Faith Development for Children and Youth
Dear Parents, Members, and Friends,
As we travel through life, we use various tools to navigate: sight, sound, taste, touch. As toddlers, we learn to crawl and walk. We learn to ride bikes, swim in the water, journey first around the block and then across town and across the world. We navigate with words, books, with art and music, and most importantly, with love. This is a deep truth: the best way to navigate is with a compass of love. In our congregation we are guided by truth-seeking in love.
We can continue to grow and develop spiritually at every stage of life. Consider joining one of our programs this year.
Children’s Faith Development Mission Statement
Welcome to you and your family! Our Children’s Faith Development mission is to teach our children the values, heritage and sources of Unitarian Universalism and to help them articulate their personal beliefs. Combining UUA curriculum with an understanding of the Seven Principles (see page 10) and how they impact us in our everyday life, we believe our children can lead lives of meaning and service.
We want our young people to have fun at UUFM and feel part of the community. We’ll build this through engaging activities, Children’s Chapel and service projects. Throughout the church year, we’ll also have opportunities for your whole family to grow together in spirit and community.
Our program is strong because of parent involvement. Ask me how you can be a part of this.
Carrie Rice, Director of Children’s Faith Development
On Sunday Morning
Children will start upstairs with their parents/guardians and enjoy “Wisdom for All Ages” with the congregation, and then go downstairs with their teachers. There, they will all share some “Children’s Chapel” time before going to individual classrooms.
Volunteer teachers sign an ethical behavior policy and agree to background checks. We also use two-person teaching teams and all classrooms have public visibility. Parents can pick up their children at 11:30; older children are welcome to meet their parents in the social hall. There is an activity table for all ages in the Social Hall and the Library has games and books available for check-out.
Parents/guardians are always welcome to review the curriculum at any time. Also know you may join your child in the classrooms or at other activities.
Attendance & Registration
Children benefit most from our program if they come regularly. Only then will they find continuity in the program and a circle of friends so they look forward to coming each Sunday. We ask all families to register their children, including regular visitors, so that we have needed contact and safety information. We ask that you do this each fall so that we have the most up-to-date information on each child. There is no registration fee. However, parent involvement is required to conduct the program.
How to register: Registration forms are available in the classrooms or from our CFD Director. Or you may print the form here. Please return completed forms to the classroom or the UUFM office. THANKS!
We believe in treating children with kindness and respect, and in helping them to learn respectful behaviors. In this way, we hope to create a supportive, caring, and safe religious community for everyone. If a child is struggling with this covenant, the teacher may choose to engage him or her in a quiet activity in the Fellowship Hall during the rest of that day’s class and to speak to the family to invite their help in resolving the problem.
Child Dedication & Coming of Age
In the Unitarian Universalist tradition, we celebrate the birth of our children with a special naming and dedication ceremony before the gathered congregation. Older children may also be dedicated, if they have come to our community at an older age. Child dedications are held throughout the year. See our Child Dedications page for more information. If you are interested in this for your family, please contact the UUFM office administrator at uumankato.org to be put in touch with someone from the worship committee.
Many volunteers contribute their time and energy to make our Children’s Faith Development program one of quality and vision. There are many numbers of ways that you can be involved. Being a member of the CFD committee of joining one of our teaching teams are two examples. We ask each teacher to commit for one 4-6 week unit to create consistency and stronger relationships with our children and youth. There are also many opportunities to make guest appearances with our teachers to share particular talents, such as music or drama or art as it related to our curriculum. Other ways to participate include planning special/holiday events and social justice outings, working on multi-generational services and plays, reviewing curricula, and much more. Please see the volunteer opportunities in more detail on the registration form.
Your involvement in your child’s Faith Development experience also enriches your child’s learning in our program. Showing an interest in their classes, participating in multi-generational activities, and initiating discussions at home are all important pieces to your family’s experience and spiritual growth. We look forward to our time together.
We want you to know that all of our members who work with children and youth sign an ethical behavior policy and agree to a background check. All of our classrooms have public visibility and we plan for a 2-person teaching team each week. We are committed to a safe, nurturing environment.