Lifespan Religious Education

Parents and caregivers choose Unitarian Universalist congregations for their child’s religious education because of the community dynamic that helps raise children to become kind, respectful, fair-minded, caring – but strong enough to side with love and fight for justice. Participation in UUCW’s religious education programs is supplemented by worship, social justice work and multi-generational gatherings that reinforce the lessons taught at home. We nurture truth-seeking, spirituality and progressive moral values that will continue to shape and support our children as they grow.

In our church we believe that it is important to learn about things from many different sources. The Unitarian Universalist Sources are foundational to religious education programming at UUCWNC, and include:

  • our own sense of the wonder of life
  • the Jewish and Christian religions and many other religions from around the world
  • earth-centered religions which celebrate life and teach us to live in harmony with nature;
    knowledge gained by people through science and reason
  • the lives of people who have worked to make the world a better place
  • our thoughts and experiences

Our core religious education curriculum for children and youth includes age-appropriate, interactive studies of our Judeo-Christian heritage and deep immersion in Unitarian Universalist Principles and Resources including comparative world religions. Our youth may participate in the award-winning sexual education program, Our Whole Lives (OWL), helping them make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior in every stage of life.

Sunday School Program for Children & Youth 2021-2022

September 12, 2021 is our first day back in-person after a long pandemic period of having Sunday school classes via zoom. Children may accompany their parents to the Sanctuary, where they will participate in the opening of the service and interact with our minister during the ‘Story for All Ages’. On some Sundays, children and youth of all ages will start out together for a Children’s Chapel gathering, essentially creating a mirror image of the first part of the adult Sunday service. Our initial focus in the classrooms will be ‘community’ and how our shared Unitarian Universalist values bring us together on Sunday mornings, and how, by living out our UU principles every day, we can take that sense of loving community home with us and wherever we go. Changing themes will be fully covered with age-appropriate lessons using books, music, film, movement / discovery activities, art and reflection time.

Our UU Principles are the same as for the adults, but in easier language. The words may be simple, but the concepts can be difficult to uphold when faced with the everyday lessons of growing up. Our Sunday school sessions optimize the innate curiosity of children to creatively build the moral foundation needed to confidently interact with people of all kinds while working to the make the world a better place for everyone. We speak of the UU Principles as ‘promises’ that we keep to ourselves and to each other:

We, the members of the Unitarian Universalist Church, believe that:

  • all people are important
  • we should be kind and fair
  • we should accept other people and help them to grow
  • we should figure out for ourselves what is true and good
  • we should do what our consciences tell us is right
  • people should have a voice and a vote about things that concern them
  • we should work for peace and freedom everywhere and try to make the world one family
  • we should take care of the earth which gives us life

Adult Lifespan Religious Education

Living the Unitarian Universalist Principles demands that learning continues throughout a person’s lifetime. UUCWNC offers opportunities to explore one’s own spirituality through various classes and programs so that one may connect to that which is divine to the individual. Small Group Ministry may include instruction in “Spiritual Practices”, discussion groups centered around “Connections”, exploration of timely, scientific, new age and current event topics in “Quest”.

The Director of Faith Formation supports families when meeting the challenges unique to UU parenting and also independent study by providing resources and direction. “The Bible Through the Lens of a Unitarian Universalist” and a “Welcome” class for people who are new to Unitarian Universalism are just two classes that are led by our Minister, Cheryl M. Walker. Members and Friends of UUCWNC also may participate in ongoing book discussion groups, special common-read events and guest speakers covering a variety of topics.

See the Calendar of Events for adult programming scheduling and the monthly Beacon newsletter and weekly Digest for details of offerings. You may contact Leslie O’Connor, Director of Lifespan Religious Education, at any time: leslie@uucwnc.org.

*A note on Covid-19:

UUCW-NC’s Classroom Wellness Policy includes the requirement that all children and all adults who spend time with our children in classrooms, wear face masks. This includes students, visitors, paid staff, volunteer teachers and childcare providers, parents who are visiting the classroom, etc. Face masks shall be worn regardless of vaccination status. This policy is in place to help protect the health of our children and their families and other congregants. UUCW-NC leadership remains diligently informed of public health advisories and may change policies as local pandemic conditions evolve and public health recommendations are modified. You may find additional information on our Wellness Policy in the 2021-22 Parent Packet (contact Leslie O’Connor, Director of Lifespan Religious Education, leslie@uucwnc.org).