Here at FPCU, we delight in the lifelong journey of spiritual growth & development. In addition to worship, fellowship, outreach and committee activity, we offer Religious Education (RE) classes.
Our program for Nursery Care through High School is a cooperative one, classes are facilitated and assisted by volunteers that include high school students, parents to children in the program, and other adults who love to work with children.
We encourage ALL to sign up & volunteer!
Fall Volunteer Sign-Ups
Curriculum Philosophy & Overview
FPCU is affiliated with both the United Church of Christ and the Unitarian Universalist Association. We believe RE classes should present religious content and knowledge with sensitivity to the diversity of belief that is present in our congregation. We encourage families to discuss the lessons with their children and help them to see the lesson through the family’s own belief structure. The Religious Education Committee is committed to providing meaningful lessons that educate our total church community (children, teens & adults). Our freethinking RE program embraces the three threads that weave our program together:
- The Judeo-Christian Heritage: Taught in the primary grades through Bible stories and exploration of important holidays. The primary grades also include a study of our denominational affiliations- the UUA and the UCC.
- Comparative World Religion: Our Youth spends some time focusing on the many religions in the world today. By examining and comparing various religions students are able to expand their understanding of others and of themselves. Students are introduced to a world religion each year through workshops and various large group activities.
- Social Consciousness: Church and community outreach projects provide children with the opportunity of putting their faith into action. These range from local needs (e.g. leaf raking & food pantry donations) to supporting global organizations (e.g. Habitat for Humanity & The Wish Foundation) in an effort to relieve suffering around the world.
Sunday Class Time…in 2022-2023!
- RE classes for children in PK through High school meet two/three Sundays a month, during the worship hour. Everyone gathers together at the start of worship, and then children are invited to leave for RE during the second hymn. Adults should walk younger children to class, and pick them up once the service is over.
- Lessons are tailored for multi-ages 4-12 years old. Each lesson will include references from the UUA, the Bible and various Hindi texts….to keep with our mission of including the UCC, UUA and world religions in our curriculum. Each lesson will also offer various activities to accommodate different ages.
*Older youth are invited to earn community service hours by helping younger youth during these lessons. Older youth are also invited to remain in or help with the service. (Please see deacons about taking part in the order of service.)
- We value family worship time and plan Whole Congregation Worship services each month. At these times we are blessed by the enlivening presence of all ages for worship for the entire service! Students in 4th grade and older are encouraged to participate in the service on these Sundays.
WCW INFO: Whole Congregation Worship allows all ages to worship together. It is a great opportunity for our youth to learn from others in the church and to experience the ways of the worship service. We encourage all to join us on these WCW Service days, as it will only benefit our youth in the future, and keep them connected to and engaged within the church longer into adolescence and adulthood.
There are approximately 3-4 WORKSHOPS each year; two focusing on a World Religion and one/two focusing on Social Justice. There are also a number of group lessons and holiday lessons planned throughout the year. Group Lessons & Workshops allow for inspiring hands-on learning, cooperation and community building with all youth.
* The World Religion Workshops focus on the world religion of the year; introducing children to the different traditions, customs and the beliefs of that religion. Through stories, visual aids, activities and crafts the children learn about the ways of others; making connections to their own lives while recognizing and appreciating the differences as well.
This Year’s World Religion Focus: Buddhism
* The Social Justice workshop focuses on applying UCC & UUA values, recognizing current issues/events, helping others & making a difference. The lesson that takes place helps the children gain a better understanding of the issue/event at hand and helps them to appreciate the importance of values-theirs and those of others.
* Group Lessons are flexible and fun. The lessons revolve around a theme, usually seasonal based-not necessarily religious-focusing on the time of year.
* Holiday Lessons are based on a specific holiday and focus on how that holiday is celebrated. Holiday Lessons may include: Advent, Hanukkah, Christmas Around the World, Easter and Passover/Seder.
- Christmas Pageant: RE students get dressed up and act out the story of Christmas
- Affirmation: 8th & 9th graders are affirmed during a worship service that they create & lead
- RE Sunday: RE students lead worship, sharing everything they learned in RE classes throughout the year
A collection basket is passed around at the start of each RE class. The RE offering is separate from the Church offering, as the RE students get to vote on where their offering goes! The offering is split 50/50, between an out-reach program and an in-reach gift for the church.
Out-reach programs have included The Heifer Organization, Lutheran Services for New Americans: Backpack Drive, Habitat for Humanity, and Lowell Wish Foundation. In-reach gifts have included the swing and slide in the nursery room and the granite benches located out back, next to the church.
Your continued support is greatly appreciated!