Children and Youth
Spiritual Exploration at UUC
Unitarian Universalism teaches that religious growth and learning are a lifelong process. Together we seek to provide our children and youth with the experiences and tools to encourage their own religious development, and to ground them in the ethical and spiritual dimensions of life. Our program is designed to:
help young people deepen their Unitarian Universalist faith and
to learn Unitarian Universalist history and values;
to appreciate the richness and diversity of other world religions; and
to teach our children to integrate their faith and values through social justice and service.
We currently use a program called “Soul Matters Sharing Circle,” which provides our entire campus with monthly themes for discussion and reflection. So, the theme adults hear about in the Octagon worship service on Sundays are the same as the classroom topics for all ages of religious education. Click here for a list of current themes!
Westwood Nursery (infant through VPK): Infants and young children may be checked into the nursery beginning at 10am on Sunday mornings. The nursery is located just past the restrooms to the left of the main entrance to the Octagon. We try to maintain a consistent program for children that involves songs and stories in circle time, and uses art and free play to begin exploring UU themes and principles. In our nursery you will find bookshelves with Todd Parr books, shelves of toys to encourage play, and a closet of art supplies for developing young imaginations. Children are given a snack and organic apple juice. Please remind the nursery attendant if your child has allergies. If you have concerns about the snack provided, you are more than welcome to provide your own snack for your child – or bring some fresh fruit to share with the class.
Kindergarten - 8th Grade: Elementary aged school children begin their morning in the Spirit Play space, which is at the top of the Octagon (follow the sound of children playing – you can’t miss it!). They can play here for the first 15 minutes of worship, and then the congregation sings them out as they follow the RE team and volunteers over to our new Surti building. You may pick them up in Surti Hall following worship! Once in Surti, we have a large group time, short meditation time, a story/lesson, and a craft/game/activity. At the end of class snacks are provided (we are a nut-free campus!) and, weather and time permitting, children play outside on the playground equipment until caregivers come to pick them up.
9th-12th Grades: The older students meet each Sunday from noon until 2pm. TORCH stands for Teen Organization Reaching for Community Harmony. In partnership with their youth advisors, our youth explore theology, spirituality, history and other topics of interest through discussion, music and art as well as a number of hands-on social service opportunities.
To give children the opportunity to truly embrace the spirit of our Unitarian Universalist faith through worship, we have created a Spirit Space in our sanctuary. This is a sacred space. We ask that everyone speak quietly and be mindful of other people. Some of the activities that our Spirit Space offers are smaller tables and chairs, finger labyrinths, puzzles, needlework, coloring sheets, books, water painting, and other quiet activities in keeping with the theme of the worship service. Children may choose to sit with their families or explore Spirit Space as part of their worship experience. Our Spirit Space is located at the upper left area as you enter the sanctuary near the large window.
A Note Regarding Registration...
Registering your children and youth in the Religious Enrichment (RE) program provides us with accurate information, and helps ensure that they will not miss mail that their teachers might send. We ask that newcomers fill out a registration form to inform us of your children’s interests, special needs and food allergies. We do not charge a fee for our religious enrichment program. If you would like to make a voluntary donation, please make checks payable to: Unitarian Universalists of Clearwater. In the memo section, please write “RE Program Contribution.”
There’s a place for everybody and their time and talents as we create a flourishing RE experience that embodies the essence of our UUC ministry, shapes young lives and shines on the future of our congregation. We offer many volunteer opportunities that will not only nurture the spiritual lives of our children and youth but yours as well.
Or, email our Director of Religious Education, Julie Daysa.