Curriculum for Children and Youth
Sunday Morning Religious Education Programs
Our religious education programming offers age appropriate lessons about:
- Unitarian Universalist history tradition and identity
- Christian, Jewish, World Faith, and Earth Centered Spirituality tradition and ritual
- Social justice education and action
Follen Church Religious Education Class Curriculum by grade 2018-2019
Nursery Care (Infants through age 4) –
All through the year, our nursery care and play space are available for the youngest members in our community for ALL of our worship services, (one-service Sundays beginning at 10:15 AM; two-service Sundays beginning at 9:15 or 11:15 AM). Porta-cribs and toys, along with friendly faces, and stories, welcome our smallest church folk in a program guided by Melissa Hawkins with assistance from two of our trained teen support staff members.
Celebrating Me and My World (PreK -Kindergarten)
Simple rituals, crafts, music, and play will help our littlest UUs to feel comfortable in our church community while they celebrate themselves and the world around them. Additional lesson plans invite the children to explore to a variety of religious and cultural holidays. Our curriculum this year is “hands-on” and active, as befits preschoolers. Please dress your children for possible messy work!
Treasure Hunting (Grades 1 & 2) – What could be more fun than hunting for treasures?! Each Sunday the children will dig in to explore the meaning behind our Unitarian Universalist Principles by making or finding a treasure symbolic of the day’s theme. In the early sessions, we’ll focus on treasured thoughts and feelings. As the year progresses, the focus will turn outwards to explore the treasures of our church community, UU history, the world community, and our natural world. A fun curriculum, with engaging stories, crafts, activities, and rituals for our little UUs!
Moral Tales (Grades 3-5) – Every day our children go forth into a complex world where they are often faced with difficult decisions and situations. Moral Tales provides children with spiritual and ethical tools to make choices and take actions that reflect their Unitarian Universalist beliefs and values. The stories in Moral Tales draw from our six Unitarian Universalist Sources to activate and inform our children’s ability to make principled choices.
Our UU Sources (Grades 6-8) –
The living tradition that we Unitarian Universalists share draws from many sources including: direct experience of mystery and wonder; words and deeds of prophetic women and men; wisdom from the world’s religions; Jewish and Christian teachings; Humanist teachings grounded in reason and science; and spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions. This year, our young people will be exploring some of our UU Sources. As they learn about different religions and visit with the people and places connected with other faith traditions, they will also learn more about themselves and their own faith.
Special Program Sundays
On several Sundays each year the Religious Education program offers a special Sunday event, usually on holiday or vacations weekends when our program attendance is lower. The children and youth gather in a multi-age group to participate in programming designed with a social justice message. The RE Action Team has engaged several area professionals to share their gifts and talents with the children and youth on several of these Sundays. Look for up-to-date information regarding these special Sundays in the Follen newsletter, and in the Follen Friday Updates congregational email.
Additional Religious Education Programs for Children & Youth
Grade 8 – Our Whole Lives (OWL)
OWL is a values-based award-winning human sexuality education program that explores values and sexuality, communication and decision making as well as some of the ‘basic questions that adolescents have around reproduction, puberty, gender identity and sexual preference, and how our relationships and communication with one another change as we grow and mature. Learning is shared in six key areas: human development, relationships, personal skills, society and culture, sexual behavior, and sexual health. OWL will be held on Thursdays, 6-8pm, beginning on October 4. More information will be shared during the MANDATORY Parent/Guardian Orientation to be held on Sunday, Sept.23, 12:30-2:30pm.
Grade 10 – Coming of Age
As youth grow into adolescence, the big questions arise frequently: What values do I hold dear? How do I know what decisions area the right ones? What God do I believe in (or not)? Why do bad things happen? What constitutes real friendship? As tenth graders journey with friends and advisors exploring these questions and others, they will unpack and shape their belief systems. Guided by mentors, they will start to shape and prepare to articulate their beliefs through their personal Credos, presented in worship in the spring. Coming of Age is a journey with friends new and long-term, a way of exploring how Unitarian Universalism impacts and blesses our lives. Scheduling will be planned to accommodate students and leaders.
Follen has youth groups for both middle school and high school youth. The high school group meets regularly on Sundays, from 6:30-8:30. The middle school group meets once a month on Sunday afternoons.