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Welcome to AUUC’s Children’s Spiritual Development Program!
Our cooperative religious education (RE) program is a key way we minister to the children, youth, and adults in our community. Our programs include nursery care, religious education classes for children through 8th grade, youth group for high school students, and various multigenerational spiritual development activities throughout the year.On this page, you’ll find:
This summer, the AUUC Children's Program presents Honoring Our Mother Earth: Experiences in Native American Spirituality. The program is designed for all ages (kindergarten and up) and will explore some of the basic elements of North American religious beliefs and traditions. The intent is to create an experience and appreciation of the heritage and beliefs of Native American peoples, through myths and stories, ceremonies and rituals, song and dance, and arts and crafts.
June 16: The Circle of Life
June 22: Oh Great Spirit
June 29: In the Beginning
July 6: All Things are Connected
July 13: We are all Related
July 20: Sacred Animals
July 27: Sacred Lands
August 3: Giving Thanks
August 10: A Native American Guest
August 17: Sacred Arts
August 24: Celebrating Native American Arts
August 31: Final Ceremony
We are excited to share this meaningful program with your child, as it celebrates our Unitarian Universalist seventh principle: we affirm and promote respect for the interdependent web of existence of which we are all a part. We are hoping that your child will participate in the program and attend as many lessons as possible. We realize your summer is busy, so please do drop in whenever you can.
Children’s Religious Education Classes for 2014 - 2015
Nursery - infants and toddlers.
We offer a comfortable space for young children, newborn to approximately 2.5 years old. Each Sunday, the nursery is staffed with volunteer hosts who welcome families and provide child care.
Preschool - “Celebrating Me and My World"
This curriculum by Deborah Chandler Pratt introduces religion and UUism to preschoolers by celebrating all the wonderful things about our bodies and the world around us.
Lower Elementary (Grades K & 1) - “Spirit of Adventure”
By Kate Tweedie Covey, this class will use the subjects of sports, medicine, food, winter holidays, science, building, exploring and the Web of Life to teach about famous UU’s and the UU identity. The lessons are mostly very active and use games and physical learning to teach the lessons; there are also quieter options for children who learn in less physical ways.
Upper Elementary (Grades 2 - 4) - “Bibleodeon”
Based on the curriculum by Kimball and Kimball, in this class students will experience the best-known Hebrew and Christian Bible stories with fun and interactive games, such as investigating the Cain and Abel crime scene and solving the “Mystery of the Day.” Participants also act in playlets, illustrate a timeline, give awards to outstanding biblical women, and more. They explore connections between biblical events and UU principles, between biblical ideas and their own lives.
Junior Youth (Grades 5-7) - “Amazing Grace” and “Heeding the Call”
Amazing Grace by Richard Kimball (Tapestry of Faith, UUA) explores the idea of right and wrong using UU principles and comparing other religions’ ideas of right and wrong. Heeding the Call by Nicole Bowmer and Jodi Tharan (Tapestry of Faith, UUA) is about creating justice-makers through UU principles and thoughts. It explores the ideas of justice and fairness and calls junior youth to be justice makers in all parts of their lives.
UUth (Grades 8-12) - “Popcorn Theology”This curriculum by Michelle Richards uses movies to inspire youth to notice UU values in everyday life and explore issues which may confront youth as they grow in their own life philosophies. The program is set up to discuss one movie per session related to a central topic for the month. At Accotink, we will modify the curriculum to focus on the church-wide theme of the month. Youth will attend the first service of the month and learn about the theme. They will then watch and discuss one movie throughout the rest of the month.
What can you expect on a typical Sunday morning at AUUC?
Several times throughout the year, we hold All-Ages services. On these special Sundays, the children stay upstairs with their families for the entire time. The service tends to incorporate more music, movement, and storytelling at a level accessible to children of all ages. Families are encouraged to allow their children to experience the entire service as another path to spiritual growth and community building. The nursery will be open for infants and particularly restless youngsters.
The promises we make about how we will treat each other and what we will do to create a safe and sacred space is called a covenant. This is our covenant:
First: a responsible adult immediately offers a quiet reminder that the behavior is out of bounds.
If behavior continues: the adult and child/youth hold a private conversation.
If needed: the child/youth has a private conversation with the Director of Spiritual Development (DSD) who will be in touch with the parents.
After a family conversation: the parents contact the DSD to indicate the child/youth understands the behavior was unacceptable and agrees to work harder to keep the covenant.
In the case of repeated difficulties: a parent/guardian may be asked to supervise the child/youth for an agreed upon time or the child/youth may be asked to take a break from Religious Education programs.
Visitors and newcomers are welcome to participate in our Children’s Religious Education Classes. After two visits, we ask that you complete a registration form. The registration form is found here, or ask a teacher or church staff for a copy. Return it to the church office or your teacher.
When the weather is nice, trips outside to the garden, grounds, and playgrounds are likely. Snacks are often served. Please be sure to let teachers know of any allergies or other conditions that might affect your child’s participation in class.
Children benefit the most when they attend religious education classes regularly. Their church experience deepens when they feel a part of a special group and build strong relationships. Parents can support their children’s participation by encouraging regular attendance and talking about their church experiences at home.
We welcome all children, youth and adults at AUUC. Our Seven Principles value each person’s inherent worth and call on us to support one another on our spiritual journeys. Many of the curricula have suggestions for how to adapt activities for a diversity of abilities and learning styles. Each individual has different needs, and by planning accommodations together, we hope to provide a successful learning experience for all. Please do not hesitate to speak with the DSD or Rev. Scott about your child's special needs.