Religious Education: In Depth Unitarian Society of HartfordNourishing SpiritReligious Education for Children and YouthReligious Education: In Depth Our Philosophy of Religious Education Our goal is to help our children and youth: Gain respect and appreciation for themselves, others, all living things, and the environment; Become integral parts of our Meeting House community; Develop an awareness of, and appreciation for, our Judeo-Christian heritage and other world religions that influence the formation of our religious beliefs; Experience the joy and inspiration of music and the arts; Become responsible persons who are able to make ethical decisions through which they show their care and concern for all humanity. How Our Children are Taught The seven principles are taught using methods based on the sources of our beliefs, which include, but are not limited to: Fostering a continuing sense of wonder using art, science, and social justice projects; Learning about heroes and heroines from UU history and other historical and religious figures who were dedicated to living fair and just lives; Discovering the ethical and spiritual wisdom of the world’s religions, including our Judeo-Christian heritage; Encouraging the use of logic and reason to discern the answers to life’s questions; Promoting practices that are in harmony with nature, the environment, and the sacred circle of life. What Our Children Learn Our children are encouraged to think for themselves while receiving guidance on moral and ethical behavior. We allow their individual beliefs to unfold without any dogma. Our children learn that all big religious questions have many answers, and it is their responsibility to seek their own truth. Ultimately, we want our children to become mature adults who make their own decisions about what to believe and how to live. Our religious education program strives to give children the necessary foundation for this lifelong task by focusing on the seven Unitarian Universalist principles in an age-appropriate fashion. As Unitarian Universalists, we believe: Each person is important; Be kind in all you do; We’re free to learn together; And search for what is true; All people need a voice; Build a fair and peaceful world; We care for our Earth’s lifeboat. Worship Services Effective March 1st, all parents with children and youth interested in participating in that morning’s RE activities are asked to check in at the RE sign-in spot next to the Welcome Table. If you are new or visiting, additional information will also be available along with plenty of friendly faces! Children and youth ages 4-18 will be welcome to join in our new program, The Chalice Clubhouse, which will feature activities suitable for every age range and engaging discussions based on the theme of our sermon. Most Sundays, prior to activities, the children join the congregation in the sanctuary for the first 10-15 minutes of the service. This is a time for the children to be part of our spiritual community, and to witness the rituals of the liturgical year. A children’s message, or “Time for All Ages” is offered either by our minister or our RE associate, designed to complement the adult sermon. Additional Events In addition to our regularly scheduled Sunday morning RE activities, we also offer dedication services for infants and children of any age as well as Coming of Age and Our Whole Lives for our middle and high school school students. All special RE and family events are announced roughly a month ahead of time and can be found in our monthly newsletter found here. (Underlined for the adding of a hyperlink later on). If you would like information on arranging for a child dedication, please contact Family Friendly Congregation We are a family-friendly congregation. Most of our events are appropriate for families of all ages or provide free childcare. Please look for this symbol in our programs booklet or when looking to attend events. We work to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our children and families in many ways, including our Safer Congregations policy and practices. Our religious education program strives to give children the necessary foundation for this lifelong task by providing a supportive, structured environment that allows them to focus on the 7 Unitarian Universalist principles in an age-appropriate fashion. As Unitarian Universalists, we believe: Each person is important; Be kind in all you do; We’re free to learn together; And search for what is true; All people need a voice; Build a fair and peaceful world; We care for our Earth’s lifeboat. UUA.org Sunday Schedule Religious Education – The Chalice Clubhouse for grades Pre-K-12th. Children attend worship with the adults for A Time for All Ages at the beginning of the service Leave for activities after about ten minutes and head down the stairs to fellowship hall, where they will remain until the service has ended under the supervision of our RE staff and volunteers.