Children & Youth Religious Education
Religious Education for Children & Youth
All children and youth, whether visiting for the first time or attending for the 50th, are invited to learning engagements on Sunday concurrent with the worship service. Please note that the Our Whole Lives class is available open in September only.
Sunday, January 19 – Special MLK, Jr Day of Service
- Baking Cookies for the Educating4Change Pathway to Racial Justice MLK January programming: Todays’ movie Rigged: Voter Suppression Playbook
- Making sandwiches & cookies for Bethesda Cares outreach to the Homeless
- Making Fidget Busters for Children at NIH’s Children’s Inn
- Making Toys for cats housed in animal shelters
A Unitarian Universalist Montessori-influenced learning space called Spirit Play invites children to engage the story of the human family, stirring their curiosity and creating space to explore their own thinking and responses to the world. The morning concludes with a communal feast and sometimes a trip to the playground. Our weekly stories are chosen to complement the monthly spiritual theme (January: Brokenness & Repair). January 19 — A Lesson About Martin Luther King, Jr. (informed by our UU Source: Words & Deeds of Prophetic Men & Women)
Sacred Spaces (K-5th Graders)
Our spiritual theme-based learning ministry encourages each participant to teach and reach and create and make and ask and query and share and serve. Children take turns in each learning modality: CREATE, ACT, EXPLORE and PRACTICE allowing for multiple expressions and play with the Unitarian Universalism. Learning is infused with a maker philosophy allowing children to discover and express what they already “know.” All ages begin in the Sanctuary for the beginning of the worship service. Elementary Learners (K-5th) breakout by age groupings (K-2nd; and 3rd-5th, two of each) into workshop rotations examining the January spiritual theme of Brokenness & Repair. The First Sunday, January 5, all K-5th learning groups will play group bonding games and create a Covenant establishing values to define their engagements with each other. On January 12, learning groups engage:
- Act/Room 23 & 25: Building Conflict Resolution Skills (3rd-5th)
- Create/Room 24: Kintsugi (Blue & Red, K-2nd)
Middle School (6th, 7th, and Non-OWL 8th Graders)
Our sixth and seventh graders meet together and alternate between two curricula, “Amazing Grace” which is a UU values based curriculum and “Heeding the Call: Qualities of a Justice Maker” which focuses on social justice and our faith.
The class also uses group games and activities to help them learn to navigate the middle school years. They do several fun activities throughout the year such as creating a haunted house for younger kids and painting the windows near the childcare center during the holidays.
Our Whole Lives (OWL) (8th and 9th Graders)
This curriculum teaches 8th grade participants to make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. It equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information in: sexuality, sex, sensuality, anatomy, friendships, dating, communication, health care and more.
Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, Our Whole Lives not only provides facts about anatomy and human development, but also helps participants clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality. Note: Permission from parents is required for this class, and parents or guardians must attend a parent/guardian orientation. Eighth grade visitors are welcome in the non-OWL Middle School class. Next class opens Fall 2020.
High School Youth Group
Our high school youth group Sunday morning time is youth-directed and adult assisted. Youth choose topics to learn about and discuss from current issues to world religions. They also use this time to bond as a group, do social justice projects, and projects that serve the congregation.
For K-12thgrade at both services, beginning in October, we extend the Sunday morning’s learning to include parents. Kids begin the learning in class, inviting families, when able, to join them for 20-30 minutes after the worship service, to finish up. Most often, it will be a social justice or service learning project, but we will also include spiritual practice engagements. First Sundays are:
October – Tidying Shared Natural Spaces
November – Congregational Peace Crane Project
December — Gingerbread (this Family Sunday is December 15)
January — Making our Covenant
- January 19 MLK Weekend Children & Youth of all Ages will meet together in Fellowship Hall for a Day of Service working on service projects of their choice. Parents are invited to meet them and join in after the worship service. Watch for more information here.
February — Polar Fleece Blankets for our Neighbors
March — Stewardship
May – Game Day
Religious Education offerings at 11:15am
Childcare & Preschool
Children spend their Sunday morning in our loft and activity-based Childcare space.
Elementary (K-5th Graders)
Note: Our Fall registration for this offering at this time is too small to offer it every week. Whenever three K-5th grade children are attend, we will offer this class. On other Sundays, see the Welcomers or the Religious Educator for worship kits for the Sanctuary or if they wish, they can be included in Childcare.
If interested in this offering, please call or contact Gabrielle Farrell, the Religious Educator as it does not always meet.
Coming of Age (9th & 10th Graders)
A year-long study of Unitarian Universalism and intersections with congregational life and one’s individual growth, is scheduled for next congregational year (2020-2021).