Welcome to Youth Religious Exploration
Why do families choose Towson Unitarian Universalist Churchon Sunday mornings?
"help my children clarify their values”
“find a way to help others”
“celebrate life’s joys and sorrows,”
“think about the big questions of life”
“we came for our children but stayed to become part of caring community”
Nursery care is available at both services, with an informal class offered for the older members of that group. Classes for Kindergarten through 12th grade are only offered at 11:15 am. Families worship together for the first 15 minutes in the meeting room. Afterwards children join their teachers and are sung out to their classrooms downstairs.Many times throughout the year we offer services designed to appeal to people of all ages. Instead of classes, on these days children worship with their families upstairs for the entire service. Children, teachers, parents, and the YRE director create and present at least one service each year. These services are announced in our newsletter and weekly email.
In the summer, we offer one multiage class on some Sundays, no registration needed. Read the website and weekly email to stay informed about programming during the summer.
Nursery care is provided during both services for children under age 8 at 9:15 and under 5 at 11:15 am. We hope to develop a sense of community and support for the children attending nursery and their parents. If you are visiting, please make sure to fill out the forms provided by the nursery care workers so they have basic safety information and can contact you in case a diaper needs changing. We have two paid, highly experienced paid providers, assisted by teens or members of the congregation occasionally. The Nursery Coordinator is Sarah Liske. She or Joyce Duncan will be happy to answer any questions you might have. Please use this link for our Nursery Guidelines.
Elementary Ages Classes at 11:15 only
Themes for each year are chosen carefully to make sure our children learn the seven principles and six sources that are the foundation of Unitarian Universalism (click here UU Principles and Sources.) Themes for the year follow a three-year rotation to ensure that certain topics receive concentrated attention:
· Jewish and Christian heritage
· Faith traditions around the world
· UU traditions, sources, and principles
Most classes use on-line curricula provided by the Unitarian Universalist Association. These are carefully planned to be age-appropriate and engage all the ways that children learn, including stories, art, games, drama, music, and ritual. We engage in social justice work at every age level, including fund-raising, learning about issues, and outreach. YRE classes make tins of lasagna for Our Daily Bread, stuff stockings and make cards for the men at Earl’s Place transitional housing, and volunteer at Paul’s Place, a community center in south Baltimore to provide hot lunches and clothing.
Middle School Classes at 11:15 only
TUUC offers a Coming of Age program to all 7th and 8th graders. This program is offered on alternate years. It will next be offered in 2016/2017. This special program is designed to mark the transition from childhood to youth. The Coming of Age program is a powerful experience for the youth that requires parental involvement.
During Coming of Age, the class will go on a weekend retreat, watch movies and relate them to UU values, participate in a service project, talk about the "big questions" in life, write faith statements, play games, get to know each other, and laugh a lot! All of this will end with a final celebration and community recognition.
On alternate years, 8th/9th graders are invited to participate in Middle School OWL. Please see the description below.
High School Group meets at 11:15 only
The high school youth group, Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU), works with advisors to craft their own discussions and service opportunities. They design and present a service to the congregation in late winter and work on various projects throughout the year. Teens are may also apply to be volunteer or paid staff in the Nursery, assist with a YRE class, join the choir, or participate in other congregational activities by sharing their gifts.
Our Whole Lives sexuality education
Honest, accurate information about sexuality changes lives. It dismantles stereotypes and assumptions, builds self-acceptance and self-esteem, fosters healthy relationships, improves decision making, and has the potential to save lives. For these reasons and more, we are proud to offer Our Whole Lives, a comprehensive, lifespan sexuality education curricula designed for secular and faith communities.
TUUC is proud to have offered OWL classes for middle schoolers for more than 10 years. We now offer early elementary OWL (K through 2nd grade) and late elementary OWL (4th-6th grade). These will be repeated in alternate years. Middle school OWL will be offered in Fall 2017.
OWL teachers must successfully complete a rigorous weekend-long training. Parents are required to attend an orientation session so that they are fully informed of what is covered at each age level.