Children and youth are an important part of our religious community. Many times they are the wellspring from which come our newest and best ideas; often they challenge us to make our world a better place. We encourage them in our Unitarian Universalist (UU) traditions by offering classes and activities so they can question, explore and become more engaged with our UU commitments.

Our curriculum for children and youth comes from the themes of World Religions, our Jewish and Christian heritage, our UU identity and how these have informed our liberal religious faith.

In the newsletter and each Sunday in the Order of Service, a short description of the children/youth’s Religious Exploration classes are shared.

At any time you have questions or are interested in more information about the Religious Exploration program, please feel free to contact the Director of Lifespan Religious Exploration.

What Happens on Sundays?

Every Sunday, all children and youth begin in the Sanctuary together. As a community, all are welcomed, the chalice is lit, a hymn is sung and children/youth leave the sanctuary through a love arch created down the middle isle as a hymn is sung. Visitors are encouraged to to walk back with their children if it is their first time attending religious exploration classes. Children/youth then gather in the commons for a brief worship together and go to their individual classes.

During the first service, all children participate in our Wisdom of Wondering curriculum, though youth 6th grade and up are also welcome to stay in the sanctuary. During second service, children ages k-5 participate in the Wisdom of Wondering activities, and children and youth between 6-12 grade participate in the Chalice Youth group. (High Schoolers have the option to attend an additional YRUU youth group meeting on Thursday evenings.)

After the service, parents or guardians pick up those in 5th grade and below to join them in the fellowship time in Hanneman Hall. Children in grades 6th and up release themselves after their classes.

During the year, watch for notice of multigenerational services, which are planned to include all ages in the sanctuary. This is a time when all ages worship together.

While in the sanctuary if needed, activity bags for the children are available at the greeter table in the foyer. Each Sunday, parents are able to hear the services in the nursery as well as Hanneman Hall.

Special Events

Multi-generational Services: All ages worship together in the sanctuary
Principles in Action Program: Volunteering in our Community on a Sunday
Coming of Age program for Junior Youth in 2016-2017 ( 7th and 8th graders 2016-2017)
OWL (Our Whole Lives) human sexuality curriculum for kindergarten through high school. Beginning January, 2016.
Special Sundays where all children/youth explore a specific topic or theme and worship together
Yearly Offering Project: Children/youth bring money each Sunday for their chosen recipient
Child Dedication: A special ritual for young Unitarian Universalist children to be celebrated. – Dedications are during the December Holiday Service and the June Flower Communion Service
Bridging Ceremony: Graduating Seniors bridge from being in the youth program to being recognized as a young adult in the congregation. The ceremony is held during the June Flower Communion Service
Family Retreat: A time for families to gather to enjoy activities, fellowship and worship – (2016 TBA)
Youth Conferences: Sr. Youth (high school) can attend a youth led and planned themed conference in the fall and spring. (fall, October 23-25, 2015 and Spring April 1-3, 2016)
Youth Winter Retreat: Sr. Youth from the Willamette Cluster gather for a time of fellowship, activity and worship – (2016 TBA)