A spiritual community for all: advancing justice and embracing diversity with love and acceptance
Children

Religious Education
for
Children and Youth

At First Church, we accompany our children in their spiritual development, encouraging them to question, wonder, and develop their own religious beliefs while confirming the religious values that we share.

  • Excellent Nursery care for those 3 and under is offered from 9:00 - 1:00 pm
  • Please register your child either on line or on a Sunday morning at church

Pencil Religious Education - Registration Form for Children and Youth

On this page:


Sunday Morning Programs for Children and Youth

Nursery Care is available from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. for infants through 3 year olds.

9:30-10:30 (during the first worship service)

Pre-school – 1st grade, Fireside Room

Spirit Play – a carefully crafted story-based experience for children involving small props and questions that pull them in, followed by opportunities for children to re-tell stories and create art in response.

2nd-5th grade, Room 208

Using stories, hands-on art and music, spiritual practices and learning new skills, this multi-age class explores the church’s monthly themes. Children are engaged in fun activities, reflecting and learning about the same topics as their parents.

11:30-12:30 (during the second worship service)

Pre-school - 1st grade, Fireside Room

Spirit Play – a carefully crafted story-based experience for children involving small props and questions that pull them in, followed by opportunities for children to re-tell stories and create art in response.

2nd-5th, Room 208

Using stories, art, music, spiritual practices as well as developing new skills, this group will explore the church’s monthly themes. Children are engaged in fun activities, reflecting and learning about the same topics as their parents.

Middle School (6th-8th), Room 203

We guide our middle schoolers in their own search for understanding of right and wrong.  Dealing with difficult situations and how to apply their values.

High School (9th-12th), Room 207

Our High School youth share each week about their lives and use our Tapestry of Faith curriculum to explore religious topics, both ethical and spiritual, that intersect with their beliefs and their relationships with others.

Top of pageTop


Join Us Every Sunday!

Children of all ages are always welcome to stay with their families in the sanctuary during worship.

Nursery care is available for babies and toddlers from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Quiet boxes are available in the vestibule while the children are in church.

Parents of children in 5th grade and younger pick up their children in the Fireside Room after the service. You will find them singing – please join in for our Closing Circle!

Top of pageTop


Special Events & Activities for Children & Youth

  • Pumpkin CarvingClosing Circle - Each Sunday, the children from Preschool through 5th Grade end their session with 10 minutes of community singing in the Fireside Room.
  • Service Auction Project - Each year the children make a craft project that is contributed to the church's Service Auction.
  • Group Photo - Each year we take a snap shot of our children, youth and teachers.  You can view photos from past years going back to the 1950’s in the stairway across from the nursery.
  • Pumpkin Carving - On the Sunday preceding Halloween, families gather in the Crane Fireside Room during Religious Education for Children time to carve or decorate pumpkins.
  • Christmas Eve Service - The early service on Christmas Eve is designed with children in mind. Dec. 24th.
  • Easter Social Action Project - We have an annual drive for paper and canned goods. It culminates in an Easter Parade to take the goods to a norganizations.earby service.
  • Water Communion - Each year, as members and friends return from summer adventures, they bring water to add to a communal bowl that represents the flowing together of our lives in this spiritual community.
  • Dia de los Muertos - A special service for people of all ages, including children, celebrate those we love who have passed and reflect on this time of the year, just before winter, when people of Hispanic cultures have celebrated the veil between the living and the dead, being lifted.
  • Bread Communion - The Sunday before Thanksgiving families and individuals are encouraged to bring bread from their ethnic or cultural tradition to share during a lively and delightful service of thanks.
  • Feast of All Good Children - This annual ceremony honors the transitions of our children and youth as they move up to the next grade in school and our Religious Education program. We create one great cake from many sheet cakes and symbolically jump to the next level, and honoring the changes inherent in growing up.
  • Youth activities are too various to list. This year there will be three weekend Rallies, conferences run by and for the youth. Ask a youth to tell you what else they are involved in!

Top of pageTop


FAQ

Are classes at First Church like Sunday School at other churches?  Yes and no. The structure is similar, but the content is different from many churches. In all our Religious Education classes, we seek to nurture continuous growth, keen, open minds, and compassionate hearts. We provide active support for people's spiritual journeys, but do not presume to provide ultimate answers.

Where do children go first?  During the summer, take your child to the listed classroom OR to the Fireside room where you can be directed where to go. During the school year, children go to the sanctuary first, but during the summer, we will not begin in the sanctuary.

Is there a fee for Religious Education?  No. Religious Education plays an essential role in faith development and spiritual growth for children and adults throughout their lives. As such, RE is provided free of charge by this faith community. Pledges and contributions to support the vital work of this congregation are encouraged and gladly accepted.

Pencil

Do I need to register my children?  Yes, all families are asked to register their children each year. If you are visiting, welcome to our faith home. We ask you to register for the safety of your child(ren The registration form is online at http://tinyurl.com/RE-Regis or you can pick up a Registration Form from your child’s teachers.

What should my children wear?  Dressing casually is fine; so is dressing up. Wear what will make you comfortable and will help you and your children feel ready to focus, participate, and enjoy Sunday morning.

Top of pageTop


Philosophy of Religious Education

Mission Statement: We will provide our children with opportunities to grow spiritually, develop a sense of personal and social responsibility, and experience joy, as a central part of a loving Unitarian Universalist community.

How We Fulfill Our Mission

  • Teaching about the world's religions, including our own
  • Fostering social responsibility and personal growth
  • Helping them to find their own spiritual paths
  • Teaching them in a safe environment
  • Providing activities and rituals
  • Integrating our children into our church community and the greater UU fellowship

Description of Philosophy

Our religious education program for children and youth provides children ages 3 to 18 opportunities to learn about our Unitarian Universalist Identity, Sources of Inspiration and history; issues of peace and social justice; and the interdependent web of nature. They have an opportunity to put UU principles into action through service projects.

We believe that the overarching goal of Unitarian Universalist Religious Education is to provide the children and youth with the ability to determine their own spiritual beliefs and discover their ethical compass. In order to help them on this quest, we provide lessons based on the wisdom of many faith traditions and a community where discussion and questioning are not only allowed, but actively encouraged.

Top of pageTop



Our Leadership

Carol Burrus

Our Religious Educator, Carol Burrus, oversees our Religious Education Programs for children, youth and adults. She brings a wealth of professional experience in non-profit volunteer coordination, family therapy and elementary music education, as well as education in psychology, social work and teaching. Carol enjoys creating programs that take individual members and families toward personal and spiritual growth, build our church community and lead us into new possibilities for ourselves and the world beyond our walls. She can be contacted by telephone at 713-526-5200 or by email at carol@firstuu.org.

Our Childcare Coordinator is Deborah Gray.   Our childcare personnel are available every Sunday morning from 9:00 am -1:00 pm. Deborah can be contacted at childcare@firstuu.org

Top of pageTop



Copyright © 2009 - 2017 First Unitarian Universalist Church, Houston
Updated: August 23, 2017