On-Going Classes and Groups
While our building is closed, due to COVID-19 pandemic, we encourage you to explore the following online resources. Check back soon to learn about future in-person classes and groups!
For All Ages
Hair Love – This Oscar-winning animated short has been floating around to great acclaim for awhile, but if you and your family haven’t seen it yet, it’s a perfect way to spend seven minutes. Directed by Matthew A. Cherry, it tells the heartfelt story of an African American father learning to do his daughter’s hair for the first time. Available for free on YouTube.
A Wrinkle in Time – This recent Disney adaptation of Madeline L’Engle’s classic children’s book may not be the most accurate to the source material’s plot, but it is notably wonderful in its inclusive casting choices. It was also directed by a Black woman, Ava DuVernay, a rarity in big budget Hollywood films. It’s a fun, visually exciting sci-fi/fantasy romp that has some amazing costumes. Available to rent on Google Play, Vudu, and YouTube, and streams on Disney +.
For Younger Children
Nella the Princess Knight – Aimed at preschoolers and young elementary kids, this cartoon series by the creators of Dora the Explorer stars a biracial girl named Nella who is a princess knight who goes on adventures with her friends, including a talking unicorn. Together, they go on quests, solve mysteries, and learn good values. It’s very wholesome, and Black princesses are definitely something this world needs more of. Available for free on the Nick Jr. website with a parent account, for rental on Google Play, iTunes, and YouTube, and for streaming on Amazon Prime.
Black Inventors Match Game – The video games industry is huge, profitable, and not terribly diverse. Games by Black developers are few and far between, but here’s a simple one for kids. It’s a very basic concentration game, but each image on the cards is of an item created by a Black inventor. In the menu, you can access a list of the inventions and a bunch of information about their history. Younger children might need help reading these descriptions, but the game itself is just pictures and matching. Available for 99 cents on iTunes and Google Play.
Sasha Says – This one’s a cute little Simon Says-style app that uses the touch screen and the gyroscope on an iPhone or iPad to play. It’s free, though it does have ads in-app. This is another game by a Black developer. Available for free on the iTunes store.
For Older Children and Teens
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – An animated superhero film starring Miles Morales, a biracial teenager of Puerto Rican and Black descent. It’s a fun, action-packed movie with an amazing visual style. It’s rated PG and can get a little scary, so younger children may be able to watch this with their parents, but older elementary kids and teens will definitely think it’s pretty dang cool. I sure did. Available to rent on Google Play, Amazon Prime, and YouTube, and to stream on Netflix.
Black Panther – A big-budget Marvel movie with a gorgeous afrofuturistic world and a largely Black cast and production team. This is easily Marvel’s best movie, and it stands alone very well even if you aren’t a huge Marvel fan. This one’s rated PG-13, and it’s got some scary sequences, a lot of (largely bloodless) violence, and some language, so use your discretion when it comes to children watching it. Available to rent on YouTube, Vudu, Google Play, and Amazon Prime, and streaming on Hulu and Disney +.
For Teens and Adults
Aurion: Legacy of the Kori-Odan – This is an amazingly beautiful role-playing video game by a development team from Cameroon. Most fantasy RPG games are very Eurocentric in their underpinning mythologies, but this company expresses a desire to “unify and transmit African culture by combining myths, tales, and values” with the game. There’s even a graphic novel to go with it! This is the “video gamiest” of the options on this list, and it’s probably going to be the most compelling to people with some experience with video games already. But anyone can read the comic book! You can buy hardcopies in color or read black and white scans of the pages for free here . The comic book is available in hardcopy on Amazon, and the game is available for PC on Steam for $14.99 and as a direct download from the game’s website for $6.99.
SweetXheart – A short slice-of-life game by a Black developer named Catt Small. This game is played directly in an internet browser, and it’s just clicking on dialogue options, so it should be super approachable for anyone, even people who don’t play many games. It’s a “visual novel about microagressions, race, and gender. The game shares creative technologist Catt Small’s perspective on being a Black woman seeking success in life, school, and her career. Players act as Kara, a 19-year-old girl from the Bronx who attends an art college and interns at a tech company.” There is some language in this one, which is why it’s less appropriate for younger children. This game is available for free at the link above on itch.io.
If you have any questions about when these groups and classes are held, would like more information about their content, or are interested in participating, please get in touch with our Children and Family Ministry team at email@example.com.
Youth Group (Grades 9-12)
Currently, the youth group is on hiatus as we envision a new, responsive approach.
All high school youth will be welcome to participate in Youth Group, regardless of whether or not they or their families have ever attended church.
This program invites middle school youth to explore the vast array of religious practice in this world. Group discussion and activities are paired with visits to local churches, synagogues, mosques, and other religious gatherings. With each visit children can a greater understanding of the complexity of religious belief and get experience building interfaith connections. Neighboring Faiths will next be offered in the future, date TBD.
Our Whole Lives (OWL)
Our Whole Lives is a comprehensive, lifespan, sexuality education program developed in partnership between the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ. It dismantles stereotypes and assumptions, builds self-acceptance and self-esteem, fosters healthy relationships, improves decision making, and has the potential to save lives. OWL gives participants the tools to make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. With its holistic approach, OWL provides accurate, developmentally appropriate information about a range of topics, including relationships, gender, identity, sexual orientation, sexual health, and cultural influences on sexuality. Classes are offered on alternating years for grades K-1, 5-6, 8-9, and 10-12. We are hoping to offer Young Adult, Adult, and Senior Adult OWL in the near future. More information can be found on our OWL page here.
Coming of Age (CoA)
Coming of Age is a 6-ish month long program for 7th, 8th, and 9th graders, as they enter into a new stage of development. Participants are paired when an adult mentor, with whom they meet regularly to explore what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist to them. They will participate in service projects, attend worship services of other faith traditions, and write about and discuss questions which explore their concepts of self and community. At the end of this long growing process, the participants go on a retreat together and will each write a credo, or statement of belief. They are then invited to read or express this at a Coming of Age service in the spring. We hope to offer the Coming of Age program every three years at UUCS.
The UUCS Bridging program builds on and culminates in our Annual Bridging Ceremony for youth as they transition from youthood to adulthood at age 18. With this program youth get an opportunity to explore what it means to participate in Unitarian Universalist community as an adult, both locally and nationally. They will learn about the opportunities and responsibilities that will be newly available to them, as young adults, and the systems of support that they will be able to access as emerging adults. Bridging is offered every spring to youth in grades 12 and/or who are 17 or 18 years old.