Religious Exploration for Children & Youth
We are glad to have you join us on Sunday mornings at 10:00 am!
Most Sundays, children in preschool through Grade 8 will attend the first 20 minutes of worship with their families; senior high youth are welcome to remain or to assist with younger grades. We also hope you will join us for our All-Church Worship services, held monthly throughout the year, when all ages attend the full service.
We are overjoyed to have all ages meeting together again under one roof this year! Sunday morning religious exploration at Countryside offers programs for children preschool – 8th grade. For senior high youth (9th-12th grade), we will offer Sunday evening youth group and the Our Whole Lives sexuality education program. Read on to learn more!
To register your children & youth, click here.
Please contact Mary Shelden, DLRE [at] ccuu [dot] org,
for more information and/or if you would like to volunteer.
Nursery (Infants to age 2) ~ Childcare will again be regularly offered on Sundays for infants and toddlers during worship services, this year by a dedicated team of volunteers. The Nursery room (where there is live sound from the worship service) is also always a place for parents who need to exit worship with their infant.
Chalice Children (2+ year olds through Pre-K) encourages self-awareness and teaches UU values with stories and celebrations from around the world. We encourage our young learners to make a connection to our UU Rainbow Principles through stories, music, movement, and art. Children begin building friendships with one another and celebrate learning all year round.
Spirit Play (Kdgtn-Grade 2) ~ An innovative, Montessori-inspired program using story, movement, and art to give children a “toolkit” to help them explore the wonder and mystery of life, guided by our UU Rainbow Principles and Sources. Our stories align with our monthly Soul Matters themes in worship, and teach about people from long ago and today whose lives remind us to be kind and fair. Centers include Head, Heart, and Hand, with theme-based activities to support individual learning styles
Nature and Spirit (Grades 3-5) ~ We will be drawing on a climate curriculum developed for this age group by the Unitarian Universalist Office at the United Nations; their Climate Change religious education curriculum is designed to give participants a solid grounding in the facts, an appreciation for the earth, and tools for finding a range of solutions. The group will also participate in the Chalice Lighters curriculum, grounded in fire safety and practice in lighting the worship chalice.
In the Middle (Grades 6-8) ~New from the folks at Soul Matters, this experiential learning series is designed for middle schoolers to engage with our monthly church-wide Soul Matters themes. Through games, creative projects, storytelling, collaborative thinking, and faith in action, our youth will explore the parameters of their faith by engaging mind, body, heart, and soul.
Senior High Youth Group (Grades 9-12) ~ Sundays at 7 pm ~ Our plan again for this year is to offer a series of project-length programs based on our youths’ interests and leanings. We imagine mini-series of 4-6 weeks at a time, with youth planning a thing and then doing a thing – service projects, group events – a variety of activities that the youth help to design. Team-building, leadership development, and communal connection will also be important throughlines in the program. Each meeting will draw some elements from the Soul Matters On the Road Together youth program for framework and ritual.
Our Whole Lives (Senior High) ~ Affectionately called OWL, Our Whole Lives is a unique lifespan curriculum providing honest, accurate, age-appropriate information about gender, sexuality, and romantic relationship. It dismantles stereotypes and assumptions, builds self-acceptance and self-esteem, fosters healthy relationships, improves decision making, and has helped to save lives. Created in a Unitarian Universalist Association partnership with Planned Parenthood and the United Church of Christ, the OWL curriculum is designed to help our young people emphasize spiritual care for self and others in their decision-making throughout the lifespan. We will set a series schedule based on facilitator and youth availability.