Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson

Religious Education

Families and children are valued members of our community and we are glad you are here! Children are always welcome to stay in the Sanctuary for Sunday service, but we also offer age-appropriate Religious Education classes for those who want to attend.

We are a deliberately open and affirming community, and we welcome you, your family, and all that you bring on your spiritual journey, to join all of us on ours.

Our Vision

Our lifespan learning community seeks to nurture and stimulate the spiritual, intellectual, emotional, and social growth of people of all ages, stages of faith and levels of religious experience. We envision a program that is rooted in our UU principles  and in a free and responsible search for meaning that through the thoughts and actions of our lives, transforms us, our community, and our world.

 

What Happens on Sunday?

All children and youth begin Sundays in the Sanctuary with the adults. About 15 minutes after the service begins, children and youth are dismissed to classes after the Message for All Ages, a short message during service that is specifically designed to be engaging for congregants of all ages. We will hear the message, and students will be sung out of Service with the Children’s Benediction.

All children and youth are welcome to stay in the sanctuary for the entire service, if you or they would prefer.

Religious Education Class Schedule

10:15am- Nursery opens
10:30am- Service begins in Holland Sanctuary. Children and youth will sit with their adults.
10:45am- Children and youth are sung out to class. Please escort children who are in the nursery through 4th grade.
11:45am- Classes end.
11:50am– Preschool to 4th grade students will be taken to the Nursery (in Barnum Room) to be cared for until their adults arrive to pick them up.

**Note** All children in childcare must be picked up 45 minutes after the end of service unless prior arrangements are made.

Where Are the Classes?

All classes take place in the (RE) Religious Education buildings in the courtyard on the west side of Goddard Hall. See the campus map for details.

The nursery is open at 10:00 AM and is primarily for children newborn to 3 years old, but all ages who need supervision are welcome. Classes Preschool to High School begin at 10:30 AM on Sundays in the Sanctuary. After 15 minutes, students will be walked to the Religious Education (RE) buildings in the courtyard on the other side of Goddard Hall.

When is Class Over and Where Can I Find My Child?

Nursery to 4th grade students must be picked up from their classrooms or playground and be signed out by a parent or other person designated on the RE registration forms.

5th to 12th grade students are permitted to leave class on their own and will meet you at Coffee Hour in Goddard.

Who Teaches RE?

Teachers are volunteers; they are parents, educators, Unitarian Universalists, and youth advocates. They come from all walks of life with one goal: to grow courageous kids and youth who bring kindness and love to themselves, their families, their communities and their world.

UUCT provides teachers a curriculum which engages the young people on questions of belief, social justice, and Unitarian Universalist principles.

Childcare in the nursery is provided by trained childcare professionals and by assistants who have completed Safe Sitter training.

What Classes are Offered?

Nursery (for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers up to kindergarten)- We offer a loving and stimulating environment for the very youngest in our church family. Our nursery is staffed by two paid and trained caregivers and gives our little ones a place to move around and play with people their size, while learning cooperation skills and having fun! Parents are welcome to stay with their children. Those not ready for the structure of elementary classes are welcome in the nursery.

Preschool -Kindergarten- for our 3-5 year-old friends who are comfortable with toileting without assistance, we have a class designed to introduce them to Unitarian Universalism and to our Church. Lessons are specifically focused on concepts of peace and justice and introduce concepts such as peace, sharing, fairness, friendship, diversity, and cooperation.

Primary 1st - 4th Grade- Starting “close to home,” students will look at our own faith to learn what our congregation believes. Then, we will begin to look outward at other religious traditions.

Middle School 5th-8th grade- This year, the middle school class is studying Neighboring Faiths, a world religions curriculum. The class will study a variety of religious faiths, and then they will visit their houses of worship. Additionally, their program typically includes service projects and three sleepovers during the year, which help the kids form a well-bonded group. Middle school classes can run to 11:45 or later.

Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU) 9th -12th Grade: YRUU is part of a continental organization of Unitarian Universalist teens. A program led by youth and Advisors, YRUU focuses on youth empowerment through learning, social action, worship, and trusting relationships with adult members of the church community. YRUU programming typically takes place on Sunday mornings, but the possibilities for involvement reach beyond the classroom walls as youth find connections with each other, our church community, and regional and national UUs.

What is Our Whole Lives (OWL)?

Our Whole Lives (OWL)- OWL is a series of age-appropriate sexuality education curricula for five age groups: grades K-1, grades 4-6, grades 7-9, grades 10-12, and young adults. The curriculum focuses on accuracy, respect, and responsibility. Classes are led by trained facilitators. These classes are offered outside of Sunday school classes.

What is Coming of Age (CoA)?

Coming of Age (CoA)- Moving from childhood to adulthood can be a stressful, confusing time. CoA program offers students a safe place to walk this journey. Students will explore theology, spirituality and history through discussion, drama, music, writing and art. It is offered to 8th to 10th grade youth every-other-year. The next offering will be in the 2018-2019 school year.

Where Do We Sign Up?

We have a Visitor Information card that we ask all visiting families to complete at the welcome table in Goddard Hall. Please inform us of any special needs, allergies, or dietary restrictions. After two weeks of being a “visitor” we ask that each family complete a RE Registration form for children attending classes. All children 3 or younger must have a registration form on file before being left with a teacher.

You can find registration forms, even more information about RE, and ways you can help at the LFD table in the back of Goddard after the service is over. They can also be found linked above.

How Do I Find Out More?

Contact us! For questions specifically about the Religious Education and youth programs, please contact Jamili Omar at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For questions about Unitarian Universalism, check out the rest of the UUCT website or the Unitarian Universalist Association at www.uua.org.

Glossary

We know that joining a new group can be confusing. What does RE mean? What is the Message for All Ages? Sometimes it feels like we are speaking a different language!

This glossary is here to help! Some of the most common terms we use are listed below. Have a question or want to add one? Let us know! This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Children's Benediction. After the Message for All Ages the congregation sings the children to their classes. During the song, the children head out the back doors to meet their teachers and go to class. Please escort your children who are in the nursery through 4th grade.

Director of Religious Education (DRE). I’m the staff member who coordinates all the youth and children’s programming at UUCT.

Message For All Ages. During this time in the service there will be a short message from the Director of Lifespan Religious Education, Minister, or other church member. The message is designed to be engaging for congregants of all ages and may be a story, skit, or general information. It generally happens 10-15 minutes after the service begins. Following this, the children are dismissed to their classes with the Children’s Benediction.

Religious Education (RE). (Not your typical) Sunday School. RE generally refers to the programing that happens on Sunday mornings, but can include any activities for children and youth.

Unitarian Universalist and Unitarian Universalist Association. Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religious tradition that was formed from the consolidation of two religions: Unitarianism and Universalism. “We are brave, curious, and compassionate thinkers and doers. We are diverse in faith, ethnicity, history and spirituality, but aligned in our desire to make a difference for the good. We have a track record of standing on the side of love, justice, and peace.”  Find out more about who we are at: https://www.uua.org/beliefs/who-we-are

Worship or Sunday Service. Gathering together is a life-affirming, humanizing activity and we gather on Sunday mornings. Service is a mix of social justice, inspiration, music, and reflection. We hope you’ll join us! To see what’s happening at UUCT check out <insert link https://uuctucson.org/worship.html>. To see what other UUs do, check out <insert link https://www.uua.org/beliefs/what-we-do/worship>

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