Children & Youth Religious Education
A Message from our Director of Religious Education
Welcome to the UUCSV’s Religious Education Program! UUCSV is a special place for our children and youth to learn and grow while discovering what is important in their lives and what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist. The enthusiasm and joy that participants bring to UUCSV is the key to its success.
UUCSV is a place where our children and youth are encouraged to be themselves and where they can celebrate their differences while developing their own values for living with their questioning minds in a safe, loving, and supportive atmosphere.
We encourage our children and youth to explore the spiritual world through a variety of experiences. We want to help our children open themselves to the gifts that life and people have to offer while appreciating their own gifts as well.
Please take time to read through this brochure to learn about the different programs we offer. Members of the Religious Education Committee and I are committed to making sure that you and your family have a positive and enriching experience. I am happy to meet with you and your family to discuss our RE program and the ways it can help enhance your lives.
In love and peace,
Correna M. Ness, “Cory” – Credentialed Religious Educator – Associate Level
“The greatest gifts we can give our children, it is said, are “roots and wings.” Unitarian Universalist religious education seeks to give us all, no matter what our ages, roots of connection and wings of possibility and hope. Makanah Elizabeth Morriss, The UU Pocket Guide
The Children & Youth Religious Education Program creates a safe, supportive and welcoming environment that encourages our children and youth to explore their own beliefs, spirituality, UU heritage, identity, & traditions, and to respect self, others and our planet.
To help our children and youth:
- To build a positive sense of self.
- To explore their own spirituality.
- To see themselves as part of the church community by developing peer and intergenerational relationships.
- To celebrate Unitarian Universalist principles and beliefs.
- To develop an understanding and respect for diversity in society.
- To develop a sense of social responsibility with the ability to translate it into action.
- To develop an understanding and respect for different religions and belief systems.
- To practice environmental awareness.
UUCSV Religious Education Classes are held during the 11:00 a.m. service from September – June.
Important Information for Parents
Parents we need you to be in RE too!
We expect you to help our program to be the best it can be! To have the greatest impact on their spiritual development, bring your children regularly, and volunteer to be a teacher or serve on the RE Committee. If teaching isn’t your “thing,” the RE Committee and the DRE can fit you and your talents into our program in ways that will enrich your life and those of all the children & youth! It takes a village to raise a UU. Your commitment that religious education will be a priority in their lives makes all the difference.
All children and youth regularly attending classes must have a completed registration on file. Occasional guests and visitors need only complete a visitor registration form. Permission slips, signed by a parent/guardian are required for off site field trips & overnight church lock-ins. Additional parental permission is also requested for the use of children’s photographs on UUCSV website and Facebook pages. It is included on the registration form.
Classroom Placement & Guidelines
All students are assigned to a class based on their age and grade. This placement generally insures that the student will be exposed to the particular curriculum that most meets their needs and interests, as well as providing the student with the most appropriate peer group with which to relate. Changes to these assignments will be made only with the consent of the RE Committee in consultation with the DRE and the teachers involved.
Background screenings are performed on all RE volunteers and two volunteers are required to be in each classroom during class time. If two teachers are not available for any given class, that class may be canceled for the day and the students will remain in the service with their parents. Behavior policies are in place and provide guidelines to the volunteers on dealing with behavioral issues. Creating a safe and sacred space for our children and youth is a top priority; therefore there is a strict NO NUTS policy in effect for all classrooms and the Library. The RE committee will provide a copy of all RE policies upon request.
Social Action and Justice in Religious Education
This year the Religious Education and Social Action & Justice Committees are working together, creating opportunities for our children and youth to put their faith into action. Please be sure to watch the weekly announcements and monthly newsletter for scheduled activities!
Because it is important to our congregation for all ages to be together each week, our Children and Youth join us in worship during the opening portion of most Sunday services. Children and Youth attend the first fifteen minutes of worship with their families in the sanctuary.
Children’s Worship occurs the third Sunday each month beginning in October through May and is intended to help our children understand for themselves what UU’s believe, show them ways they can apply and practice those beliefs in their lives now, and give them a religious language that will enable them to share their faith tradition with their friends. This service is for all of our children and parallels the sanctuary service with singing of hymns, lighting the chalice, and a story. Children may have the opportunity to participate as worship leaders.
For more information, contact Cory Ness, Director of Religious Education
Office – 540-869-6965
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: www.uushenandoah.org