Religious Exploration & Group Meetings

Children & Youth

Children and Youth Religious Exploration programming at UUCJ strives to


/in’spī’ur/ v. excite energies, ideals, or reverence


/fāTH/ n. a confident or wholehearted belief in the truth, value, or trustworthiness of a person, idea, or thing.

We actively seek to invoke a sense of wonder and awe about life, and it’s many gifts. We work towards cultivating a sense of UU identity while fostering divergent thinking. We explore our UU values through experiential lessons and engaging stories. We do not want only to take the children from A to B. We want to give them A and help them realize their own path to B and beyond! Our kids are often given leadership opportunities and asked to help craft their worship. After all, it is THEIR worship!

We center our programming around what we call the Big Ideas.

These ideas are values and concepts stemming from our seven principles.

At each stage of programming, we focus on three Big Ideas and each session is related to one of those Big Ideas.

We believe that a child exploring these Big Ideas on a consistent basis will live an enriched life.


 tadpole-cove-bannerTadpole Cove (0-PreK)

Tadpole Cove is a welcoming, energetic space for children from 0 to 5 years old. This nursery provides structure and familiarity to children while encouraging exploration and curiosity through play and socialization. Tadpole Cove is open from 9:30am – 1:30pm. Please join us in the Howe room.

Big Ideas

You are Loved   You are Never Alone   Love Made You

Register Here!


water-village-with-nameThe Water Village (K-5th)

The Water Village is a loving community where children are invited to be a part of a living story. Water Villagers worship together through an engaging story, UU rituals, and experiential learning activities. They experience what it means to be a community and learn how to practice UU values. Please sign-in at the blue kiosk outside of the Sanctuary. The children travel together from service to The Water Village.

Big Ideas

I Treat Myself with Love    I Treat Others with Love    I Treat the Earth with Love

Register Here!

Last Week in the Water Village!
Our Big Ideas: I treat myself with Love
One way to do this is by doing things that bring us joy.
Last Sunday, in addition to our Chalice Lighting, Joys & Sorrows, and Meditation, we explored the following: Noah by Christopher Buice. You can find the story here.

Highlights of the discussion after the story

  • Our children realized some of them believe in God or a creator, some of them don’t, and both beliefs are okay.
  • Many of the children reflected on the joyful things they did during Hurricane Irma and how that helped them during such a scary time.
  • One of our children highlighted how sometimes storms in life aren’t real storms but are sad or scary times.
  • We had a long meditation led by Ms. Kathleen, and they all did wonderful! We had fun sharing what each of us saw when we were meditating!

Suggestions for home

  •  Do something that brings you and your child joy, record it (take a picture, write it down together, draw a picture of your activity) and post it on your fridge. Let them know it’s there to look at when you or they are going through something hard. That way you two can remember the awesome time you had and feel some joy!
  •  As a family, each day, verbally share a joy with each other.

walenthorpefinalHouse of Walenthorpe (6th-12th)

The UUCJ Youth Group program is now called Walenthorpe. Walenthorpe was created using the three values required for the group’s success: honesty, open-mindedness, and willingness.

The youth are participating in a story-land community in a wizardry school, inspired by J.K. Rowling’s world of Harry Potter. They are crafting and participating in this living story while learning about various topics. There will be strong fantasy language throughout the program, with lessons and values woven through that are very practical and UU.  Walenthorpe meets in the Darwin room every Sunday from 12:15pm – 1:15pm.

The Big Ideas

Should I practice honesty with myself and others?    Should I practice open-mindedness?    Should I practice willingness?

Register Here!

Last week in Walenthorpe!

Last Sunday we explored the following topics; Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves, P/purpose
 Before our discussion, the Youth took the recycling bins they made, and placed them around the church campus so every room can begin recycling. 
Highlights of their discussion
  • Some discussion of Agape, Philia and our 1st principle.
  • We have to love ourselves before we can truly love others
  • When we try to mush/combine people and/or ideas into one, it can cause turmoil
  • When loving others, we must accept who they are and how we feel, then change what we can: ourselves
  • No specific metaphysical beliefs are required in order to treat people kindly and with love
  • Every person has a purpose!/?
    • Not everyone has a purpose the way Moses had a purpose
    • There is a difference between a capital “P” purpose and a lower case “p” purpose


For adults, we offer Religious Exploration classes and group meetings throughout the week:

  • UUCJ Journey: Building Beloved Community: Read more about this new series for 2017 and register.
  • Spiritual Studies: This class studies selected readings or books on spirituality. All are welcome. For more information contact David Keel. Sundays @9:30am in the Channing Room.
  • Playing with Ideas: This class meets Sundays @ 9:30-10:30 in the Anthony Room.
  • We Agnostics: An AA meeting for atheists, agnostics, and others of a more liberal religious persuasion. Tuesdays @ 7pm in the Anthony Room.
  • Jax Soto Zen Meditation: Led by Dr. Roger Cochran. Mondays @ 7:00pm in the Anthony Room. (Does not meet on 5th Monday of the month).
  • Covenant Groups: Build personal connections in an atmosphere of mutual trust. Our Covenant Groups are a small gathering of people who meet regularly to get to know each other and explore significant questions involving spirituality and the business of living. If you are interested in joining a group or would simply like more info, contact Christopher Pridham.



I do not think it is the business of a poet to be a guru. It is his business to write poetry, and to do that he must remain open and vulnerable.
~ May Sarton, Journal of a Solitude (1973)