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First Unitarian Universalist Society of Albany

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION FOR YOUTH – FAQ

  1. If you don’t tell kids what to believe, what will my kids be learning?
  2. Who teaches Sunday School?
  3. What can I expect on Sunday mornings?
  4. How should my children be dressed?
  5. What are my responsibilites as a parent?
  6. Religious Education Registration Form
  1. If you don’t tell kids what to believe, what will my kids be learning?
    Our religious education program uses professionally written, age appropriate curriculum developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association in Boston.Generally speaking, there are themes for each developmental age group:

    • Our classes for younger children are designed to provide a framework of ideas that children and families can use together to discuss and celebrate the things that bring meaning, joy and purpose to our lives. Concepts about God, holidays, holy days, famous Unitarians, and the 7 UU Principles are introduced.
    • Older children and youth learn the concepts of theology and relationships with the larger world. Both eastern and western religious traditions are studied and used as a basis for religious discussion. The role of science as it affects concepts of faith and beliefs are also introduced. At this stage, children and youth are beginning to reconcile this information with their own understanding of what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist.
    • Our high school youth group is facilitated by advisors who help the youth continue to build meaning and find purpose in their lives by acting on their UU beliefs. This is accomplished through social action; discussions of issues of the day and moral implications; and social activities that build UU community.
    • The function of Religious Education throughout our program is to help children and youth develop a spiritual identity and build relationships in our congregation; and to encourage them to use their mind, body, heart, and soul along their paths of discovery.

    For a link to this year’s curriculum by grade click here. [Top]

  2. Who Teaches Sunday School? 
    Our Sunday school classes are taught by members and friends of the congregation who have been involved in our congregation for at least six months. Some parents or guardians like to teach classes that include their own children. Others use the opportunity to teach children and youth older than their own children so that they can explore what delights and challenges may be in store for their families in the future. Many of our teachers have raised their own children in our faith community and enjoy volunteer work that spans the ages and stages of life. Others are young adults who often provide fresh insights. Mostly, people teach because they enjoy being with children and youth. By their nature, children and youth help adults on their spiritual paths because children and youth are comfortable with learning and seeking.All teachers are offered a morning workshop each semester that includes philosophy of teaching religious education, child development and classroom management. [Top]
  3. What can I expect on Sunday mornings?
    Some Sunday morning worship services each year are intergenerational and the children and youth attend the service with their parents. However, Sunday School is in session most Sunday mornings. The nursery is open almost every Sunday.

    • 9:45 – Nursery opens
    • 10:00
      • Toddler Room opens
      • Children in pre-school through fifth grade attend the first part of the service with their families.
      • Children and youth in Sixth Grade through Twelfth Grade go directly to their classrooms.
      • This year, the Sixth-Graders will occasionally visit various houses of worship on Sunday mornings as part of their “Neighboring Faiths” curriculum, so parents will be contacted about when visits will be scheduled. Visitors, please stop by the RE window.
    • 11:20 – Sunday School ends. Parents of children in Second Grade and younger are to pick up their children from their classrooms. Children and youth in Third Grade and older are dismissed then. [Top]
  4. How should my children be dressed?
    While some children enjoy wearing their “Sunday best”, most come prepared to sit on the floor. Younger children sometimes have messy activities as part of Sunday School, so comfortable, washable school clothing is appropriate. [Top]
  5. What are my responsibilities as a parent?
    As parents, you play a significant role in the religious education of your child. You can help your child learn the importance of religious education by facilitating regular attendance and showing an interest in what happens each week. We ask you to enroll your child, and when you do, you become a part of our congregation, though not members in a formal sense. Just as the entire congregation supports religious education, we need your support both in terms of service and financial assistance (see registration form). Newcomers: as you get to know us, you will learn more about ways to serve and support our community.[Top]

Religious Education – Children and Youth Links