September 12, 2021 – May 22, 2022

Worship Service:  Sunday, 10:00 – 11:00 am
Unitarian Universalist Church West offers religious education (RE) programs for children and youth throughout the year. Those that meet in-person on Sundays do so during our newly designed multi-platform Worship services. Online RE classes meeting the participating families’ needs and comfort levels take place before Worship. 

Beginning Time
Infants and toddlers begin directly in the Nursery before service begins. Preschool and older children are asked to “check in” on their way into the Sanctuary to enjoy the Worship for All Ages portion of the service with their families. After about 15 minutes, they are escorted out to meet their teachers in the foyer and proceed to their respective classrooms.  

Ending Time
Classes are scheduled to end at around 11:05 am. Please wait until a class has concluded before entering a room to retrieve your child. If worship service ends earlier, please visit with others — but do pick up your children at the appropriate time. Children through fifth grade need to be picked up in person by a parent or guardian. Older children may be released to meet their household group after services. 

Educational Model
UUCW uses Soul Matters Sharing Circle materials, and its educational model has been based on the Montessori learning method. This non-instructional, child-centered model encourages children to wonder, question, and creatively discover their answers in a comfortable environment that supports exploration and multiple learning styles. 

Session Structure 

  • Worship/Sacred Time: Each session is separated from other experiences, beginning and ending with a regular ritual. 
  • Opening: Forming the circle of children, participating in a chalice lighting and, typically, a reading, prayer, or sharing. 
  • Introduction/Object Lesson: 
  • Storytelling & “Wondering” Questions: Using visual cues, a “wisdom story” is presented, and children respond with an open-ended sense of wonder, asking questions according to their faith development. 
  • Response Activities: A meditation, game, and/or song appealing to different learning styles is shared, and children take the lesson into their hearts in their own way. 
  • Closing Circle: To end the sacred time together, participants share their thoughts, discoveries, and wishes with their group, and extinguish their chalice until next time.  

 

Visitors
Visitors are always welcome at UUCW and in our religious education sessions. Please stop at the Visitor’s Table in the church lobby on any Sunday, and you will be shown the appropriate group rooms. For your child’s safety, all visitors to our religious education program must fill out a visitor sign-in form. Email addresses are appreciated! 

Registration Procedures
Please check with the Director of Religious Education to determine the most appropriate group placement for your child. Register online here. You do not need to be members of the church to register, but all who frequently use the religious education program are expected to make a financial contribution to UUCW and to volunteer in some capacity in the program. 

Communications
We use email communications to share information like lesson plan descriptions, special projects, and volunteer scheduling. Please check your email regularly. See our website and weekly announcements for more detailed, up-to-date information newsletter articles, including online sermons, and upcoming events.  

Volunteer Contribution and Donations
Ours is a cooperative program. There is no fee for religious education at UUCW because in addition to their offertory or pledge donations, each family volunteers in some aspect of the program.  

Religious Education Teaching
The program is dependent on dedicated volunteers who want to contribute to the future of our children, our church, and the principles of Unitarian Universalism. Teachers, working in pairs, tend to deepen their own faith while co-facilitating lessons about six to eight Sundays per year. They prepare the space, create a community of children, present the lesson or story, guide discussion and “wondering” questions, assist with response activities, and bring the time to a close. Session plans, supplies, and administrative support are provided.