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Children and Youth Religious Education

CHILDREN AND YOUTH RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

OrlandoUU

CHILDREN AND YOUTH RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

Unitarian Universalist children’s religious education is an approach aligning with children and youth’s natural curiosity to enrich their religious and ethical formation in our liberal religious tradition. Said one Unitarian minister generations ago—

“The goal of religious education is not to stamp our minds upon the young, but to stir up their own.”

At First Unitarian Church (1U), the program serves children and youth from 9 months old to 12th grade and is held in classrooms in the Enrichment Center on campus, just past the labyrinth.

Sundays at 1U

Nursery: A professionally staffed nursery is available from 9:15 am to 1:00 pm for children ages 9 months to 5 years.

Worship: Each worship service in the Sanctuary has a dedicated segment for children at the beginning of the service, after which they are invited to go with their teachers to attend classes and activities. Children may choose to stay and attend the entire service with their families. If active little ones need an opportunity to wiggle, gurgle, or play, the Sanctuary’s Wiggle Room allows a place to do this while parents can still see and hear the worship service.

SPECIAL OCCASIONS IN WORSHIP

Child Dedications

Infants, toddlers, and children in our church community are formally dedicated to a life of spiritual exploration and formation by the minister during worship services throughout the year.

Bridging Ceremony

Graduating high school seniors commemorate their entry into young adulthood in this annual ritual.

CLASS DESCRIPTIONS

Children’s Classes

Age-focused curriculum and a team of trained teachers greet kids in their classes, ready to help them engage and explore in that day’s activities. Classes end at 11:45 am, when parents pick up their children.

Class topics for the current school year are:

Ages 3 to 6 years old: “Backyard to the Universe: Dr. Seuss and UUs.” Dr. Seuss stories and activities based on life situations give kids a way to reflect and talk about experiences that are part of our lives.

Ages 6 to 9 years old: “Let the Force Be With You.” Spiritual and ethical lessons from Star Wars present a program featuring the colors of lightsabers and Unitarian Universalist principles.

Ages 9 to 14 years old: “Harry and UU.” Based on the Harry Potter series of books by J.K. Rowling, this class focuses on how we can work to make the world better.  The curriculum includes many fun wizarding activities, with an emphasis on social action.

Youth Program

Ages 14 through High School

  • Youth Group on first and third Sundays: This youth covenant group explores Sharing the Journey to help youth experience a greater sense of belonging, and feel supported in their spiritual journey in the congregation. The second hour is fellowship time for games from Deep Fun, traditional board games, art projects, and more. Learn more about High School Youth group here.
  • Virtue Ethics on second, fourth, and fifth Sundays: In the words of the Buddha,”our thoughts and actions become habits and our habits shape our character.”  We can control our character and shape the person we want to be by making intentional, thoughtful decisions.
Summer Classes

During the summer, special classes and activities replace the formal classes, so children enjoy a year-round schedule of activities with their friends, teachers and parents on the friendly campus of 1U.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

The Children and Youth Religious Education program is managed by our Interim Religious Education Coordinator working with a committee of experienced volunteers in the church. Please contact Sarah Gray, our Interim Religious Education Coordinator, at RECoordinator@OrlandoUU.org for more information.