School Age Children
A congregation’s religious education ministry may often be defined by what is studied in the classroom, without recognizing that every moment we spend engaged in congregational life is forming the spirituality of our children. While we have a dedicated team of volunteer religious education teachers, the whole congregation is teaching our children and youth and is learning from them whenever we worship, eat, play games, serve our community, or participate in social justice events.
All of the time we spend together, in all of these activities, individually, collectively, intentionally and haphazardly, make up our religious education ministry.
To quote famous 19th century Unitarian Minister Rev. William Ellery Channing:
The great end in religious instruction is:
- Not to stamp our minds upon the young, but to stir up their own;
- Not to make them see with our eyes, but to look inquiringly and steadily with their own;
- Not to give them a definite amount of knowledge, but to inspire a fervent love of truth;
- Not to form an outward regularity, but to touch inward springs;
- Not to bind them by ineradicable prejudices to our particular sect or peculiar notions, but to prepare them for impartial, conscientious judging of whatever subjects may be offered to their decision;
- Not to burden the memory, but to quicken and strengthen the power of thought;
- Not to impose religion upon them in the form of arbitrary rules, but to awaken the conscience, the moral discernment.
In a word, the great end is to awaken the soul, to excite and cherish spiritual life.
Nuts and Bolts
We provide free child care in our Nursery during the entire service for infants and toddlers. Children 5 and older take part in the first 15 minutes of the service, then move to classrooms for their Religious Education classes. An usher will give you an “activity kit” with stickers and crayons if you think your children may need a diversion during the early part of the service.
Children of any age are welcome to stay with you for the entire service, of course.
View our Child and Youth Safety Policy here.