First Parish Church’s Religious Education Program is a values-based program that encourages our children and youth to be the best people that they can be.
We offer religious education classes that allow children and youth to develop their faith as Unitarian Universalists and youth groups that encourage a sense of community. Children and youth learn the importance of giving back to the world that embraces us in its care as they participate in service projects throughout the year.
Religious Education Coordination
The Religious Education Program at First Parish Church is coordinated by our Director of Religious Education, Michelle Cote (firstname.lastname@example.org, 978- 897-8149). Michelle works in collaboration with the Religious Education Committee, a group of volunteers from our congregation, to ensure that our program is of highest quality.
We have a nursery in the lower level of Fellowship Hall, across the parking lot from the church. Parents of infants and toddlers, up to age three, can leave their children to be cared for by our Child Care Coordinator. Our Nursery hours are 8:45-10:25 AM and 10:45 AM-12:25 PM. We ask that you be prompt in picking up your child after service. Parents are asked to leave a cell phone number with the Child Care Coordinator and to put their phones on vibrate. If your child becomes upset we will call so that you can come be with your child. Parents who prefer to spend time with their child(ren) are welcome to remain in the nursery. There are changing tables in the nursery, in the bathrooms in the Vestry, and in the women’s bathroom in Fellowship Hall.
Sunday Morning Classes
Sunday mornings begin with all children, youth and adults gathering for the service at either 9 or 11 AM in the Sanctuary. Children and youth stay to hear “A Message for All Ages.” After that, all children ages 3 and up are welcome to participate in one of our Religious Education classes held in Fellowship Hall and in the Vestry. Visiting children will need to have parents fill out a Visitor’s Form. Classes end at 10:25 AM and 12:25 PM.
We follow a three trimester schedule each year:
- Fall (Sep.– Nov.)
- Winter (Dec. – early Mar.)
- Spring (Mar. – May)
What is the Curriculum?
Our children and youth explore Unitarian Universalist history by exploring our Judeo-Christian roots. We explore common Hebrew and New Testament stories and look for connections with our UU principles. Our older classes explore our history with an emphasis on connections with local historical sights and people.
Each year we also focus on how Unitarian Universalism is a faith that believes in doing service for others. Throughout the year our children and youth will have opportunities to participate in service projects. We spend our spring trimester with each team choosing a multi-week service project and then developing and following through with a plan of action.
Some of the curricula that we have covered in previous years include:
- World Religions
- Unitarian Universalism History and Beliefs
- Unitarian Universalist history by exploring its Judeo-Christian roots
Our Religious Education Program is a cooperative one that depends on parents and other adults volunteering in our classes, youth groups, and supporting our RE programs in a number of other ways. Families that are new to First Parish are asked to enjoy the services, learn about First Parish and become familiar with all we have to offer prior to volunteering in our program. During the second year of your child(ren) attending our programs we ask that you speak with our Director of Religious Education and determine where you feel most comfortable becoming involved in our Cooperative program. Each family is expected and encouraged to volunteer up to twelve hours per year. Without the support of parent and other adult volunteers our children and youth would not have nearly as many opportunities to be involved and engaged as they progress to becoming adult UUs.
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