Welcome to Faith Development for Children at Main Line Unitarian Church. We offer Religious Education on Sunday mornings from September through June. Our Religious Education programs seek to:
- Develop Unitarian Universalists who are fully functioning religious beings engaged in honest dialogue, lifelong learning, and exploration of self and world
- Sustain strong families and create multigenerational relationships that value all
- Invite and promote questioning, curiosity, and religious freedom
Changes are occasionally made on Sundays to accommodate the population in attendance. Subscribe to E-Notes to hear about updates or changes. Stay tuned for the 2017-2018 children's schedule.
Each Sunday service includes a Story for All Ages, when teachers, children, and families are together with the rest of the community for a portion of our Sunday worship in the sanctuary. This is a special time when younger members of our community are brought into the circle of those gathered to worship in the manner of Unitarian Universalist congregations—becoming familiar with the traditions and rituals of our faith. We encourage families to bring children to a Story for All Ages at an early age.
Children are welcome to use activity packets (found outside the sanctuary doors) to keep hands busy and minds alert. Nursery care is available for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers during this time. After a Story for All Ages, the congregation sings to the teachers and children as they depart for their classes.
2016-17 Religious Education Calendar
First, second, and third Sundays: Story for All Ages in the sanctuary, then RE classes
Fourth Sundays: Story for All Ages, then 6th-9th to class. PreK-5th to Spirit Beat, in the McGinness Room
*Except in November, December, May, and June (Please read the weekly E-Notes for schedule alerts)
Fifth Sundays, when they occur: Story for All Ages in the sanctuary, then RE classes
*Note: There are several special Sundays when we have Multigenerational Worship—during these Sundays families stay together in the sanctuary throughout the service.
2016-17 Religious Education Schedule
9:00 a.m: Nursery, Pre-K (3/4-year-olds), K-3rd grade
10:45 a.m: 8th Grade OWL
11:00 a.m: Nursery, K-3rd Grade, 4-5th Grade, 6-7th Grade, 9th Grade Coming of Age
*While there is no Pre-K class at 11:00, Pre-K children may stay in the nursery or attend the K-3 class. Parents can decide based on child's readiness.
*When there is no Spirit Beat, grades 4-5 coming at 9:00 a.m. may attend K-3 classes or stay with their parents.
2016-17 Religious Education Curricula
PreK-5th Grades, 9:00 and 11:00 a.m.
Spirit Beat, beginning in October (new!)
Every fourth Sunday (with exceptions of different weeks in November, December, May and June) children will be invited to participate in Spirit Beat, a drumming and musical experience led by certified Music Therapist, Betsy D’angelo and MLUC member and music teacher, Rebecca Burns.This will be a great opportunity for children to experience community in a brand new energetic way, work together towards a final performance at the end of the year, and mostly just have fun!
3 and 4-year-olds, 9:00 a.m.
The Rainbow Connection (new!)
A central concept of Unitarian Universalism is the seven Principles that all congregations affirm and promote. These Principles are considered to be strong values and moral guides that each of us may use to guide our lives. Although preschool children are too young to memorize the Principles, we can begin to acquaint them with the ideas behind the Principles. We can focus on the values inherent in each. The Rainbow Connection uses story books for preschoolers to discuss those values that unite us as UUs. Because socialization and comfort are important goals for this age, each class contains a fun craft project, time for song and games, and time for free play with friends.
Kindergarten through 3rd Grade, 9:00 a.m.
Based on the work of Maria Montessori and Jerome Berryman, UU religious educators have adapted their ideas into a unique learning environment called Spirit Play. Each session is based around a shared story. Through story, our children learn about Unitarian Universalism and its history, and develop an underlying sense of the spiritual and the mystery of life. Wondering questions and hands-on exploration encourage independent thinking. This class creates community for the mixed age children by learning and socializing together and becoming friends.
Kindergarten and 1st Grade, 10:00 a.m. (between services in Winter)
Our Whole Lives (OWL)
Our Whole Lives is an award winning life span curriculum which helps parents in their jobs as primary sexuality educators. At this age level OWL focuses on proper names for body parts, differences between genders and ends with a basic understanding of where babies come from. Parents are included through home links in all that is explored with the kids—opening opportunities for healthy conversations with our young children about personal safety.
