First Unitarian Church 2015-16 Religious Education Program

CHILDREN & YOUTH CLASSES
Children and youth in Preschool (3 years) through high join the community for the first part of worship at 11 a.m., hear a story for all ages, and then go to their prospective classes until 12:30.

NURSERY (BIRTH-5 YEARS)
We provide a safe, clean environment in which to support each child in initiating play activities at the developmental level they manifest. Each week our paid staff provides a loving presence as they engage children in games, stories and crafts with seasonal and holiday themes throughout the year.

1ST-4TH GRADES HOLIDAYS & HOLY DAYS
In this program, children engage in the process of learning about the origins and meanings of holidays and holy day celebrations. “Holidays are the natural, age-old vehicle of religious socialization. Their festivities tell a story which children absorb with delight, through experiences far more than through words. Decorations, colors, costumes, dances, lights, songs, foods, festivity, gifts, excitement, pageantry, solemnity, ceremony, and ritual…it is of these that tradition is woven, that memories, beliefs, values, fears, hopes and reverence are transmitted. A holiday is not something to talk about; it’s something to DO.”

Through the vehicle of celebrating significant holidays in various cultures and religious traditions, the programs goals are to help children to

• become aware of values that Unitarian Universalists affirm
• learn that celebrating is part of a universal response to life
• honor the diversity and particularity of cultural traditions and the commonality of the human condition
• develop an interest and understanding of the traditions of our world neighbors
• learn some of the heroes and heroines of our liberal tradition
• learn about some of the great religious classics: events, stories, myths, persons
• have opportunities for expressions of social concern

5TH-8TH GRADES THE QUESTING YEAR/YOU THE CREATOR OF JUSTICE
The Questing Year invites participants on four quests tied to the themes of self, church, mystery, and social action:
Inner Quest – Who are you? What are you like? How are you different? What’s your place in the world?
Unitarian Universalist Quest – What does it mean to be a Unitarian Universalist? What’s special about us? How do we live out our principles?
Mystery Quest – How can you understand what you can’t see? Like God? Or the great mystery? Or spirit and spirituality?
Action Quest – How can you make the world a better place?

You the Creator of Justice, is a program designed to:
• lead Unitarian Universalist youth toward an understanding of justice
• involve UU youth in social justice work
• inspire UU youth to further involvement

You the Creator of Justice program offers three different strands for working on justice:
Strand A is the Congregational Strand. It asks youth to assess the social justice work being done by their congregation, then to join an ongoing project or come up with something of their own.
Strand B is the Child/Youth strand. It asks youth to consider and work for child and or youth rights everywhere from their homes and schools and their own community to the world stage.
Strand C is the Action Strand. It challenges youth with active in-house activities like designing justice T-shirts.

In addition to the Sunday morning curriculum youth get together for once a month social activities-First Friday Fun Nights, join with other middle school youth for weekend conferences: Middle School Unitarian Universalist Gatherings MUUGS (Middle School UUs) and a junior high backpack trip in June.

9TH-12TH GRADES SENIOR HIGH YOUTH GROUP
The senior high youth group meets on Sundays from 11:30-12:30. The group offers its members a safe place to share their lives and find support and friendship among open minded and loving peers. The group engages in discussions about issues relevant to youth’s lives and communities. They plan social and service projects throughout the year. And they participate in youth conferences in area Unitarian Universalist churches under the auspices of Northern California Unitarian Universalist Camps and Conferences (NCUUCC) and YRUUP (Young Religious Unitarian Universalists of the Pacific) http://yruup.org/ . The youth group’s empowering philosophy educates youth to be leaders within the group, church community and denomination.

In addition the senior high group organize a summer trip to Santa Cruz Island in the Channel Island chain in Southern California. And every four years participates in our partner church trip to Romania.

7th-9th Grades
Class Begins In January 2016
Curriculum: Our Whole Lives (newly revised)
Sexuality Education

Our Whole Lives is based on the philosophy of comprehensive sexuality education, which helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. It equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information in six subject areas: human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, comprehensive sexuality education provides not only facts about anatomy and human development, but also helps participants to clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, social, and political aspects of sexuality as well.

The First Unitarian Church of San José and The Mission Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fremont youth will again team up to teach the class. Ongoing Sunday afternoon 3 hour classes will be held at Connections, 39055 Hastings Street, Suite 106, Fremont 94538. http://connectionscenter.org All-day Saturday retreats will be held at The First Unitarian Church of San José. Form more information contact The Reverend Geoff Rimositis, GRimositis@Gmail.com

Information meeting on Oct. 18th from 1-2 PM at Connections
Mandatory parents’ orientation, Nov 15 from 3-6 PM at Connections
Class begins January 2016-May 2016

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