Overview

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.

Children & Youth Faith Formation Programming

Sunday School Program for Children & Youth, Summer 2022

Summer at UUCWNC Sunday School is casual and laid-back, reflecting UUCWNC’s more relaxed approach to worship and spiritual practice. But there is still much learning and spiritual growth that takes place!

All ages are always welcome in our Sanctuary, and children may remain with their parents for the entire adult service, at parents’ discretion.

Alternatively, elementary school and middle school-aged children may attend the Super Silly Science Sunday program. Here is what parents can expect:

On most Sundays, children of all ages will begin in the Sanctuary with the adults. About ten minutes into the service, “A Story for Children of All Ages” is shared from the pulpit, and then the children will be sung out to their classroom.

Once in the classroom, children will form a ‘Chalice Circle’ to light their own chalice and learn about the symbol of our Unitarian Universalist faith. We share our joys and concerns with each other which builds community through trust.

An age-appropriate scientific experiment is conducted, with related crafts and discussion about how the results of the experiment relate to the Principles of Unitarian Universalism. Standard processes are followed, as we establish our hypotheses, theory and record data to support our findings. Young people find these activities to be fun, challenging and rewarding. The time flies by, but some time is always found for reflection and thoughtful discussion.

Casual play clothes are encouraged but smocks will be provided to protect any Sunday-Best clothing! If the weather is not too oppressively hot, we may choose to conduct some experiments outside.

Childcare for infants and toddlers is available during Sunday services in our Nursery. UUCWNC welcomes every kind of family, and we look forward to your family visiting us!

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 Faith Formation Programming

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 are centered around “Connections”, and exploration of timely, scientific, new age and current event topics are assessed in “Quest”.

The Director of Faith Formation supports families when meeting the challenges unique to UU parenting; raising children while instilling liberal values can be hard in these complex, social media-driven times. Members and friends of our congregation often conduct individual study and the DFF may provide direction and make resources available through the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA).

A “Welcome” class for people who are new to Unitarian Universalism or just new to our UU congregation is offered in the Fall and Spring. This class teaches about the history of Unitarian Universalism (which is much longer than one thinks) and about how UUCWNC is organized, how it’s run and how to get engaged with your areas of interest within the congregation.

Members and Friends of UUCWNC also may participate in ongoing book discussion groups, special common-read events, soul-growing exercises 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 Faith Formation (DFF), at any time: leslie@uucwnc.org.

2022 Unitarian Universalist Common Read Book Discussion Group

 Unitarian Universalists have been known to have Bible Study Groups, but mostly our discussion groups center around books selected for their timely themes and insightful perspectives on current events. There are many Good Books, ones that will motivate the Unitarian Universalist on their quest for social justice reform.

Each year, the Unitarian Universalist Association selects a book for the annual Common Read (see the Faith Formation bulletin board in the church’s main hallway for detailed information). This year’s selection is Defund Fear: Safety Without Policing, Prisons, and Punishment by Zach Norris.

UUCWNC’s book discussion group will join literally thousands of other Unitarian Universalist churches as we read and discuss this important publication, and most importantly, plot to take immediate action to dismantle institutional racism in our own community. Read the book and join us for discussion on Zoom:

Defund Fear: Safety Without Policing, Prisons, and Punishment

July 21 & 28, 6:30 – 8:00pm

Details on UUCWNC Calendar and website

 *A Note on Covid-19

For the safety of our children, it is the policy of UUCWNC’s Lifespan Religious Education Program that all adults who teach or otherwise spend significant time in the classroom with children be fully vaccinated against Covid and other common childhood diseases. Face masks may be worn at the discretion of parents and/or teachers. We ask that if you or your child is ill, please stay home and visit us on another Sunday.