We believe that the spiritual journey is a lifelong process. Throughout our years we continue to explore deep questions, to struggle with ethical challenges, and to grow in wisdom, compassion, generosity, and faith. The answers of our youth may no longer serve us in our mature years. The challenges of our contemporary society are ever new and changing. Boundaries of knowledge and of inspiration are ever expanding.
We continue to grow by drawing on the wisdom of the ages, the inner spark of our own spirit, and thoughtful conversation with others.
children's FAITH DEVELOPMENT
We have worship and learning every Sunday, 10-11am.
Your family is invited to join in the exploration and celebration. We’re delighted to have you with us!
At UUCGL, we strive to create a loving, inclusive, and joyous community together where the spirit of each child will have space to blossom. Our young people take part in rituals of connection and celebration, both within their classrooms and within the larger congregation. They are encouraged to explore religious traditions and life’s most puzzling questions with reverence for all people of the earth and the planet itself. Additionally, we’re committed to providing a program that counters racism, oppression, and social divisiveness by helping our children and youth to become compassionate, mindful, and engaged citizens of the planet.
We teach children and youth:
to love the earth and respect all life
to make friends and create inclusive community
to be of service and make a difference
to see the sacred in all the world’s religious traditions
Questions? Read more about our programs below and then come visit! Reach out to our Minister of Community Life and Learning, Rev. Chris Scheller with any questions and to coordinate your visit. After a few visits, if you’d like to attend more, please register all PreK-12th graders through this link.
Sunday Morning Programs
• PreK – 5th Grade
• 6th – 12th Grade
• Multi-age Programs & Worship
PreK – 5th Grade
This year, our preK–5th graders will participate in our Spirit Play class roughly twice a month — a wonderful Montessori-style program that explores spiritual values and sacred stories from the world’s religions. Children are encouraged to wonder and respond to these stories in playful ways that support their own independent thinking.
6th – 12th Grade
This group will participate in our Neighboring Faiths class this year. This popular program will meet twice a month. The first Sunday they will learn all about one of our neighbor’s religious traditions. For the second meeting they will take a field trip to visit and explore that worship community together. They might visit and discuss 8 or 9 different faith traditions from September through June, including some of the many Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu communities in the area. Our 11th and 12th graders will have the opportunity to develop their leadership skills by assisting in leading the group’s learning and discussions.
Multi-age Programs and Worship
At UUCGL, we believe it is important to create community and nurture relationships across ages and generations. Roughly twice a month, PreK-12th graders will gather together on Sunday mornings. Once a month they will support a congregation-wide effort to prepare meal bags for distribution to people with food insecurity, in partnership with My Brother’s Table. On the remaining Sunday they will work together to choose a sacred story to highlight from the world’s religions and create a video pageant of that story together. For an idea of how this works, check out last year’s Winter Solstice Pageant video, Raven Steals the Light. When not working on a video, the older youth might help lead activities outdoors, such as last year’s project in which they learned lashing techniques to build wilderness shelters and picture frames from scavenged branches.
Throughout the year, children and youth are invited to worship with adults, especially on special occasions such as our annual Ingathering, the Blessings of the Animals, and Christmas Eve.
For children younger than PreK, we provide childcare in our nursery during the Sunday Service.
Programs for Older Youth
Our Whole Lives (OWL)
Our congregation offers a comprehensive sexuality education curriculum called Our Whole Lives (O.W.L.) every two years. We offered OWL together with the First Church in Salem to our 7-9th grade youth from October 2021 to May 2022. Read more about it here.
Coming of Age
Our Coming of Age for teens is a program that helps our youth in their journey toward young adulthood. Our youth start the process of deeply understanding what they have been learning about Unitarian Universalism in a more structured and committed way. Coming of Age is a faith journey. Every youth is paired with a mentor who helps guide them throughout the year. Lessons are planned around faith, exploring God concepts, good and evil, why bad things happen to good people, and life and death. The youth become involved in a service project, develop an elevator speech about what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist, and write a faith statement. Each youth reads their faith statement during a Celebration of Coming of Age in the spring.
Youth Group (15-18 years old)
Our Senior Youth program is designed for high school students who have typically gone through some earlier part of the Religious Education program. Our youth group meets outside of Sunday programming and sometimes during evenings for social events, service projects or programs. The group takes part in structured discussions and programming, along with social events, service projects, and occasional mission trips.
CLICK HERE to learn more about this group