Our Programs for Children are designed to help us live our third and fourth principles at church:
- Encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations
- Free and responsible search for truth and meaning.
All children and youth participating in UUCM Faith Formation programs must be registered. Registration forms are available by the Garden Door of the church and online.
Nursery (newborn–2 years)
Our nursery room is equipped with speakers so that parents may bring their little ones and still listen to the worship service. You are welcome to start in the sanctuary and then move to the nursery if your child needs a break. Always available.
At any time during a worship service, parents and children may leave the sanctuary to go the Family Room, which has crafts, books, and games available. This room is equipped with speakers so that you may still listen to the worship service. The Family Room also allows an opportunity for fellowship among families with children. Parents and guardians must stay with their children in this room.
On Sundays when Circles are offered, children and youth join us at the beginning of every service and then are sung out to attend their circles. Circles offered this year are:
Friendship Finders (2–5 years)
Young children gather for play with supportive, caring youth and adult supervision. Activities may include story time, music/singing/dancing, and simple arts and crafts.
Our Circles provide children a chance to build friendly connections as they learn about our seven Unitarian Universalist Principles. Each session will help us understand our own values and the values of others, and involve activities such as physical and music activities, cooperative games, and arts and crafts. Appropriate for children in grades 1-3; some children in Kindergarten or grade 4 may find this group appropriate.
Our Circles will foster positive relationships between children as they learn ways to demonstrate our Unitarian Universalist principles in their daily lives. Sessions will include creative activities, discussions, and physical activities designed to engage age group. Appropriate for children in grades 4-6; children slightly older or younger may find this group appropriate.
Junior High/ Upper Middle School
During the 2017-2018 Church year, children in Grades 7-8 will participate in the Neighboring Faiths program. They will learn about a wide variety of faith practices and traditions by attending services at temples, meeting houses, and other churches. Adult leaders will provide opportunities for discussion of different religions and belief systems.
Middle School Youth Group meets periodically for projects and social activities.
Our High School Youth Group meets once a week. Youth meet with experienced facilitators to learn more about Unitarian Universalism and clarify their own values and beliefs. Activities may include service opportunities. Youth work with the adult leaders to create and lead a Sunday service. They also are encouraged to participate in worship services and congregational life throughout the year.
Our Whole Lives (OWL)
The Our Whole Lives program (OWL) provides detailed accurate, developmentally appropriate information about a range of topics, including relationships, gender identity, sexual orientation, sexual health, pregnancy, birth control, and cultural influences on sexuality. This program is offered every few years to children in grades 7 and up. (Not offered during 2017-2018).
Sharing Friends (all ages)
This program offers an opportunity for children/youth to become better acquainted with a single adult in the congregation, by exchanging messages (e.g. postcards) and participating in enjoyable joint activities. The program occurs mid-year and generally lasts several weeks.
Several times a year the children and youth participate in special events, such as a social justice project, a game day, or a holiday craft workshop.
Children/ Youth in Whole Congregation Worship
Throughout the year, some Sunday services are designed for Whole Congregation Worship. On these Sundays, Children’s Circles are not offered, and we invite children of all ages to sit with their families or classmates, remaining in the Sanctuary to experience the entire service.
How Do We Accomplish This?
Our Interim Minister, Reverend Carol Strecker, and our Children & Youth Faith Formation Committee plan and execute programs for children and youth. We need your help and ask parents, guardians and other congregants to volunteer. There are many ways to get involved. Please see Office Administrator Jamie Ferrier (firstname.lastname@example.org) to volunteer to help!