The Unitarian Society of New Haven provides an inspiring and engaging religious education program for children of all ages. We offer Sunday classes for children in preschool through high school, focused on age-appropriate exploration and expression of oneself, the world, Unitarian Universalism and world religions (nursery care for babies and toddlers is also provided). We also offer a variety of age-specific and multi-generational social events, social action projects, and worship opportunities for both our congregation and the public. Scroll down to see brief descriptions of our classes for various ages, and check our website regularly to see what’s going on in our CYRE program!
Our religious education curricula follow an alternating year cycle, since most classes are multi-age. In year “A” classes focus in on UU identity, history and values. In year “B” we explore the sources of Unitarian Universalism, including our Jewish-Christian heritage and other “neighboring faiths”. 2016-2017 is an “A” year.
Click here for the registration form to enroll a young person in RE classes for 2016-2017.
2016-2017 Children’s Religious Education Course Descriptions
***Religious Education classes and programs will begin on Sunday, September 18, 2016. Prior to that, we will be on “Summer Schedule” with childcare during Sunday services and “children’s chapels” on August 14th, 21st and 28th. ***
10:30am-11:45pm Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade Religious Education classes
12:15-2:15 pm Grades 9-12 YRUU (Youth Group)
Nursery care for children from birth through age four age is available from 9:15am-11:45am every Sunday, year-round. The nursery is staffed by certified providers and is a warm and welcoming place. childcare is often provided for meetings and events outside of service time.
One Sunday each month, we gather in the Children’s Chapel for shared worship. Children in Pre-K through 5th grade participate, while 6-12 graders hold classes as usual. The goal of these chapels is for our children to learn and enjoy the process and elements of worship through sharing joys and concerns, meditative readings, exploration of the seven UU principles and the six sources which our faith draws from, interactive activities and occasional guest speakers on social justice topics. We welcome parents to join us!
The picture at left shows Jesse Greist, Director of Lifespan Religious Education leading a discussion during a chapel service.
Sunday Morning Classes – Gather in the Sanctuary at 10:30 am
(children are in classes from 10:45-11:45)
Kindergarten and 1st Grade: Wonderful Home
You are about to take a journey. It is a journey you take alon
e and in community — a journey of inward reflections and outward actions of faith, Unitarian Universalist journey, open to stories and beliefs from different lands and people. It is a journey from home. It is a journey to home.
Wonderful Home was compiled from the UUA Tapestry of Faith (web-based) curricula Creating Home and Wonderful Welcome with selected lessons from Around the Church around the Year and Chalice Children to emphasize the learning of UU values, traditions and history in Grade K-1. Wonderful Home relies on the structure of Creating Home to provide the framework for all sessions. Sessions from other curricula should be adapted to fit the basic format: Laying out the labyrinth, placing the chalice, placing the name stones, comments about the previous week (by children); the story telling; activities; the closing; returning the name stones to the basket. (Name stones will be made in the first session)
Supplemental Curriculum: Our Whole Lives health and sexuality education. This eight session course will begin in mid March, and continue through the end of May. For more information, click on the link above. Parents will be given the option of “opting out” of this curriculum as the time approaches.
2nd and 3rd grade: UU Superheroes
UU SUPER HEROES is a values-based Unitarian Universalist identity curriculum for primary-aged children (grades 2-3). It can be used in conjunction with SUPER HEROES – BIBLE PEOPLE to make a full year program of curriculum, or it can be used by itself.
Most units will begin with the “super hero’s” childhood, so that children can connect with the person and realize that people who do heroic deeds have generally humble beginnings, have shortcomings, and make mistakes. At the end of each session, children will discuss which of the UU principles were important to that week’s super hero.
4th and 5th Grade: You, The Creator of Justice
Engage youth in the cause of justice. Help them be right with their world by making their world right. You the Creator of Justice is an engaging mix of purpose and fun, of explanation and action, of self and other, of the spiritual and the practical. It centers around taking on a “Justice Job”, a thirty-plus-minute activity included in each session to involve youth in one or more of three action strands. The Congregational Strand asks youth to assess, support, and even help lead congregational justice efforts. The Child/Youth Strand introduces youth to the nature and cause of right treatment for the world’s young. The Action Strand calls for creating and using scales of justice, designing superheroes to fight for what’s right, and more.
Supplemental Curriculum: Our Whole Lives health and sexuality education. This eight session course will begin in mid March, and continue through the end of May. For more information, click on the link above. Parents will be given the option of “opting out” of this curriculum as we approach the start date.
6th and 7th: Heeding the Call
Heeding the Call is a social justice curriculum that not only explores linked oppressions in our society, but also encourages participants towards personal growth in values that counteract the marginalization of others. Workshops on empathy, courage, abundance, joy, and other qualities ask participants to recognize how these standards can be tools for justice. Additionally, the program includes more concrete tools, such as suggestions on how to be a good ally and tips on the language of conflict resolution. True stories of courage, sacrifice and collaboration, role-plays, games, and a program-long justice project will feed youth’s rising realization that as people of faith we are all called to love justice—not just with our words, but also with our deeds.
Affirmations Year: A “Coming of Age” Program (8th Grade)
A special year-long coming of age course created especially by the Unitarian Society of New Haven. 8th graders are encouraged to fully engage in their own free and responsible search for truth and meaning as well as develop their personal understandings and connections to UU. As a capstone experience, the class attends a study trip to Boston, MA, to see the headquarters of the UUA and other monuments of our faith.
Click here to visit our Youth programs page for updated information about High School offerings!
Children’s Choir — For children of all ages, conducted by Linda Pawelek, our Director of Music.
Our Whole Lives – Every two years, we run three special courses on Sunday mornings for grades K-1, Grades 4-5 and Grades 7-8, which will focus on Human Growth, Development, Sexuality, Self-esteem and developing friendships/relationships. These classes, called Our Whole Lives (or OWL for short) use a curriculum developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association together with the United Church of Christ. We will offer Our Whole Lives classes in the 2016-2017 congregational year.