Children's Religious Exploration

While we prepare to reopen for indoor services, our Kids Club will only meet during our outdoor services on specified dates. See our newsletter for more information.
We will continue to update this page as our Religious Exploration programs transition to a new format.

We believe that Religious Education is about spiritual exploration and growth, so we have named our program: Religious Exploration. It is a lifelong process that starts with our children. It is more than learning something new; Religious Exploration is about recognizing that what you learn can affect your attitudes and your values. How does what you are learning deepen and enhance your spiritual journey? Religious Exploration offers an opportunity to build a community, to ask questions, to explore, and to learn.

 

Our goal is to provide an environment in which our children and youth are free to discover a spiritual path that is right for them, knowing they are a welcome part of our Unitarian Universalist community here at Westside.

 

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We are always looking for kind and caring Members to serve as volunteers in our Religious Exploration Program. If you're interested, hit the blue button to the right to see what is involved. You can email us if you're ready to get started.

The 7 Principles We Teach Our Children

In Westside's RE Program, we simplify the 7 Principles of Unitarian Universalism into what we call "The 7 Rainbow Principles."

Our Sources of Inspiration

 

In the words of Rev. William Ellery Channing, "The great end in religious instruction is not to stamp our own minds upon the young, but to stir up their own." Our curriculum reflects this sentiment by drawing inspiration from many sources, including:

 

  • Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life.

  • Humanist teachings, which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against the idolatries of the mind and spirit. We embrace science and encourage our youth to use reason to understand and appreciate the world.

  • World Religions. We study many other major religions, including Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, and Earth-based religions.

  • Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love.

  • Spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.

  • Nature, Art, and Music. We guide our children to value these aesthetic sources to provide spiritual renewal and appreciation.

  • Philosophy and Ethics. We encourage our youth to think about the meaning of life and ethical ways to live in community and to act on social justice issues through service projects, guided by the sources listed above and the principles of UU.

Schedule

While our building is closed this schedule is on hold.

  • Our nursery is open from 10:45 a.m. until 12:15 p.m. and is staffed by a lead and assistant caregiver, all other children and youth join the adults for the service.

  • Children and youth are part of our Multigenerational worship services held on the 1st, 3rd and 5th Sundays each month. We have a dedicated Children's Area in our sanctuary where children are able to engage in quiet activities during the service.

  • We present our children with a "Story For All Ages" designed to complement the theme of the Sunday service.

  • Kids Club meets on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month. Children will go to Kids Club after the Story For All Ages until 12 pm.

  • Youth Group meets on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of each month, starting at 11 am.

  • Check the RE Calendar for the latest schedule.

  • Westside has a beautiful, completely fenced-in playground. During nice weather, we will most likely end up out there at some point during class.

  • Please note that an adult must be present to supervise children on the playground at all times. After class, parents are required to accompany their children if they wish to play on the playground.

  • We ask that children in 6th grade and younger be signed out of their classrooms. Please pick up your child(ren) by 12:15 p.m.

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