Growing and Learning Together

We offer programs for children, youth, and their families from infancy through high school.

We are hiring!

We have a part-time position open on our Faith Formation & Religious Education Staff Team. The role of preschool – 6th Grade Coordinator is up to 20 hours per week and includes recruiting, training, and overseeing volunteer teaching teams for classes from preschool up to 6th grade.

Position Description

Faith Formation & Religious Education for Children and Youth

We offer faith formation and religious education through classroom experiences, music, drama, community outreach, and youth activities that nurture and support spiritual development. We offer community, social action, sexuality education, parenting support, family learning in a loving environment.

We provide programming during each Sunday service and at youth retreats and overnights. Each part of our program is designed to broaden and deepen your child’s faith formation. We partner with families in the work of raising young people who are ready and equipped to live well. We do this through the programming offered and the community built in the process of learning and growing together.

Our staff are glad to talk with you to answer questions, and we hope that you will attend a service soon.

 

Register kids in nursery through high school

Two children in Sunday religious education class.

We encourage all who participate in our programs for infants, children, and youth to register. There is no cost, and registering your children helps our program staff and volunteers to prepare the best possible classes. The process only takes a few minutes, and will help us collect important medical, allergy, and contact information. Thank you!

 

Register

 

 

The first five years

Three young children and teacher reading book in preschool Sunday school or religious education class.

Nursery (6 months up to 3 years)

In the Nursery, our priority is to ensure that infants and toddlers feel safe and secure. Trained and loving staff and volunteer caregivers ensure consistent and quality care. We have a variety of toys and books for the ages served, and secure outdoor play space that is designed for young ones to explore safely. We provide care for ages 6 months up to three years of age, and parents are always welcome to use the Nursery to care for their younger infants.

Preschool (toilet trained 3 & 4 year olds)

We offer activities based on a UUA curriculum, “Soul Matters” for our 3 & 4 year olds. This is related to the curriculum used in our Kindergarten to 3rd Grade classes as well as the themes used in Sunday services. The preschool classroom is located in the lower level Education Center and has furniture, toys, books, and materials designed for young children. To participate in the preschool class, children must be toilet trained.

If you are not sure whether your child will be most comfortable and happy in the nursery or joining the preschool class, please talk to Yvonne Wilken, our Director of Faith Formation and Religious Education, at yvonne@firstuniversalist.org.

Kindergarten through 3rd grade

Teacher reading book to young children in Sunday school religious education class.

Children and youth begin in the service each Sunday with their families. For the first 15 minutes we worship together, sharing the lighting of the chalice, readings, and singing “Spirit of Life” together.  A wisdom story or wisdom homily is shared to explore the monthly worship theme. After this shared time, teachers lead their classes out of the Sanctuary to their designated classrooms.

Summer Schedule

In the summer months, we have one Sunday service at 10:00 a.m. During the single service, children in preschool through 6th grade participate in a mixed-age program led by volunteers from the congregation. Each Sunday, we explore a different topic. the 2018 summer program is Summer of STEAM (Science, Technology, Art & Design, and Mathematics).

September through May Schedule

Kindergarten & 1st Grade and 2nd & 3rd Grade, Sundays at 9:15 a.m.

During the earlier service at 9:15 a.m., we hold a Soul Matters class for our Kindergarten & 1st Graders and a separate class for children in 2nd & 3rd Grade. Soul Matters is also what we draw from for the themes explored by the whole congregation in Sunday Services. What this means is there will be a connection between what our children are getting each Sunday with what our adults are getting in worship.

Sundays at 11:00 a.m.

During the later service at 11:00 a.m., children in Kindergarten through 6th Grade participate in a mixed-age “one room Sunday school.” The group uses the Soul Matters curriculum to bring the themes in introduced in the worship service into the children’s classroom. Each month Soul Matters, offers children’s lessons and activity ideas that are specifically designed for mixed-age classes. Depending on volunteers and attendance, children might break out into age specific groups for certain activities.

4th & 5th grade

Child and teachers in 4th Grade Religious Education class Bibleodeon

4th Grade: Bibleodeon, Sundays at 9:15 a.m.

During the earlier service on Sundays at 9:15 a.m, children in 4th grade use the Bibleodeon curriculum to learn about key stories and ideas in the Bible. This class gives students a basic understanding of the Bible and help them develop their critical thinking skills so that they are able to engage in conversation about the Bible, it’s stories, themes, and ideas.

