Children’s and Youth Religious Education
The Unitarian Universalist faith doesn’t pretend to give children all the answers to the big questions. Unitarian Universalism puts its faith in people’s ability to explore the unknown together. -Terry Stafford
Wildflower’s religious education program recognizes that parents are their children’s primary religious educators. Wildflower strives to support parents in that role by providing a meaningful religious education program that makes a positive difference in children’s and youth’s lives by encouraging them to:
- Acknowledge and pay attention to the spiritual part of life;
- Develop a foundation of knowledge to evaluate possibilities in terms of spiritual paths;
- Develop their own religious and spiritual beliefs and path.
Ages of Children We Serve
Our children’s religious education program serves babies and children through 18 years. We provide childcare every Sunday from 9:30 am to 1 pm for children 1-4 years of age. Children age 4 and above may begin in the Pre-K class when they are developmentally ready. Grades 2-5 attend class together, and youth from 6th-12th grade. Currently, infants remain with their parents. Childcare is available for all ages from 9:30-11:30 am and during Sunday afternoon meetings when requested.
What Happens on Sunday Mornings?
Children stay with their parents for the first 15 minutes of the worship service, which begins at 11:30 am. After the congregation “sings the children out,” teachers lead them to their classes. The children’s program ends at about 12:45 pm, usually 15 minutes after the Worship Service ends. Childcare begins at 9:30 am and continues until 1 pm. Children attending childcare do not have to begin in the service. To promote child safety, two adults are present in childcare and all classes. In accordance with our Safe Church policy, all RE teachers and care providers undergo background checks.
Getting Started in Religious Education
Before your child’s first Sunday in the religious education program, please register him or her by filling out a Registration Form. Parents are always welcome to visit the RE and childcare classes.
Pre-K – 6th grade
UU World Travelers – Ages 5-12
Each Sunday children “tour” a different country, learn about that country’s culture, religions, and history, and engage in music and dance, arts and crafts, games and activities led by congregational members. The program is provided by the leaders, called “Tour Guides,” who have volunteered to plan and lead a Sunday tour, share their knowledge, and bring their travel experiences into the classroom. Each Sunday children have their “passports” stamped with a flag sticker of the country they have visited. We will visit many exciting places like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Ireland.
Middle and High School Youth, Sixth – Twelfth Grades
The youth will meet occasionally in the summer. Stay tuned.
Safe Church Policy
Wildflower Church, a Unitarian Universalist congregation, affirms and promotes the inherent worth and dignity of every person, as well as justice, equity, and compassion in human relations. In that spirit, we are called to encourage the spiritual growth and to ensure the safety of all children, youth, and adults who are a part of our religious community whether for a moment or for life. The following policies and procedures are guidelines for keeping children, and youth safe; educating adults, youth, and children in the congregation about sexual abuse and prevention; and responding to anyone who has been convicted or accused of sexual offenses. These policies and procedures shall be made readily accessible to any person who may wish to see them. Read the Safe Church Policy.
Community-Building Opportunities for Families
Many families come to church looking not only for worship services and religious education, but also for a sense of community. Our church offers many family-friendly opportunities for getting to know one another better. Participating in social action projects gives families another way to connect with other church members while helping the larger community. Additionally, the church hosts hikes, campouts, work days, and other family-friendly events. Check out the Order of Service on Sunday, the Weekly News sent via email (email firstname.lastname@example.org to get on this list), the monthly newsletter, and the calendar to learn about family-friendly Wildflower events.
Helping with the Children’s Religious Education Program
The Children’s Religious Education program depends heavily on volunteers, with support and oversight from the Board of Trustees. As Wildflower Church grows and blossoms, so will our program. We need parents and other interested adults to share their visions for children’s religious education and their skills: story-telling, music, teaching, organization, you-name-it! Join the Children’s RE Team Facebook group for news, updates, and ways to get involved.
Director of Religious Education
Penny Burnette, email@example.com
Penny has been a member of Wildflower Church since 2001, when she joined the Children’s Religious Education Committee and served as a teacher. Since that time she has served as the chair of the Fun & Fellowship and the Childcare committees. In 2003, she became a co-chair and then chair of the Children's Religious Education committee. She began working as the Director of Religious Education in June, 2005. She is a member of the Liberal Religious Educator’s Association (LREDA) and has attended five modules of the Renaissance Program for professional religious educators and two LREDA conferences. She has three children — Aaron, Jacob and Nathan.