Children, Youth & Families.
Across our program, we are intentional about providing opportunities to deeply engage with the following four elements of UU faith development: community building, spiritual practices, religious exploration, and community service & action. We begin together in our sanctuary as one community of all ages with ritual, song, and a Story for All Ages that invites congregants young and old into engagement with the theme of our exploration for the morning. Following the story, children, youth, their families and our program volunteers are invited to participate in one of our experiential spaces for the next part of our morning.
Nursery Across our program, we are intentional about providing opportunities to deeply engage with the following four elements of UU faith development: community building, spiritual practices, religious exploration, and community service & action. We begin together in our sanctuary as one community of all ages with ritual, song, and a Story for All Ages that invites congregants young and old into engagement with the theme of our exploration for the morning. Following the story, children, youth, their families and our program volunteers are invited to participate in one of our experiential spaces for the next part of our morning.
Babies and toddlers are kept safe and happy with loving care. Our nursery room is a warm and welcoming place for you and your children. Led by staff childcare providers.
Our nursery is open from 9:30 am – 10:45 am for pre-service childcare for ages 6 mos. and up, and from 10:45am through 12:30 pm for nursery aged children of 6 mos. – 2 years. We have rocking chairs, appropriate toys, and a diaper-changing area. Please introduce yourself and your child to our caregivers and take some time to help your child feel at home. Bring any special items (marked with the child’s name) that will help them feel happy and secure.
You are also welcome to keep your child with you during the service. In addition, the e. e. Cummings Room at the back of the sanctuary is a place where you can hear the service while your child has a bit more freedom to move around. Our sound system also allows you to listen to the service from the comfort of the nursery.
We require parents to let our childcare staff know how to locate you. When you sign your child in, please indicate where you expect to be in our building, set your cell phone on vibrate, and leave your number. We also ask that you list who will be picking up your child.
Note to parents: Our regular caregivers are paid by TVUUC to ensure that we always have a minimum level of responsible staff on duty, but we occasionally need additional help from parents and other adults to be sure that we have an adequate number of caregivers for the number of children present. In the event that the childcare area reaches the maximum number of children per adult, our staff will post signs on the doors indicating that no more children can be accepted without an additional volunteer.
A warm and welcoming classroom experience for young children best served through one special space they can experience as their own. Led by a small team of volunteers who build comfort through being consistently in class together. Here we make friends, feel love, learn about being UU through stories, art and movement, and explore UU values such as kindness and fairness. We also learn about the wonder and awe inherent in being human, being part of our world, and being in community together.
Choose Your Own Adventure:
Story & Spirit
In this space we share stories, drawn primarily from our Children’s Diversity & Justice Library collection, that explore our spiritual themes followed by self-directed art-making in response.
Here we’ll offer the Jubilee Kids program, which offers an age-appropriate exploration of race, racism and racial identity in light of our UU values, and provides basic information and experiences that open conversations in UU families about responsibility and respect as it relates to racial justice as well as inclusion and celebration of people of all identities and cultures.
In this space, we put our hands and heart to work for our values by partnering with members of TVUUC engaged in service within our church and/or the wider community. Each time HH gathers we’ll engage in a service project, offering an authentic opportunity to live out our congregational mission as members of one faith community of all ages.
This is our space for engaging in spiritual practice and contemplation. With a central question for reflection that ties to our theme for the day, we’ll make use of the many contemplative tools in our space as we connect with the theme. This is intended to be a calming, sensory-friendly space for reflection and renewal.
Sanctuary (all ages welcome)
Remaining in the sanctuary for the service is a great way to engage the spirit and reflect on our theme. We have a special spot available up front for young people, with a soft rug, kid-sized table and chairs, some quiet focusing tools, and a great view of what’s happening. Arranged around the sanctuary are additional “Soul Work” options for older children, youth and adults to engage in spiritual hand work as we connect with the service.
Weeklong summer camp offered each year.
In this special space just for older youth, we will build community together as we explore the world’s religions with the Crossing Paths program. Every world faith tradition was born in response to a distinct human struggle. We honor religions best when we work to understand the particular challenge and aspiration each religion has devoted itself to. But Crossing Paths is not just about encountering other faith traditions. It is designed to help youth mature as UUs. Along the way, they will be challenged to think theologically, learn distinctive UU spiritual practices and strengthen their relationship with our TVUUC community. This is a journey into the world; it is also a journey home.
We also offer additional non-Sunday morning programming for youth to come together with peers for connection, fun and service. See our program calendar and church announcements for more information.
All who regularly participate in our Religious Exploration (RE) programs for children and youth (children of members, or visitors after attending 3 times) must be registered annually, to ensure we have up-to-date information about your child and your family that will help us stay in touch with you and make the RE experience as safe, welcoming and meaningful as possible for your child. We also use the information to keep you informed of special events your children may participate in and to accurately plan for the year ahead. We rely on timely, accurate registration from you in order to prepare the most successful and enjoyable program for your children.