Religious Education for Children

Unitarian Universalists have many ways of articulating our seven Principles in simpler language. Here’s the way our Tapestry of Faith children’s programs describe them:

  1. We believe that each and every person is important.
  2. We believe that all people should be treated fairly and kindly.
  3. We believe that we should accept one another and keep on learning together.
  4. We believe that each person must be free to search for what is true and right in life.
  5. We believe that all persons should have a vote about the things that concern them.
  6. We believe in working for a peaceful, fair, and free world.
  7. We believe in caring for our planet Earth, the home we share with all living things.

Programs at UUCH

 Where & When: Our regular religious education (RE) classes begin in September and continue every Sunday morning, 10:45 a.m. to noon, through June. Less formal activities for younger children are offered in July and August. The classrooms and the nursery are in the Martin House, the brick house next to our sanctuary.

In addition to childcare for infants and pre-school children, our church currently offers religious education for younger school age children (UU Explorers class) and for UU Youth.

Our children’s programs are free and open to all. We do ask that you register your children so we have contact and health information. If your child hasn’t attended previously, please arrive early (10:30 a.m. if possible) to talk with the teacher and complete the registration form.

For more information,  contact Religious Education Chair Robin Chute at  RE@uuhagerstownmd.org

 

Childcare for infants and pre-schoolers

  • is available every Sunday in the Martin House from 10:30 a.m. until noon (or the end of the worship service).
  • Our program is all volunteer, so please sign up to help. If two volunteers aren’t available, a parent may be asked to stay and assist.

 

UU Explorers 

•UU Explorers (grades 1 – 6) in the Martin House every Sunday at 10:45 a.m.
Toolbox of Faith curriculum.
Each of the 16 sessions reflects on a quality of our UU faith, including integrity, courage, and love, as a “tool” the participants can use for living and building their own faith. These important attributes are symbolized by real tools, such as a mirror for reflection.
Sept. 10 – Faith (toolbox & ruler)
Sept. 17 – Questioning (magnifying glass)
Sept. 24 – Integrity (compass)
Oct. 1* — Flexibility (duct tape)
Oct. 8 — Reflection (mirror)
Oct. 15 — Expression (paintbrush)
Oct. 22 — Democratic Process (chalk) Oct. 29 — Power (hammer) ).
* On Family Sundays, the children join the adults in the sanctuary for the first part of the service and then go to their RE class.

 

The UU Explorers meet in the Martin House every Sunday at 10:45 a.m. (except Family Services when the children join the adults in the sanctuary for the first part of the service and then go to their RE class.)

In 2016-17, the children were introduced to our Judeo-Christian heritage through the Timeless Themes curriculum.

As religious liberals, UUs do not consider the Bible literally true but still find universal human themes in many of its stories. Goals for the course were basic cultural literacy (such as Biblical references in literature, art, music, films and common expressions); an introduction to Judaism and Christianity and their sacred books, which influence most of the people our children interact with now and as adults; and exploration of our UU values and principles, including how some Bible stories contradict UU principles. 

 

*Family Service: on the first Sunday of every month, the children join the adults in the sanctuary for the first part of the service and then go to their RE class.
Previous UU Explorers Lessons for 2016-17
Sept. 11 – Introduction to Timeless Themes
Sept. 18 – Adam and Eve
Sept. 25 – Cain and Abel
Oct. 2 —  Noah  (family service*)
Oct. 9 – The Tower of Babel
Oct. 16 – No children in class so lesson rescheduled to Dec. 18
Oct. 23 – Abraham and Isaac
Oct. 30 – Jacob and Esau

Nov. 6*: Joseph and his brothers

Nov. 13: Joseph and the dreams

Nov. 20: Moses in the bulrushes

Nov. 27: Moses and the burning bush

Dec. 4*: Let my people go

Dec. 11: The ten commandments

Dec. 18:  Sodom and Gomorrah
 
Saturday, Dec. 24 @ 7 p.m. The Christmas Miracle. Intergenerational Christmas Eve Service. 
Dec. 25: Church closed. No RE or worship service. 

 

In 2015-16, the children were introduced to World Religions through the Holidays and Holy Days curriculum which included lessons on  Chinese New Year; Powamu, the Hopi Bean Planting Festival; ;Mardi Gras; Nu Ruz (Iranain); Buddha’s Birthday; Passover;  Japanese Children’s Day; African Religions;  Shavuot (Jewish); Summer Solstice (Pagan); Easter; Ramadan; Christmas; Divali (Hindu); St. Lucia’s Day.

UU Youth

UU Youth meet Sept. 17, Oct. 1, Oct. 15, Oct. 29
in the Martin House every other Sunday at 10:45 a.m.
Building Bridges curriculum is a world religions program to deepen participants’ understanding of the dynamic, fascinating, and varied world in which they live. It seeks to broaden their knowledge of humanity and embolden their spiritual search, while nurturing open-mindedness and critical inquiry.
Sept. 17: Treasure Everywhere

Oct. 1: UU: The Journey Starts at Home

Oct. 15: Indigenous Religions: The Earth Speaks

Oct. 29: Hinduism: One God, 1000 Faces

 

Previous Youth Group topics:

Nov. 6: Fairness      Nov. 20: Responsibility      Dec. 4: Compassion         Dec. 18: Humility

In 2016-17, the UU teens explored positive character traits through the UUA curriculum, Virtue Ethics, which included activities and discussion of fairness, responsibility, compassion, humility, generosity, courage, loyalty, and forgiveness.

On Sundays when the UU Youth group does not meet,  they have the option of assisting the Explorers group or attending the adult worship service. Many of those services (described on page 3) could be interesting for UU teens.

Our Whole Lives for UU Youth

Beginning Sept. 25, the senior high segment of Our Whole Lives (OWL) — a comprehensive, lifespan sexuality education curricula — will be offered on Sunday afternoons to those teens who enrolled in August and whose parents attended the required orientation meeting.

Robin Chute and Karen Poston, who are trained OWL facilitators, will be leading the program again. For more information, contact Karen  and Robin at uuch.owl@gmail.com or visit the UUA website at http://www.uua.org/re/owl

OWL is a comprehensive, lifespan sexuality education curricula for use in both secular settings and faith communities. Our Whole Lives provides accurate, developmentally appropriate information about a range of topics, including relationships, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual health, and cultural influences on sexuality. OWL helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior.

 

During the winter months, UUCH Sunday services and activities may be cancelled because of inclement weather and dangerous driving conditions.  
Please check that UUCH events have not been cancelled before you drive to an activity. 

For Sunday services and other activities at the church, the board will make a decision about canceling as early as possible and inform people through email to UUCH UPDATES list*

For non-Sunday church activities, the group’s leader will decide and contact regular attendees directly and when possible, also use the methods above.  Please be sure that the membership chair and the leaders of any activities you attend regularly (women’s group, etc.) have the phone number and email address you use most.

* to join the UUCH Updates list, contact Tara Petite (tara@petite.net)  If you receive a weekly email about upcoming Sunday services, you are already on the UUCH Updates list.