Williamsburg Unitarian Universalists’ programs seek to foster the spiritual growth of children and youth, support the work parents are doing as their child’s primary spiritual teachers and to give our children and youth a grounding in Unitarian Universalist identity and faith.
Come Explore How UU’s Put Their Faith Into Action
Building on the work of our social justice ministries, our children and youth will explore what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist and how we and they can put our faith in action in our lives and in the world.
What to expect on Sunday morning?
At the 9:15 Circle Worship we invite families to worship together. Our program for children at the 11:15 service, has two components worship and classes. Once a month we worship all ages together in the sanctuary. A second time during the month our children have a children’s chapel, based on the worship theme for the month, usually led by Pat Hoppe, Acting Director, Lifespan Faith Development and by a volunteer musician. On Children’s chapel Sundays, children begin in Fahs House. On the other two Sundays of the month, everyone begins together in the sanctuary and then after our Time for All Ages, our youngest UUs and their teachers are sung to their classes. We invite our high school youth to participate in worship with their families, to consider taking a turn leading one of the classes for the younger UUs, and participate in YRUU on Sunday afternoon.
We do ask families to register their children and youth each year in September at our annual Sundae Sunday. This way we have an accurate count of the children and youth in the program. It also allows us to know about any changes in your family life, your child’s life such as a recent death or other type of loss, other changes or transitions. We want to do our best to meet the needs of your child and your family.
Here is the link to log-in to the database to register: https://www.churchdb.com/churchdb/Login.asp?iOrgzKey=118
Who Teaches Our Children?
Each year committed teams of four people lead our three classes of children and youth in addition to a dedicated team of volunteer youth advisors. Volunteers in our program must be attending WUU for at least six months before being allowed to work with our children and youth. In addition, all classes are led by two people and no one teaches alone. Our volunteers enter into a sacred trust with our children and families to welcome each child and create a safe place for children to nurture their spirituality. All of our teachers participate in two teacher trainings each year.
If you are interested in this important ministry, please check out our position description or contact Pat Hoppe, Acting Director, Lifespan Faith Development.
Volunteer Teacher Position Description
Infant through age 4
Activity Room of the Sanctuary building
Skilled and caring nursery care providers attend to our youngest UUs, infants through age 4, during the 11:15 worship service. During our 9:15 service, families are invited to worship together. The nursery is open but unstaffed if parents need a place to take a child during the worship service. Speakers in the nursery allow one to continue to hear the service.
Younger Elementary (Grades Pre-k through 2nd)
Meets in Fahs House (left side rooms)
The children in grades pre-K through 2nd meet in Fahs House center rooms and use a program called “Spirit Play” which is a Montessori-based hour adapted by Nita Penfold for Unitarian Universalism. The children hear a story that is illustrated by objects in a kit designed to be touched and which reflect the story’s meaning through “I wonder” questions. The stories focus on UU principles and heroes and heroines or on UU holidays like Water Communion.
For 2013-2014 , the stories will focus on the Unitarian Universalist seven principless called promises in Spirit Play. In addition to the promise stories we will learn about our UU heroes and heroines and how they have lived out their UU faith in their lives and also some holiday stories such as Festival of Life which talks about various December celebrations.
Older Elementary (Grades 3-5)
Meets in Fahs House (center rooms)
The children in grades 3 through 5 are exploring stories from the Hebrew and Christian Bibles because of the profound impact this wisdom literature has on today’s literature, art, music, and politics. The two Bibles also inform us about myth, religious thought, and world views of the past which help us understand our own culture. This curriculum is “Bibleodeon” and introduces the well-known Bible stories; students will be able to find their way around in the Bible and to recognize the relevance of the Bible to their lives. These Children also meet in Fahs House in the left side of rooms off of the entry-way.
Middle School (Grades 6-8)
Meets in Parker House (meeting room)
Middle school youths, grades 6, 7, and 8 are going to enjoy exploring big, theological ideas through “Popcorn Theology” which focuses on ethical and philosophical ideas through the use of movies; the discussions that develop as a result of watching a clip from “Star Wars” may lead to self-understanding and a better perspective on the search for meaning.
Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU)
High School (Grades 9-12)
Meets in Parker House Basement
Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU) meet on Sunday afternoons at 4 pm in the Parker House Basement which is a welcoming place for youth, as the sofas and the colorful stairs and walls have been created by youth. They will explore service projects that will effect positive change in our community and our larger Williamsburg environment by addressing problems such as racism, poverty, environmental concerns, and social justice.
Each week, the stories and topics for the elementary and middle school classes appear in the weekly newsletter, The Spiral and on the home page of the website.