Nursery & Sunday Morning RE
Sundays in RE at TVUUC: Choose Your Own Adventure!
Launching for the 2022-23 program year on Sunday, August 21st.
TVUUC’s programs provide a nurturing environment for our children and youth to explore and develop their own religious identities and where they can learn more about Unitarian Universalism, its Principles and Sources, values and history, through a variety of freely-chosen experiential spaces offered each week, all engaging with a common spiritual theme. 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’ll 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. We are still planning our programs for the coming year, and spaces offered may be adjusted as launch approaches, but we anticipate that these spaces will include:
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 will be open from 10:30 am through 12:30 pm. 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 who are best served with one special space they can experience as their own, and a small team of leaders who they will build comfort with through being in class together consistently. This year’s curriculum, The Rainbow Connection, delves deep into our Unitarian Universalist faith. It strives not just to teach about our faith, but also to provide experiences around the strength of community, the wonder and awe that transcend everyday understanding, and life issues we all share.
(All ages welcome)
In this space, we put our faith into action, partnering with members of TVUUC engaged in service within our church or in the wider community. Each week we’ll offer a service project, offering an authentic opportunity to live out our congregational mission as members of one faith community of all ages. Possible examples include tending our community garden, making doggy treats to donate to a local shelter, or carrying out a school-supply donation drive. We’ll engage in a wide variety projects during our year together.
(Particularly well-suited for 3rd-6th graders; all ages welcome)
Here we’ll continue our work with the day’s theme with a format that offers a creative challenge each week for those who most enjoy making meaning through engaging their imaginations and connecting with others through hands-on projects that help make concepts more concrete. We’ll connect with our UU principles, learn about people who exemplify the values we hold dear, and will model our beloved community in the ways we create together.
(Particularly well-suited for K-2nd graders; all ages welcome)
In this space we’ll share another story that explores our theme for the day in a different way, offering additional avenues for engagement as we reflect on the interplay between the stories we’ve heard in the sanctuary and in Story & Spirit. Following the story, we’ll take part in self-directed art-making in response.
(All ages welcome)
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 welcome a leader from the congregation who will introduce a spiritual practice – yoga, meditation, singing, and more – and young people are also welcome to make use of the many contemplative tools in our space in their connecting with the theme. This is intended to be a calming, sensory-friendly space for reflection and renewal.
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.
(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 on the stage area for young people, with a soft rug, 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.