Children & Youth Spiritual Growth & Learning Programs
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April 27, 2014
Our paid staff provide a loving presence and engage children in games, stories and crafts with seasonal and holiday themes.
3-5 Year Olds: The Spiritually Growing Child
Today’s story honors the animals, the environment, and the Earth Day holiday. The words are set to the tune of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” and illustrate twelve North American species in their natural habitat.
Goal: We give thanks for the web of life of which we are a part, our seventh principle of Unitarian Universalism.
1st – 4th Grades:My Choices
Making an effort earns us long-lasting fulfillment and gives us feelings of empowerment, confidence, ownership and pride. Taking the easy way out only satisfies us temporarily and gives Each one of us needs to identify the areas in our lives where we need to put forth effort and overcome challenges. Success is based on the ability to make an effort to overcome challenges, not necessarily the outcome.
5th – 8th Grades: JUNIOR HIGH YOUTH GROUP
We will be known forever by the tracks we leave. — Native American (Dakota) proverb
Big Question: What should I do with my life?
This session frames youth’s wonderings as a Big Question which seeks a deeper answer than the right career to pursue. Youth learn how Unitarian Universalism can guide them toward intentional decision making based on their developing values. This session assures youth that they will find direction from a variety of sources including their inner selves, the examples and advice of trusted adults and the Principles affirmed by our faith.
The session takes participants ahead to their own 100th birthday parties for an imaginary look back at what they might have done with their lives. The story, "The Stonecutter," describes one man's circular and ultimately successful attempt to gain contentment.
9th-12th Grades: SENIOR HIGH YOUTH GROUP
The senior high youth group meets from 11:30-12:30 after attending the first part of the 11 a.m. service. The group offers its members a safe place to share their lives and find support and friendship among open minded and loving peers. The group engages in discussions about issues relevant to youth’s lives and communities.
Check out Rev. Geoff’s blog (link is below) on The Spiritual Journey of a Child Through Our Faith Community. And please contact Rev. Geoff, GRimositis@sanjoseuu.org if you would like to learn more about our children and youth programs.
Children and Youth Program
Children and youth in Preschool (3 years) through High School join the community for the first part of worship at 11 am and then go to their respective classes until 12:30.
Nursery: Birth - four years
Location: Nursery, Church’s Lower Level
Childcare Staff: Giovanna Fernandez and Sandra Sotelo
We provide a safe, clean environment in which to support each child in initiating play activities at the developmental level they manifest. Each week our paid staff, Giovanna Fernandez and Kimberly Fernandez, provides a loving presence as they engage children in games, stories and crafts with seasonal and holiday themes throughout the year.
Three- to five-year-olds: Picture Book World Religions
This curriculum is based on the philosophy that young children learn about religion through relationships. What is a person? Who am I? How am I related to others? What are my responsibilities? What kind of world do I live in? These are religious questions that children begin to answer as they become acquainted with themselves, other people, and their environment; all responses are mediated by the significant adults in their lives. Each week the children look and listen to an engaging picture book that reflects the week’s central theme with accompanying activities. Themes from September –June include: Individuality, Earth Day, Cycles of Life, Harvest, Thanksgving, Christmas, Hannukah, Winter Solstice, Family, Golden Rule, etc.
Grades 1-4: Signs of Our Faith
Religion is the practice of being faithful to what you love. In order to do this, you must decide what you love and do your best to live that love faithfully every day. Signs of Our Faith guides children to do their best to live faithful lives every day. It presents fourteen traits or values that most Unitarian Universalists love, including the quest for knowledge, reverence for life, supporting one another on our faith journeys, and public witness. Children examine how their lives do and can exhibit these traits and values, and come to understand that their faith is a living faith whose histories and teachings are fortifications for living faithfully in a complex world.
Grades 5-8: Junior High Youth Group – Riddle and Mystery
Riddle and Mystery assists youth in their search for understanding. Each session introduces and processes a Big Question. The first three echo Paul Gauguin’s famous triptych: Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going? The next ten, including Does God exist? and What happens when you die?, could be found on almost anyone’s list of basic life inquiries. The final three are increasingly Unitarian Universalist: Can we ever solve life’s mystery? How can I know what to believe? What does Unitarian Universalism mean to me?
In addition to the Sunday morning curriculum, youth get together for once-a-month social activities (First Friday Fun Nights), join with other middle school youth for weekend conferences: Middle School Unitarian Universalist Gatherings MUUGS (Middle School UUs) and a junior high backpack trip in June.
Grades 9-12: Senior High Youth Group, Youth Room
The senior high youth group meets on Sundays from 11:30-12:30. The group offers its members a safe place to share their lives and find support and friendship among open-minded and loving peers. The group engages in discussions about issues relevant to youth’s lives and communities. They plan social and service projects throughout the year.
They also participate in youth conferences in area Unitarian Universalist churches under the auspices of the Pacific Central District of Unitarian Universalist Congregations and Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU). The youth group’s empowering philosophy educates youth to be leaders within the group, church community and denomination.
Youth Group Advisors: Rick Morris, Rev. Geoff Rimositis, Terra Wood-Taylor
Check out Rev. Geoff’s blog (link is below) on The Spiritual Journey of a Child through Our Faith Community and to see descriptions of our children and youth programs for 2012-13.
Please contact Rev. Geoff, GRimositis@gmail.com if you would like to learn more.
Church Office Hours
Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., but closed at noon for an hour break.
Tuesday and Thursday: Closed