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.
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.
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.
Graduating high school seniors commemorate their entry into young adulthood in this annual ritual.
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.
Ages 14 through High School
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.
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.