Religious Education (K-12)

Religious Education (RE) currently occurs for children and youth during the service. School age children join the congregation for the beginning of service, which includes Chalice Lighting, Joys and Sorrows and a Time for All Ages (story).   Our children and youth are “sung out” by the congregation, and they exit the sanctuary with their classroom teachers and classmates.

If you are a visiting family, be sure to check with the Worship Greeters to find out which colorful classroom your child(ren) will participate in. You are welcome to attend with them! If you do not walk with them, physical guides around the building will direct you to each classroom.

About Our Children and Youth Ministry

At BRUU, we strive to help our children, youth, and their families grow spiritually with lives filled with compassion and wholeness. Through our Sunday morning Religious Education programs and a variety of family fellowship opportunities, we seek to cultivate in our children both a love of liberal religious life and a sense of belonging in a wider faith community.

Each week, children, youth, and adults gather in classrooms and the sanctuary to question, explore, observe, and imagine. Sunday mornings at BRUU are opportunities for children and adults to come together to share in exploration of our liberal religious heritage, our common values, and our individual journeys toward truth. Our goal is to cultivate and sustain in our young people a love of the spiritual life, a foundation for personal theology, and a confidence in their ability to be stewards of their own souls.

Our Religious Education Program is one that:

  • Introduces children to beliefs and celebrations of a variety of religious traditions and values
  • Explores UU purposes and principles and how they relate to children’s lives
  • Provides opportunities to explore and develop religious thoughts and beliefs in a loving and supportive environment
  • Promotes the care and well-being of people of all ages through multigenerational services and special events

In order to ensure that our children are well grounded in the many different aspects of our religious tradition, we have chosen three basic areas of religious education content with which we want our children to be familiar. We call these areas Pillars: Unitarian Universalist Identity, World Religions, and Judeo-Christian Heritage. Running with a three year cycle, we focus on one pillar each year. Using this approach, our children can build on what they have already learned without structured learning becoming obviously repetitive.

Inside the classroom

SPRING 2017  Our current classroom rainbow and what they are up to:

Orange = “Explorers,” ages 3-7.   “Picture Book UU.”
Each week, our youngest classroom explores a story representing a Unitarian Universalist characteristic or example.  A craft or activity incorporating art, music and fun develops character and community. The Explorers teachers emphasize individuality and flexibility in the classroom, and parents should be aware that messes are celebrated.

Yellow = “Questers,” ages 8-10. “Faithful Journeys” 
Because ours is a creedless faith, defining what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist can be challenging. Our adults and youth often welcome such a challenge — indeed, a questioning spirit is part of our faith. Yet, our children need to learn who Unitarian Universalists are, what we believe, and how we live in faith. Faithful Journeys equips them with language and experiences to answer these questions and help them develop a strong Unitarian Universalist identity.

Participants embark on a pilgrimage of faith, exploring how Unitarian Universalism translates into life choices and everyday actions. In each session, they hear historic or contemporary examples of Unitarian Universalist faith in action. Stories about real people model how participants can activate their own personal agency — their capacity to act faithfully as Unitarian Universalists — in their own lives, and children have regular opportunities to share and affirm their own stories of faithful action. Through sessions structured around the Unitarian Universalist Principles, Faithful Journeys demonstrates that our Principles are not a dogma, but a credo that individuals can affirm with many kinds of action. Over the course of the program, children discover a unity of faith in the many different ways Unitarian Universalists, including themselves, can act on our beliefs.

Green = “Seekers,” ages 11-13. “The Questing Year.” 
Our junior youth are engaged in a curriculum connected through the central themes and purposes of faith development and social action. It is challenging and fun, for understanding and growth, and to be both institutionally and personally informative. The Questing year seeks to expose age appropriate explorations and understanding of each participants’ religious identity, and encourage them to be excited about the great mystery and life-long learning that may be had.

Blue = Senior Youth, ages 14-17
What are our Senior Youth up to? Whatever they want!  No, there is some structure – the teens continue to explore their own faith beliefs and UU identity, and other topics of growing up.

The Senior youth have been hosting monthly “Senior to Senior Teas,” a widely popular opportunity for intergenerational conversation and sharing; and will soon present their Youth Worship Service on April 30.

Please complete this form to register for current RE classes.

SUMMER 2017 (July 2 – August 27):

Kindergarten – 5th Grade: “Summer in the Garden”
We’ll plant, tend and harvest an edible garden, and end the summer making salsa!  Along the way, we’ll make grass houses, a worm habitat, a bug hotel and find other ways to get our hands dirty and have a lot of fun!

6th – 12th grade: “Silent and Less Than Silent Expression”
Junior and senior youth will explore creative expression with mime. We’ll get trapped in a box, learn about stage presence, and create a small group skit….Participants will more confident in their own skin and deepen their UU bonds.”

Please complete this form to register for Summer RE classes.

2017-2018 School Year Curriculum
We will explore World Religions.
For more information about our next session, contact dre@bruu.org

Nursery and Childcare

Little ones 0-3 are welcomed and well cared for in our Nursery. Sunday mornings, the Nursery is open at 9:30 am until 11:30 a.m. There are no lesson plans, but books, toys, art supplies and well-vetted caregivers who give one on one attention to each of their guests.

Non allergenic snacks and water are provided.  We do have a supply of spare diapers and diaper care supplies, but prefer that you provide the products your child is used to.

The Nursery is also often available for BRUU Special Events. Please contact the event contact or DRE to confirm Nursery care.

Safe Congregations

The children of Bull Run Unitarian Universalists (BRUU) are a special part of our community that all members of our community step forward to serve, minister, and facilitate an exploration of beliefs and ideas.

They will trust you, depend on you, and expect you to model conscientious behavior. They will expect you to provide an entertaining and educational experience. They will also expect that you will keep them safe.

Safety, in BRUU terms means providing a comfortable environment within our community walls that allows for freedom and expression of opinions, allows for questions to be received without judgment, and a reception of an individual’s creativity. Safety means preventing and preparing for possibilities of physical and emotional harm.

Safety for children also means providing a specific set of expectations. Routines and boundaries need to be clearly set and followed by both the adults and children in any given situation in order for all parties to feel comfortable.

 

You will also see that by participating in our RE program, an equal responsibility is held not only by teaching volunteers and assistants, but also parents and youth to create the best experience for all.

Questions, comments and concerns should be sent to DRE at dre@bruu.org

RE Council

REC meetings are currently being held on Second Sundays, 9:00 am. Anyone and everyone are invited to attend, contribute and join the committee. Members agree to be active participants and agree to the REC Covenant, below. For more information, contact any current REC member.

The BRUU RE Committee fosters a safe community for children and youth to develop open minds, helping hands, and loving hearts. We support the children and youth as they seek in their personal and spiritual journey. We do this in a safe and loving environment for all by doing the following:

Collaboration: We welcome a diverse range of perspectives and experience. The various backgrounds of all members help the committee to ensure that different perspectives are considered and valued.

Consensus: As a committee, we will continue to build consensus until we reach a decision that everyone can support in solidarity. We can disagree, but we need to disagree in a respectful way that gives everyone the chance of understanding other points of view.

Support: Once we reach collaborative decisions, we will all work together and support each other to implement those decisions in a unified voice. We encourage respect and trust each other to accomplish the common goal of helping our children and community, and value the inherent worth of each committee member and what they bring to the table.

Helena Kennedy, Chair
Owen Davies
Jennifer Malos
Randy Earl
Nina Lomax