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

 

April 23, 2017

(4/26/2017)
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.
 

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.
 

January 22, 2017

(1/24/2017) Attendance was low, just as I anticipated as many families were still at the march or recovering from it! Those of that came enjoyed a game day and snacks! After the service we a parent meeting to discuss how RE was going, an upcoming community service project that will happen in late February, early March as well as brainstorming ideas of ways we can be welcoming to new families once we move back into our space. Very productive!
 

January 15, 2017

(1/19/2017) The Primary Room’s Spirit Play basket was the story of the beloved picture book, Empty Pot. A tale about never giving up on you dream even when other people’s dreams keep sprouting around you. It asks the question, how can you prove your worth when you have nothing to show for it? The honor lay in the honesty of the boy who did not cheat. After the story, they got to put their own stenciled flowers onto a pot of their own. Intermediate Room talked about Superman, or more specifically, the actor, Christopher Reeve, who portrayed Superman. Reeve was a UU and a strong advocate for scientific research to help the disabled. Children saw that each of us has the capacity to use our personal agency to do good in the world — no matter how we are "abled." COA Room took a break from the Twilight Zone to watch the service. They were invited to use their UU Doodleography journals to help them concentrate better in the space. YRUU We met in the afternoon and watched Defying the Nazis.
 

January 9, 2017

(1/10/2017) Primary Room This group learned about Tibetan Prayer flags (They got to color one to take home). These flags are a way of praying…a way to send their wishes out into the universe. The story acted as a small introduction about other faiths and types of prayer. Intermediate Room We played a game called ‘This is NOT a scarf’ where we took a scarf and passed it around, each person making it into something new, like an apron, a ball, the letter ‘M.’ The game was a way of talking about reinventing yourself. That you set the parameters of what you want to be in life, not the label others put on you. We then talked about resolutions, what they are, why some people make them and what resolutions they might want to make. We finished the session with a wishing tree activity where they wrote down their resolution on a paper leaf to tie to a tree in the hopes that their goal comes true. This was a modification of the wishing trees seen in Hong Kong. COA Room We watched the Twilight Zone - Season Three, Episode #1: Two Two is about two people on opposite sides of a war and how they were able to find a way to get along, even love, despite their different political views. How do we learn to love the neighbor who doesn’t agree with us?