Children & Youth Faith Formation
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Special Message for Returning Families
There are some exciting communities emerging for our children, youth and families in this new environment. …And we are with you in your grief about the losses and changes to our program.
Some familiar classes won’t be offered this year – such as Our Whole Lives (OWL). Due to safety and logistics barriers, the curriculum publishers have prohibited its use online. Instead,we are offering Taking Flight, Online Sex Edcuation. We hope to gather in person and offer them the OWL curriculum in 2021-2022. We’ll also offer the curriculum called Parents and Caregivers as Sexuality Educators for adults, and hope to have groups for those with 1st-2nd graders, 5th-6th graders, and 8th-9th graders, as these are the grade levels whose OWL education has been interrupted by the pandemic. Look for more information by mid-September.
Later in the year, look for announcements about optional milestone classes like Senior Bridging for 12th graders. We are working hard to preserve and translate those experiences, and to celebrate our kids as they grow — while helping their families to keep up!
We’re in this together, and that is one thing that will never change.
Information for Families
We assist each child in nurturing a spiritual life, ethical awareness, Unitarian Universalist identity, and faith development. The Faith Formation Council, together with the Director of Faith Formation, carefully choose our curricula that best fit these objectives in age-appropriate groupings. For more information, contact Devon McClurken, Director of Faith Formation, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 515-244-8603 Ext. 104.
Here’s some information you will find especially helpful. (In-person information)
All children attending faith formation classes (not in childcare) start the morning with their family in the service and walk down to the classrooms together after the children’s story/message.(When we meet in person) A designated responsible adult for children 14 years and younger must be on the church premises on Sunday mornings, Wednesday evenings, or at events.(When we meet in person) Children in 3rd grade and under must be picked up from their classroom by their designated adult at the end of class. Older children will be released on their own. If your child attends both class times, your child must join you during coffee hour.(When we meet in person)
- ALL families must complete a Faith Formation registration form to enroll children in classes and/or childcare.
- Families are encouraged to participate in the Faith Formation program through multiple volunteer opportunities. Contact Devon McClurken at 244-8603 ext. 104 or via email at email@example.com.
A Safe Community
- All teachers sign a Code of Ethics at the beginning of the year.
- Background checks for all teachers and childcare workers will be conducted every five years, unless circumstances change.
- Two teachers will be present in the classroom at all times.
- The Director of Faith Formation is a mandatory reporter of any suspected child abuse or neglect.
Visitors are encouraged to have the Director of Faith Formation give them a tour of classrooms.(When we meet in person)
- Any parent or guardian is welcome to attend and observe classes on Sunday mornings and/or Wednesday evenings.
Faith Formation Ministry Team
- Anne Stamper
- Sally Boeckholt
- Chelsea Hayes
All Ages Children’s Chapel
September 13 – May 30
Youth-led Children’s Chapel with sermons from Rev. Amy. Youth will choose which songs, readings and activities they do each week.
October – May 30
Saturday Night Live, JR Edition! (Saturdays)
October 3- May
Fun and active storytime with crafts and movement. There will even be Spanish and centering/stretching time. This will be held on Saturdays and recorded so parents can do it at their own time.
Sing and Play, the UU Way!
October 7- May
Nancy Bratt, Doug, and Will Esty will be leading youth through popular UU hymns and movement and theater games.
5:45 -6:30 pm
ChUUrch Craft 4-6th Grade
October 7- May
ChUUrchcraft uses the popular app Minecraft as a vehicle for processing learned information on world religions. A building with multiple rooms is created and supplied to the class. As the class learns about a world religion, part of each class is dedicated to designing a room within the building, devoted to the practice of that religion. At the end of the year, the class will have created a building with rooms devoted to the practice of many religions, essentially a Unitarian Universalist congregation.
Taking Flight: Online Sexual Education: 7-8th grade
October 21- March
18 Week Module utilizing parts of 7th Grade OWL to teach sexual education with the goal to help youth explore their own sexual values and to build social and sexual decision-making skills. More info to come.
Coming of Age: Grade 8
October 2- May 26
6:00 – 7:30 pm
When we provide the time and opportunities for authentic relationships to develop, then the youth gradually experience powerful transformation – they Come of Age. With the help of their families and their church community, they learn who they are, and they decide what they stand for. This is how each youth creates their own empowering story. During Coming of Age, each youth will develop a faith statement. To create their own faith statements, the “Big Questions” are tackled are a week. Such as: What do you believe about God? What happens after we die? How do you live a moral life? Why do bad things happen? Each youth is also paired up with a carefully chosen adult mentor from the congregation. Youth and mentors meet about twice a month and also complete a service project together. The year begins with a parent/youth meeting to share information about the Coming of Age year. The year concludes with a Celebration Dinner and Coming of Age Service, during which the youth plan and lead Sunday services, as well as present their own faith statements.