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 (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.
You are Loved You are Never Alone Love Made You
The 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.
I Treat Myself with Love I Treat Others with Love I Treat the Earth with Love
- Summer Experimentation!
- This summer we will be switching our typical worship up. Instead of a full Story and discussion every Sunday, we will be doing a short character building tale with a short conversation following. With the time we have gained we will be engaging in a mindfulness game each week.
- Starting in September we will be exploring the Toolbox of Faith! More information to come!
Water Village Weekly
Last Sunday, due to the fun activity during the message for all ages, we did not have much time in the Water Village. We voted and did our Chalice Lighting and proceeded to do the planned activities that focused on communicating with each other.
- Talked about the difference between the Golden Rule (treat others how you want to be treated) and the Platinum Rule (treat others how they want to be treated).
- We played a game focusing on saying hello to our neighbors and really seeing them. We partnered up and took turns introducing ourselves and telling our partner what color their eyes looked. Then we rotated partners. We talked about how that felt and moved onto our next game.
- We passed a full cup of water around in a circle. Discussed a little about how we communicated with each other to know we were offering and receiving the water. The goal being not to spill the water. It was pretty easy at first. Then we did this without talking. Then we did it without talking and with our eyes closed! We had to be really mindful of our bodies and where our neighbors were. It was clear that it is hard to give or receive if we do not see or hear our neighbor.
Suggestions for home
- Do the activities at home a few times. Highlighting communication.
- Model giving and receiving with your neighbors. Next time you run out of milk (almond, cow, soy) or sugar, maybe go ask your neighbor. Show your child how to communicate with your neighbors, make it a point to ask them about their life. Who knows, you might even find that they are struggling with something that you can help with.
House of Walenthorpe (6th-12th)
Walenthorpe is a story-land community in a fictional wizardry school. In the “real” world it’s a community of youth who meet every Sunday after service. In this sacred space they explore theology and decide how they will use their faith in everyday life. Youth come to Walenthorpe for many different reasons. No matter what their initial reasons for coming, after a while, they realize they all come for the same reason: to be in community, to learn, to laugh, to love. Walenthorpe meets in the Emerson 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?
- The Summer Youth Service will be on August 5th. We will have 2 long sessions in July to help prepare. More details to come.
- Members of Walenthorpe have created a Discord chat server to help stay in touch with each other. In addition, they have set up several chat channels including one to discuss their Walenwork and this upcoming service. Although this is not an official UUCJ communication channel, I do encourage your children to participate and I have asked that the Discord chats be logged via a programmed logger bot within Discord. Here is the Discord Parents Guide.
Last Sunday we explored the following topics; Summer Youth Service Topic
- Identified people in their life that are a good neighbor to them. People who treat them the way they want to be treated.
- Identified what they want from the other generations
- I want my voice to be heard
- I want to have some control over my future
- I want to have some control over my life
- I want to have freedom of speech in my life
- Although they did not write this down, one member noted that the adults that spend time with them doing things together as people make a good impact on their life
- Someone made the point that adults can maintain an adult authoritative role with children but still treat them as equals. Adults can treat children as people, with wants, desires, thoughts, and feelings like everyone else.
- Reach out to the members who were not present and begin discussing the upcoming Youth Service.