Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all children ages five and above are required to wear face masks at all time while inside the church buildings.
During Fall 2021, children K-6 will all learn together. Middle Schoolers (7-8) will participate in the COAST program, and High Schoolers (9-12) will have their own monthly meeting.
UUSO Religious Education Classes are multi-aged and configured based on each year’s attendance. The Nursery, Explorers and Seekers meet in the downstairs Rainbow Rooms at Chapin Memorial. Mid-Teens and Sr. High youth meet in the Gathering Room, also in the downstairs of Chapin.
Nursery Care is available for children five years old and younger in the lower level at Chapin Memorial from 10:15 – 12:00. Children are also always welcome to attend services in the sanctuary. Chalice Bags (Activity bags) are available at the welcome table in the back of the sanctuary for those who like to keep their hands busy.
The Explorers (Grades K-3): The Explorers curriculum rotates between the following yearly themes: Unitarian Universalist Heritage, Jewish and Christian Heritages, the Interdependent Web of Life, and Religions of the World. Peace and Social Justice projects are woven through all themes. Classes may involve stories, games, discussions, art projects, meditation, and snack. Each group is taught by dedicated teachers who work from favorite Unitarian Universalist curricula. Classes are fun, active, thoughtful and creative.
The Seekers (Grades 4-6): Hogwarts Classes and Popcorn Theology Classes are usually offered every other year.
Mid-Teens Youth Group (Grades 7-8): This group meets when there neither OWL nor COAST is being offered. (See below) The Mid-Teens group has the guidance of two adult advisers each time they meet. Examples of what the group might do involve a regular check-in time, UU curriculum, discussion, spiritual study or experience, games, and/or conduct a social action project. Some Youth opt to participate in the adult worship services or to help lead a service for the church. UUSO Youth build community together by listening to and supporting each other.
COAST addresses a youth’s passage from one stage to another. It is open to youth that attend the UUSO as well as to others with permission. COAST offers participants a chance to recognize and celebrate the passage from childhood toward adulthood. Participants choose an adult mentor from the congregation. They participate in regular Sunday classroom sessions and some weekend retreats. The group also works on fund raising activities to gather funds for their culminating pilgrimage to Boston (and the Headquarters of the UUA). With the assistance of mentors, classmates, and class advisers, each participant prepares a Belief Statement that will be shared with the congregation during a Coming of Age Celebration Service the following spring. There is a fee for the program to help cover the costs of materials and events. Scholarships are available.
OWL is an award-winning, comprehensive, sexuality curriculum that focuses on self-worth, sexual health, responsibility, justice and inclusivity. It is for young adolescents with the goal of providing a safe and comfortable environment to learn and explore issues of sexuality. Grounded in an holistic view of sexuality, Our Whole Lives not only provides facts about anatomy and human development, but also helps participants clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality. OWL contains no religious references or doctrine. The goal of OWL is not to replace parents as sexuality educators for their adolescents, but to support parent/adolescent communication. OWL adult class leaders are certified through a training program offered by the Unitarian Universalist Association. Please note: Participation in the OWL class is by parental permission ONLY. All participants must register in the fall. To preserve the confidentiality and safety of the group, it is the only RE class where guests are not allowed during the year. Non-UU’s may also take this class with special permission.
YRUU (Grades 9-12): Young Religious Unitarian Universalists is most often for those in Grades 9-12. Occasionally we host a Jr/Sr YRUU for those in grades 7-12. YRUU is part of the national youth organization of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Class members decide the course of their year together along with their adult advisors and DRE. Youth can serve on UUSO committees, work in the Nursery, or offer teachers assistance in RE classrooms. Older YRUU teens may choose to attend Unitarian Universalist Youth Conferences that are offered throughout the district. UUSO Youth often find that living their values of inclusivity and social justice at their respective high schools can lead to needing the extra support of their UUSO Youth group. Their group provides a safe and nurturing space to truly be themselves.
Please contact the Office Administrator at UUSO@uuso.org if you have any questions.