Children and Youth RE Fall Update

Our Youth are very busy this year, many of you will have heard directly from them this past Sunday. This amazing, resilient, group of young people continue to meet for two hours each Sunday and run a Dungeons and Dragons campaign on Wednesday nights.

Children and Youth RE Fall Update

by Kiersten E. Moore


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We all know this isn’t a regular year. Every other September we see a surge in church attendance and enthusiasm for a new year of worship, gatherings, potlucks, youth group, children’s Sunday explorations and small group ministry for adults…

But just as we have been forced to adapt Sunday worship services in new ways to manage the COVID reality, staff and volunteers have done the same with our children and youth programs.

Back in March there were some classes and long-standing traditions that could not be replicated in any type of online format. Everybody’s Birthday, Messy Church Potluck, and Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education for High School are all on-hold until we can gather safely in-person again. But our teachers and advisors were able to hold connection spaces for children, tweens, and youth through the spring and even over the summer. We ran “Hogwarts in a Pandemic” summer theatre camp in July, taking advantage of our large campus and the beautiful weather. It was wonderful to see the joy and creativity sparked by being together, even just for a week.

This fall I am truly excited about the opportunities we have to offer our young people. I see connections between families and the larger church membership strengthening and growing in many ways. This year the Soul Matters theme-based ministry material will weave through Worship, adult covenant groups, children’s RE groups, youth group, and family resources to maintain our community connections. And the younger folks are certainly planning on having fun along the way! Here’s what we have going on:

Nan Gregory is heading up children’s time with Mairy Beam on Sunday mornings before the Service, 10:20 to 10:50. A half-hour in which to learn a little, share a little, and play a little with our kids ages 5-9. One Sunday a month will focus on Indigenous stories and learning towards reconciliation and right relationship.
Donna Brown, our beloved choir director, and Ileanna Gowans, returning to us from a year off university, are taking the helm of our tween group (ages 10-12). They’ll be exploring our themes with Ukuleles in hand, generously purchased for the church with a modest gift of Choir fundraising savings. I’m looking forward to some creative and funny lyric changes to familiar songs coming our way. Sundays 3:30 to 4:30 pm, via zoom and once a month in the Sanctuary.
Our Youth are very busy this year, many of you will have heard directly from them this past Sunday. This amazing, resilient, group of young people continue to meet for two hours each Sunday and run a Dungeons and Dragons campaign on Wednesday nights.
Coming of Age is a keystone program for youth in grades 7 and 8. As they launch into their High School years, we support them in their spiritual path towards truth and meaning. They spend a year with an adult member as mentor to explore what it means to be Unitarian, a church member, and begin to think about how they want to be in the world. Olivia Hall, our Youth Program Coordinator, and I were thrilled at the positive response we received from adults willing to be mentors—we had twice as many adults as youth needing a match!

This year continues to present many challenges, emotionally, physically, and politically. I plan to be here, holding strong and keeping space for our families, children, and youth. We continue to have a thriving and vital community dedicated to supporting each other and holding each other with care.

And may it be so.

Kiersten E. Moore, Director of Religious Exploration for Children and Youth

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looking for volunteers!

We are always looking for thoughtful, adult mentors for our children and youth programs. If you are interested in getting involved please email Kiersten Director, Religious Education


Categories:

Children • Families • Learning • Youth • Youth • Youth and Young Adults