Programs for Children, Youth and Families

Regular programs for children, youth, and their families run from September through May.

In this unpredictable year, our priority is to make faith development and religious education available to families in meaningful and accessible formats. Read below about the various options children, youth, and families have for participating in our church community.  

For more details about our two services, including check-in requirements and safe gathering protocols, please click here 

Onsite Religious Education for Children and Youth:

Onsite religious education is available to children and youth during our second service, at 11:15 a.m. Proof of vaccination for those age 12 and over must be presented or on file before entering the building. Masks are required for all over the age of 2. 

Sprouts Care: Ages 0-4 1/2

Quality and loving childcare is available to our youngest community members, in our Sprouts classroom during the 11:15 a.m. service. Please note: following Health Department Guidelines, we are currently limiting Sprouts to 10 children. We ask that families who require childcare during worship reserve a spot ahead of time. Please contact Aria Curtis for information about how to reserve a spot. 

Elementary RE: Kindergarten-5th Grade

Kids running through and batting at soap bubbles

Onsite Elementary RE is taking place outside for the time being. Children should come to church prepared for the weather. Religious Education for elementary-age children is embracing the elements this year! Our multi-age class will meet outside, on the East Patio, for creative play and exploration focused on our Unitarian Universalist Principles:  

About her curriculum, “Pocket Full of Principles,” Lauren Wyeth writes, “There are lots of phrases about pockets. Being ‘in the pocket’ means being perfectly on tempo and flowing with the groove. When we’re ‘out of pocket’ we’re unavailable or out of reach. We sometimes discover ‘a pocket of rest’ or ‘a pocket of joy’ in our day. Things we ‘put in our pocket’ are tucked into our consciousness to draw on later.”

Using the “Pocketful of Principles” curriculum, RE Volunteers will gently guide children in exploring ways to keep their UU faith close at hand, “putting it to good use in their lives, and keeping it at the ready whenever they need a dose of wisdom or hope, clarity or compassion.”    

World Religions: 6th – 7th Grade

In our middle school World Religions program, participants learn about other faith traditions and the religious origins of Unitarian Universalism.  In this two-year program, participants learn about the historical and contemporary expressions of many faiths, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. 

6th and 7th graders who are not yet eligible for vaccination should attend the outdoor Elementary program until reaching full vaccination status (two weeks following the final vaccination shot).

Our Whole Lives: 8th and 9th Grade

Note: content begins in October

Our Whole Lives is a comprehensive sexuality education program designed to help participants gain the knowledge, values and skills to lead sexually healthy, responsible lives. We explore many topics, such as anatomy and physiology, gender, sexual orientation, relationships, dating, pregnancy, contraception, and sexual decision making.

Coming of Age youth at an obstacle course, 2019.

Coming of Age: 9th and 10th Grade

Note: content begins in October

COA is a rite of passage experience where participants explore their personal and spiritual beliefs within a UU context. COA participants are each assigned an adult mentor from UUC. The program culminates in a solo vigil in the wilderness. By the end of the program, participants deliver a faith statement outlining their personal and spiritual beliefs during a special worship service in May. 

Youth Group: 10th-12th Grade

Participants meet weekly on Sunday mornings for community, fun and conversation. Sessions may include art and games, leadership development, antiracism education, and discussions on spiritual and religious topics.

Online Religious Education for Children and Youth:

Our online programs for elementary-age children and youth are created in collaboration with other area Unitarian Universalist congregations. Students can expect fun programs focused on community building and reflection, where they can meet UU’s from all over the Pacific Northwest!  

Elementary RE: Grades K-5 

Sunday mornings, 9:45-10:45 a.m. 
Start date: September 26, 2021  

  • Gathering Games: 9:45-10:00 a.m.  
    Optional, focused on community building between children. 
  • Lesson: 10:00-10:30 a.m. 
    Greetings and Chalice Lighting at 10:00 a.m., followed by special games or activities, sometimes a story, and sharing Joys and Sorrows. 
  • Conversation (ie Coffee Hour for kids!): 10:30-10:45 a.m. 
    Optional, unstructured time for children to chat with one another and teachers, hear more about what they’re up to, and talk about their passions! 

Middle School: Grades 6-8 

Meeting times and start date TBD 

This group will be a mix of games, discussion, and special activities. Middle school youth will get to connect with one another around topics that are important to them and also play silly games! 

Youth Group: Grades 9-12

Meeting times and start date TBD

This group will be a mix of games, discussion, and special activities. High school youth will experience a rotation between lessons with spiritual depth and social gatherings, focused on getting to know one another.

In addition to our Family Ministry Registration Form, Families participating in these online religious education classes are encouraged to fill out this additional information form. This will ensure you are included in emails to families specifically regarding elementary, middle school, or high school online religious education information. These will come out approximately once per week and will include information about what we’re doing and connection information. 

Take It Home:

Faith Crate

Families who sign up for the Faith Crates will receive a box of materials for family faith formation and religious education at home four times throughout the year. The boxes will include things like special art materials, reflection questions, and spiritual practice suggestions. Families receiving the Faith Crates will also be invited to gather in-person a few times throughout the year, to share about and build on their experiences with the Faith Cates. Sign up to subscribe to Faith Crate here! 

Parent Programs:

Anti-Racism Parent Book Group:

Parents of children of all ages are invited to participate in this year’s Anti-Racism Parent Book Group. Building on last year’s reflection and discussion, we will read Raising White Kids; Bringing up Children in a Racially Unjust America by Jennifer Harvey and How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. Sessions will also include materials from My Grandmother’s Hands; Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem, MSW, LICSM, SEP. As our shared reflection continues, this group will also begin to focus on action over the course of the year.  

The Anti-Racism Parent Book Group will meet on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month, mostly online, from 8:00-9:30 p.m. beginning on October 17. Registration coming soon!

Click here to listen to the UUC Families’ Collaborative playlist of UU and UU-ish hymns and songs.

Click here to learn about the programs we offered for children, youth and families from September 2020–May 2021.

Click here to see a brochure from before 2020, to learn about the programs for children and youth we typically offer at University Unitarian Church.