Children's Faith Development Programs
The River of Grass Unitarian Universalist Congregation values children and understands the impact that faith development can have on the life of a child.
Unitarian Universalists believe that the search for truth and meaning is a life-long process. Our mission is to provide our children and youth with a spiritual foundation based on our Unitarian Universalist principles and a sense of reverence.
We will develop opportunities to nurture their spiritual, emotional, and intellectual growth through faith development classes, community building activities, and service. Our intention is to foster responsible stewards of our faith and its future.
What time on Sundays?
Our children begin their Sundays in worship with the larger community at 10:30 a.m. Together, we share in the lighting of our chalice and the reading of our covenant. A brief Story for All Ages ends with our children being blessed with a song as they move into their classrooms for faith development enrichment. Parents are asked to sign out their children from classes at 12:00 noon.
Ages Newborn to Four
Nursery Available from 10 am - 12 noon:
Our babies, toddlers, and preschoolers are introduced to Unitarian Universalism through warmth, acceptance, love, and play. Our loving attendant greets our children with a smiling face each Sunday in a nursery filled with comfy places to rest or rock, and fun places to read, play, and create. (Quiet babies are also welcome in our sanctuary and hospitality corner during services.)
Elementary and Junior Youth Programs
Our children and youth are invited to participate in high interest, thought provoking classes that explore Unitarian Universalist principles and sources of our faith. The 2017-1018 Sunday School year will present a seven-part series of sessions developed to explore our faith and better our world.
Senior Youth Programs
Perhaps more so than at any other time in one’s life, the teen years are about questioning and exploring. Who am I? What do I believe? How do my choices and actions affect the world around me? At River of Grass, we support teens on their path of learning and discovery through interactive, discussion-based classes as well as a number of hands-on social service opportunities. Additionally, older youth may choose to participate in Our Whole Lives (OWL), a nationally known, highly esteemed sexuality education curriculum that emphasizes knowledge, positive relationships, and responsible decision-making.
River of Grass teens have the opportunity to create and lead their own peer group activities with the support of trained adult advisors. Youth group is about fun stuff like movies or bowling nights, informal discussion meet-ups, and leadership development. (It is separate from Sunday School classes.) Youth aged 12 and older can attend CONS (conferences - or weekend gatherings of teens from around the state) sponsored by the statewide Beacon Youth Group. Our youth also plan and deliver at least one worship service annually, and plan or volunteer for a number of events.
Rites of Passage
The Rites of Passage programs listed below were conceived as a path for our children to learn and grow in their spiritual development and their understanding of Unitarian Universalism.
Principle Pals (Early Elementary)
This program teaches children about the seven principles of our faith tradition. Through discussions and activities that relate to each principle, these lessons will be the foundation for their ongoing spiritual journey.
Kindler of the Flame (Late Elementary)
This program teaches our children about the history and meaning of our Chalice, supports families in nurturing the chalice lighting at home, and prepares children to be Kindlers of the Flame during service. (Typically, children serve 2 to 3 years as Kindlers of the Flame.)
Affirmation Program (Teens)
Growing into maturity is a momentous occasion in many religions, and Unitarian Universalism is no different. Our participants will be challenged to reflect, articulate, and practice their UU faith. Our program consists of four parts: pairing youth with adult mentors, discussions and retreats that emphasize self-awareness and UU identity, service to the congregation and community, and a culminating affirmation ceremony.
As UUs, we believe service and social justice are important parts of congregational life – and something that should include children and youth along with adults. Our Faith Development students will create and participate in service projects benefitting the social justice causes they select; possible themes include animal welfare, feeding hungry families, or practicing tolerance.