Our Religious Education (R.E.) program is grounded in the UU Seven Principles, which are used to promote a sense of social justice and responsibility, tolerance, identity, and spiritual growth. Our purpose is to involve children in a religious community in which they develop a spiritual sense of themselves, their connection to others, and their connection to the world as a whole.
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We have approximately 75 youth participating in our Sunday morning program, with an average attendance of 35 each Sunday. We also have 25 adults teaching in our classrooms, with about 12 others serving as classroom aides and Service Sunday helpers.
We ask that parents register their children for Religious Education classes by completing our online registration form.
Besides our Sunday School classes, we have several other offerings for our church families and friends:
- We offer monthly activities and events. Some of which are intergenerational, for the entire church, and some are just for youth and their families.
- Our Jr. Youth Group (6th-8th grades) has social gatherings, works together on service projects, and participates in other monthly activities.
- Our YRUU (Young Religious Unitarian Universalists) high school program meets Sunday after service to have discussions, host workshops and guest speakers, participate in service projects, and enjoy fun outings together.
At the Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia, you will find a flexible and growing experience-oriented approach to religious education. We define the role of religious education as nurturing the spiritual and intellectual growth of children, as well as developing connections to others in our church family. We believe that an experience is religious when it awakens the child to wondering, questioning, searching and discovering.
Our religious education curriculum does not aim at indoctrinating, but at awakening; not at dogmatism, but at creative development; not at supernatural interpretations, but at natural acceptance. Our lessons help lead parents and children into new experiences and discoveries together, and they encourage the life-affirming and world-accepting philosophy that is most congenial to religious liberalism.
We invite you to join us any Sunday!
In September 2019 we resumed our schedule of offering children’s religious education classes at both 9 and 11 a.m. on most Sundays. The children will join their parents in the Sanctuary for the first 10-15 minutes of the worship service and then be led to their classes in the Lower Level by their teachers.
There will be no R.E. classes once a month when we have multi-generational worship services. On those Sundays, the children are invited to be with their parents/guardians in the Sanctuary the entire time. Also, there is a Service Sunday once a month when all or most of the R.E. children participate in a service project instead of having regular classes.
On all Sundays we will offer free nursery care for infants to 3-year-olds from 8:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
11 a.m. R.E. classes will end at 12:15 p.m. Pre-school through 3rd Grade children will await pickup by their parents or guardians while older children will be dismissed to join their families on their own at that time.
9 a.m. Sunday School
Our 9 a.m. multi-age R.E. program, called “Spirit Play,” is based on a Montessori approach to learning that encourages self-directed exploration and allows children to engage deeply with their own religious education in a way that meets their own individual needs and interests. This year the children will be learning about some of the history and heroes of Unitarian Universalism. From Thoreau and Emerson, to the Sharps working to protect refugees in World War II, we can all be inspired by the UUs who have come before us.
11 a.m. Sunday School
Potter Class: We will return to our beloved Chalice Children curriculum, where children learn about our church and its community, as well as encouraging their sense of wonder and curiosity about the world around them. You can read more about Chalice Children here.
Schweitzer Class: We will be learning about Unitarian Universalism’s seven principles and the underlying belief in a beloved community from which our principles arise using the “Love Surrounds Us” Curriculum. You can read more about “Love Surrounds Us” here.
Thoreau Class: We will be learning about UU identity, sources of wisdom, history, and principles using the URUU curriculum.
Adams Class: In our UU tradition of looking at the limitless sources of sacred texts, we will be watching clips from the Harry Potter movies, and discussing the deep themes we find within them.
YUUTs Class: We will be doing our popular Neighboring Faiths Curriculum, where we will learn about the beliefs and practices of different religions and will then visit houses of worship to deepen our understanding.
YRUU: Our high school youth group will meet from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. with a curriculum of their own design that will include discussions, workshops, service projects and plenty of fun activities. Read more.
In addition to our regular Sunday School curriculum, our program provides opportunities for our children and youth to become better acquainted with our community as well. Our youth participate in Service Sunday on a monthly basis, performing service projects of various sorts.
Our spacious and well-equipped nursery is available for use at no charge during the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. worship services. Our nursery serves children from 4 months through pre-potty-trained 3-year-olds. Our nursery aides are contracted to have full responsibility for no more than three children each. Two aides work each Sunday. Parents and others are strongly encouraged to assist with care when there are more than six children in the nursery.
Our Director of Religious Education (DRE) is Jamila Batchelder.
Tracey Milarsky serves as chair of the Religious Education Team. Other members are the DRE and Amie Burling, Anja Eick, Andrew Eick, Corinne Mann, Becky Scott, and Lindsey Smith. The team meets in the Centering Room at 12:30 p.m. on the first Sunday each month.