Kindergarten through 3rd Grade, 11:00 a.m.
Based on the work of Maria Montessori and Jerome Berryman, UU religious educators have adapted their ideas into a unique learning environment called Spirit Play. Each session is based around a shared story. Through story, our children learn about Unitarian Universalism and its history, and develop an underlying sense of the spiritual and the mystery of life. Wondering questions and hands-on exploration encourage independent thinking. This class creates community for the mixed-age children by learning and socializing together and becoming friends.
3rd Grade, 10:00 a.m. (between services in Spring)
This is a right of passage for our children in building their growing UU identity. Our Stepping Stones program helps them understand in more depth—the adventurous and creative Unitarians and Universalists whom have shared their talents with the world. At the end of this four-week program, they will be recognized in worship and have the opportunity to become an integral part of a worship service in the life of our congregation.
4th and 5th Grade, 11:00 a.m.
Harry and UU
Back by popular demand, Harry and UU is a social action curriculum for grades 4-5 based on J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books. Through the themes that are reflected in Harry Potter books that are closely related to the seven principles, children are immersed in the idea that one can work to make the world a better place. This curriculum has meaningful sources and projects that are relevant to children and in turn keeps them engaged.
4th and 5th Grade, 10:00 a.m. (between services in Winter, Spring)
Our Whole Lives (OWL)
This eight-session program helps fourth and fifth graders learn about and discuss the physical and emotional changes of puberty. Participants read along with their parents It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie H. Harris, which examines topics such as values and sexuality, communication and decision-making. Each session includes a HomeLink—a homework activity for parents and children to complete together.
6th and 7th Grade (and 8th that are not in OWL), 11:00 a.m.
This curriculum explores the history and development of different faith traditions through a religious journey around the world and close to home. Participants plan their own program by choosing which religious groups to learn about, visit, and relate to their own growing UUism. They compare and contrast ideas about God, symbols, sources of authority, prophets and leaders, holy days, beliefs and practices, as well as social service. Neighboring Faiths encourages acceptance by fostering first-hand experience and dialogue with different religious communities, including Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and earth-based spirituality.
8th Grade, 10:45 a.m.
Our Whole Lives (OWL)
Eighth grade OWL is a comprehensive sexuality education program that includes age-appropriate information about human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. It’s grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, addressing not only the physical components, but the spiritual, emotional and cultural sides as well. Instructors are required to attend OWL teacher training. Parents are required to attend a parent orientation meeting in September. Youth are expected to attend each weekly class.
9th Grade, 11:00 a.m.
Coming of Age (COA)
Coming of Age has been redesigned for MLUC 9th graders, in recognition that they are at the beginning of a journey—able to reflect on all they have learned, while investigating and defining their own beliefs. This program invites students to deepen their understanding of UUism and their knowledge of MLUC, and to begin a contemplative process around their own spirituality. The COA year includes opportunities for service, fellowship, fun, and adventure. Activities on both Sunday mornings and at other times engage youth in a process that culminates in the creation of personal credos (from the Latin: “what I set my heart to”).
In the spring, a special youth-led service celebrates a unique threshold in their spiritual journey, when youth are ready to share their own credos with the larger congregation. This program requires a high level of commitment by parents and youth and regular participation is essential.
COA also includes for the second time, a special program from the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia called Walking the Walk (WTW). WTW is a nationally-recognized initiative that provides teenagers with experiences, skills, and resources necessary to live in a diverse world, deepen their own identities, and break through walls that distance and divide them from people of other religious, cultural, and economic backgrounds.
Interested in evening Youth Groups for Grades 7-12? View our Youth page for details.
Childcare on Sundays
Nursery care is available on Sundays for babies and toddlers. We encourage families to bring children to as much of our time together in the Main Meeting Room as possible, but children in Pre-K are also welcome in the nursery during a Story for All Ages and Multigenerational Worship. Contact .