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:

In our Children’s Spiritual Development Program, we aim to create safe and inclusive environments, through which we seek to help children and youth of all developmental stages and abilities:

  1. Know that each person is important, worthy of love and care.
  2. Affirm that they are part of a Unitarian Universalist religious heritage and intergenerational community of faith.
  3. Participate in our evolving search for truth.
  4. Develop skills for mutually caring relationships.
  5. Encourage a sense of responsibility toward others and the environment.
  6. Develop a personal spiritual practice that celebrates their faith and helps to live out their values in everyday life.
  7. Experience reverence for and connection to that which is larger than the self.

 

Multi-Age Summer Program

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.

Each participating student will be assigned to one of the directions of the Medicine Wheel: South (Wolf tribe), West (Bear tribe), North (Buffalo tribe), or East (Eagle tribe).

Each session will begin with a ceremony when all will gather to share the ideas of the theme for that day. Then students will join their 'tribes' to do activities that will carry on the theme.   Each week will center on an important element, leading to the final ceremony.

 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.

 If you have any questions about the summer program, please contact Whitney Purdy at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

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.


Sunday Mornings at a Glance

What can you expect on a typical Sunday morning at AUUC? 

  • 9:45 Guests, friends, & members arrive. Visitors sign in and are welcomed at entrance. New families are encouraged to stop downstairs and meet the teachers and Director of Spiritual Development. (Let teachers know of any allergies or other conditions that would affect your child’s participation in class.)
  • 10:00 Worship begins, with families in the sanctuary. Children participate through the Time for All Ages.
  • 10:15 Children leave the sanctuary with teachers for class. Parents are welcome to accompany children.
  • 11:15 Worship and classes end. Children in 5th grade and above will be dismissed; parents must pick up younger children from class. Join social hour upstairs.

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.


Our Covenant

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:

  • We respect everyone with our words and actions.
  • We are kind and work together to be fair to everyone.
  • We encourage one another to grow in spiritual ways.
  • We support each person's search for what is right and true in life.
  • We listen to our inner voice and to the hopes and concerns of others.
  • We work together to make our world peaceful, free, and fair.
  • We care for the Earth, its creatures, and our surroundings.


Families are asked to agree to this covenant before registering for the RE program. We all make mistakes at times or fail to live up to the promises we have made to one another. At those times, we will lovingly remind each other of our better selves.  When children or youth break 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.

 

Register Your Child for RE Class

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.

Special Needs

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.


For More Information

If you have any questions or would like more information about the Children’s Spiritual Development Program, please contact:

Volunteer

The programs we offer are a truly collaborative effort. They have grown out of the hopes and hard work of the members and friends of this faith community. The Children’s Spiritual Development Committee leads an extensive ministry that is staffed by many volunteers from the congregation, including those both with and without children currently in the program. If you would like to join a teaching team, assist in a classroom, or help the program in another way, please contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

1 Summer 2014 Religious Education
2 AUUC Relational Covenant