Children and Youth Religious Education FAQs

Welcome – we are glad you are here!

What is RE?
What Time and Where are the classes?
Who are The RE Staff?
Who Does the Teaching?
And What about the Nursery?
What are Family Fellowship and Service is Our Prayer Sundays?
How Do I Enroll My Child or Youth?
How Do I Let the Staff Know about How My Child Learns Best?

What IS RE?

Unitarians love their acronyms! We Unitarian Universalists call ourselves UUs and our religious education program is called RE. We even use acronyms to name our staff — our Director of Religious Education is our DRE - and at this church we LOVE being known as SMUUCh!
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What Time and Where Are the classes?

To help children understand that they are valued members of our church community, children are encouraged to attend the first few minutes of our 10:30 a.m. worship service with their parents. Infants in the Nursery and Toddlers (ages 18 months to two years old) may be taken to their rooms before the service. About ten minutes into the service our minister or worship leader will ask the children to gather at the front of the hall for a Time for All Ages. This portion of the worship service is specifically designed for children and youth. Sometimes a story, sometimes an activity and sometimes a child dedication or recognition, it is the part of the service that speaks directly to the youngest members of our church community.

Children are excused from the worship service following the Time for All Ages to take part in our religious education classes. Our Director of Religious Education or an assistant will escort the children to their classrooms. The congregation sings "Go now in Peace, may the Spirit of Love surround you, everywhere you may go" as the children depart the sancutary. Parents are also welcome to walk with their child to the classroom and then return to the service. A map of the classrooms is located here.

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Who Are The RE Staff?

Our Director of Religious Education, Rachel Wathen, oversees our religious education program. Rachel is a Magna cum Laude graduate of Emporia State University. Rachel comes to us from the Eisenhower Library and Museum where she was involved with their experiential learning program, Five Star Leaders.  

HeatherAnne Norbury is our Youth Group Advisor. 

Cindy Maxwell, our Nursery Attendant is a certified Montessori instructor and has been staffing our nursery since 2004.

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Who Does the Teaching?

Our Kindergarten through Middle School classes are taught by trained volunteers. These dedicated SMUUCh members give us their time and talents to teach your children. While lesson plans and materials are provided by staff, our dedicated volunteers prepare and teach the lesson each week. Each teacher attends at least one of four Teacher Check-In and Orientation meetings each year where they learn about our curriculum, how our classes are run and how to create the best environment for your children. For many of our Teaching Volunteers, their time in the classroom is part of their own spiritual practice.

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And What About the Nursery?

Our nursery is open every Sunday. Staffed by caring adults and assisted by volunteers, your baby will be lovingly cared for while you attend the worship service or an adult class. If you would prefer to stay together, you are welcome to bring your infant into the worship service. However, to respect the needs of all those in attendance, we ask that if you child becomes very restless or noisy that you move to the Saeger Room, our Calming Room for parents and small children. The service is televised into this room where there are comfortable chairs, a small toy box, and ample room for crawling and cruising. This is also a nice room for nursing mothers who may wish a bit more privacy, though you are welcome to stay in the sanctuary as well.

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What are Family Fellowship and Service is Our Prayer Sundays?

Family Fellowship Sundays take place throughout the church year and provide a time when both adults and youth join together to celebrate and enjoy fellowship together. Primarily organized around holidays, these special Sundays provide a time when the whole congregation joins together to observe and enjoy a special day as a faith community. Family Fellowship Sundays help to build inclusiveness between adults and children. Most events will be held in either the classrooms or the Barn Chapel.

Service is Our Prayer Sundays provide service learning opportunities for children and youth. From raising money for schools in Afghanistan to making sack lunches for the homeless, children take part in social justice activities that help them learn how to live their faith. Service is Our Prayer Sundays take place four times a year.
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How Do I Enroll My Child or Youth?

To enroll your child complete an Online Enrollment. You may also ask your child's teacher for an enrollment form.

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How Do I Let the Staff Know about How My Child Learns Best?

Once your child has been enrolled online or you have downloaded and completed an enrollment form, you are encouraged to complete the confidential "Introduce My Child" form. You may complete this form online here, or you may download it here to complete and then return it to your child's teacher, or the DRE.

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Do We Need Volunteers in RE?

YES! We need lots of Volunteer Helpers in our Religious Education classes and as hallway monitors during classes. This is for the safety and well-being of all our children. All parents are expected to volunteer in RE at least twice. Sign up now.

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