Children and Youth

UUCSW is part of the Circle RE Cooperative. Explore here: uuspiritualexploration.edublogs.org

[UCMH / First Parish / UUCSW] offers a number of education programs every Sunday, along with special events at different times throughout the church year (Sept – June).

Programs available on Sunday mornings and afternoons:

Nursery Care – Nursery care is available for infants and toddlers every Sunday morning during worship (10:30 – 11:30 AM)

Spirit Play – A program for ages Pre-K through K/1st that runs most Sundays during worship. Spirit Play doesn’t run on Muli-Generational Service Sundays, (i.e. Water Communion, Easter, etc.). The Spirit Play program is a spiritual exploration program that uses storytelling, art, and other activities designed to help children slow down and learn how to be still, and how to listen to their inner lives.

UU Exploration Lab – The UU Lab, for youth in elementary and middle school, is available on Sundays when the Circle RE Program is off (see below). In the UU Lab, kids explore non-curriculum-focused, spiritual exploration through:

Art: drawing, painting, sculpting, writing, storytelling, and music 

Body Movement: stretching and yoga (for all abilities/mobilities)

Breath Awareness: active and passive meditation activities

Play: active and quiet games

Circle Cooperative RE – Our dynamic, joint Religious Education Program for elementary and middle school youth meets 2 times/month (usually on second and fourth Sundays) during Sunday Worship Service (10:30 – 11:30 AM). The Circle RE program gathers the youth of 3 neighboring congregations (Marlboro/Hudson, Northboro, and Westboro) and rotates in location between these congregations. You can visit our Circle RE calendar at the Circle Cooperative website here: https://uuspiritualexploration.edublogs.org/schedule/

The Circle RE program incorporates engaging outdoor exploration with our spiritual exploration. During the 2022 – 2023 church year, we will be featuring our UU Magical School – Silverthorn! Visit the Circle RE website to learn more about the magical Silverthorn universe: https://uuspiritualexploration.edublogs.org/silverthorn/

Circle Youth Group –  A radically-inclusive program for High School youth that runs on Circle Sundays (usually second and fourth Sundays) after service – from 1 – 3 PM.  Our YG is open to high school youth in all our communities (not just those in our congregations!) served by the Circle RE Program (Hudson, Marlboro, Northboro, and Westboro). You can find the calendar for when and where Youth Group meetings are happening here: https://uuspiritualexploration.edublogs.org/schedule/

All our education programs happen in the RE/Classroom wing. Nursery staff and Program Educators meet our youth in the Sanctuary every Sunday right before worship and bring the children to the classrooms after the Story for All Ages. 

Note: Due to the small nature of our congregation, and our fellow Circle RE congregations, multiple programs often occur in the same space (i.e. Nursery and Spirit Play, or Spirit Play and UU Exp. Lab), to help keep the community connected. Youth work on age-specific programming, even when sharing space with other age groups, except when all-ages programming is offered. 

Other Youth Programs and Events:

Every other year, our congregation, in conjunction with our 2 Circle Cooperative partner congregations, offers Our Whole Lives – a human sexuality program for middle and high school youth. The OWL program offers youth a safe space where they can learn and talk about sexuality education with trained facilitators. There is often space in our program for youth outside our congregations. If you’d like to find out if your 7th, 8th or 9th grader can attend our OWL program, contact the Circle Cooperative Director at: CircleDRE@ucmh.org

Eighth-graders also have the opportunity to participate in a half-year Coming of Age program! COA offers middle-schoolers the chance to reflect on their past and future ahead in High School, and all the changes that come with the transition from beginning adolescence to becoming more independent. With a mentor, youth work on reflection, community service, and spiritual development culminating in a full Circle community celebration that affirms their growth and accomplishments, and bridges them from middle school to high school at the end of the year. 

There are a number of special events for our youth that happen throughout the church year! Past events have included:

  • Evening programs/social gatherings
  • Holiday pageants
  • Pop-up winter animal tracking workshops
  • A Halloween haunted house
  • Youth-Led worship services
  • Off-site community service work

Adults

UUCSW is a part of the CommUUnity Collaborative. Explore here: https://www.commuunitycollaborative.com/

The CommUUnity Collaborative is a joint endeavor to provide religious education and enrichment for adults, similar to the Circle RE Cooperative for our kids and youth. This program is in collaboration with about a half dozen other UU congregations in Massachusetts, with different classes and groups led by our ministers.