Children & Youth
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We value our children and youth because of their own innate worth as people and because they are the future of our community and our world.
As Unitarian Universalists, we do not seek to provide our children with ready-made answers to life's questions in the form of a fixed creed or doctrine. Instead, we seek to provide our children and youth with an environment in which they may grow up with a strong sense of values, morals, religious understanding and identity. To this end, we are committed to offering a Religious Exploration (RE) program which will enrich the lives of our children and youth, helping them to recognize and realize their full potential and build firm foundations for meaningful, ethical lives.
Worship is an integral part of our Faith Development Program. It provides children with a sense of community, a feeling of at-oneness with each other and the world, an affirmation of what we believe and a feeling of inspiration.
Family Worship: Our children begin their Sunday morning experience with their families in the Sanctuary. They take part in the chalice lighting, first hymn, and remain present through a "Time for All Ages" that addresses the sermon topic of the day in an age-appropriate way. They are then sung to their classrooms with the exception of our once a month multi generational service.
Multigenerational Worship: About once a month, our minister leads worship in the sanctuary designed specifically for the whole community-- people of all ages. On these Sundays, the children stay in the Sanctuary for the entire time. These services are created with the knowledge that the children will be present and often involve video, stories, and lots of music!
Children's Chapel: About once a month, children attend Children's Chapel instead of RE class. In Chapel, the children learn UU rituals of worship-- chalice lighting, the sharing of joys and sorrows, hymns, and the sharing of stories related to questions of importance.
Our youngest children are under the care of a paid, experienced, back-ground checked, adult care-giver. Our childcare provider is available starting at 9:45am, and she remains until 1:15pm if there are afternoon events occurring for which folks need childcare.
The teachers of our older children are volunteer adult members of our Fellowship who have been participating in congregational life for at least six months. Together with the UUA, we have a Safe Congregations policy, which means each teacher is joined by another adult who serves as a helping hand, ensuring that each classroom is monitored by two adults. Teaching the older children is, for many teachers, a wonderful opportunity for their own growth as they explore, alongside the children, questions of deep meaning.
If you have an interest in supporting the RE program through teaching, please contact Jane Podell.
One of the hallmarks of Unitarian Universalism is social activism. That’s because UUs have always believed we must apply our faith to the world we live in. The Religious Exploration program is designed to encourage our children and youth to become involved in social action within our community and the world at large. Social Action will be integrated into our R.E. program with annual projects such as the Midnight Run in October, UU Service Committee’s “Guest at Your Table” program beginning in November, “The Mitten Tree” in December, the SPCA project in April, Pride Parade in NYC in June to name just a few. With assistance from the Social Justice Committee, other service projects are introduced throughout the year.
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