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    2021 Albany Post Road, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520                     914-271-4283
          

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the
Hudson Valley

Children and Youth 

 

 

Our Philosophy of Faith Development for Children and Youth

 

We value our children and youth because of their own innate worth as people and because they are the future of our community and our world. As Unitarian Universalists, we do not seek to provide our children with ready-made answers to life’s questions in the form of a fixed creed or doctrine. Instead, we seek to provide our children and youth with an environment in which they may grow up with a strong sense of values, morals, as well as religious understanding and identity as set forth in our Unitarian Universalist principles. To this end, we are committed to providing an R.E. program which will enrich the lives of our children and youth, helping them to recognize and realize their full potential and build firm foundations for meaningful, ethical lives.

 

 

 

Worship

Worship is an integral part of our Faith Development Program. It provides children with a sense of community, a feeling of at-oneness with each other and the world, an affirmation of what we believe and a feeling of inspiration. Simply stated, worship is a celebration of what we value, that which is “of worth.”

 

Children’s Chapel: Approximately once a month, children will attend Children's Chapel instead of R.E. class.  Children's Chapel includes rituals such as Chalice Lighting, the sharing of Joys and Sorrows, songs and a story related to one of the worship theme.

Family Worship: On minister-led Sundays, our children join their families in the sanctuary for the first 15 minutes. After the "Time for All Ages," children and youth go to class.

All Church Worship: During the year, several full multi-generational services are planned. There are no classes on those Sundays.

 

Teachers

Our Faith Development teachers are volunteer adult members of our Fellowship. In keeping with our Safe Congregation Policy, each teacher has an assistant (a “helping hand”) in the classroom. If you are new to our Fellowship and would like to teach, we ask that you wait 6 months in order for you to get to know us and allow us to get to know you. When you teach, you are provided with a tremendous opportunity to grow in many areas as you interact with our children and youth. As we gather for spiritual inquiry, not only will you learn and grow right along with the children, but you will be giving our children and youth the gift of your presence and time. If you would like to join us in our religious and spiritual quest, please see Jane Podell. We would love to welcome you on our spiritual journey.

 

 

CURRICULA and PROGRAMS by Age Group

 

Nursery Care/Babysitting

Our nursery provides a safe and happy place for infants and toddlers while parents attend the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. services. Every Sunday, there is a paid childcare provider to care for our littlest members. Children can be brought into the nursery space (in the main Fellowship Hall) anytime after 8:50 a.m. (for 9 a.m. service) and 10:50 a.m. (for 11 a.m. service) and picked up when the service is over.

 

 

 

image from Spirit Play

 

Pre-K/K/1st grade/2nd grade

 

Spirit Play is a Montessori-based method where children are given space to work at their own pace, engaging a child’s sense of wonder and allowing children to begin to form their ideas about abstract concepts like right and wrong and the divine. Each class time begins with a ritual and story. The power of a meaningful story is placed into the hands of our young children. Children are then free to work with materials in the classroom to explore their wonderings.

 

 

 

 

2nd,3rd,4th grades

 

Love Will Guide Us is a "Tapestry of Faith" program.In this program, participants learn to seek guidance in life through the lens of our Unitarian Universalist Sources, with an emphasis on love. Together we ask questions such as, "Where did we come from?" "What is our relationship to the Earth and other creatures?" "How can we respond with love, even in bad situations?" "What happens when we die?" Sessions apply wisdom from our Sources to help participants answer these questions. Participants will learn that asking questions is valued in Unitarian Universalism, even as they begin to shape their own answers.

 

 

Middle School

Building Bridges is a world religions program to deepen youth’s understanding of the dynamic, fascinating and varied world in which they live. It seeks to broaden their knowledge of humanity and embolden their spiritual search. The program will lovingly and reverently examine some of the closest kept treasures of the human heart while providing youth an opportunity to engage in the world’s diversity of religions in a safe, affirming atmosphere grounded in the Unitarian Universalist faith.

 

Senior Youth Group ~ High School


The Senior Youth Group is designed to facilitate the transition between the structured children’s program and the self-directed church participation of the adult. This autonomous group plans all of their programs with the support of Adult Advisors. Programs include community service, worship experiences, leadership opportunities while providing a safe place to come for spiritual growth, friendship and support. This thoughtful, dynamic and welcoming group is actively engaged in District events such as Youth Conferences. Sr Youth Group meets the second Sunday of the month at 5:30 pm.

 

The governing body for District Youth in Metro New York is YAC (Youth Adult Committee). By running district events such as Youth Conferences (better known as Cons), YAC helps establish communications between youth from all over the district, encourages the development of youth leadership and the growth of social and spiritual awareness.

 

 

OTHER INFORMATION

Social Action

One of the hallmarks of Unitarian Universalism is social activism. That’s because UUs have always believed we must apply our faith to the world we live in. The Religious Education program is designed to encourage our children and youth to become involved in social action within our community and the world at large. Social Action will be integrated into our R.E. program with annual projects such as “Midnight Run" in November, the UU Service Committee’s “Guest at Your Table” program November and December, “The Mitten Tree” in December, the SPCA project in April to name just a few. With assistance from the Social Action Committee, Green Sanctuary Committee, and the UU UNO Committee, other service projects are introduced throughout the year.


Registration 

All parents are asked to register their children and youth online. Even if you aren't sure if your child/youth will be attending regularly, we ask that you register your child anyway as we would like to keep you informed about programming and activities. 

 

Attendance

Please bring your children to Fellowship regularly. Consistent attendance is essential if they are to develop a genuine sense of belonging to our religious community. Although we realize that with today’s busy schedules, weekly attendance may not be possible, we ask that you bring your children as often as possible in order for them to benefit from our full program, to bond with fellow classmates and to feel connected enough to call us home.

 

 

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