Our Curricula

Our religious education curriculum nurtures the four foundations of a meaningful, relevant and vibrant faith:

 

Religious Identity

  • Learning about our Unitarian Universalist heritage of truth, love and justice
  • Understanding our covenant to one another, the Unitarian Universalist Principles

Ethical Development

  • Making the world a better place by living our values
  • Being in right relationship with each other, the larger community, and the earth

Spiritual Growth

  • Sensing a connection to something larger than ourselves through worship, prayer and meditation
  • Exploring the wisdom of the world religions

Faith Development

  • Finding meaning and purpose in life
  • Exploring personal beliefs and values

 

Pre-K & Kindergarten 

(Fall) Chalice Children by Kate Tweedie Erslev

Focusing on the theme of the flaming chalice, Chalice Children nurtures children's spiritual growth, creativity and sense of belonging to a faith community.  Children explore the importance of making choices and the mystery of the circle of life.

(Spring) Hide and Seek with God by Mary Ann Moore

Four and five year-olds have a lot of questions about God.  Moore’s enchanting takes explore different understandings of God in a variety of multicultural, non-sexist ways and include interpretations that reflect the six sources of Unitarian Universalism. Through reflection, discussion, and a variety of activities, children will learn the beginnings of a religious language for talking about God and exploring theological questions.

1st & 2nd Grade

(Fall) Love Surrounds Us by Cindy Olsen and Lynn Kerr

At the core of our Unitarian Universalist community are our seven Principles. The Principles encompass all the ingredients of a good and faith-filled life based on equality, freedom, peace, acceptance, truth, care, and love. This program explores all the principles in the context of Beloved Community of family/home, school, neighborhood. Participants engage in activities that emphasize the love they feel in community.

(Spring) Picture Book World Religions by Katie Erslev Tweedie

In the Unitarian Universalist faith, we list wisdom from the world’s religion as one of the sources of our living tradition.  Through beautiful picture books, we will introduce our children to Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism, in a gentle and respectful way.  The stories illustrate concepts such as the value of wisdom and loyalty in Hinduism, the importance of family in Islam, and the practice of compassion for all living beings in Buddhism.  By sharing stories from different faiths, we hope to help children begin a journey of understanding, acceptance and celebration for the diversity of human expressions of faith.

3rd & 4th Grade

(Fall) Age of Reason: A UU Program of Religious Becoming by Layne Richard-Hammock

The Age of Reason program provides a religious rite of passage for children in the primary grades to honor and celebrate their growing up and, in particular, moving into an “age of reason” where they are now ready to apply reason, ask questions, and begin to search for their own truth.  Our goals in offering a formal rite of passage are to honor our children's religious growth, to foster their UU identity, and to embrace them as a faith community.  We also hope to create a more meaningful connection between faith and home and to nurture living our UU faith as families.

(Spring) Love Will Guide Us by Rev. Alice Anacheka-Nasemann and Cathy Cartwright

In this program, participants learn to seek guidance in life through the lens of our Unitarian Universalist Sources, with an emphasis on love. Together we ask questions such as, "Where did we come from?" "What is our relationship to the Earth and other creatures?" "How can we respond with love, even in bad situations?" "What happens when you die?" Sessions apply wisdom from our Sources to help participants answer these questions. Participants will learn that asking questions is valued in Unitarian Universalism, even as they begin to shape their own answers.

5th & 6th Grade 

(Fall)  Love Connects Us by Michelle Richards and Rev. Lynn Ungar

Love Connects Us celebrates important ways Unitarian Universalists live our faith in covenanted community. Moved by love and gathered in spirit, we embrace our responsibility toward one another and the world at large. We encourage one another's search for truth and meaning. We strive to be active in peace-making and other efforts to improve our world.

(Spring)  Bibleodeon by Richard and Tirrell Kimball

Bibleodeon presents the greatest Hebrew and Christian stories to kids in an interactive way, reading them directly from the Teen Study Bible, acting some out, and watching others onscreen.  Participants explore connections between biblical events, UU values and their own lives; they eperience the Bible as one of many important sources of inspiration to Unitarian Universalists.

7th Grade & Up 

(Fall & Spring) Traditions with a Wink” by Kate Tweedie Erslev

 “We come from a long tradition of questioning and searching.”  “We come from a long tradition of good works.”  “We have powerful stories and visions of hope.”  This curriculum teaches an understanding of UU faith that can replace the inaccurate statement that UU’s “can believe anything we want to.”  UU Traditions such as Flower Communion, the Faming Chalice, and the hymn “Spirit of Life” are covered in a fresh, deep and fun way.

Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education (OWL)

OWL for Kindergarten and 1st Graders

OWL for kindergarteners and 1st graders supports parents in educating children about birth, babies, bodies and families. Following a Parent Meeting and Parent/Child Orientation, the 8 sessions engage children with stories, songs and activities and include a weekly HomeLink - a homework project for parents and children to do together, promoting dialogue between parent and child. This program is offered every other year.

OWL for 5th & 6th Graders

This introductory program is designed to help 5th and 6th grade children gain the knowledge, life principles, and skills they need to express their sexuality in life-enhancing ways through positive and responsible sexuality education. Participants will use the book It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex and Sexual Health by Robie H. Harris as a guide.   This program is offered every other year.

Additional Programming

Our program is based on the idea that children and youth learn, grow and flourish in an environment that recognizes and meets different learning styles, individual interests and developmental stages. Because of this, we offer a variety of experiences for exploring faith and spirituality in addition to age-group based learning:

  • Children’s Chapel and Worship for All Ages to engender religious identity, to experience wonder, and build a sense of community.
  • Social Action Projects to promote ethical development by allowing children to put UU principles into action.
  • Kids’ ‘Coffee’ Hour each Sunday to acquaint the children with one another and share food together.
  • Community-building events such as the annual All-Church Picnic, Hanging of the Greens holiday gathering, Spring Egg Hunt, and Sundae Sunday.