Children’s Religious Education
If you are looking for a religion with spiritual depth and integrity, but without dogma and guilt, we invite you and your children to visit the Unitarian Universalist Church of Elgin. There are opportunities for worship, community service, the arts, friendship, and intergenerational activities.
We would like to help your children develop a workable faith, an interest in social action, and a better understanding of the world in which we live.
Children’s Religious Education
The church provides programs for preschool, primary, elementary, and middle school age groups. Children and youth join their parents for the first part of the worship service and then move to their religious education classes at an announced time. There is a nursery for children under five years of age.
The Religious Education Team (RE) of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Elgin understands the purpose of religious education to be:
- to encourage moral and spiritual growth.
- to create a church environment in which children feel comfortable and to which they are drawn.
- to nurture in our children a sense of community and the feeling of being valued participants, and being connected to the group.
- to offer children a Unitarian Universalist religious identity.
- to assist children in their growth towards greater self-acceptance and self-determination.
- to celebrate life and life’s transitions.
- to respect the beliefs of others and the interdependent web of life of which we are a part.
- to encourage self-expression.
Religious education in Unitarian Universalist churches promotes the principles of the inherent worth and dignity of every person, equality in human relations, and the goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all.
Wide ranges of religious education programs are available for use in Unitarian Universalist churches. Topics may vary each year. Shown below are some examples of possible topics:
Children ages 3 through Kindergarten learn about their religious community, learn about the freedom to discover, and express their uniqueness through art, play, and stories. This program celebrates the wondrous qualities of children themselves and expands outward to the people and the environment around them.
Children in Grades 1 through 4 study the many ways Unitarian Universalists and other denominations view God. They are introduced to faith stories in the Bible and other religious writings and how our religious ancestors understood God’s activity in their lives. Children become acquainted with their own Unitarian Universalist community, including the people, the building, the rituals, and celebrations. Peace, the environment, and social action are introduced.
Children in Grades 5 through 8 study stories from religions around the world. Children may explore the events of Jesus’ life, his teachings, and the customs of the times. Programming may include the story of creation from the “big bang” through human evolution along with other creation stories. Social action is continued.
Children in Grades 6 through 8 study the teachings from religions around the world. The curriculum covers Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Islam, and African Religions. Other curricula include learning about our Judeo-Christian heritage, Unitarian Universalist identity, and social action.
Grades 9 and up will remain in the service.
Occasional intergenerational Sunday services are offered. Children attend this entire service with their parents.
The Church is committed to providing opportunities that will make religious growth and learning a lifelong process.