Religious Education Program for Children and Youth
Preschool-1st Grade: Stories, Rituals, and Fun
Children identify intangible gifts central to Unitarian Universalism such as friendship, hospitality and fairness, and share these gifts with others. Love Surrounds Us explores all the Principles in the context of Beloved Community of family/home, school, neighborhood. Participants engage in activities that emphasize the love they feel in community.
Monthly Children's Chapel
Children's Chapel is a time for children and youth to experience Unitarian Universalist worship together. Children and youth will begin their Sunday morning experience with the congregation at 9:15 am in the sanctuary. After the Story for All Ages, they will join Kimberlee in the Chapel downstairs. Children of all ages (Pre-K to 8th grade) meet together for UU ritual, song, story, and activities focused on building a community among the children during Children’s Chapel and developing mutual caring for children of differing ages.
Sexuality Education: Our Whole Lives
Our Whole Lives (OWL) Sexual Education is a series of sexuality education curricula for six age groups: grades K-1, grades 4-6, grades 7-9, grades 10-12, young adults (ages 18-35), and adults. Our Whole Lives 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, Our Whole Lives 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. All O.W.L. teachers work in teams and have sexual education training. Parent permission & orientation are required for students to attend.
For our Children’s Religious Education Program grades 2nd-6th, we have workshops for each month & theme. The workshop will explore the church’s theme and the story, or build upon it. Workshop leaders are all volunteers from the congregation.
Essential to this model is for each age group to have adults guiding them. The guides will offer the children consistency week to week, help the children navigate the workshops and have time to build relationships with the children. On Sunday, a Guide will bring the children down from the sanctuary to their workshop room, take attendance and introduce the workshop leader for the week. They will also help connect the workshops with our faith tradition by leading a check in at the beginning of class, and helping end the class with an overview of ideas learned.
7th and 8th Grade: Coming of Age
Coming of Age fosters the transition of our children into youth. Youth are asked to investigate their personal spirituality with the support of their teachers & mentors. Youth are encouraged to develop a greater sense of what they believe. They do this through discussion, listening, and participating in retreats and service projects. Classes may be designed to prompt the youth, challenge their modes of thinking, or aid them in furthering their ideas. At the end of the COA program, youth present their "faith/credo statements" written statements of belief and perspectives developed over the course of program. These youth also work together to fundraising for a UU Boston trip that they take together in the summer.
Senior High Youth Ministry
Youth meet every Sunday with one of four Youth Advisors who leads them in small group discussion on a variety of topics. Youth are also encouraged to participate in self-governance and leadership, social justice and service projects, multigenerational services and events, and congregational committees. Youth are involved in planning their own social events within the Church and for Region wide events such as Youth Conferences. Regular participation in Sunday youth group is required to participate in addition regional youth events.
The Unitarian Universalist Church, Rockford, IL | 4848 Turner St., Rockford, IL 61107 | 815-398-6322 | uurockford.org