Welcome to Religious Education at Williamsburg Unitarian Universalists!

The Youth Religious Education program at WUU serves infants through high school youth. We aim to create a safe, welcoming and inclusive atmosphere that provides meaningful and fun programs. For more information, please see class descriptions below. You can also contact the Director of Religious Education, Austen Petersen, at austen@wuu.org.

Nursery

We have a professionally led and coordinated nursery program to help keep the youngest children (infant through age 3) safe and engaged with age appropriate toys. To make use of this free service, please sign your child in to the nursery indicating your contact information, your child’s name, allergies and any pertinent information. The nursery is open in the summer from 9:45am to 11:30am. In the fall we provide nursery care during our second service opening at 11:00am through 12:30pm.

Preschool (ages 3, 4, 5) The Rainbow Connection

A central concept of Unitarian Universalism is the seven Principles that all congregations affirm and promote. These Principles are considered to be strong values and moral guides that each of us may use to guide our lives. Although preschool children are too young to memorize the Principles, we can begin to acquaint them with the ideas behind the Principles. We can focus on the values inherent in each principle.

The Rainbow Connection uses story books for preschoolers to discuss those values inherent in the Principles and in Unitarian Universalism. Four sessions are devoted to each Principle, helping preschoolers to explore the values that unite us as UUs.

At the preschool age, children begin to understand the concepts of justice and fairness and begin to learn about what is “right” and “wrong”, or “good” and “bad”. Story books are chosen to help illustrate the values supported by parents.

Because socialization and comfort are important goals for this age, each class contains a fun craft project, time for songs and games, and time for free play with friends.

Lower Elementary (grades K, 1, 2) Picture Book World Religions

Picture Book World Religious introduces world religions through stories and encourages young children to explore the differences and similarities to their own lives. We’ll use beautiful picture books to introduce young children to Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism in a gentle and respectful way. These books teach about world religions by telling a story. The stories illustrate concepts such as the value of wisdom and loyalty in Hinduism, the importance of family in Islam, and the practice of compassion for all living beings in Buddhism. Come join us!

Upper Elementary (grades 3, 4, 5) Windows and Mirrors

Windows and Mirrors nurtures children’s ability to identify their own experiences and perspectives and to seek out, care about and respect those of others. The sessions unpack topics that lend themselves to diverse experiences and perspectives—for example, faith heritage, public service, anti-racism, and prayer. The program teaches that there are always multiple viewpoints and everyone’s viewpoint matters. The metaphor of windows and mirrors represents the dynamic relationship among our awareness of self, our perceptions of others, and others’ perceptions of us.

Middle School (grades 6, 7, 8) Jedi Academy

The philosophies of Star Wars have been explored, examined, and adopted by many. Some even consider “Jediism” to be their legitimate religion, though it incorporates beliefs from many different philosophies. The Jedi believe in the ‘Living Force’, a spiritual presence that surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds all the matter in the universe together.

If the program were summed up in one word, it would be “Mindfulness.” The Jedi students learn to pay close attention to their experience of themselves and the world around them. These are powerful concepts for adults, youth, and children

YRUU (High School; Young Religious Unitarian Universalists)

Principled Music is a Unitarian Universalist offering that helps participants develop critical thinking skills while having fun listening to music.

Together we can

  • Consider social justice issues and the ways in which our faith can help us understand our values.
  • Understand ways in which the right of conscience calls us to do what’s right, even if there are possible negative consequences.
  • Examine how our choices affect others around us, as well as ourselves.