UUCB has a vivacious and comprehensive Religious Exploration (RE) Program for nearly 70 children and youth, ages 0-18. We strive to help shape the heart, nourish the character, liberate the spirit and affirm the wondrous potential of each child and youth who participates. Every aspect of program development and implementation requires coordination and leadership to maintain its vibrancy, safety and integrity.

our principlesClasses for children focus on UU identity, world religions, social justice, and environmental awareness, with emphasis on our Seven Principles and Six Sources.Story for all Ages

On Sunday mornings children generally join the congregation in the sanctuary for the first part of the service and for a Story for All Ages, after which they are “sung out” and go upstairs for their RE session.

Sunday morning programming is available for children in four age groups, from infant and toddler child-care, through elementary school. Middle school-age youth participate in the Coming of Age (COA) program where they work to understand their faith and identity through meetings, retreats and service work. UUCB’s Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU) group seeks to empower high school aged youth to pursue knowledge, spirituality, justice and compassion.

A photo gallery for RE is being developed once parental permission is obtained to publish photos of children and youth; this is part of the Fall RE Registration process, and will be completed soon. We also maintain a Facebook page for our RE programming updates and announcements – visit us there!

Parents are provided with a Handbook which explains Policies and Procedures as well as a registration form which tells us about your child’s allergies, health condition, and more. You can read or download the RE Handbook 2016-2017.

An advisory group meets monthly to support the Director of RE and address current program issues. In addition, adults and high school students assist in classrooms on Sunday mornings. Each COA student has an adult mentor to support them through their 2-3 year period of activity. Last year, the Youth RE Program at UUCB was supported by over 2,150 adult volunteer hours from committee members, guides, mentors, group leaders, and project assistants! Many thanks to all of you!!! If you are interested in any of these opportunities, please contact the Director of RE (DRE) Danielle Bannister, at email hidden; JavaScript is required

Other opportunities for involvement include:

1. A Visioning Task Force will meet regularly with church leadership to explore new opportunities for space, curriculum, service projects and special programming. For more information, contact Jane Dopheide (email hidden; JavaScript is required).

2. Particular help is needed for special tasks such as: Preparing weekly snack and/or materials, taking photos of activities for the newsletter and web site. For more information, contact Danielle Bannister (email hidden; JavaScript is required).


Recent Posts


November 2017

(11/2/2017) We certainly have been busy these first few months! They have flown by! A gentle reminder, if you are a parent/guardian and you haven’t registered your child for RE we ask that you please take some time to do that. Forms are at church, in the classrooms and have been mailed home. If you need another set sent to you, contact Danielle at email hidden; JavaScript is required . If your child/ren are between the ages of 9-12 they are invited to participate in a multi-church Pre-Teen sleepover, hosted by our church on Saturday, November 18-November 19. The cost is $15 per child (to cover food and guest speaker). Registration information can be obtained by Danielle. Send her an e-mail. Registration is due by Nov. 12! Danielle Bannister, Director of Religious Exploration, DRE email hidden; JavaScript is required 505-5383

April 30. 2017

(5/3/2017) The Primary, Intermediate and COA rooms all did a session on water pollution where we took a bucket of clean water and slowly polluted it with contaminants. At first, the clean up was easy. A few food scraps were easily fished out. Then it became harder as toxins from landfills made their way into the ocean. The strainers caught some, but not all of it. Then came the oil. Forget about it. There was no easy way to clean that, even with Dawn! The hardest to get out was the plastics. They were shocked to learn just how long the plastic stays in the oceans (hundreds of years! See the How Long Til It's Gone graphic attached) and how it affects the sea life. They ended the session watching these two videos and taking home a We Care Calendar challenge of small things they can do at home to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up in our oceans. I'm attaching the challenge here for you to do at home as well! What really happens to the plastic you throw away? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6xlNyWPpB8 Click below to enlarge: Ocean Cleanup Project https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yztkLbSl_8M

April 23, 2017

The Primary Room heard the spirit play story of The Lorax then went outside to investigate nature using mini magnifying glasses that they got to take home to remind them to keep a close eye on nature.
The Intermediate Room heard the beloved story Everybody Needs a Rock (A story about how important it is to find and keep a rock with you). They then got to design their own rock to take home and one to keep in their pockets to remind them to stay connected with Earth.
The COA Room stayed for the service and sat with their Mentors using their Doodleography journals to help them listen with full minds.

