for Children and Youth
Faith Formation Mission Statement
Children prepare warm welcome for Rev. Jaye
Rev. Jaye said she was touched and grateful when she entered her office after her first sermon at UUFHC on August 27, 2023.
Faith Formation Wing Open House!
Following our Ingathering service on September 11 (where we will bless our backpacks and hang our community created mural), there will be an open house in the Faith Formation wing! Come and tour the refreshed and ready classrooms and learn about the programming we'll be offering! There will be special treats to explore and enjoy in each room, so please bring your children and youth to check it out (though, you don't have to have a kiddo with you to join in—we know everyone is curious so see this wing ready for action!). We'll also be getting our children and youth registered for the coming year of Faith Formation.
Program Overview & Calendar
The plan consists of four pieces: Faith Formation Hall Sundays, Sanctuary Sundays, Second Hour Programming, and Summer Camp.
Faith Formation Sundays*On these Sundays, children/youth will participate in using available rooms in the Faith Formation Hall from 10:30 - 11:30am for self-directed exploration of UUism in various themed spaces.
Sanctuary SundaysThese are Sundays when the whole congregation will worship together.
Second Hour ProgammingSpecialized curriculum (COA, OWL, etc.) will be offered from 12:30 - 1:30p following worship.
Summer CampThis will be free for all UUFHC members and included as a part of the standard Faith Formation year. This is when we will tackle curriculum which teaches UU theology and values in an immersive environment.
* Please note that on Faith Formation Sundays, children and youth do not start in the Sanctuary with their families. They will be checked into the Faith Formation wing before worship to give them a full hour in the room(s) of their choice.
What do Faith Formation Sundays look like?
Check out our Sunday Program video.
From September to June, children and youth will spend Sunday mornings either in the worship service with the whole congregation or in the Faith Formation Hall (see calendar below for dates). When they are in the Faith Formation Hall, they will be free to use any of five themed rooms for self directed exploration, socialization, and community building. The rooms are themed to connect with our summer camp program, the Univelarian University of Wizarding Arts, to link what they do during the year to what they will be learning in the summer.
This room is designated to explore and connect with one's own FAITH. It will include altar kits, books on world religions, icons and statues, prayer rugs, ritual tools, and sooooo many chalices. It will also be where we stream the worship service on Zoom.
In this room, children/youth practice speaking TRUTH in covenanted community. This room includes cozy seating for conversation, table and chairs for board and card games, and the ever evolving room covenant posted on the wall.
This is the room children/youth can use to find PEACE. It will be a sensory room perfect for snuggling with blankets, reading, meditating, using sensory tools, etc. No fluorescent lights or loud noises allowed here, just gentle lamps and a white noise machine.
This room is used for children/youth to celebrate their LOVE for the interconnected web of life and our community. Creative opportunities abound with art and craft supplies, rotating art projects to display in the Sanctuary or other spaces around the Fellowship, plants (and fish!) to take care of, nature books to look at, and more!
Nothing speaks to HOPE like social justice work! This room is for learning about social justice issues and movements, discussing what matters most to children/youth, organizing, creating protest signs/art, writing letters to officials, etc.
What happens on Sanctuary Sundays?
Children/youth will attend the worship service with their families on Sanctuary Sundays much as they have been doing. There will always be sensory tools, coloring pages, and floor cushions available for everyone's use. There will also be more opportunities for children and youth to take ownership of the space and become involved with the worship service such as passing the offering baskets, serving as greeters, playing music or singing, serving as a worship associate, leading a reading, etc. The role of Sanctuary Sundays is to ensure our children and youth grow up connected to and feeling a meaningful part of the larger congregation.
What does Second Hour Programming look like?
The plan is to start any second hour programming at 12:30pm leaving time for lunch between Faith Formation/Worship and the program. Yes, this does mean a longer day, but it also means that nobody involved in the program will miss out on their regularly scheduled Sunday morning or feel hungry when the programming begins. And because these are short-term commitment programs, offered only for a set number of weeks each, families and volunteers don't face a full year of lengthy Sundays at the Fellowship and can instead commit to those things which are most important to them. We do not have plans to begin any second hour programming until the new year to allow our Faith Formation Hall to fully open and the program to settle before adding another layer.
Summer Camp is Faith Formation!
If you were in any way involved with this year's summer camp session, you know how deeply impactful it was for the kids and youth who participated. In just one week, participants got as much learning done as basically a full year of Sunday School classes—but through a short-term commitment which they were excited for instead of a year of spotty attendance and conflicting schedules.
The Faith Formation Committee has decided to make summer camp a part of the main curriculum instead of an addition to the Faith Formation calendar. And because through the year we are able to save money on many curricula and supply costs thought the year with our themed rooms, we'll be able to budget for UUFHC members to send their children/youth to camp for free and only charge families from the wider community to participate.
Summer camp has always been an incredible opportunity for outreach, which will continue to be the case. It's also a time when deep bonds of friendship are formed between the children and youth of UUFHC and those will carry over into the following year. And now that we will have rooms with themes which tie into camp as well, the culture built at camp can also carry through the year. If you’ve participated in camp, you know how exciting that is—UUWA is truly magical!
One of the major bonuses of this structure is that it's much more sustainable for the Director of Faith Formation as well as volunteers. Because there's no specific curriculum to prepare or specific class groups on Sunday mornings, we don't need a set team of volunteers to facilitate each room. Volunteers can serve as little as a single, solitary Sunday if they so desire! And when they love it and want more, they can switch up which rooms to spend time in and participate in different activities with different groups of kids.
Our rooms are also great places for volunteers to share their own special interests in social justice, art, and spirituality! And yeah, bringing in that obscure and super cool board game to play will absolutely be appreciated and a great way to practice covenant!
Faith Formation Calendar
Now that you know how the program is structured, learn when it's all happening!
Have questions or want more info? Contact our Director of Faith Formation, Jenn Blosser.