What to expect
On your first visit, you may choose to worship together as a family or your children may prefer to attend our religious education classes. We start each Sunday at 10:00. Programming for children ends at 11:20.
Our Toddler and Nursery Rooms are open from 9:45 to 11:20. Children in Pre-K through 7th grade start in either the regular service or in the monthly Family Chapel.
Children and youth in grades 8 and up start their programming in their rooms at 10:00.
Here are some helpful tips for bringing your child(ren) on your first Sunday at Albany Unitarian Universalist.
- As soon as you arrive, you’ll see volunteers at the Welcome Table and at the Religious Education window in the lobby. They can direct you to the coat room and restrooms and let you know where the service is and where the classrooms are.
- If your child is on the younger side, plan on staying in the classroom them during the entire Religious Education session. Often 4th graders and older prefer their parents to stay out of the classroom, though you are of course welcome to attend class if you wish.
- You may bring your little ones to the Nursery or Toddler Room or keep them with you in the service. If your child needs to squirm or make lots of loud noise, we understand. You can move about at any time in the service; sometimes going to the back of the hall is enough to calm fussy ones. Or you can go to Channing Hall, where there is room to move about and be noisy, and you can watch the service on a TV monitor. You can return to service when you’re ready. Sometimes grown-ups like to talk and move around, so they go to Channing Hall too.
- Please know that we have a Safe Congregations (see below) policy in place, which means that you are responsible for your children/youth before and after their class sessions.
- If, after your visit, you feel that Albany UU may be your family’s religious home, please join us for a “Getting to Know UU” session. Talk to anyone at the Welcome Table or the Religious Education window or Leah Purcell, Director of Religious Education and Family Ministry, about joining in!
- Also, if you decide that Albany UU is your family’s religious home, please take a moment to register your child(ren). This will help us ensure that you are kept up to date about important events happening in the program.
Toward a Safe Congregation Policy
This policy describes our approach to both preventing and responding to behaviors, especially as they are directed toward children, youth and vulnerable adults. http://members.albanyuu.org/wp/pdf/SafeCongregationPolicyREV2017-12-21.pdf
What RE Offers
The RE program doesn’t teach your child what to think, instead it teaches your child how to:
- Respect oneself, each other and the natural environment
- Think for oneself and ask questions
- Develop religious beliefs and values about humanity, life, death and God
- Understand worship practices and holy days of word cultures
- Explore sexuality in healthy ways
- Develop a responsible and meaningful personal faith
Sunday morning is a time made special and unique from the rest of the week for children and youth to grow in Unitarian Universalism. In our Religious Education program for children and youth (RE), Adult volunteers work to create communities where everyone can deepen their sense of being at home with the universe; where they can think about their own experiences and explore what meaning other stories have for them; and where they can practice compassion among themselves and become better able to carry their values to the wider world.
Our curricula provide material and activities for the adult volunteers to support religious exploration and growth.
“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…to awaken the soul, to excite and cherish spiritual life.”
– William Ellery Channing, 19th Century Unitarian Minister