Our Religious Education Programs
The mission of our Children and Youth Religious (CYRE) Exploration Program is to help each child grow within our supportive community. We want our children and youth to:
- Become religiously literate, especially regarding Unitarian Universalism,
- See themselves as ethical and moral decision-makers,
- Develop a deep appreciation for all religious and spiritual perspectives,
- Cultivate earth stewardship and awareness, and
- Recognize themselves as active agents for good in the world.
All children in our programs must have BOTH an Information Form and a Release & Media Consent Form completed by a parent or guardian (one per registrant)::
- REQUIRED Registration Form
- REQUIRED Release & Media Consent Form
- Volunteer Form: Your participation, in whatever capacity you are able to give, is greatly appreciated. To best match our volunteer opportunities with your interests, please fill out our CYRE Volunteer Form
Please return forms to our Director of Religious Exploration.
Age groupings are flexible based on enrollment, individual needs and maturity levels.
Age groupings are:
- Nursery, ages 0-2: Infants to 2 years can be signed-in to the nursery anytime after 10:15 am for supervised play time with our volunteer nursery team. Pick-up is 11:45 – 12:00 to allow guardians time to participate in post-service coffee time. Parents are always welcome to stay with their child in the Nursery as needed.
- Explorers, ages 3-7: Children start upstairs in the service and after the “CYRE sharing” head down with their leaders to Room 3, which is next door to the nursery. Being next door to the nursery helps young children make the transition to the CYRE program smoothly and at their own pace. The class is jointly themed with the older Elementary class, often including a short discussion and related activity, with the rest of the time being free play to build friendships and community. Parents are always welcome to join the Explorers with their child as needed.
- Elementary, ages 8-11: The children start upstairs in the service and after the “CYRE sharing” head down with their leaders downstairs to Room 1. Themes and activities are centered on our 7 principles, UU values, other religions/ cultures/holidays, self-care, and caring for our environment.
- Junior Youth and Senior Youth (ages 12-20): please visit our Youth Programs page.
It’s My First Visit – What Do I Do?
Please visit our Welcome Table to pick up a name-tag and information about our programs.
If you have babies or toddlers: You may keep your child with you during the service or take your child to the nursery (the greeters in the church foyer will direct you). If you choose to leave your child in the nursery, you will be asked to sign into nursery with your name and cell number. Please leave your phone on vibrate so nursery volunteers can reach you if your child needs you. You are invited to have coffee after the service before signing out your child from nursery. Please ensure your child has a fresh diaper before heading to nursery as our volunteers do not provide diaper changes.
If you have older children:They should go with you to the main sanctuary for the “time for all ages” part of the service. This may involve a song, story, or group chat. After this, you should accompany your children downstairs to the appropriate classrooms (signs on the doors will indicate the class age groupings). Please introduce yourself and your children to the class leaders or the Director of Religious Education, Sheila MacMaster. Then you may rejoin the service in Panabaker Hall. When you and your child are comfortable you can allow the class leader to escort them downstairs after Time for All Ages while you remain in the service. You are invited to have a quick coffee after the service.
- Children get to know each other better, have more fun, and learn about community when they attend at least 3-4 Sundays a month. We encourage you to come regularly!
- Volunteer involvement by parents is essential for our programs to be successful. Please speak to our Director of Religious Education about ways that you can help out.
Sheila MacMaster, Director of Religious Education
Office phone: 403-404-1361
Office hours: Wednesdays and Sundays. Please email or call for an appointment.