Faith Development Classes

UUnified Learning

At First Unitarian Church, we believe that the deepest spiritual connections are made when we work together. Keeping families connected through shared themes is one way we help family members connect with each other.

On most Sundays, families spend the first fifteen minutes of worship together, finishing with a meaningful Time for All Ages (T4AA). After the T4AA the children and youth leave to explore this topic in their age-based classrooms.

The church year is broken down into units, focusing on a Principle, Source or Social Justice Issue, that ties into the Sunday worship themes. Each unit culminates in a wrap-up family service where the theme explored over the previous weeks is shared with the whole congregation.

We offer five different classes for children and youth from PreSchool through to Grade 9. We encourage our High Schoolers, 10th grade and above, to remain in service with the adults or help in our nursery and Faith Development classes.

All children begin with their families in the worship service. Children then leave for classes from 10:45 to 11:45. Parents of children grade 3 and under should collect their children at 11:45 from their classrooms. Children and youth grade 4 and up are dismissed independently.

Nursery

The word "Nursery" with a pink superhero

Babies and children under three are welcome in the nursery from 10:15 to 11:45. In addition wiggly children under 5 are welcome to play in the nursery on Sundays when we have a family service.

Pre-School - Grade 1: Rookies

The phrase "Rookies (Pre K to 1st grade)" with a red superhero

Children in this class will use a modified form of Spirit Play, a Montessori inspired religious exploration technique allowing children to find their own answers to life’s great questions. By allowing time for free expression and allowing the children to explore the stories on their own level Spirit Play lives the UU values of freedom of thought and truth seeking.

The children learn about our 7 Unitarian Universalist Principles in Superhero form 

Grades 2-3: pathfinders

The phrase "Pathfinders (Grade 2 to Grade 3)" with an orange superhero

Children in this class will use a modified form of Spirit Play, a Montessori inspired religious exploration technique allowing children to find their own answers to life’s great questions. By allowing time for free expression and allowing the children to explore the stories on their own level Spirit Play lives the UU values of freedom of thought and truth seeking.

The children learn about our 7 Unitarian Universalist Principles in Superhero form 

Grades 4 -5: ADVENTURers

The phrase "Explorers (Grade 4 to Grade 5)" with an orange superhero

The children in this class use a regular UUnified Learning approach to explore each week's theme.

Grades 6-7: adventurers

The phrase "Adventurers (Grade 6 to Grade 7)" with a green superhero

The youth in this class  use a regular UUnified Learning approach to explore each week's theme.

Grades 8-9: Seekers (coming of Age)

The phrase "Seekers (Grade 8 to Grade 9) Coming of Age Class" with a blue superhero

In this specially designed class the youth work together with mentors to explore their own beliefs and Unitarian Universalist identity.

Our Coming of Age Program (COA) is a powerful, year-long program for youth to explore and discuss Unitarian Universalism and their beliefs as they transition from childhood toward adulthood. Each youth will work with their own mentor to develop their own credo, or personal belief statement, and share it with the congregation during a church service.

As a group the youth along with their teachers will :

  • Talk about issues that are important to them, such as What do I believe? Why? 
  • Explore, plan, and take action with people in the Worcester community to tackle a community challenge,
  • Develop a personal credo, expressing themselves by writing, or using video, pictures, their own creativity.

OWL: Grades K-1 (2019-20)

A cartoon of an orange owl

This program will be offered this year, for our Kindergartners and 1st graders. They will meet on Sunday mornings before worship for eight 60-minute long sessions that engage children with stories, songs and activities. This program promotes dialogue between parent and child,  and explores our bodies, families, feelings and babies.  Sessions run from January to April.