The Children’s Religious Education Ministry has “adopted” a family of five from Miller Community House,
a program of
Bring Holiday Cheer
We have 3 different opportunities to help Kent Social Services and Miller Community House, a homeless shelter in Portage County, make the holidays brighter for their families.
Place new, unwrapped toys in the box downstairs in Fessenden Hall by Dec. 13
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Kent has a vibrant Religious Education ministry with almost 90 children and youth registered as of November 2015. We have a strong Children and Youth Religious Education Committee and a pool of dedicated teachers.
Religious Education Mission
The mission of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Kent’s Religious Education Program is to provide opportunities for religious explorations guided by a spirit of play and our UU heritage and principles.
Our 7 Unitarian Universalist Principles in Child-Friendly Language
Each Person is important
Be kind in all you do
We’re free to learn together
…and search for what is true
All people need a voice
Build a fair and Peaceful World
We care for the Earth and all upon it.
What to Expect on Sundays…
All children in grades Kindergarten through High School start the morning in the sanctuary. Young children are seated with their parents/caregivers. The beginning of the worship service is created to be friendly to folks of all ages. It includes music, lighting our chalice, celebrations of special events in the church and the story-based Time for All Ages, following which the children and youth are “sung out” to their classes.
The Preschool children typically begin the morning in their classroom.
We have several opportunities for Multigenerational Worship experiences throughout the year, usually near a holiday. They are publicized in the Chalice Flame newsletter and on the website. These worship services are carefully crafted to be engaging for children and adults. On these days children should sit with their families, although teens may opt to sit with their peers. Nursery care is always available on these Sundays – Preschool may or may not be in session.
Our classes are staffed by volunteer teachers and leaders who receive training and support. All are dedicated to the faith development of our children and youth.
Between services, the Religious Education Committee sponsors a supervised art activity in the fellowship hall. No other supervision or program is offered during social hour and parents/caregivers are responsible for the care, safety and happiness of their children and youth at that time.
9:45 AM Religious Education Offerings:
Tender loving Nursery childcare is offered for our youngest ones by Michelle Bores, our childcare provider and adult or teen volunteers. The nursery is available during both the 9:45 am and 11:30 am worship services. Michelle is an experienced and educated childcare provider who holds certification in CPR and First Aid. We recognize that separation between parent and child, even for a brief time, is a milestone in the lives of both parents and children. Every effort is made to make it a comfortable transition for everyone. There is reserved seating in the last row at the back of the sanctuary. Sitting there will assure that parents/guardians can be readily called if needed. The audio of the service is piped into nearby Founders’ Lounge.
Our Preschool class (ages 3 by September 1st but not yet in Kindergarten) is very lucky to have a program based on the revolving monthly themes designed just for them by experienced preschool educator Mary Leeson. This creates a link between adults and young children – exploring identical themes using age appropriate stories, activities and movement.
The children in Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades are using the LOVE SURROUNDS US curriculum. At the core of our Unitarian Universalist community are our seven Principles. The Principles encompass all the ingredients of a good and faith-filled life based on equality, freedom, peace, acceptance, truth, care, and love. This program explores all the Principles in the context of Beloved Community of family/home, school, and neighborhood. Participants engage in activities that emphasize the love they feel in community. LOVE SURROUNDS US is available here: http://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/lovesurrounds
Grades 3, 4 and 5 are spending the year with AMAZING GRACE. Amazing Grace intends to help participants understand right and wrong and act on their new understanding. Its purpose is to equip them for moving safely and productively through the middle school years, when they will be continually tugged toward both ends of the ethics continuum. Through their involvement in Amazing Grace, youth will come to recognize and depend on their Unitarian Universalist identity and resources as essential to their movement toward understanding, independence, and fulfillment of personal promise. Amazing Grace is available here: http://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/children/grace
11:30 AM Religious Education Offerings:
During the second service, the Nursery is available for babies, toddlers and preschoolers. See the description above for the nursery program.
The Multi-Age Group for school-aged children is available to those who attend the second service because they have older siblings in our youth groups, is a better fit for their family, or the child wishes to try something different. Most weeks this group draws from the UU curriculum Circle of Trees, but also participate in a monthly Yoga practice and occasional trips outside. CIRCLE OF TREES is a multigenerational program of workshops that nurture deep connection with trees, nature, and all of earth’s living creatures. The program uses trees as an entry point to understand and connect with life on earth. Across many cultures, trees are recognized as a symbol for life on earth—for example, the biblical Tree of Life. Even young children understand trees as sustainers of life, fundamental engines of life on earth as we know it. Trees create and purify the air we breathe. They house and provide resources for myriad creatures, including humans. They bring us peace, joy, and delight. Circle of Trees is available here: http://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/multigenerational/trees
Our Middle School Youth Group (grades 6, 7 and 8) is practicing how to put their faith into action. HEEDING THE CALL is a social justice curriculum that not only explores linked oppressions in our society, but also encourages participants towards personal growth in values that counteract the marginalization of others. Workshops on empathy, courage, abundance, joy, and other qualities ask participants to recognize how these standards can be tools for justice. Additionally, the program includes more concrete tools, such as suggestions on how to be a good ally and tips on the language of conflict resolution. True stories of courage, sacrifice and collaboration, role-plays, games, and a program-long justice project will feed youth’s rising realization that as people of faith we are all called to love justice—not just with our words, but also with our deeds. Heeding the Call is available here: http://www.uua.org/re/tapestry/youth/call
The High School Youth Group (grades 9-12) is adapting the small group ministry materials that accompany the Soul Matters theme-based worship program. As the monthly themes are being examined in worship, our high school youth will be engaging with these same themes in their group. Some of the themes this year include expectation, resistance, liberation and simplicity. The youth group’s model of shared leadership, community building and putting faith into action are sure to align perfectly with the program.
On Monday evenings, our 8th graders are participating in Junior High level Our Whole Lives (OWL), a sexuality education program that models and teaches caring, compassion, respect, and justice. A holistic program that moves beyond the intellect to address the attitudes, values, and feelings that youth have about themselves and the world. Unlike many other sexuality curricula currently available, this program is comprehensive and progressive. In an inclusive and developmentally appropriate manner, it addresses sensitive topics that are typically excluded.