5th Grade: Building Bridges, Sundays at 9:15 a.m.

During the earlier service on Sundays at 9:15 a.m, children in 5th Grade join the 6th and 7th Graders for Building Bridges. The class uses a two year curriculum to explore the differences and similarities of our faith neighbors, as well as our own Unitarian Universalist faith and history.

Each month our class will engage with one faith through workshop experiences that may include guest speakers, field trips, and an inquiry process meant to facilitate faith discovery, cultural appreciation, and spiritual development. Throughout, there will be opportunities to learn and live our Unitarian Universalist principles and values.

Sundays at 11:00 a.m.

During the later service at 11:00 a.m., children in Kindergarten through 6th Grade participate in a mixed-age “one room Sunday school.” The group uses the Soul Matters curriculum to bring the themes in introduced in the worship service into the children’s classroom. Each month Soul Matters, offers children’s lessons and activity ideas that are specifically designed for mixed-age classes. Depending on volunteers and attendance, children might break out into age specific groups for certain activities.

The middle school years: coming of age and shaping personal spiritual beliefs

Several middle school youth play board games with adult mentors.

6th & 7th Grade, Building Bridges, Sundays at 9:15 a.m.

During the earlier service on Sundays at 9:15 a.m, we hold a Building Bridges class. The class uses a two year curriculum to explore the differences and similarities of our faith neighbors, as well as our own Unitarian Universalist faith and history.

7th & 8th Grade, Coming of Age, Sundays at 11:00 a.m.

The Coming of Age (CoA) program is designed to honor the transition between childhood and youth. This vibrant class is a transformative experience that includes learning, growing, ritual, and celebration.

Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU)

Three teenage youth in conversation

YRUU (Young Religious Unitarian Universalists) is composed of youth and adult advisors. Through youth-adult partnership, this community decides, schedules and plans their events and activities based on community bonding, social justice, spirituality, and connections across generations. Our respect of each other and our covenant provides all of our youth with a safe place to share thoughts and feelings, explore, learn, and build life-long friendships. To learn more about YRUU, contact Youth Mentor Claire Reifert at claire@firstuniversalist.org

Sundays at 11:00 a.m.

Our youthful community gathers during the second Sunday Service at 11:00 a.m. to explore the monthly worship themes. Using a variety of curriculum and resources, all are encouraged to examine and share their views in an atmosphere of openness, honesty, tolerance, understanding, and acceptance of diversity. Activities, games and hands-on experiences also help build community within and reaching out into the wider world.

Youth Events

We hold regular evening gatherings and attend occasional public events together. To see upcoming events, visit out Youth Events calendar.

Youth Events

 

Our Whole Lives: sexuality and your life (OWL)

OWL Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education for Youth

Our Whole Lives: Sexuality and Your Life is a comprehensive twenty-seven session sexuality education course produced by the UUA and the United Church of Christ, and offered in a majority of UU churches and many schools nationwide. The course is designed to facilitate:

  • Understanding of the dynamics of sexuality in their lives
  • Ability to communicate about sexual concerns and issues with parents and peers
  • Communication skills essential for emotional intimacy
  • Building strong foundations for making healthy, safe, and responsible decisions about sexuality and relational behavior.

Classes are led by four comprehensively trained OWL teachers of different genders in a safe environment in which to explore sensitive issues with honesty and integrity.

Parents and teens must attend an orientation session so that they can give informed consent if their teenager chooses to participate in the course.

Building community with Unitarian Universalist youth

We participate in weekend conferences for middle school and high school youth in collaboration with other Unitarian Universalist congregations in our district, the Mountain Desert District of the UUA.

“Cons” are weekend events that run from Friday after dinner to Sunday morning. Separate events are organized for youth in middle school and high school (YRUU). Congregations in the Mountain Desert District take turns hosting Cons, and all district youth and adult allies are invited. From the MDD website, “At Cons, we create a world that embodies our UU beliefs. Cons are an opportunity for UUs to put our principles into action. Attendance ranges from 40 to 130 youth and adults. A ratio of no less than one adult for every seven youth is mandatory. They focus on youth and adult lead workshops and worships and Youth Adult Committee business. They foster a feeling of community in which youth and adult participants treat each other with mutual respect.”

 

Learn more