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). We are in our 2nd year of using the Theme Based Workshop Rotation Model of Religious Education. In this model, the workshops are led by congregants who have a passion or talent in a particular area. Grade level classes are guided by leading learners who provide both spiritual and practical support and consistency in relationships. Each week, the children will explore the monthly theme through a variety of venues. Workshops include: Performing and Fine Arts, Meditation/Yoga, Social Justice, Nature, and Games and Sports. See Additional Offerings for a description of the "Choose Your Own Adventure" Sundays.
Middle school (6th to 8th grades). The Middle School curriculum rotates through three pillars of faith: World Religions, Judeo-Christian Heritage, and Unitarian Universailsm. We are now in that third rotation. This year, students will explore Unitarian Universalism through an in depth look at our principles, sources, and some notable UU ancestors. In addition, Middle School classes will get more involved with the congregation at large with a pancake breakfast, chili lunch, and Halloween party among other events.
11:15 Service ONLY
High school (9th to 12th grades). For it's 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 Relgious Education Committee. The YAC includes appropriate All Souls' staff (Youth Ministry Co-ordinator and/or Direcotr of Religious Education) as well as Adult Advisors, but its business is conducted and led by the youth themselves.
The All Souls' Youth RE program additionally offers Our Whole Lives (OWL) sexuality education programming. The Our Whole Lives (OWL) Human Sexuality Program equips participants with a grounded and holistic view of sexuality and sex. Open to all 10th-12th graders, Senior High OWL is offered every other year.
To find out more about All Souls' Youth Religious Education programming, contact James Ploeser, Youth Ministry Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org
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 (email@example.com). Lessons can also be found on the website, here.
If you have a middle schooler exploring our Judeo-Christian Heritage, ask them about how our monthly themes might pertain to this week's lesson. The lessons will be able to 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”)