Child and Youth Religious Exploration

We’re glad you’re here!


image(3)Our young ones are very important to us!  With an associates degree in early childhood education and many years of experience with children of all ages, Elizabeth Cohen manages our trained staff of volunteers (that’s her on the right in the photo). Care in the nursery is provided for children up to age 7 through the first hour of Forum, and for children through age 3 through the end of the worship service.

Spirit Circle Sundays

On these Sundays, children preschool-8th grade will gather directly in room 101-03 for a UU worship designed especially for them.  Together we will light the chalice, sing hymns, listen to stories, and meditate, as well as create art and do other special projects intended to help nurture and grow young hearts.

Most Sundays

Children preschool age and up are invited to join their parents in the sanctuary for the worship service.  Children who wish to participate in r.e. are encouraged to begin in the sanctuary and stay through the “time for all ages” segment of the worship service.  After time for all ages children are sung out to go to their religious exploration classes.

Occasionally, there will be “multi-generational” or “all ages” worship services scheduled.  On those Sundays, there will be no r.e. classes.

Preschool- Kindergarten

339174_2712182852653_1069586072_oThis year we will be introducing Spirit Play to this group.  The class will explore the power of stories from Unitarian Universalism and various religious traditions as well as stories of promise and peace. The children will have the opportunity to explore their understanding of words such as Faith, God, and the Mystery. They will learn there are as many stories as there are interpretations and beliefs behind the story. After the story children will be invited and encouraged to use art to deepen their understanding of what the story means to them.  Class is led by a specially trained Spirit Play guide and a parent volunteer.

1st/2nd, 3rd, and 4th Grades

1149393_10200830988831688_1030543539_oOur theme for the 2013-14  year is Unitarian Universalism, with each month devoted to focusing on one of our seven principles.  Each class moves through a three week rotation of workshops.  The workshops are designed to engage and inspire, with a chalice lighting, check-in,and brief biography of a prominent UU facilitated by one of the three classroom guides for the class.  A lesson with an activity that relates back to the prominent UU and designed to be experiential follows and is taught by an inspirational teacher from the congregation.

5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Grades

The Questing Year curriculum invites participants to journey along on four quests of self, church, mystery, and social action.  Each session will offer a ritual opening and closing, plus quest activities and an energy burner.  Middle-schoolers will meet outstanding UUs, contemporary as well as historical, engage in meditation and other spiritual practices.  Among other things, they will play “bad stuff” basketball, draw UU people, experiment with tolerance, go on walkabouts, and ask if Santa Claus reflects UU values.  Classes are facilitated by one of three trained guides plus a parent volunteer.

Youth Group

1149306_10200830987191647_507334866_oThe youth group enjoys tremendous support from the congregation,enabling them to host Leadership Development training and the MidAmerica Region’s Youth Justice Conference last year, and Youth Chaplaincy training this year.  Youth group is self-directed, with a team of adult advisors who take turns providing guidance on Sundays and chaperoning special events and trips.  Sunday mornings are spent discussing topics that youth identify and judge to be relevant.  Opportunities for group members outside of Sunday morning class-time includes traveling to youth conferences (CONS), all ages and youth-led worship services, justice projects, and social/fellowship events.  This year, youth will take turns volunteering time at Family Promise, a local organization that supports families who are in transition.

OWL (Our Whole Lives) Program


OWL is a values-based curriculum that helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. It equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information in six subject areas: human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, OWL provides not only facts about anatomy and human development, but helps participants to clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality.

In order for a child to participate in the program, parents must attend a mandatory orientation session.  At the orientation session, the teaching team will introduce parents to the curriculum and the philosophy of the program.

UUC offers OWL for grades 7-9 on intermittent years as needed.  Planning is tentatively underway to offer OWL for the 2014-15 church year.  All OWL facilitators are comprehensively trained through the UUA (Unitarian Universalist Association).

Religious Exploration Calendar 2013-14

***Please note this is a working calendar- events may be added and dates are subject to change.  We will announce changes as they occur.

September- Unitarian Universalism

8: All Ages* – Water Communion
15: Opportunity Fair (before and after the service)
**First Day of RE Classes** (everyone begins in the sanctuary)
22:R.E. Classes/Fire Drill/Ice cream social
29: R.E. Classes (workshop rotation begins)

October- Inherent Worth and Dignity

5: UUC Hosts Spirit Play Training, 9-5
6: R.E. Classes
11-13: UUC Hosts MidAmerica Region Youth Chaplaincy Training
13: R.E. Classes
20: ***Spirit Circle Sunday***
27: Fall Break, no re classes

November- Justice, Equity, & Compassion

3: *All Ages* Stone Soup Service; Guest at Your Table Kick-off
10: ***RE Trip to Black Cultural Center at Purdue***
17: ***Spirit Circle Sunday- (Focus on Family Promise) ***
24: Collect GAYT Boxes, RE Classes: Holiday pageant practice

December- Acceptance & Spiritual Growth

1: Thanksgiving Break, no re classes
6-7: Art Fair
8: Mitten tree/ practice holiday pageant
15: All Ages Holiday Pageant***
22: ***Spirit Circle Sunday; Holiday Crafts from Cultures Around the World**
29: Holiday Break, no re classes

January- Free and Responsible Search for Truth and Meaning

26: ***Spirit Circle***

February- Democracy

2: Spirit Circle*** (annual Valentine making party)
23: All Ages* Youth Service

March- World Community & Peace

9: All Ages* “Celebrating Women” Service
16: Spring Break- no RE classes

April- Interdependent Web

20: ***Spirit Circle, Easter/Food Finder’s benefit canned food hunt***

May- Church Family

18: *All Ages*: RE Sunday


1: All Ages*  Flower Communion

***Please note this is a working calendar- events may be added and dates are subject to change.  We will announce changes as they occur.

Additional information

Religious Exploration Prospectus: 2013-14REBrochure2

Religious Exploration Registration Form: Registration13-14

Permission Slip:Youth Group Permission Form