preschool (ages 3-5): Located in the Whitney Young Room, preschool is using the Spirit Play program plan this year, with a focus on UU history and historical figures. Based on the Montessori School style of teaching, lessons are taught through the telling of stories, using three-dimensional props to illustration the concepts. During ‘worktime’ children are always given an opportunity to use those same props to retell the story, or practice telling their own.
Grades K-1: Louisa May Alcott Room
Fall/Winter Term: Love Surrounds Us
By Rev. Lynn Kerr and Christy Olson
This program explores all the Principles in the context of Beloved Community of family/home, school, neighborhood. Participants engage in activities that emphasize the love they feel in community.
Spring Term: World of Wonder
Alice Anacheka-Nasemann, Pat Kahn, and Julie Simon
Founded on the premise that direct experience in nature is essential to children’s physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual development, this program delves deep into our Unitarian Universalist seventh Principle. It instills respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part, and appreciation of its beauty, excitement, and mystery.
Grades 2-3: Margaret Sanger A
Fall/Winter Term: Moral Tales
By Rev. Alice Anacheka-Nasemann and Elisa Davy Pearmain
Provides children with spiritual and ethical tools to make choices and take actions that reflect their Unitarian Universalist beliefs and values.
Spring Term: Faithful Journeys
By Rev. Alice Anacheka-Nasemann and Rev. Lynn Ungar
Equips children with language and experiences to develop and articulate a strong Unitarian Universalist faith identity. Through historic and contemporary stories of Unitarian Universalist faith in action.
Grades 4-5: Margaret Sanger B
Fall/Winter Term: Love Connects Us
By Michelle Richards and Rev. Lynn Ungar
Love Connects Us celebrates important ways Unitarian Universalists live our faith in covenanted community. Moved by love and gathered in spirit, we embrace our responsibility toward one another and the world at large. We encourage one another’s search for truth and meaning. We strive to be active in peace-making and other efforts to improve our world.
Spring Term: Sing to the Power
By Lynn Ungar
Sing to the Power affirms our Unitarian Universalist heritage of confronting “powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love.” Participants experience their own power, and understand how it can help them to be leaders.
Middle School (Grades 6-8): Beatrix Potter Room
Fall/Winter Term: Amazing Grace; Exploring Right and Wrong
By Richard S. Kimball
This program guides sixth graders through ways to determine right from wrong with a Unitarian Universalist perspective, and act on their new understandings.
Spring Term: Riddle and Mystery
By Richard S. Kimball
The purpose of Riddle and Mystery is to assist sixth Graders in their own search for understanding. Each of the 16 sessions introduces and processes a Big Question: Does God exist? What happens when you die? Can we ever solve life’s mystery? How can I know what to believe? What does Unitarian Universalism mean to me?
Grades 9-10: e.e. cummings Room
Fall/Winter Term: Virtue Ethics
By Jessica York
We make hundreds of decisions every day. Some are small. Some are life changing, although we may not know their significance when we make them. This program’s premise—in the words of the Buddha, recited in every workshop Opening—is that “our thoughts and actions become habits and our habits shape our character.” We have some control over our character. We can shape the person we want to be by making intentional, thoughtful decisions.
Spring Term: Exploring Our Values Through Poetry
By Karen Harris
This program utilizes poems that are concerned with elements of the spiritual life: acute observation, conscious and continuous inquiry, the unveiling of reality, hope and hopelessness, the afterlife, and the tenderness of the human condition.