Sunday Morning Programs
Worship is the heart of our Children’s Ministry program. Through worship children reflect on important life issues, are uplifted through music, hold others in care, and have time to listen to the still small voice within.
On Sunday mornings we offer a worship service at 10:20. We offer child care for our youngest children. We have three different kinds of services for our families:
- Multigenerational Services happen once a month, and all families worship with the whole congregation in our Sanctuary, Hamilton Hall. These services often mark special occasions in the church’s program year.
- Time for All Ages has the children begin in worship in Hamilton Hall, and then continue to activities in our Program rooms on the 2nd floor. During Time for All Ages worship, the day’s worship theme is presented in an age-appropriate story or lesson.
- Children’s Chapel is geared toward elementary-aged children, and meets in the Starr King Room. This is a 20 – 25 minute worship with songs, stories, and movement that reflects the same theme as the adult worship service. The children then go on to the Program Rooms.
In Hamilton Hall, children can sit together upfront or with their parents. Families are also welcome to stay together in Hamilton Hall for the entire worship service. After service, parents come to the 2nd Floor Program Rooms or the Nursery to pick up their children.
For more information you can contact Nicole Fitzhugh, Children and Family Ministry Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chalice Children: Infants to 5 year olds
(Sundays from 9:30 am until 1:00pm, 1st floor)
Our youngest children are welcomed in the Chalice Children room, our nursery, on the first floor. Dorothy, our professional childcare worker, creates a safe place where free play, stories, and simple snacks are offered. Parents are asked to bring diapers, drinking cups, and any preferred foods for their child.
Spirit Art & Games: Children ages 5 and older
(Sundays following worship until noon, 2nd floor)
The 2nd Floor Program Rooms are supervised by the Coordinator of Children and Family Ministries and high school student caregivers. There are two options: In the Spirit Games Room children can play games and enjoy each others’ friendship. In the Spirit Art Room, there is a project centered on the worship theme for the month.
(Sundays after worship until 11:45am, 3rd floor)
Our 6th through 9th graders meet in their own group led by a facilitator to explore living lives of greater meaning and community engagement at their own level. They worship with the congregation on Multigenerational Sundays and Time for All Ages Sundays.
High School Youth Group
(2nd & 4th Sundays from 12 – 1pm, Tower Room)
We encourage High School age youth to worship with the congregation, but also acknowledge their own special community and unique needs.
Worship During COVID
We have tried to maintain the connection to worship within the virtual environment. During this program year (Sept. – June) we will have Children’s Chapel on the 2nd and 4th Sundays, from 10 – 10:30am. On other Sundays we hope that families will find some spiritual practice to create moments of worship at home, or to attend the virtual services with the whole congregation. Our High School Youth Group will meet weekly from 12 – 1pm. Club UU, our middle school program, is currently under development. Please contact Nicole Fitzhugh for further information.
Because of COVID restrictions, and with guidance from the Unitarian Universalist Association (our denomination’s organizing body) we have put both Our Whole Lives and Coming of Age Programs on hold until further notice.
First Time Visitor?
Please plan to take the time to fill out a Visitor Connect Card. You will need to do this in order for your child(ren) to be in our care. Please look for members wearing leis or our Children and Family Ministry Coordinator Nicole Fitzhugh on Sunday mornings for answers to any questions or for help with this process. Children must be picked up before 1 o’clock from the nursery or noon from the Spirit Rooms. A light snack will be provided, so please let us know if there are any food allergies. Parents are welcome to accompany their child to the Nursery or to Sunday morning programming; children are welcome to stay in the service.
Rites of Passage
Marking important events in our lives gives them more meaning and significance. The church is a place for your child’s changing self and world to be honored.
- Child Dedications: twice a year, in Hamilton Hall, we dedicate our congregation to supporting children and their parents
- Tolling of the Bells: This New Year ritual gives each person the opportunity to speak the name and light a candle for someone important who has died in the previous year.
- Coming of Age (bi-annually): a year-long program with a concluding ritual to mark the important life transition from childhood to adolescence.
- Bridging Ceremony: High School Seniors ritually bridge into young adulthood.
- Personal Rituals: Major life events such as the birth of a sibling, deaths, menarche or divorce can be marked in a private ceremony.
Coming of Age: Grades 8, 9 & 10, offered in 2020-21
Our Coming of Age program prepares youth to be welcomed into the adult congregation. With the support of their mentors, participants will develop their own credos. Areas of study include UU heritage and theology, personal beliefs, worship, and social responsibility. This program culminates in the spring with a worship service in May.
Our Whole Lives: offered in 2019-20
Our Whole Lives (OWL) is a sexuality and relationship education curricula taught by trained volunteer instructors from our congregation. OWL helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. It equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information in human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. 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. We offer three levels of OWL: K-1; 4th-5th; and 7th-9th.
High School Youth Group
High school youth group meets the 2nd and 4th Sundays from 12:00 – 1:00.
The third full week in June is our summer day camp – 40 hours of fun-filled religious education for children entering 1st- 6th grades. Chalice Camp deepens children’s identity as Unitarian Universalists and expands their knowledge of Unitarian Universalism and their capacity to be articulate about our faith. The curriculum alternates between Foundation of Unitarian Universalism which focuses on our theological heritage and Identity and Justice, which focuses on resisting racism and creating just community.
This year we are field testing a new Chalice Camp curriculum. Our children are surrounded by images and fears related to the climate crisis. Our faith teaches us that our salvation rests in this world, and so we are called to do something to create more justice, compassion, and well-being for all of life. In response to this spiritual need, we have developed a new week of Chalice Camp to help our children get the tools they need to feel both empowered to make a difference and resilient in the face of the fear and sadness that we all share. They learn accurate information about climate change. They have an opportunity to speak truthfully about their feelings. They hear stories of individuals and groups working to resist climate disaster, changes policies and practices, and create the new kinds of systems and communities that will support what some have called a “just transition” or the “great turning.” They will also explore the resources for this resistance and creativity found in the theological heritage of Unitarian Universalism.
Campers explore and experience UU identity, history, theology and values through energetic worship, games, drama, art, and community building. Lake Temescal in Oakland provides a beautiful place to run, play, swim, and learn. By worshipping, learning, and playing with UU children from other churches, campers experience a faith community broader than just our church. Get more information and register at http://www.chalicecamp.org.