FAMILIES VISITING WITH CHILDREN and
OUR APPROACH TO RELIGIOUS EDUCATION
Religious Education at the First Church draws from our Biblical heritage and from our Unitarian Universalist belief that wisdom can be found in all of the world’s great religious traditions. For many of us, “Interfaith” is not just a concept but a lived reality here in the 21st century. We take seriously the third source of our “living tradition” as a UU congregation and affirm that “Wisdom from the world's religions” can “inspire us in our ethical and spiritual life.”
We also believe in the importance of teaching and celebrating our inherited Biblical tradition, and we encourage other UU congregations to do the same. We think it is important that our members and children can appreciate and find inspiration in the ideas and ways of being religious that are a part of our own history and practice. We describe ourselves sometimes as a congregation on an ongoing mission to rescue the Bible from lesser informed and meaner-spirited traditions. This influences how we use the precious time we have with our kids on Sunday mornings.
We strive to help each young person explore their connection to the sacred, develop a deep reverence for life, and become more ethically aware. Our program seeks to build connections within our own congregation as well as with the greater community.
We begin each Sunday service in the Meetinghouse as a multigenerational community. After the opening song and chalice lighting, children and youth are invited forward for the Children's Moment. Students then leave the service and head to class.
We provide infant and toddler care for children ages 6 months through age 3. We have a regular and dedicated group of staff and volunteers who make this happen every week. Children ages Pre-K through Grade 1 attend the First Steps Class, and kids in Grades 2 through 5 meet in the Explorers/Navigators Group. Middle and high school youth each meet in Willson Hall and in the “Yellow Room.” Sunday activities include stories, creative play, social justice projects, field trips and special seasonal events.
In addition to Sunday mornings, families participate in many fun social events throughout the year. We have “Family Fun Nights,” pancake breakfasts, a family Christmas party, "Sundae Sunday," movie nights and Chocolate Sunday, which is always a favorite. Students in Grades 7 through 9 participate in the Our Whole Lives (OWL) program. Grades 7 and 8 have a Coming of Age program. Our High School Youth Group meets for both social events and meaningful conversation. Each year the students select a social justice cause to support and explore. They then share their knowledge with the congregation.
We believe that "Sunday School" can be fun, inspiring and relevant. Kids really like our program and want to come on Sundays. That's our goal! Together we learn to grow in spirit and in community.
For more information, feel free to speak with Deborah DiGuilio or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Religious Education Committee
The RE committee works to create, plan, and run all child/youth related programs and events offered at The First Church. We support the RE director and Minister in providing our families with a fun, safe and affirming learning environment.
Chair: Valentina Burbank
Members: Bob Allen, Stephanie Diozzi, Chris Finn, Christiane Hansen-Mitsev