Child Spiritual Development
At the Unitarian Society of Germantown, we encourage Wonder, Compassion, Mindfulness, Service… and Fun!
The Mission of our Children’s Spiritual Development (CSD) program is to:
- Provide developmentally appropriate education that supports the lifelong process of learning to cultivate goodness, compassion, empathy, and love for oneself and others.
- Offer safe and caring spaces for introspective work, connecting to nature, and building right-relationships in community across generations.
- Put into practice hands-on, experiential education for children, facilitators and parents that cultivates respect, stewardship, service, mindfulness, responsibility, justice, and the search for truth and beauty.
- To welcome young people into the UU community, help them find their way into becoming active members, and provide them opportunities to learn the rich history and guiding principles of UU.
We believe if the mission of CSD is fulfilled it will contribute greatly to fulfilling our overarching mission at USG of: Building beloved community with service, compassion and empowerment.
All Sunday morning classes meet at 10:30am 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 15 minutes, children, youth and teachers are excused to their classes. The classes and curricula are listed below.
There are several intergenerational services throughout the year where everyone, including children and youth, stay for the duration of the service. Please visit: This Week in Sunday Children’s Programs for details about an upcoming Sunday (generally updated on Thursdays.)
2019- 2020 CSD Programs
PreK-Kindergarten (Ages 3-5) / Rainbow Connection / Sullivan 1
This weekly Sunday program uses a wonderful curriculum called Rainbow Connection. Popular story books for preschoolers are launching pads to discuss those values inherent in the Principles of Unitarian Universalism: such as respect, trustworthiness, fairness and caring. Each class contains a fun craft project, time for songs and games, and time for free play with friends.
1st– 3rdgrade (Ages 6 – 9) / Soul Matters / Sullivan 2
This program meets at least twice a month, following the Soul Matters themes that also are explored in the pulpit and Small Group Ministry, allowing families to explore ideas and themes together, such as awe, belonging, and resilience. We are also bringing back the popular Traveling Chalice – whose house will it go to next?
4th– 5th grade (Ages 9 – 11) / Sing to the Power / Sullivan 3
Meeting the first Sunday each month, this program affirms our Unitarian Universalist heritage of confronting “powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love.” Participants experience their own power, and understand how it can help them to be leaders, with the help of fun games, stories and hands-on activities.
6th-7th grades (Ages 11 – 13) / Middle School Youth Group / Bristol
Our middle school students meet twice a month for a full hour starting at 10:30am, exploring world religions through the hilarious lens of the popular TV show The Simpsons. After viewing some hand-selected Simpsons episodes, participants are invited to engage in respectful discussion, games and activities.
8-10th grades (Ages 13-15) / Coming of Age / Assembly Hall
The goal of our Coming of Age program is to help young people sort out their ethical and faith identity (recognizing that some young people do not feel religious at all). Rather that asking young people to affirm a creed, we ask them to think carefully about what they hold to be true, and the principles that guide their choices. Featuring a combination of Sunday morning workshops, one-on-one meetings with adult mentors and several special events, the program culminates in a Spring worship service in which participants are able to share their discoveries with the congregation.
COA begins at 10:30am on Sundays. Use calendar for upcoming dates.
9th-12th grades (Ages 14 – 18) / Youth Group / Bristol & Kitchen
Youth group meets Sunday evenings several times a month. The program balances youth-led worship, inquiry into values, social action and relaxation. Youth group is a place where participants can enter a safe place, deepen relationships, build community, and establish life-long friendships. Usually there is dinner too!
Children’s Chapel – For 1st– 7th graders / Sullivan 2-3
One the second Sunday of the month, our fresh take on Children’s Chapel is a chance to worship together, share our joys and concerns, sing and share stories together. Spiritual practices are also emphasized, giving our children tools for greater mindfulness, clarity and emotional resilience.
Justice Sundays — For 1st– 7thgraders / Sullivan 2-3 & Assembly Hall
Once a month, Justice Sundays focus on the primary issues today – locally, nationally and around the world– including social, economic and environmental issues. Topics are presented through stories and media, and then include fun hands-on activity stations where participants can really make a difference.
Registration and Fees:
Annual Registration for CSD is required. Even if your children were active last year, its important to know if there is new information about your children’s needs. This also help us gauge resources needed to support you.
There is no registration fee for USG members: we are a co-operative community and rely on parent’s participation.
Non-members registration fees are as follows: $25 for one child, $45 for two children, $60 for three or more children.
Contact Ryan Hurd, Director of Spiritual Development
for more information or questions about the program.