April 9, 2017

(4/10/2017) On Sunday, our Primary Room heard the story of Big Al, a big fish with scary-looking teeth. None of fish would talk to him because he looked so scary. Big Al did everything he could to try and make friends but they stayed away. Until one day a net caught one of the smaller fish and Big Al used his teeth and strength to cut the fish away. The fish weren't scared of him anymore. They were able to look past his appearance and see the big heart inside. The Intermediate room got to celebrate Buddha's birthday by bathing him in flowered water! It smelled so good!

April 2, 2017

(4/6/2017) While Danielle was in Ellsworth with over 30 kids (6 from our church) to have our 4th annual pre-teen sleepover with 5 local UU churches, the kids that were in Belfast did the following things: Primary Room: They heard a story about calming busy minds and finding peace (a hard word to define!) After they had the opportunity to use the glass beads and make mandalas to help them practice quieting their minds. Intermediate Room: We used our democratic process today to determine how the class worked today. They got a say on what story to hear and what activity to do (outside time for the win! Finally Spring!) COA Room: This was a Mentor and Me Sunday which the youth invited their mentors to come to RE to make some deeper connections. They too, went outside and did some games together. YRUU: Our youth met Sunday afternoon, had our check ins, and watched one episode of The Story of God with Morgan Freeman on how other faiths deal with the idea of death. What happens when we die? Several varying faith beliefs were presented then we had a discussion of what they thought.

Meals Matter

(4/6/2017) After church on March 12, 30 kids and parents from the Primary and Intermediate levels of RE gathered in the kitchen of the EcoVillage to cook meals for the Caring Circle. Families brought ingredients, and teams were formed to prepare the food. Families who were not able to attend dropped off ingredients in advance. What a wonderful collaboration of all ages this was! (more)

March 5, 2017

(3/8/2017) This Sunday the Primary and Intermediate kids did a project called Mish-Mashed Hearts. The Primary room related the craft to a story they heard about an elderly man with no real friends and the community that reminded him of his worth. While the Intermediate room heard a story from another UU Congregation about how our past, both good and bad shape our hearts. The COA group watched the latest Twilight Zone Episode called: To Serve Man. Always a joy to see their faces when the surprise ending is revealed. We had a few moments of discussion about it before service was done.

February 12, 2017

(2/17/2017) The Primary room and Intermediate rooms heard the story Hey, Little Ant, a book about the question a child faces to squish an ant on the sidewalk or let it be. The Primary room then made ants and a multicoloured stick out of clay and the Intermediate Room made a pro/con list of if the ant should be squished or not, then made posters to advocate for their choice. The COA room watched a slide show that Susan Coe put together of the church renovation and interior concepts. We also got to talk about putting together a movie night with their mentors. The YRUU class won't be meeting until March.

February 5, 2017

(2/6/2017) Our PRIMARY ROOM did a spirit play basket based on the children's book What if all the Zebra's Lost their Stripes? A book about race and looking beyond color. After the story, children got to design a zebra of their own, putting on stripes in any way they wanted so that no two looked alike. The INTERMEDIATE ROOM worked on some group building games. This group is a large group of 2-5 graders that tend to split according to gender/age so we were working to break down that separation and do things as a collective whole. I think they had a lot of fun! The COA ROOM watched the Twilight Zone called 'Shelter' about a bomb threat and a single bomb shelter that exists on a once, friendly street. Who deserves a chance to live? What happens when fear trumps being civil?

January 29, 2017

(1/30/2017) Sunday was an All Age Children’s Chapel. The first we've done in years! All ages joined in the library where Gemma Scott gave a special explanation of the Goddess Brigid. She is the Irish Goddess of the holy well and the sacred flame. They did a ritual, sang a song, moved their bodies and offered bread and milk up to the Goddess, honoring her.