Nursery (babies to 2-year-olds). Two professional caregivers provide supervised play for toddlers and babies. Remote hearing devices to listen to the service are available for parents who choose to stay with their children; vibrating pagers are available for parents to be quickly contacted in the sanctuary.
Preschool (2 year olds) This year’s curriculum, “Celebrating Me and My World,” explores Unitarian Universalism. It helps preschoolers grow their sense of trust and caring and develop their self-identity and sense of connectedness with all of life. At the 11:15am service, the 2, 3, and 4 year old classes combine and follow the "Celebrating Me and My World" curriculum.
Preschool (3 year olds and 4 year olds) "We Are Many, We Are One" offers young children the opportunity to learn about their religious community and tradition, as well as the freedom to discover and express their uniqueness.
Grade school (K to 1st grade; 2nd to 3rd grade; 4th to 5th grade). The Theme Based Workshop Rotation Model of Religious Education. In this model, children explore the monthly theme through a variety of venues. Workshops include: Performing & Fine Arts, Meditation/Yoga, Social Justice, Nature, Cooking, & Games, and sports. Workshops are led by congregants who have a passion or talent in a particular area. Grade level classes are guided by leading learners (class teachers) who provide spiritual and practical support and consistency in relationships. See Additional Offerings for a description of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" Sundays.
Middle school (6th to 8th grades). Students dive deeper into Unitarian Universalism, World Religions, and our Judeo-Christian heritage. Using this knowledge, they begin to look critically at the world that they inhabit. There is also an emphasis on deeper engagement on both fronts, with an increase in field trips and site visits as well as a turn inward towards the congregation at large, putting on events for them such as the Pancake Breakfast, Haunted House, and Chili Lunch.
11:15 Service ONLY
High school (9th to 12th grades). For its 9th-12th graders, All Souls' offers a unique and empowering religious education opportunity. With support from adult advisors, the youth are challenged to take on responsibility for their own learning experience. They select their own methods and topics for spiritual exploration and are held accountable for cultivating an inclusive community environment rooted in the Seven UU Principles. Activities include community service, social action, overnight excursions, student-led classroom discussions and much more.
The All Souls' Youth Group meets during the second service throughout the church year. Its activities and performance are monitored by the newly constituted Youth-Adult Committee (YAC), in consultation with the lay-led Religious Education Committee. The YAC includes appropriate All Souls' staff (Youth Ministry Coordinator and/or Director of Religious Education) as well as Adult Advisors, but its business is conducted and led by the youth themselves.
To find out more about All Souls' Youth Religious Education programming, contact James Ploeser, Youth Ministry Coordinator, at email@example.com
Taking it Home
One of the greatest ways we live our Unitarian Universalist values is by bringing them into our homes. Following are suggestions of activities and conversations for families.
Each month All Souls has a "Spiritual Theme". Engage family members in discussions around those themes. Relay an anecdote from your life that you feel reflects that month's theme. Reflect on and ask others to share their thoughts and stories. The child(ren) will be exploring these same themes in class in a variety of ways. A summary of the lessons can be found in the weekly RE e-mail. If you aren't receiving it, contact Dolores (firstname.lastname@example.org). Lessons can also be found on the website, here.
If you have a preschooler, read in advance the summary of the upcoming class in the weekly e-mail. Talk to your child about it, and if possible, follow up by doing some of the same activities at home.
Say grace before and/or after meals. Saying grace doesn’t make food into a blessing; it already is one. But saying grace can remind us that every meal is holy. The grace can be as simple as, “We are thankful for the food, and for the hands that prepared it, and for our family and friends. Amen.” Or try, “May the hungry be well fed. May the well fed hunger for justice. Amen.”
Make a family chalice. It could be a clay flower pot turned upside down with the base on top. Make a chalice banner. Make chalice cookies. Read here about the meaning of the UU chalice.
Create UU “elevator speeches” together. Be able to answer the question, “What is Unitarian Universalism?” Use the seven UU Principles as a basis to get started.
www.uua.org (click on “Religious Education,” then “families”)