What We Offer Through the Lifespan

Participating in worship services is a learning experience for our children.
Participating in worship services is one of many ways our children learn and grow.

We provide children, youth and adults an opportunity to explore, reflect and learn in a nurturing spiritual community. Unitarian Universalist religious education programs offer all ages, inspiring:

  • Ethical growth – internalizing enduring values like justice, equity, and compassion, and gaining tools to act on them in everyday life.
  • Social growth – connecting with peers and people of all ages on a deeper level. Finding acceptance among people who see beyond the superficial.
  • Spiritual growth – feeling a connection with the sacred within, among, and beyond us.

Please explore these pages to learn more about our classes.  Our director of religious education and minister lead many of our congregations’ lifespan programs. Parents and other members of the congregation often lead them, too. Teaching can be a very fulfilling way to deepen one’s own faith.

Children’s Religious Education

The great end in religious instruction is not to stamp our minds upon the young, but to stir up their own; Not to make them see with our eyes, but to look inquiringly and steadily with their own; Not to give them a definite amount of knowledge, but to inspire a fervent love of truth; Not to form an outward regularity, but to touch inward springs…
—William Ellery Channing, “The Sunday School”

Many people first come to our church looking for open-minded, loving-hearted religious education for their children. While people bring a diversity of beliefs, backgrounds, and family compositions, everyone agrees on the importance of Love as a guiding force in our lives and the lives of our children. Many seekers cross our threshold looking for a community they can call their own, where they and their family will be embraced for all of who they are, celebrated for all the gifts they bring, and accompanied through the joys and struggles they face. If that sounds like you and your family, we hope you will find all that and more here.

Our Religious Education Program for children includes opportunities for worship, building healthy relationships between young people and adults in the congregation, community-building, social action, learning, and leadership development. Children participate in children’s chapels and intergenerational services, multigenerational events like our Halloween Party, a Holiday Pageant, Family Retreat, marches, Share the Joy or other actions for social justice, community workdays, opportunities to learn new skills, trips to The Mountain and more!

Children attend the first part of the Sunday worship services, including a “Time for All Ages,” which is often a story or a child-friendly discussion.  After the Time for All Ages, the children go to their classes as we all, children and adults, sing.

If you would like to volunteer to work with the children’s religious education program, please contact Director of Religious Education Julie Shum at dre@uucbham.org, and/or Heather Hunter at seec@uucbham.org.

Special Events

From Picnics on the Playground to Campfires in our Outdoor Chapel, from Holiday Pageants to Church Retreats, our calendar each year is filled with a number of fun community-building activities. Sometimes these are purely social, and sometimes they include more of a holiday celebration or worship element. Check the calendar to see what’s happening soon!

Worship

Children and youth participate in worship in a variety of different ways, from a “Time for All Ages” at the beginning of regular church services in the Sanctuary, to monthly Children’s Chapels downstairs, to periodic Intergenerational Services with the entire congregation. There are many opportunities to notice and celebrate all that gives life meaning and sustains us.

We also have a Family Room across the Narthex from the Sanctuary where parents can tend to their children while listening to the service over the loudspeaker. This room is particularly popular with nursing moms or those with toddlers who prefer to stay with their parents rather than go to class.

Community Service

As Unitarian Universalists, we consider community service a necessary component of the religious education of our young people. Throughout the year, children and youth engage in hands-on projects in which they assist members of the larger community in various ways. Past projects include sending care packages to send to soldiers in Iraq, volunteering with the American Council of the Blind, putting together toiletry packets for foster children, working with Heifer Project, International, and providing holiday decorations to nursing homes and homeless shelters.

Adult and Multi-generational Education

Adult classes include ongoing weekly classes and one-time events.  Many of them are suitable for children as well as adults.  Ask the teacher if children may be included.

If you have ideas for adult or multi-generational classes, please contact Marilyn Kurata or Susan Barrow or write to adult@uucbham.org.