CHILDREN'S RELIGIOUS EXPLORATION
Pre-School through 4th Grade
We offer Sunday morning programming for children to welcome them into our faith community as well as nurture their spiritual growth and Unitarian Universalist identity.
After our children enjoy the first part of each worship service with the larger congregation we "sing them out" to their Religious Education (RE) classes.
1st Sunday of the month ~ Kids-In-Action: On the first Sunday of the month, October through May, PK - fourth grade children meet in our Gathering Room to participate in a hands-on social justice project. This is how we DO our faith - and it's a lot of fun! Following Kids-In-Action, children are invited to Children's Tea with Rev. Jennifer Emrich in her office.
Sunday School Curriculum: On the second, third and fourth (sometimes fifth) Sunday we use the Tapestry of Faith curricula that our RE Council has chosen from the UUA, as a resource. More information about each curriculum is listed below.
Pre-K through 1st Grade ~ Laina Clugston's Group
Your child(ren) can expect a rich and varied experience in our program. The younger children, under 7 years old, will follow a curriculum developmentally appropriate for their age - with some stretching on either end of the age spectrum. Young children learn best through experience and imitation. I will strive to embody UUA principles in careful choices of songs, games, stories, activities and a reverent snack time, with guided conversation. The older group will be challenged in their more directed work with UU principles.
Each week I will send you a brief explanation of what we did, and will pull out the connection to this year’s Worship Themes. Of course, with the younger children, the themes enter them subtly as their brain development is not yet ready to tackle concepts, but rather is open to ‘living’ experiences.
In this year’s work we will honor the Five Smooth Stones Prayer by James Luther Adams
Part 1: This stone embodies our living tradition. We always learning new truths. We are always growing in knowledge and revelation is never sealed.
Revelation as defined in the Random House Dictionary, is the divine or supernatural disclosure to humans of something relating to human existence or the world.
Through fairy tales , we learn how the divine enters human life through kindness to strangers, inspiration, creativity, faithfulness and good deeds. Through these tales, we help to lay the foundation for our children’s ethical and moral development.
“Revelation (the book) offered a specific group of first century Christians not only hope for the future but also an interpretation -- a "revelation" -- of the world they inhabited” Greg Carey Huffington Post
The world our young children inhabit is a place of wonder and at oneness with nature. We use nature as their teacher. In nature, we see the unfolding of the mystery of life, repeated over and over in the cycles of the year. Through participation in circle games and stories, the cycles of life and death and the natural order of the universe is taught.
The children learn through imitation of the adults who care for them and by caring for the spaces they inhabit. We will weave caring for our room, and the building grounds into our weekly rhythm through cleaning up after class and working outside in the garden.
Socially, we treat one another with respect, create boundaries for behavior, offer thanks for our food and our community.
These themes permeate the year’s work. All are present at all the gatherings: Revelation, Community, Social Justice, Personal Agency, and Hope. Beginning in September and October, with Revelation, we will work with the themes of the Adult Worship in a child appropriate way. ~ Laina
2nd through 4th Grade ~ Ursula Wilmot's Group
It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to work with your children again this Fall. I am looking forward to connecting parallel themes to James Adam's “Five Smooth Stones.”
Beginning with Revelation, this month and next, I hope to explore Native American Stories in which we are reminded how much Nature has to reveal to us. I plan to alternate reading stories with creative projects that can be brought home to extend a space of reverence beyond our time together.
Covenants will be the following theme. Once we have spent some time together as a group it will be appropriate to create our own list of Covenants. We will move into reading stories of Greek Mythology that relate to covenants and continue seasonal creative projects. ~ Ursula