The mission of our Religious Education program is to build lifelong Unitarian Universalist identity by empowering children and youth to act on their beliefs to heal our world, supported by a multigenerational connections and wisdom.
What to expect from our Sunday programming:
Nursery Care: Our nursery is available for families 10:00am-12:00pm each Sunday. Our staff team reads stories, engages in imaginative play, and creates an environment of belonging for our youngest children. Families are also welcome to use the family room located at the back of the Main Hall or to have their children in the Main Hall with them. We offer these three options to support families in whatever way we can on Sunday mornings.
Worship: We begin together in the Main Hall each week to experience worship as a whole community with all generations present. We believe worship is a critical part of religious education for our children and youth and that our whole community benefits when we are together. For this reason, we remain in the Main Hall for multigenerational worship 1 Sunday each month. In these monthly worship services we encourage children and youth to participate as part of the liturgical team.
Small Group Ministry: Here at UUFH, we don’t do “classes” for religious education; we do groups. Twice a month our children and youth meet with their religious education group, led by 2 trained adult group leaders, to explore our monthly theme and build connections with their UU faith and with one another. We believe relationship is the key to building a lifelong faith identity. Our group leaders communicate with parents to try and build relationships within the program and congregation.
Social Justice Sunday: Social Justice is core component of our lives as Unitarian Universalists. Once a month children and youth come together in a multi-age setting to learn and contribute to social justice projects.
Music: Once a month following service we offer We Sing Choir. This choir is for children and youth who enjoy singing. Our goal isn’t to be performance quality; instead we wish to offer an opportunity to sing for community building, as spiritual practice, and for the joy of it. We Sing Choir is directed this year by our youth volunteer, Mila.
Our Religious Education Staff:
Our religious education programs create a sacred space where children and youth explore, wonder, and ask questions surrounded by a beloved community of peers, teachers, and mentors. Our work is to give our children and youth a sense of belonging, knowledge that they are enough just the way they are, and a place in congregational life.
Our programs are largely led by volunteers who are dedicated to the mission and vision of creating beloved community, nurturing our spirits, healing the world, and helping to build lifelong Unitarian Universalist faith identity for our children and youth.
Starr Austin serves as our Director of Lifespan Religious Education. Starr has been a Unitarian Universalist for 15 years and a religious professional for 4 years. You can contact Starr at firstname.lastname@example.orgYou can view Starr’s blog at www.haulwaterchopwood.com
Our team of professional childcare providers has been on staff here for over 10 years. They create a warm environment for our infants and toddlers each week.
The Religious Education Council serves the congregation by working with the Director of Religious Education to shape the vision and mission of the RE program. These volunteers put in countless hours to bring our vibrant programs to life. Each member of the RE council holds a particular portfolio of interest where they devote their time and energy. Council members include:
Carla Carlyon, chair
Joanne Polichetti, youth ministry
Grace Dwyer-Mauro, social justice
Deb Cohen, events
Sharon Garfinkle, events
Michael Goldsmith, multigenerational programming