First Parish in Framingham

24 Vernon Street
Framingham, MA 01701

(508) 872-3111






Religious Exploration at First Parish
Curriculum syllabus

 

EARLY PRESCHOOL:   2-3 year olds as of September

EXPLORING OUR WORLD:     Activities for this group include stories, crafts, music, snack and play time. Emphasis is on encouraging comfort and familiarity with the religious exploration environment.

PRE-SCHOOL/KINDERGARTEN

FALL — RAINBOW SEEKERS:     This class is designed to nurture children’s spiritual growth, creativity, and connection to the UU community by exploring our UU principles in a safe, fun, and caring way. Children begin to feel comfortable in their church home and begin to build friendships.

SPRING — TREASURE HUNTING:   Through crafts, songs, and stories, children explore the meanings behind our Unitarian Universalist principles. Some treasures to be discovered are the power of feelings, the joy of friendship and the excitement of searching for truth. Central to the curriculum is a treasure chest, to which an object symbolic of each week’s lesson is added.

GRADES ONE AND TWO

FALL — UU SUPERHEROES:     Tied directly into our UU principles, this course is a values-based UU identity curriculum. Children will hear stories of UU’s who have acted with courage and wisdom to make the world a better place. Children will be encouraged to use their own “super powers” in living their lives, and as they do so, will grow both spiritually and ethically.

SPRING — HONORING MOTHER EARTH:     In this curriculum, we aim to instill a respect for the interconnectedness of all things and a sense of the sacredness of our earth. It includes an exploration of Native American spiritual traditions and beliefs and also experiences in nature such as watching spring emerge.

GRADES THREE AND FOUR

HOLIDAYS AND HOLY DAYS This year-long program is based on the seasonal celebrations of various religions and cultures throughout the world. As the meaning behind each celebration is explored, the connection is made to our Unitarian Universalist faith. Students learn about several world religions over the course of the year.

GRADES FIVE AND SIX

FALL — GOD IMAGES:    Students will become acquainted with some of the ideas of God which people use to explain their world. The curriculum includes images from the Judeo-Christian tradition, from other world religions and from modern science. Through drama, art, and discussion, students will have the opportunity to develop their own images about God. A field trip to a Hindu temple is included.

SPRING — OUR UU FOREBEARERS:    Unitarian Universalists have been catalysts for progressive change and social justice throughout history. Through skits and stories, the students in this class learn about early pioneers of religious freedom and observe many ways in which individuals lived their religious beliefs. First Parish history is also part of the curriculum.

GRADES SEVEN AND EIGHT

FALL — SOCIAL ACTION:    Our opening words include “...and service is our prayer”. To truly put this phrase into practice, this course will include a variety of social action projects, including a Hunger Banquet. Linking the projects with our UU principles, students will deepen their UU identity while learning to become social activists.

SPRING — WHAT I BELIEVE:    This curriculum guides students along on their spiritual journeys. Students are given the chance to reflect on their UU identity, to explore their ideas and values, and to build a “spiritual tool kit” to help them in challenging times.


Junior Youth Group
Grades 7 & 8

This youth group meets on the first and third Thursdays of the month from 6 to 7:30 for supper, service, and socializing. They will also meet occasionally for outside activities.

 Young Religious Unitarian Universalists (YRUU)
Grades 9 through 12

The high school program is designed to facilitate the transition between the structured children's program and the self-directed church participation of the adult. The selection of group activities will be determined by the young people with guidance from their advisors. There will be opportunities for fellowship, learning, worship, leadership, and service. This group meets on Sunday evenings from 7:00 to 9:00. High school youth are also invited to teach in the Religious Exploration program. Youth who do not participate in YRUU are welcome to join in the social justice activities that are planned by the YRUU group.


other aspects of our program

WORSHIP
An important part of faith development in our young people is the experience of being together with others in the church community at a special time and place for worship. Children in grades one through eight attend the first fifteen minutes of the Worship Service in the Meeting House with their families. Worshipful moments are also included in the classes.

CARING FOR OTHERS
Six Sundays during the year will be “Justice Sundays” for 4-year-olds through 8th graders. On these Sundays, we will put our UU faith into action while working on a project to help others. These Sundays help to develop our children’s and youth’s UU identity since social justice is an integral part of being a Unitarian Universalist.

CHILDREN’S CHOIR AND CHIME CHOIR
The Children’s Choir is open to singers in grades 1-6. The Chime Choir is open to youth in grades 4-8. Rehearsals are held on Sundays between the two services, alternating monthly between the two choirs. Each choir performs 4 or 5 Sundays throughout the year and for special holiday services.

NURSERY
Infant care is available for children under the age of two years. For the 9:15 service, hours are 9:00-10:30. For the 11:00 service, hours are 10:45-12:15.



If you have any questions about of these programs, please call the
 Director of Religious Exploration.

The Unitarian Universalist Principles, in the language of children.

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