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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.

 

The Children and Youth Program:

Families in Service

Our numbers of families is growing and we are overjoyed to have you with us every week!  There are many options for where you and your children are on Sundays, and we support you in making the best decisions for you and the kids.

  • In Service! Unless the topic is one specifically for adult ears, children of all ages are welcome to stay in the sanctuary every week.  We will hold specific “intergenerational services” about once per month and these will have active elements specifically to engage young people.
  • The Nursery for children under 10 years! Families, remember, if you need to leave service to take your child to nursery, you’re welcome to return!
  • In Religious Education (RE)! They can drop in as their needs dictate or attend every week.  There are no fees for RE; just a registration form found here: https://uuctucson.org/education/religious-education/254-religious-education-program-forms.html

What's Happening (Curricula and Programs)

Fall programming is here!  We are super excited about our pop-culture focus this year.  We’ll be developing mindfulness, completing service projects, learning about Unitarian Universalism and more.

Nursery (children birth to 10 years old) --We offer a loving and stimulating environment for the very youngest in our church family. Our nursery, staffed by paid and trained caregivers, gives our little ones a place to move around and play with people their size! Adults are welcome to stay with their children.

Our Own Two Hands (4-6 years old) --Kindness!  Learn the UU Rainbow Principles and how to be kind to others, the environment, and ourselves.

Jedi Academy (1st to 4th grades) --The Jedi believe in the 'Living Force', a spiritual presence that surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds all the matter in the universe together.  We will use these ideas to help students develop their own Mindfulness (but knowledge of the movies is not required!).

Harry Potter and UU (5th to 8th grades) --Yes, this is your formal letter from Hogwarts to join us in our own wizarding world!  Students this year will use the Harry Potter series of books by J.K. Rowling to immerse youth in the idea that one can work to make the world better.  

Wakanda Forever! (9th to 12th grades) --Who are you?  What do you believe?  What do other UUs believe?  With mentors and advisors, participants explore what they believe, what they find meaningful, and how to build a spiritual “toolkit” to help them as they face the joys, sorrows, wonders, and challenges of being human.

RE Notes

Youth in high school should start their Sundays at 10:30am in the RE classroom (Emerson) and NOT in service with the adults.  

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 up to middle school will sit with their adults.

10:30am –High School youth attend YRUU (Wakanda Forever!) class in Emerson room.

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. <insert link to https://uuctucson.org/quick-links/campus-map.html>

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 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.” <link https://www.uua.org/justice-old> 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>

Evacuation Procedures

Updated August 11, 2018

In the event of a fire (or fire drill)….

  1. DRE sounds the fire alarm (from Blackwell room) and calls 911 to alert the fire department.
  1. Lead Teacher calmly leads their class out the appropriate door.
  2. Assistant Teacher takes the class notebook with them.
  3. Nursery staff will take nursery notebook with them. Staff will use whatever equipment needed to get the children to safety.
  1. Classes proceed along their designated routes to the unpaved parking lot (see map).
  1. At the unpaved parking lot teachers take attendance to make sure their class has safely and completely evacuated.
  1. The Lead Teacher of the YRUU class will check with the lead teacher from all other classes to be sure all children/youth are accounted for. If any children/youth are missing, immediately notify the DRE by phone: 281.755.3328 (call or text).
  1. Teachers/advisors wait with their classes/groups in the unpaved parking area.
    1. In the case of a real emergency, parents would meet their children in this spot.
    2. Teachers note on the attendance sheet when children/youth are picked up by their parents or a designated adult (noted in their class notebooks).
  1. DRE does a check of all RE spaces to ensure a complete evacuation, and notifies the fire personnel, the office administrator (if on site), and the RE Board Portfolio Holder (if on site).
  1. ALL CLEAR: DRE gives the “All Clear” and children and youth return with their teachers / advisors to their group rooms, along the same paths they used for evacuation.
  1. EMERENCY: Once the emergency is “under control” (that is emergency personnel on site, rooms evacuated, etc), the DRE will contact the RE Board Portfolio Holder and Board President.

Communication of Evacuation Procedures.

These procedures will be

  • Reviewed by the Board in August yearly.
  • Kept in ALL class notebooks.
  • Communicated to parents annually by the DRE.

 

 

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