Child Spiritual Development
For All Children and Youth, 2016-17
Spiritual Development at USG is a commitment to going deeper, cultivating individual and communal spiritual practices, connecting to a larger reality with a sense of gratitude, awe and wonder. It is also linking to our UU heritage and identity, embracing our principles and sources of inspiration.
All classes, except Youth Group, meet at 10:30am on Sunday morning during regular church service. Youth Group for the high school youth meets from 6-8pm on Sunday night.
On a typical Sunday morning, everyone (except children in the nursery) will attend the beginning of the church service. After the first 5-10 minutes, children and youth are excused to their classes. The class curricula are listed below. In general, Pre-K through 6th graders will meet with their classes on the second and fourth Sunday of the month. However, during the first and third Sunday of each month there are two combined classes – PreK-2nd and 3rd-6th – which are aimed at helping children engage in developmentally appropriate lessons and activities on spirituality (1st Sunday) and social justice (3rd Sunday).
The 7th-8th graders and 9th-10th graders meet with their respective classes every Sunday. Also, there are several intergenerational services throughout the year where everyone, including children and youth, stay for the duration of the service. Visit the This Week in Sunday School page for details about the upcoming Sunday (generally updated on Thursdays.)
This link is for the CSD Master Calendar showing Chapel and Social Justice Sundays, in addition to Intergenerational services and no program Sundays (generally holiday weekends.)
Chalice Children begins to orient children towards being in a Unitarian Universalist community at USG. In addition to allowing the children plenty of opportunity to play, which is their primary mode of learning at this age, this class tries to foster a sense of belonging to our congregation and sets a pattern of familiarity with UU traditions.
Kindergarten and 1st Grade
Creating Home helps children develop a sense of home at USG. The program speaks of home as a place of belonging and explores the roles each of us play in the homes where we live. The children will actively explore the concept of home, and they create a community home in our classroom. Creating Home sessions include stories from Unitarian Universalism and other faith traditions, and hands-on activities to make learning accessible to individuals with various learning styles. Children are introduced to the rituals, songs and traditions of our faith.
2nd and 3rd Grade
Moral Tales attempts to provide children with the spiritual and ethical tools they will need to make choices and take actions reflective of Unitarian Universalist beliefs, values and principles. Each session has a central story in which participants meet real and fictional heroes and heroines who have displayed moral courage and spiritual greatness. These stories draw upon many of our UU sources, portraying moral dilemmas and paths to goodness and justice through a variety of cultural and religious lenses.
4th, 5th and 6th Grade
Harry and UU
Harry and UU is a social action curriculum for grades 4, 5 and 6 based on J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books. Through the themes that are reflected in Harry Potter books that are closely related to the seven principles, children are immersed in the idea that one can work to make the world a better place. This curriculum has meaningful sources and projects that are relevant to children and in turn keeps them engaged.
7th and 8th Grade
Our Whole Lives (OWL)
Seventh and eighth grade OWL is a comprehensive sexuality education program that includes age-appropriate information about human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. It’s grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, addressing not only the physical components, but the spiritual, emotional and cultural sides as well. Instructors are required to attend OWL teacher training. Parents are required to attend a parent orientation meeting in September. Youth are expected to attend each weekly class.
9th and 10th Grade
Coming of Age (COA)
Coming of Age is a Rites of Passage program. It is our community’s way of marking the passage from childhood into adolescents. Throughout the course of the year, students are challenged to deepen their understanding of UUism and the work of USG. Our Sunday morning meetings invite students to dig deeply into the ideas and ideals that are central to their life. Facilitators engage youth through inquiry, helping them to navigate the identity creation process in which COA youth are engaged. The COA year includes opportunities for service, fellowship, fun and adventure. Activities on both Sunday mornings and at other times engage youth in a process that culminates in the creation of personal credos (from the Latin: “what I set my heart to”). In the spring, a special youth-led service celebrates a unique threshold in their spiritual journey, when youth are ready to share their own credos with the larger congregation. Youth are expected to attend each weekly class. This program requires a high level of commitment by parents and youth and regular participation is essential.
Youth Group (First and third Sunday nights from 6-8pm)
Youth Group is a co-ed Sunday evening program that offers high school youth a safe and welcoming space for social interaction and spiritual development. It is a place where youth deepen relationships with one another, build community and establish life-long friendships. Youth Group is primarily youth-led, as they design and facilitate most activities. The program balances service learning, social action, youth-led worship, inquiry into important issues and good old fashioned fun.
For more detailed information about these and other UUA programs visit www.uua.org/tapestryoffaith
Cooperative Model *
Our Child Spiritual Development program uses a cooperative model that is sustained by the ongoing participation of parents in nurturing our children’s spiritual growth. Most parents show their support by volunteering in areas of responsibility either on a short or longer-term basis during the church year. Once your children are registered, you will receive an email inviting you to select from a variety of volunteer positions in the CSD program.
Materials and Registration Fees:
New this year, there is no registration fee for USG members. Non-members registration fees are as follows: $25 for one child, $45 for two children, $60 for three or more children. To make payment online, click here.
Annual Registration for CSD is required. Please follow this link to register online.
Contact Jason Bender, Director of Spiritual Development