Sunday Morning Religious Education Program for Children and Youth
Loving Care for All
Our care providers, Nancy-Lee Mauger and Gabi Ross, create a warm, welcoming environment for very young children.
We Are Many, We Are One
We welcome young children into Unitarian Universalism by offering the safety of community. From this safe space, children are encouraged to sense the wonder of being an integral part of all life. Children can look forward to spellbinding stories, active games, colorful art projects, scientific exploration, and energetic dance and movement.
Revels: The Barn
In November and December, the children will explore the story of the Barn. They listen to stories of the baby born in the barn, build a barn, and then create animals to shelter in that space. They will share their animals with the congregation during the Revels worship service in December.
Children explore the sense of sacredness, the beauty of hospitality, and the gift of loving relationships that a home can represent. Activities will include storytelling, sharing circles, art projects, games, and costume box theatre. (September, October, April, May, June)
Revels: The Return of the Sun
Children explore humanity’s relationship with the sun — as source of life — and consider how people have affirmed that relationship in history. The group will focus their energy on a big art project about the solstice which they will share with the congregation during the Revels worship service in December. (November, December)
Our Whole Lives
Children explore and celebrate life’s mysteries: love, family, and the wonder of our birth. Activities include stories, games, songs, and art. This program includes a parent-child orientation in January. (January, February, March)
Toolbox of Faith
How is our faith like a hammer? The extended metaphor of the toolbox helps our older children reflect on the qualities of our Unitarian Universalist faith, such as integrity, courage, and love. How can they use these “tools” to live their lives and build their own faith? Every class begins with a story that extends the toolbox metaphor through the rest of the class. Activities include art, construction projects, games, songs, and small group worship.
Revels: The Story
In November and December, children listen to an African tale of the return of the light and then create a shadow puppet presentation to share with the congregation during the Revels worship service. Look forward to adventures with cardboard, colored cellophane, tape, wire, and string as we wrestle with the deeper meanings of the story.
Compass Points orients youth to begin their own spiritual journey with a focus on their connections to the world and the web of life. A social action project will be included. (September, October, January, February, May, June)
Revels: Santa Lucia
In early November, youth collaborate with the Grades 3-4-5 group on building puppets. In late November and December, youth prepare and lead the annual Santa Lucia celebration during the Revels worship service.
Friendship with Ugandan Children
Last year, our Grades 1-2-3 class had the opportunity to reach across the ocean to make friends with children in Uganda, as our congregation began a 6 year relationship with the New Life School. The children made banners, cards, and posters that were carried in volunteers’ suitcases to Uganda. The children in the Primary 2 class sent back artwork and messages.
Our 1-2-3 group also decided to help the Primary 2 class with their school fundraiser by making and selling holiday ornaments to the congregation.
As some members of the 1-2-3 class have graduated, our friendship experience will now be expanded to both the Kindergarten-Grades 1 & 2 group and the Grades 3-4-5 group.
Every six to eight weeks, both classes will focus on our growing friendship with the children in Primary 2.
Youth Ministry at Sharon focuses on creating a safe, open and growing community where youth are encouraged to explore their beliefs, express themselves, take care of each other and find their own place in this world. The youth are invaluable participants in the life of our congregation.
Through weekly meetings, overnights, retreats, youth worship, social action projects and congregational events, our senior youth create strong bonds with their peers and adults. Youth Group meets Sunday evenings from 5 to 7, and is open to all high school age youth. These meetings are anchored in mutual respect, youth empowerment, leadership development, spiritual exploration and lots of fun!
The Youth Coordinator and a team of advisors work with the youth to create their programming and choose their activities. Your thoughts, questions, comments and ideas are always welcome!
Junior Youth Fellowship meets once a month for a variety of activities that include conversations, games, questions, caring, and lots of laughter.
UU Parenting Support Group – offers parents of children from birth through age 12 the opportunity to share the joys and challenges of parenting with one another. Each group focuses on a theme, which is selected by participants. Meetings are co-facilitated by the Rev. Jim Robinson and Louise Marcoux. Complimentary childcare (including a nutritious snack) is provided. Meetings are generally held from 11:45 am to 1 pm on the first Sunday of the month.
Our Whole Lives (OWL) – a lifespan sexuality education curriculum designed to offer developmentally appropriate information and to promote healthy conversation between parents and children about sexuality. The curriculum was developed in a collaborative effort between the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ. All OWL teachers receive extensive training. The OWL program is offered by the Unitarian Church of Sharon every other year.
The OWL component for young children (Kindergarten, grades 1 & 2) is offered during the Sunday morning religious education program. Weekly take-home activities for parent and child promote the extension of the conversation begun at church. This 8-session program is offered from January thru March 2013. A parent information meeting will be held in November 2012.
OWL for children entering puberty (grades 5-6) is offered every other year as an optional program. Sessions are held on Sundays in the late afternoon. Weekly reading assignments and activities are intended to be shared by child and parent. This 9 session program is offered from January thru March 2013. A parent information meeting will be held in November 2012.
The Junior Youth component (grades 7-8) of OWL is offered as an optional program on alternating years with Coming of Age. Sessions are held on Sunday evenings. A parent orientation session will be held in October 2012. This 28 session program will be offered from late October 2012 through early April 2013.
Children’s Chapel – is a time when all children and youth meet together for a short worship service of their own. This service incorporates some elements of an adult service, such as chalice lighting, songs, and a message. Sometimes dance or movement is included. Regular RE classes meet following the Children’s Chapel.
Social Action – integral part of Religious Education. Curricula for grades 1-8 provide opportunities for children and youth to plan and participate in social action projects over a period of several weeks. Entire families are encouraged to participate in the Social Action Committee’s monthly lunch-making project for residents of MainSpring House shelter for the homeless.
Religious Education Sunday – a worship service led by children and youth. Participants in the RE program share with the congregation some of the gems of wisdom they’ve gathered during their religious journeys together. It will be held in April 2013.
Revels – our winter holiday celebration. During Revels, children reflect on the meaning of the dark time of the year. They spend several weeks exploring traditions and spiritual practices of many cultures and religions throughout the world, and then share these experiences by leading worship for the whole community on the second or third Sunday in December. Revels 2013 will be held on December 16.
Pysanky – the Ukrainian art of egg decoration, traditionally done during the 40 days prior to Easter. Pysanky workshops are held for children (ages 8 and up), youth, and adults at church during this season to provide opportunities to slow down together and enter a meditative state while creating things of beauty from the imagination.
Easter Can Hunt – The Easter Bunny has a tradition of hiding canned goods on the grounds of the Unitarian Church of Sharon. After church on Easter Sunday, children hunt for cans, which are given to the Ilse Marks Food Pantry (serving residents of Sharon and Stoughton).