The freedom of the mind is the beginning of all other freedoms.
-- Clinton Lee Scott (Universalist, clergy)
Teaching Unitarian Universalism
Unitarian Universalism does not have a dogma or creed, instead we are guided by our Seven Principles. Our spirituality draws from scripture and science, nature and philosophy, personal experience and ancient tradition. Using our principles and sources in all we do, we strive to teach our children the importance of an Open Mind, Helping Hands, and a Loving Heart and encourage the exploration of our connection to the interdependent web of life.
Open Mind, Helping Hands, Loving Heart
These three foundational elements direct the intention of UUCOV’s YRE program. Knowing that children inherently possess an open mind, our youth program provides opportunities for exposure to a wide array of teachings, traditions and viewpoints. We encourage open discussion and activities that promote the free and responsible search for truth and meaning.
Gratitude, empathy and appreciation are fostered through YRE lessons about a variety of social justice and environmental challenges both locally and globally. Our children make cards for local senior citizens in assisted living and nursing homes, collect food for local animal welfare organizations and participated with the entire congregation in our Mats for the Homeless project. In addition, UUCOV’s ongoing commitment to the Family Promise program, locally, includes our youth creating welcome signs for our families and acting as ambassadors to the children staying on our campus during our Family Promise weeks.
Ultimately, children and youth are a vital part of our church community. Our intention is that the YRE programs instill in our children that they are worthy and capable of unconditional love.
The Earth Is Our Home
Earth is our home. We foster connection to and awareness of our role in protecting and preserving the environment. The YRE Sunday program curriculum includes lessons and activities emphasizing our connection to our natural surroundings.
Quarterly Sunday field trips take our children to local preserves, parks and beaches to learn, gain appreciation for and foster stewardship for our Earth. We observe Earth Day through special activities and celebrate the solstice and equinox with intergenerational potlucks and services.
It is the intention of UUCOV to provide a safe environment to all participating in and attending UUCOV activities, both on Sundays and throughout the week. Our YRE teachers and volunteers are required to have a background check. Our safety policy requires that two adults be present at all times when interacting with youth.
For the health of all, we ask that you not bring your children to YRE programs if they are ill.
Regularly attending children must have both the registration form and photo release on file with the Director of Religious Education, Jaye Williams. They are provided here for your convenience.
Links about Unitarian Universalism and More
- Unitarian Universalism (Wikipedia)
- What Unitarian Universalists Believe (Beliefnet.com)
- 100 Questions About Unitarian Universalism
- UU World Magazine Online
- UU Planet (YouTube)
- Standing of the Side of Love (UU Social Justice in Action)
- UU Ministry for Earth
- Unitarian Universalist Association on Religious Education
- Unitarian Universalist Parenting Blog
- Fowler's Stages of Faith Development
- 10 Commandments for talking to your kids about religion
- UUA Bookstore: Children
- UUA Bookstore: Parenting
- From preschool through high school: 24 great books that show empathy, kindness (Washington Post)