Welcome to the 2016 – 2017 Children’s Religious Education (CRE) Program at First Unitarian Church of Orlando, a Unitarian Universalist congregation. We are so glad you are here. This year, along with the entire congregation, we will be studying world religions. It’s a wonderful opportunity to expand our knowledge of others, grow in our own UU identity, and increase our tolerance and understanding of our neighboring faiths. The program year is underway but it’s never too late to register your child(ren) with our Online enrollment.
Nursery – Every Sunday, All Year
Nursery care, found in room 14, is available for children from 9 months through 4 years of age from 9:15 am to 12:15 pm each Sunday.
Our Sanctuary features a Wiggle Room for families and their little ones. This space allows parents to see and hear the worship service during those times when their active little ones need an opportunity to wiggle, gurgle, or play.
Childcare During Worship (CDW)
Childcare During Worship is offered on Sunday mornings at times in which there are no regular Children’s Religious Education classes. During the Program Year, this is typically during the 9:30 am worship service and adult education offerings.
9:30 am – 10:30 am CDW
Children may arrive at CDW located in the Nursery, room 14, at 9:30 am, while parents attend worship or adult education offering.
11:00 am – 12:15 pm CDW
Whenever the children’s program is on break (some holidays and school vacations), childcare is offered during the 11:00 am service and adult education offerings. Children begin in the Sanctuary with their families and then are escorted to CDW (usually in the Assembly Room) about 15 minutes into the service.
Where Do We Start?
VPK (4) through 12th grade students begin their Sunday RE with their families in the Sanctuary at 11:00 am. After “Words For All Ages” they are escorted to classes as follows:
Made up of students from VPK through sixth grade, then further subdivided into three groups that we call:
•Earth (4 – 6 year olds)
•Wind (7 – 9 year olds)
•Fire (10 – 12 year olds)
The Elements students rotate through three learning centers. Their class lets them experience the day’s lesson through
•Story & Discussion
•Craft & Activity
•Music & Movement
This allows us to meet the needs of our students by increasing engagement and retention. It also allows volunteers to focus on their area of interest and gives us ample flexibility to adjust the program as needed.
For students 7th – 12th grade. This year we will use the UUA Tapestry of Faith curriculum Building Bridges: A World Religions Program. It is a story-based program that is age appropriate, roughly chronological, and shows religious evolution over human history. Additionally, the Youth RE students will attend many field trips to various worship centers in an effort to deepen their understanding of this dynamic world in which we live, as well as broaden their knowledge of humanity and embolden their spiritual search.
One Room School House
There is much value in multi-age classrooms. Roughly once per month, depending upon events or our learning goals, children will attend One Room School House. We may host guest speakers, prepare for an upcoming service, or organize a community outreach project. On these Sundays, we still begin in the Sanctuary; parents can sign-out their child(ren) in the Assembly Room at 12:15 pm.
Several times a year we have intergenerational worship, and children remain in the Sanctuary with the adults for the entire service. These services typically in include Water Communion, the Holiday Pageant, the 11:00 am Easter service, and Flower Communion.
Please check the church calendar for additional “kid-fun,” such as our Halloween Party, Christmas Pageant, Easter Party, Summer Water Party, Field Trips, and more!
Additional Groups & Classes
Youth Group & Jr. Youth Group
Youth Group is for students 7th grade (and 12 years old) through 12th grade. We will start this year’s group with an Information Meeting Potluck on Sunday Sept 18 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. We then meet on the first and third Sunday of the month from 12:30 to 2pm. We are thrilled to announce that our own minister, The Rev. Kathy Schmitz, will help to kick start this new and much needed program. Please see the Youth page for additional information.
Our Whole Lives, OWL
OWL is is the age-appropriate compliment to any parents’ human sexuality education efforts. This secular curriculum is based firmly on the values of respect, responsibility, justice, and inclusivity. We offer four of the six OWL courses: K – 1, Upper Elementary, Middle School, and High School. Please see our OWL page for additional information on upcoming classes.
Our Director of Religious Education, Regina Knabe, has over 20 years’ experience as an educator working with students “crawling through college” and beyond. Her motto is “catch kids doing things right.”
The RE Committee is our governing body. Committee members, in partnership with the DRE, serve hours upon hours planning classes, trainings, events, and curricula as well as budgeting, decision-making, and preparing monthly, term, and annual reports and evaluations that maintain a healthy program.
Our Nursery Staff has a deep affection for early childhood development. They are well trained, CPR-certified, and experienced with the specific needs of this age range. Most importantly, these ladies love your kids.
1U Volunteers are background checked, vetted, and matched to a position in keeping with their skills, talent, and passion. They are not just incredible people doing great things for kids: RE Volunteers are the teachers you wanted when you were a child; they are making an impact on your child’s faith formation.
The congregation at large has a powerful influence on our children. They lead by example and live their values here on campus and out in the larger community. We are proud of our members that live their true selves, stand up for injustice, and make the world a better place.
All of our people are helping to raise the next generation of UUs. We have a wonderful village, and we hope to see you in it soon.
We are helping to raise the next generation of UUs and we all have a part to play. What skills and talents would you like to share with the kids of 1U? Please visit our Volunteer Page to start your journey.
For more information contact:
Regina Knabe, Director of Religious Education at DRE@OrlandoUU.org