Religious Education Workshops
Engaging, Connecting, Meaningful, Fun!
THEME-BASED RELIGIOUS EDUCATION WORKSHOPS
On the first Sunday of each month, we gather as an intergenerational community for the first part of worship. We share a “story for all ages” that illustrates a theme that we explore in workshops for the rest of the month using different lenses–art, nature, games, food, music, movement, etc.
(See a description of our RE age groups, below.)
Our “First Sunday” intergenerational experience gives everyone in the congregation a common story and set of ideas to share. Join us for this wonderful connection!
On Sunday mornings, our Religious Education program is divided into the nursery and three older age-groups. Our Youth Group (NUUCYG) meets outside of Sunday mornings. Please see the age guidelines as a rough division only—we are always happy to be flexible and accommodating should children be more suited for a class outside of their literal age range.
Our nursery is staffed by professional sitters during choir practice, service, and during congregational meetings and some special events. During service, nursery is generally reserved for children 2 and under.
Our youngest structured religious education program, Chalice Children explore monthly themes through the Montessori-inspired UU program, Spirit Play. Spirit Play centers on presenting and grounding children in UUism through storytelling and free-choice activities. See www.Spirit-Play.com for more information. We celebrate inherent spirituality with joyful activities that help us understand ourselves and forge connection within the group.
Explorers love to dive in and have fun together! Our sessions include familiar worship elements, such as chalice lighting, covenant, songs, and joys and sorrows. A hands-on workshop tied to the monthly theme focuses our minds and bodies so we can explore how we connect to each other and the world beyond NUUC.
Seekers eagerly experience, discuss, and share about encounters with people and the world in all of its complexity. Working with the monthly theme, we build community together through workshops that make us think, feel, and engage. But sometimes, we just hang out together and enjoy our wonderful Seekers community! Seekers operate on the following schedule:
- 1st Sunday: Attend service together to hear the monthly story and related sermon. Pizza lunch with Rev. Susan Ritchie after the service!
- 2nd Sunday: Hold Seekers RE group in Nielsen House
- 3rd Sunday: Seekers work together on congregational projects, such as making Spirit Play materials for the Travelers group or other service activities.
- 4th Sunday: Hold Seekers RE groups in Nielsen House.
- 5th Sunday (when applicable): Fun day planned by Seekers!
NUUC Youth Group
(middle and high school; meets in various locations, approx. monthly)
Seekers join with our older, high school youth in NUUCYG. With an emphasis on community-building and service activities, the NUUCYG gets together monthly for fun and fellowship. Previous activities include a trip to the Mineral, Ohio, food pantry, a bonfire, holiday gatherings, a ropes course, and more. Join the fun!
- Please be sure to check the Worship schedule on the website for dates for intergenerational worships when the children join us for the main service instead of having RE class.
- The program takes place from 10:30am until 11:30am.
- We ask that all parents/guardians of children personally escort their children to their Sunday morning religious education program no earlier than 10:20am. Teachers and assistants, please arrive by 10:20 AM at the latest.
- Visitors will be asked to complete a visitor registration form.
- Explorers and Seekers will leave the Nielsen House at the conclusion of its religious education program. Children are required to stay with the group as they leave the house, cross the street, and enter Fellowship Hall. It is expected that parents/guardians will promptly join with their child in Fellowship Hall upon completion of the worship service.
- Parents are ultimately responsible for their minor children at all times.
- To ensure the safety of everyone, children, youth, and their parents are asked to abide by the NUUC Religious Education Behavioral Covenant.
- All adults in the community accept the responsibility for the care and nurture of the children in our midst. All adults are encouraged to model and encourage safe behaviors.
- Older children are expected to be mindful and considerate of younger children at all times.
- Inside the buildings, children and youth are expected to use “walking feet and indoor voices” at all times.
- Any concerns should be reported to the Director of Religious Education, Jen Aultman.
Child Safety Policy
Two adults must be scheduled to be in the room during any children’s religious education activity. No adult will meet with any child or children alone, with the exception of Coming of Age mentors and the minister. Coming of Age mentors and the minister will only meet alone with a child or children with the consent and foreknowledge of the parent(s). New volunteers to a regular religious education responsibility will receive state criminal background check, or meet the screening standard described in our insurance liability policy, whichever is more stringent. No church publication (including but not limited to the directory, the website, the newsletter, and the orders of service) will include the names of children, or any picture of a child showing an identifiable face. Photography and video of all church events including worship shall require the permission of the Minister or the President. This policy supersedes any previous policy.
Fall 2016–Special K-Youth Sexuality Education
Dear NUUC Friends and Family,
We are beyond excited to share news of our expanded Our Whole Lives (OWL) lifespan sexuality curriculum for 2016-17! Our Whole Lives is a secular program, co-developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association, that easily connects with our UU faith. All levels of the program are appropriate for regular members, friends of our congregation, and the broader community of people who value self-worth, sexual health, responsibility, and justice and inclusivity. So if you know others who share those values and might be interested in Our Whole Lives, please spread the word!
This summer, a team of NUUC facilitators trained for various levels of OWL, bringing our collective expertise to include all levels from kindergarten through adult. Thanks to our volunteers’ commitment, NUUC will offer the following OWL levels in 2016-17:
- Kindergarten-3rd grade (Diane Conley, lead facilitator)
- Caregiver orientation Sun Sept 25, 12-1:30PM
- 8 sessions, 9-10AM Sundays Oct 2-Nov 20
- 4-6th grade (Diane Conley, lead facilitator)
- Caregiver orientation TBA
- 8 sessions, 9-10AM Sundays Jan-Mar
- 7-10th grade (Allison Fagan, lead facilitator)
- Caregiver orientation Sun Oct 2, 12-1:30PM
- 13 two hour sessions, 10:15AM-12:15PM, Oct-Feb
- Young adult/adult (Katie Kuntz-Wineland, lead facilitator)
- Orientation Thurs Sept 22, 7PM
- Sessions TBD by Katie and participants
To take part in an OWL program, participants of all ages must commit to the full program in order to honor the group covenants that create safe spaces for sharing and connection. For children and youth, registration for Religious Education and Our Whole Lives is live at: www.tinyurl.com/NUUCRE2016-17 . For child/youth levels of OWL, caregivers must attend a mandatory pre-OWL orientation (listed above) to learn more about the program content and format and to sign a consent form. These meetings emphasize caregivers’ roles as their children’s primary sexuality educators, and initiate the critical supportive relationship between caregivers and OWL facilitators.
If you are interested in adult OWL, please contact Katie Kuntz-Wineland at firstname.lastname@example.org and plan to come to the orientation on Thursday, Sept. 22, at 7PM. At this orientation, Katie and the participants will identify topics of greatest interest, choose meetings times and dates, and go over other important program information.
Finally, we want to thank our congregation for your strong support for expanding Our Whole Lives program at NUUC. This type of growth requires significant commitment of congregational resources (funding, space, staff time, materials, etc) in addition to volunteer time. Our Whole Lives enriches and saves lives, and we’re honored to help expand this work, with your help, at NUUC. If you have any questions or comments about OWL, please contact Jen Aultman, Director of Religious Education, at email@example.com.
The NUUC Our Whole Lives Team