Children’s Education

Derby Davidson – Director of Religious Education (Biography)
Telephone: (650) 888-6067
Email: Get Derby's email address
mid August – mid June

We want our children to develop a strong sense of personal values and to feel confident in expressing them and acting upon them.  Our Religious Education program for children teaches ethical living, our Unitarian Universalist principles and heritage, and religions of the world, including Christian, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Native American, and neo-Pagan teachings.

We offer our program in a way that gives children a framework they can build upon, so that they will grow up to become responsible adults and make wise decisions about what to believe and how to live.

Formal Sunday school classes are held during services from September to June every year, except during multigenerational services, held about once every two months, that are designed to be more child-friendly.  We have fall, winter, and spring trimesters.  Between the fall and winter trimesters (around the winter holidays), Intersession classes are held for Pre-K to 8th graders.  During this time, the children do art, crafts, cooking, social action, and other activities focused on the different holidays of the season.
Childcare is provided year-round in the Block Room for children 6 years old and younger.

Sunday School Classes for the 2017/2018 Church Year
The fall Sunday school program begins with the multigenerational Gathering of the Waters service on September 10, 2017, and concludes with the multigenerational Flower Communion in June of 2018.  The theme of the Program for the 2017-2018 church year is UU Identity and Christianity.  Starting September 17 and continuing through November 19, there will be the following classes:

Infant and Preschool:  Safe and fun playtime for our youngest children with Michael Green in the Blockroom.

Kindergarten through First Grade: This group will participate in Our Whole Lives (OWL) during Sunday school in the Fall.  This is a closed, convenanted class; see form.  Children in the OWL class will go directly to their class at 10:30 rather than starting in the Sanctuary with the adults.

Second through Fourth Grade: Through historic and contemporary stories of Unitarian Universalist faith in action, Faithful Journeys equips children with language and experiences to develop and articulate a strong Unitarian Universalist faith identity.

Fifth through Eighth Grade:  Riddle and Mystery assists participants in their own search for understanding.  Each session introduces and processes a Big Question, such as “Does God exist?”, “What happens when you die?”, “Can we ever solve life’s mystery?”, “How can I know what to believe?”, and “What does Unitarian Universalism mean to me?”.

Our Whole Lives (OWL) Programming
In alternating years, we offer (a) OWL for kindergartners and 1st graders, (b) OWL for 5th to 6th graders, (c) OWL for 7th to 9th graders (outside of Sunday school), and (d) OWL for 10th to 12th graders (outside of Sunday school).  OWL is comprehensive human sexuality curricula developed jointly by the Unitarian Universalist Association   and the United Church of Christ.  The program provides participants with accurate, age-appropriate information in six subject areas:  human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture.  It helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior.  Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, OWL provides not only facts about anatomy and human development, but helps participants to clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, and social aspects of sexuality.  Both youth and parents frequently describe the program as an invaluable gift that is helpful, fun, transformative, and safe.  See http://www.uua.org/re/owl for additional information on OWL.

The next kindergarten-1st grade OWL will be held during Sunday school in the fall of 2017.

The next 5th-6th grade OWL will be held during Sunday school in the fall of 2018.

The next 7th-9th grade OWL will be held on Sunday evenings January-June 2018.

The next 10th-12th grade OWL will be held on Sunday evenings January-June 2017.

Contact the Director of Religious Education (DRE) for more information.

Coming of Age
This program for 8th, 9th, and 10th graders includes three District-wide weekend-long retreats intended to help our youth integrate their childhood into their emerging adulthood, with a clear sense of themselves and their place in the Unitarian Universalist church and the world.  The program also includes UUFRC programming to supplement the retreats and allow the youth to learn what membership in our community means.  Many of our participants have found this program to be transformational.

Coming of Age is offered in alternating years.  The next Coming of Age program will be offered from September 2018 through May 2019.  Contact the DRE for more information.

Program Registration
Parents are asked to register their children in the program after they begin to attend regularly. Please ask the DRE for a registration form on Sunday.

Sunday Morning Schedule
Parents may bring children and youth of any age to church services (10:30 – 11:30 am).

Childcare is available every Sunday morning in the Block Room from 10 am to noon for infants to 5 years old.  Parents are expected to pick up children from the Block Room by noon.

Children and youth from kindergarten to 8th grade typically begin in the sanctuary with the adults and are then escorted to their classes after the Time for All Ages.  We request that parents of kindergartners and first and second graders pick up their children at their classroom after the service ends.  Older children and youth are dismissed from the classroom to meet their parents in the Social Hall.  Please discuss requested exceptions to this policy with the classroom teachers.

Parents or another designated adult(s) are expected to remain at the Fellowship while children and youth are in our care, in case of medical emergency or any other situation requiring parental attention.  Requests for exceptions to this policy should be directed to the DRE.

Curriculum Philosophy
At UUFRC, we want our children to develop a strong sense of personal values and to feel confident in expressing and acting upon them.  Our Religious Education program for children teaches ethical living, our UU principles and heritage, and religions of the world.  We believe that exposure to multiple religious perspectives will increase tolerance and provide our youth with many sources as they build their own theology.  Our goal is for our children to grow up to become responsible adults and to make wise decisions about what to believe and how to live.

Each church year, the fall trimester begins with a unit on UU identity and values.  Topics can include the 7 UU Principles, UU history, and famous UUs.  In the winter and spring trimesters, we focus on world religions.  We have a three-year rotation for world religions topics:  eastern world religions, western world religions, and the New Testament.  We plan to have the following rotations:

Winter/Spring 2018:  New Testament.
*  Winter/Spring 2019:  Eastern World Religions.  In the past we have studied Islam,  Hinduism, and Buddhism.
*  Winter/Spring 2020:  Western World Religions.  In the past, we have studied Hebrew scriptures and earth-based spirituality, such as wiccan and Native American beliefs.

We attempt to make authentic connections to communities within these religions.  For example, children in 4th to 8th grade have visited a Jewish temple, an Islamic mosque, a Hindu temple, and a Buddhist temple.

Beyond Sunday school, we offer a Kindergarten rite of passage, an Age of Reason rite of passage (UU Catechism) for 3rd and 4th graders, Coming of Age for 8th to 10th graders (see above), and Our Whole Lives comprehensive sexuality education (see above).

Unitarian Universalist Principles in Children’s Language (Rainbow Principles)

  • Respect the importance and value of every person.
  • Offer fair and kind treatment to everyone.
  • Yes to spiritual growth and learning together.
  • Grow by exploring ideas and finding your truth.
  • Believe in our ideals and voice your vote.
  • Insist on justice, freedom and peace for all.
  • Value our responsibility in the web of life.

Inclusivity
We welcome all people, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, gender identification, affectional preference or sexual orientation, age, physical or mental challenge, social or economic status, or marital status.

Questions?
If you have any questions, please contact Derby Davidson, the Director of Religious Education.